Understanding when to replace a trampoline is know-how worth having to keep family members safe when they’re getting active and having fun in the backyard.
The best trampolines are a worthy addition to any yard – and not just for kids to enjoy. For many adults they’re also an appealing way to exercise and spend time in the fresh air. But everyday use and their outdoor situation cause wear and tear, so it’s important to know how to check over your trampoline and how often to do so.
We asked the experts to reveal the signs that mean it’s time to replace your trampoline as well as how to care for a trampoline to maximize its lifespan, and what to look for to ensure any trampoline you buy is made to last.
When should you replace a trampoline?
Whether you choose an above ground or inground trampoline, you often get what you pay for. High-quality models can have a long lifespan, while cheaper ones may have much more limited durability.
But whatever you spent on a trampoline, it’s important to inspect it regularly so you can spot a component that is starting to fail and reduce the potential for users to injure themselves. ‘We recommend checking over your trampoline once each season (four times a year),’ says Malcolm Phillipps at Jumpflex.
These are the 5 signs it’s time to change your trampoline so you can care for yours and optimize your trampoline safety.
1. Kids have outgrown it
Knowing what trampoline size is best for the age of your kids is key to ensuring their safety. If you started the kids off on a trampoline at a young age by investing in a junior version, the trampoline will need to be changed when they outgrow it.
‘Junior trampolines are ideal for first-time jumpers, but as your kids grow, they will need a new trampoline to suit their growing bodies,’ explains David Woodman, director of product development and compliance at Plum Play and a member of the British Toy and Hobby Association Safety Committee and the European Committee for Trampoline Safety.
‘It’s important to buy an age-appropriate trampoline for your child to ensure they are safe and comfortable as they bounce. For example, junior trampolines like the Plum Play 4.5ft Interactive Lights Junior Trampoline and Enclosure have low-height frames so little ones can get on and off safely.
‘Trampolines also have a maximum user weight, so as your child grows, you’ll need to ensure that the trampoline is at a size that will be safe for them.’
2. Enclosure net worn or torn
All above ground trampolines should have an enclosure net, and its vital to ensure its continued integrity. According to Malcolm Phillipps, one of your seasonal checks should be that: ‘The safety net is correctly attached and free from rips or tears.’
What to do if there are problems? ‘Replace it if signs of wear are present,’ says David Woodman.
Bear in mind that one of the elements that can affect the net’s integrity is UV rays. ‘The sun can be very damaging to any outdoor equipment,’ explains Cara Bradney, UK marketing manager at Springfree Trampoline. Look out for a trampoline with UV protection when buying a replacement, including for the net.
3. Springs are damaged or rusty
The state of its springs can be another sign that it’s time to change your trampoline. Check that ‘all springs and their attachment points are undamaged and free from significant rust’, says Malcolm Phillipps.
Owner of a trampoline without springs? Springfree Trampolines have composite rods instead and Cara Bradney recommends, ‘Keep a particular eye on the mat and net rod sleeves, as these protect the composite rods. After many years of being out in the elements they can go brittle and sometimes flake. This is really easy to put right and is covered by our 10-year warranty.’
4. Frame is rusted, bent or broken
As well as checking the springs, take a look at the frame for evidence of rust, which can be a giveaway that it’s time to invest in a new trampoline. But this isn’t the only thing that can go wrong with the frame. ‘Ensure the frame is not bent or broken,’ says David Woodman. See a problem like this or rust on the frame? ‘It’s time to get a new trampoline,’ he says.
Check all fasteners are tight, too, advises Malcolm Phillipps.
5. Jumping mat sagging, ripped or holed
The jumping mat is another area of a trampoline that can show signs of wear. ‘The jumping mat should be checked for large holes or sagging and replaced if there is any sign of damage or wear and tear,’ says David Woodman.
Take a look at the pads at the same time checking ‘the safety pads are correctly fitted and the padding is intact’, says Malcolm Phillipps.
How long does a trampoline last?
The length of time a trampoline lasts can vary widely. ‘The lifespan of a trampoline comes down to the quality of the trampoline that you purchase,’ explains Malcolm Phillipps at Jumpflex. ‘Cheaper trampolines tend to last for one to two years only, and can have issues with structural integrity if too many users/too much weight goes onto the trampoline.
‘The best tip we can advise is to look at the warranty period offered on the different parts of the trampoline – if a trampoline brand has a warranty that is only valid for a very short period, it is a possible signal that the trampoline will not last for more than a year or two.’
How do you make a trampoline last for longer?
To make a trampoline last for longer, always check the length of the warranty when you purchase. A long warranty will provide the reassurance that it is made from high quality components.
Be sure, too, to check your trampoline regularly. ‘We do recommend doing a regular quick five minutes health check, especially as the years roll on,’ says Cara Bradney.
Just as you would with other equipment in your garden play area, it's also worth getting into the habit of cleaning your trampoline regularly, advises Malcolm Phillipps. ‘This keeps the trampoline looking great and free from dirt and debris which can enhance rusting and cause premature damage to trampoline components,’ he explains. Always check the manufacturer’s guidance on cleaning before you begin.
Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes and gardens and loves investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper.
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