If you have not done all of this things up until this point, please refer to our previous article, ” How to Install a Commercial Playground – Part One. At this point in time we are ready to begin installing the playground decks. The best way to do this is a bit of a secret. Begin with the deck that is most centrally located in the structure. Raise the deck to the appropriate height and install the necessary hardware to secure it in place. Make sure the deck is level while installing it. At this point in time we will also want to plumb the posts that attach to the decks. Continue adding decks and posts in this fashion until all of the required decks have been installed. We will want to go over each post and deck to ensure that they are level and plumb. Once we have made certain that they are, we will now begin filling the footer holes up with concrete to secure them into place. Be sure to leave four inches at the top of the footer hole free of concrete, this space will be back filled with dirt, raked out and compacted to the grade. Once this part of the installation is completed, we will want to leave the structure alone for a minimum of twenty four hours to let the concrete cure.
By this point in time during the playground installation, we should have completed the following:
1. Checked all playground equipment parts inventory to make sure nothing is missing.
2. Cut all playground posts and playground accessory posts to the proper height depending on our protective playground surfacing levels.
3. Located all playground footer posts locations.
4. Excavated all playground posts footer locations to the appropriate depth as specified by the playground equipment manufacturer.
5. Made sure that all of our playground footer locations are the exact same depth using the appropriate instrument such as a rotary laser level or a transit level. We have checked this multiple times to make sure that all footers are accurate within .25″. Any tolerance higher than this is unacceptable and will result in problems later on during the playground installation process.
Upon arriving the next day we will want to check all of the posts to make sure the concrete has properly cured and that all of the playground posts are secure. At this point in time we will begin installing the commercial playground accessories on to the playground unit, including the playground slides, the playground panels and safety rails, the playground roofs, as well as any entrance points such as climbing walls and playground stairs.
It is wise to install the largest and most cumbersome accessories first, along with the stairs. You want to install the stairs first so you will have an access point to the decks other than a ladder. The reason why we want to install the largest components first is because it will be easier to maneuver these playground components into place without any obstacles such as the playground panels and rails in your way. Follow all of the manufactures instructions and begin installing the playground accessories and components on to the commercial playground unit.
Once all accessories have been installed and all concrete has cured you will want to inspect every connection point on the commercial playground. We want to make sure that no hardware is missing, and more importantly that the correct hardware was used for each component. A general rule is that there should never be more than two to three threads exposed on any bolt past the nut. If there is, then most likely a bolt that is too long was used. This causes a hazard, be sure to look closely for this. Once you have confirmed that all of the hardware is properly installed, we will want to clean the unit using a pressure washer and touch up any scratches with the spray paint provided by the manufacturer. The playground is now complete and is ready for years of use.