One of the biggest dilemmas when you own a trampoline is knowing what to do with it when the weather isn’t great.
You can become surprisingly quickly attached to these bits of kit (apparently there is even a girl in New York City who calls herself the human trampoline) and often you will have splashed out some serious money, so you don’t want to risk them getting damaged.
But similarly disassembling a trampoline completely can be a real pain.
So in this article we are going to be addressing two of the elements that could possibly be a trampoline’s nemesis, rain and snow.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
Can A Trampoline Be Left Out In the Snow and Rain?
A mid to top-range trampoline should be well-equipped to deal with most of what the weather can throw at it. A cheaper trampoline will most definitely be more susceptible to damage in the cold and wet. In either scenario be mindful never to let more than three inches of snow accumulate on the surface of the trampoline as this can stretch the mat and the springs causing permanent damage.
Can A Trampoline Be Left Outside in the Winter?
One thing I hate to do is sit on the fence but, unfortunately, I am going to have to do that here and say… it depends!
Mainly it depends upon two things:
- The quality of your trampoline.
- The climate of the area you live in.
A good quality trampoline will have a frame made of thick gauge steel and quality springs, both with a galvanized zinc coating to protect again the weather and will have a strongly stitched mat and padding made of PVC.
In short you get what you pay for and a top-end trampoline will be more than equipped to deal with harsh winter conditions.
A cheaper trampoline on the other hand might not…
Then there is the matter of your climate.
If you experience more moderate winters, then the biggest threats for a trampoline, snow and rain, are less prevalent.
It is this exposure to moisture that can ruin a trampoline, so when they are removed or rarely seen there is a good chance that your trampoline will cope outside.
But what about if you do live in a colder environment?
Will Snow Ruin A Trampoline?
Again the threat posed by snow to your trampoline depends largely upon where you live.
If you live somewhere that gets regular and heavy winter snowfalls, then the answer is yes, snow can definitely ruin your trampoline.
If you live anywhere else, you are likely to be ok.
As light as snow looks, when it piles up it weighs a lot.
And of course, when it settles on a trampoline there is nothing below the mat to provide any support.
When more than around three inches of snow accumulates on the surface of your trampoline it will weigh down the mat, and begin to stretch both the mat and the springs.
Every trampoline has a weight limit, and snow can quickly exceed that weight limit.
So how can you stop snow from ruining your trampoline?
Disassemble the trampoline for the winter. Skip to our Should You Store Your Trampoline Away In The Winter section for more details on this.
If you cannot take down the trampoline, then make sure you clear it regularly using a soft-bristled brush, never a shovel or blower.
Start by brushing from the middle towards the edge, and then push the snow onto the ground.
When that is done, use a cloth to wipe the mat dry.
If you are going to be away for a while and are expecting heavy snow and have no one to clear your mat and you can’t disassemble your trampoline, there is still something you can do to alleviate the potential problem.
Try and find something to put under the trampoline mat that will at least take some of the weight of the snow.
This could be a barrel or table, generally anything fairly sturdy.
Can You Jump On A Trampoline With Snow On It?
Jumping on a trampoline with a light covering of snow is fine.
However you have to be careful when jumping on a trampoline with a reasonable amount of snow accumulated on the mat.
And that is mainly for the reasons mentioned above when we were discussing whether snow could ruin a trampoline.
If the snow is heavy, the weight of the snow combined with a person on the trampoline could be too much, pushing the amount of weight on the mat past the limit it can hold.
The result? A stretched/torn mat and/or stretched and damaged springs.
Another potential risk is that the trampoline will likely be icy, so the chances of slipping over and hurting yourself are increased.
Can a Trampoline Be Left Outside in the Rain?
Most trampolines can most definitely survive regular rain showers, but too much rain over a prolonged period can damage cheaper trampolines.
As we touched on above nearly all trampolines now are made from water-resistant materials, with manufacturers knowing they will be sold all over the world, including areas that have wet summers.
The frames and mats are waterproofed, but on cheaper trampolines the build quality will not be as good.
Leave a cheap trampoline out in the rain without taking any measures to protect it and the rain could ruin it.
If you are concerned about the rain ruining your trampoline there are a few measures you can take to reduce the risk:
- Coat the springs in a waterproof protectant like WD40.
- Invest in a high-quality spring pad to keep the springs out of contact with rain.
- Buy a good trampoline cover that covers the entire trampoline.
It is always a good idea to check the surface of the mat for any water after heavy rainfall, and to wipe it dry if necessary.
Jumping on a wet trampoline won’t necessarily ruin the trampoline, but it will make the mat slippery putting you at risk of falling over and hurting yourself.
Should You Store Your Trampoline Away In The Winter?
When it comes to preparing your trampoline for winter, you have three options:
- Leaving it outside and spending time during the cold winter months maintaining it to make sure the weather doesn’t damage it.
- Taking the time to store it away at the start of the season, but then doing nothing over the winter months when it is packed safely up in boxes, etc.
- A combination of both of the above – packing away part, but not all, of the trampoline.
This will primarily be guided by your own personal preferences.
If you decide to take down the entire trampoline it will definitely take a lot of time, but once it is done you can rest easy over the winter months. The video above will help with this if you go for this option.
Or you can save yourself the time and leave it outside, but then you will have to spend some time each week maintaining it when the weather is likely to be very cold…
If you decide on the third choice, your best option might be to leave the frame up but to remove the springs and the mat and store them away.
If you have mild winters, then you should be safe to leave the trampoline up.
If you have long, cold winters, you might be better off spending a bit of extra time at the start of the winter and taking it down completely.
If not you should certainly follow some of the tips we have outlined already, which include:
- Never let more than three inches of snow accumulate on the mat, and use a soft-bristled brush, not a shovel or blower, to clear the mat.
- Remove the frame pads and store them inside. The frame pads can be quickly and easily taken off, preventing rain and snow from saturating them and causing mildew and mold.
- Buy a weather cover to keep snow and rain off of the trampoline.
- Be very careful about storing a trampoline sideways. It might be tempting as it is quick and easy and stops snow from getting on it, but it is much more likely to be picked up by the wind and lost forever…
If you have a mid to top-range trampoline it will be extremely well-equipped to deal with all the extremes the weather can throw at it.
The frame, mat and springs will be much better protected against moisture than in comparison to a budget trampoline.
Cheaper trampolines will be much more susceptible to rust, and you will likely need to take preventative measures if you live in a wet and cold climate.
This could be taking down the trampoline completely in winter or buying a good waterproof cover.
If you do decide to leave your trampoline up over the colder months, the biggest threat comes if you get a lot of snow.
Once over three inches of snow accumulates on the surface of a trampoline it can begin to stretch the mat and the springs.
So if this is the case it should be cleared off regularly using a soft-bristled brush.
No matter what, you should always be extra vigilant during extremely wet and/or snowy periods and periodically inspect your trampoline for any signs of damage.