So you finally got the trampoline you’ve wanted since you were a kid.
Maybe you, like me, got the idea after watching Tom Hanks’ trampoline in the movie “Big,” or maybe it was some other reason you really wanted a giant trampoline to jump on for hours. Whatever the reason, you finally bought one and realized you can’t put it anywhere in the house, so you now keep it in the backyard.
The problem is that usually large trampolines can be expensive, and leaving them exposed to the elements means you’ll probably have a broken product sooner or later.
While it’s inevitable that things will break outside, there are many things you can do to extend the life of your outdoor trampoline without much effort.
Here are some tips that can help you get more life out of your trampoline.
1. Cover it When Not in Use
The easiest and most obvious thing you can do is to cover your trampoline when you’re not actually using it.
Covering everything prevents rain, hides it from the hot sun, which can dry out some parts, keeps dirt and leaves from landing on it, and generally just provides a little protection from the elements that can add up over the course of years. Covering your trampoline with a tarp and securing it only takes a few seconds, especially if you get one that fits your make and model, but it will keep your trampoline in tip-top shape.
2. Keep Moving Parts Moving
Many trampolines have a certain number of moving parts. At the very least, the springs must move in order to make them work. Likewise, many trampolines have legs that fold up on their own, or are screwed to the main frame.
Every week or so, make sure you actually move these things. Screw in the legs, fold the frame, and apply pressure to the membrane if you don’t have time to really bounce. This will prevent dirt, water and corrosive elements from building up in the joints and connections and slowly eating away at the metal. Moving these parts allows these corrosive elements to be released.
3. Don’t Leave it Out During the Harsh Seasons
No matter how well you maintain your equipment, winter will be a tough time for it, especially if you live in a place where it snows and frosts a lot. Likewise, in humid places like Florida, the peak of summer is not a good time to be outside.
You don’t want to use your trampoline in extreme weather anyway, so it’s best to take it apart and put it away during the harsher seasons rather than leaving it outside unused during a snowstorm.
4. Fix Small Damages Quickly
If you have a trampoline and use it enough, it will tear a little. When you leave it out there, there are many other factors to consider that can cause it to break further. That’s why you want to fix any problems you find as soon as possible, rather than keep using them.
If you can’t fix a piece, it’s best to replace it quickly so that everything around it doesn’t break down and make up for the extra effort. Trampoline parts are fairly inexpensive and relatively easy to fix most of the problems you might encounter. Fixing the small stuff will keep the big stuff away.
5. Protect the Metal Pieces
The hardest parts to repair or replace are metal parts, unless you happen to be a welder. For most of us, that means we have to keep the metal in good condition. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to do by getting a good metal protectant.
Most of these protectants can be sprayed or applied to the metal with a waxy coating to protect it from moisture and other corrosive elements. It needs to be reapplied periodically and should not be used on springs that have too much movement, but it will keep many parts of your trampoline in good condition for many years.
It’s not easy to keep what’s stored outside in high quality condition, but if you pay attention and make some small efforts to keep up with basic maintenance, you should have no problem enjoying your large outdoor trampoline for years to come.
Extending the Life of Your Trampoline
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 m 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 have 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 sealable 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 mats and springs, frames are usually too large to be brought indoors on a regular basis. In this case, it is important to weatherize as much as possible. Make sure any metal parts are kept dry and treated regularly with a protectant to avoid rust or other corrosion.
Put padded walls or coverings on either side of the trampoline to keep animals from nesting underneath, to keep sprinkler systems from soaking the legs, and to keep high winds from blowing everything up and throwing it into your house or worse.
Make sure you towel dry the frame and padding after it rains to keep corrosive elements away from vulnerable parts. If you find that a part of the leg or frame has started to rust, it’s time to get a new trampoline, otherwise it could break during use and and cause serious injury.
Bouncing For a Long Time
While it’s not always easy to do all of these things, taking the time to do even a few of them will extend the life of your trampoline while also making it safer.