Swing sets and playsets are a fantastic centerpiece to your kids’ backyard. However, once your children have aged, or the set becomes no longer safe to play on due to wear and tear, it is time to get rid of it. Once that day has come, it can be a bit of a burden trying to figure out exactly how to break it down and what to do with it once you have.

The disassembling and removal of a playset is not as challenging as it may seem. And even better for you, we’ve got you covered in handling this project in a day.

Coming from a dad who has assembled and disassembled more playsets that one person probably should in a lifetime, you can call me a bit of a pro. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of your playset.

Make Sure You Have a Plan for Disposal

First and foremost, before you start deconstructing your playset, you want to make sure you’ve got a plan for once you’ve got it all broken down. The one thing worse than having an unused playset in your backyard is having the pieces of what once was an unused playset piled up in your backyard.

If you’re looking to get rid of an old swing set or playset, here are a few options to consider:

Sell It

If your kids have simply outgrown their swing set, but it is still in good working condition, an easy option for removal would be to sell it. These days, selling items like this online is relatively easy, and there are multiple channels worth looking into as potential options. Some ways to sell online include:

  • OfferUp
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • eBay

When selling online, you could expressly state that the playset’s movement will be the buyer’s responsibility. This way, you would alleviate the stress of having to deal with breaking it down and removing it from your property yourself.

If you’re new to online selling, you can look around on the sites listed above and get an idea of what prices used playsets typically sell. If you are just only looking to get rid of it as quickly as possible, consider listing it for a lower price than others on the market.

For more, read our full article on how to sell a playset.

Give It Away

Another easy option to consider when trying to get rid of your kid’s playset would be to ask around to see if anyone you know would be interested in it. When you offer to give it away, often you will find people will find a way to remove it from your house as soon as possible.

If you’re able to find a neighbor who is interested in it, that’s even better. That means less worry about transporting it.

Leave It at the House

If you happen to be selling your home and are unsure what to do with your old playset, consider leaving it at the house for the future owners to enjoy. Some prospective buyers might even look at it as a perk.

Donate It

If you aren’t interested in selling and can’t find anyone you know who is interested in your kid’s old playset, another option would be to donate it. You could try reaching out to a local school or church to see if they would be interested in the donation. When you discuss it with them, be sure to let them know that they would have to disassemble it.

Call Junk Removal

Sometimes the playset in question is not safe for children to be using, so you will need to figure out how to get rid of it altogether. You can reach out to a few different companies to see if they will break the playset down for you. Otherwise, you might be responsible for that portion on your own before they can remove it from your home.

Contact a Landfill

If using a junk removal company is not the right answer for you, you can also try reaching out to your local landfill or township to learn how to dispose of your broken down swing set properly. Keep in mind that if this is the option you choose, you will be responsible for breaking it down on your own before disposal.

Do Not Burn the Wood

Although it might seem like a tempting idea, do not burn the wood from your playset after you break it down. The wood that makes up your child’s playset gets treated during production, which can release toxins in the air when burned.

The reason that it is essential to treat the wood is to eliminate any potential threats to the wood, such as:

  • Bugs, such as termites
  • Molds
  • Fungi

Sine wood treatment typically involves the use of both pesticides and fungicides, and they are naturally toxic. With today’s technologies, some wood treatments are less harmful than others, and it is better to play it safe and avoid this potential hazard altogether.

A couple of common chemicals used in the wood treatment process include:

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

Chromated copper arsenate, or CCA, is common to see in playsets made before 2004. CCA comprises chromium, copper, and arsenate, all of which are highly toxic, mostly when burned and in fume form.

Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ)

Luckily, a safer alternative to CCA, alkaline copper quaternary, or ACQ, has emerged for the wood treatment process. ACQ is a water-based wood treatment that is considered to be safer than CCA but still contains copper, so you’ll want to avoid burning any wood treated with it as well.

How to Take Everything Apart

While it might seem a bit overwhelming at first, breaking down an old swing set or playset is not all that difficult. You’ll want to follow these simple steps to take everything apart safely:

1. Remove Slides, Swings, and Other Accessories

Before getting to the frame of either swing sets or playsets, you’ll want to remove as many added accessories as possible. Some playset accessories might include:

  • Slides
  • Tic tac toe
  • Steering wheel
  • Fireman’s pole

As much as possible, remove all accessories to get to the bare frame of your structure. Unscrew slides, remove swings, and any other accessories you can simplify the breakdown.

2. Take Down Cross Beams

Using a ladder, climb up and remove brackets and screws that keep anything in place on the central cross beams. Once you remove the brackets, the cross beams should fall onto the ground. Make sure that you are not leaning your ladder against any of the playset structure for safety purposes through this process.

3. Take Apart Structure

Once the cross beams have come down, the rest of the frame should come apart quite easily. Again, be careful with any loose elements and use a free-standing ladder to avoid any potential safety hazards.

4. Organize and Dispose

Once you break down everything as much as you possibly can, organize the separate parts to ensure you can dispose of each different material properly. After speaking with your landfill, or potentially junk removal company, they should advise you what you can dispose of and how. These instructions will determine how you will organize and ultimately dispose of your broken down playset.

Tips for Staying Safe While Taking Apart a Playset

Playsets are massive structures that have heavy and sharp pieces of equipment required to put it all together. You want to make sure to make your safety the highest priority while disassembling your playset.

Some of the significant potential hazards to look out for while you are disassembling your playset are:

Splintering Wood

Most large playsets have multiple wood components, which makes splintering a possibility. To avoid getting splinters, make sure you wear gloves when handling any of the wood. It is also a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants as much as possible, to avoid any rogue splinters from pieces rubbing against you.

Rusty Nails

Rust accumulates on metal components of playsets naturally. When deconstructing a playset, you want to be mindful of these and have a container handy for keeping them together for disposal. Keeping gloves and long sleeves and pants on can help avoid minor scratches. You’ll also want to wear thick shoes so avoid accidentally stepping on any rusty nails or other metal pieces.

Mold Inhalation

If your playset is old, it likely has accumulated some amount of mold in the frame. Mold can be hazardous for anyone with a respiratory condition. You can wear a mask to help protect yourself from the mold, but if needed, you might want to consider hiring help to avoid serious health concerns from the mold.

Final Comments

In the end, removing a swing set or playset from your home doesn’t have to be the end all be all. Don’t let the fear of removing your old playset stop you from getting the job done. While it is a large structure, it is relatively simple to break down when you follow the simple steps. Be sure to remember to have a removal plan and break everything down as much as possible. Then you can have the entire set gone in no time at all.

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