Extending the Life of Your Trampoline

TrampolinesA trampoline can be a great purchase for you and your family since it’s exciting for children, a great way for many older people to get low-impact exercise, and just a whole lot of fun. However, if you’re going to invest in an outdoor trampoline, it’s generally a good idea to make sure that you take care of it.

High quality outdoor trampolines and rebounders are often fairly costly, so it’s a good idea to make sure that you take the time to keep it in good shape, both to extend the life of your investment and to avoid damage that might result in injury.

Taking Care of the Mat

Most of the maintenance for trampolines is mat-related since this is the most vulnerable part of the device.

The first and easiest thing to do is to make sure that you get a mat cover or tarp that can be put over the trampoline when it isn’t in use. Sometimes these can be found to specifically match the shape and size of your trampoline, but if you can’t find one than any waterproof covering will do the trick. The objective is to keep the sun from doing too much damage as well as avoid rot caused by excess moisture from rain or dew.

Another thing that will keep your trampoline mat in good shape is to wash it regularly with a conditioning soap designed for use with these sorts of materials. Consult your manual for specific recommendations, but you want cleaners without too many harsh chemicals, especially bleach which can encourage drying rather than prevent it.

Finally, make sure that you pull the mat off of the trampoline when you’re unlikely to use it for extended periods of time. In most cases, this is during the winter when snow or just cold will prevent much jumping. In that case, carefully take the mat off the frame and store it in a dry place. If you have the original box, that’s a good container, but otherwise just wrapping it in a tarp will be ok. Put a few dryer sheets on the mat before folding it up to help retain the moisture.

Taking Care of the Springs

The springs of the trampoline are the parts that receive the most use, so they should also be the ones that are closest watched.

The first thing that you should do when you get your trampoline is make sure that the springs are in good working order and relatively the same tensile strength. Inspect them regularly for rust and remove any that you see forming, treating them with a protectorate or WD-40 to discourage oxidation.

In the same way that you take your mat in during the winter, take the springs in as well. Lubricate them before storage in a zip top bag or seal-able container to keep air and water away from them and check for damage before attaching them back on your frame come spring. Don’t be afraid to replace worn out or broken springs.

Taking Care of the Frame

Unlike the mat and springs, the frame is often too large to bring inside on a regular basis. That being the case, it’s important to weatherize as much as possible. Make sure that any metal parts remain dry and treat them regularly with protectorate to avoid rust or other corrosion.

Put up padded walls or something that covers the sides of the trampoline to keep animals from nesting under there, sprinkler systems from soaking the legs, and heavy winds from picking everything up and throwing it into your house or worse.

Be sure that you make the effort to dry the frame and pads after it rains with a towel, keeping corrosive elements away from the vulnerable sections. If you find that the legs or a part of the frame has started to rust through, it’s time for a new trampoline or it could break while in use and cause serious injury.

Bouncing For a Long Time

While it isn’t always easy to do all of these things, even taking the time to do a few of them will extend the life of your trampoline while also keeping it safer.

Rick Mason