A sinking swing set is not just a problematic tongue twister, it can also be a genuine issue that can stop your kids from having fun outside.
On a piece of equipment that has undoubtedly cost you A LOT of money!
So how do you stop your swing set from sinking?
That is what we are going to look at today.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
How Do I Stop My Swing Set From Sinking?
You can anchor a metal swing set in concrete which should stop it from sinking, but if you don’t want to do that or if you have a wooden swing set, your best bet is to create some kind of base for each leg of the spring set frame to spread the weight more evenly and thus reduce the chances of it sinking into the soil.
#1: Make Sure It Is Anchored Properly
Making sure your swing set is properly anchored is vital, and can play a big role in ensuring it doesn’t sink into the ground.
And many swing set manufacturers specify that your swing set must be anchored otherwise it will void the warranty.
Your swing set will come with ground anchors and details of how to anchor it, and as long as you follow these instructions to the letter, in most cases, a sinking swing set won’t be an issue.
If the soil in your yard is very soft and you have a metal swing set, you can use concrete to anchor your swing set. Wooden swing sets should not be installed in concrete as it can damage the wood.
The video above gives a far more comprehensive explanation of how to anchor a swing set in concrete and is well worth a watch.
However, for some people anchoring a swing set in concrete will not be an option, and once a swing set is in concrete it makes it much more of an effort should you need to move it.
So maybe, for whatever reason, you can’t or don’t want to install your swing set in concrete and you have soft soil, that the swing set is sinking into.
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Then what are your options?
Well, let’s start with…
#2: Create A Base For the Legs
A good solution is to create some kind of base for each of the legs.
This will spread the weight over a larger surface area, thus making it less likely the frame will sink into the ground.
There are a variety of ways you could do this:
Method 1: Using Wood
Cut a square piece from a 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 and attach it to the bottom of each leg.
You will also probably want to use a router or a saw to smooth the edges so they are not sharp. This makes them less dangerous to children and also means they won’t dig up the grass if you ever need to move your swing set to a new location.
Recessing the bases into the ground will make them less of a trip hazard.
As an alternative to this method, rather than cutting a base for each leg, you can get two pieces of 2 x 6 that are a foot or so longer than the span of the legs.
Slide them between the legs and anchor the frame to the wood.
Method 2: Using Concrete
A similar method to that above is to use pre-made concrete pavers as bases for the swing set.
They provide more stability than using wood, but will be tricker to anchor your swing set frame too.
Also, they are more of a safety hazard, so if you follow this method you definitely will need to recess them into the ground and make sure they are fully covered just in case anyone does fall on them.
#3: Bury the Swing Set Deep
The deeper and more tightly you bury the swing set the more resistance the legs will have against moving laterally and further sinking into the ground.
When putting up your swing set, try using pavers or scrap wood as shims for the swing set frame until you have it level.
Any posts that need a shim will require more gravel to make the hole you place them in shallower.
Make a note of this and mark the location of each swing set post, and where it will be going in the ground.
Dig around a six-inch hole for each post and place the swing set in position.
Pack gravel or crushed stone around the posts to ensure water can drain away. Cover the holes with dirt/sod.
Of course, this is somewhat of a guessing game, as if your soil is particularly soft there is no guarantee it will stop the swing set from sinking entirely.
Also the deeper you bury the posts the more problems you are likely to have from boring insects and rot.
#4: Use LevelDry
Purely by chance when I was doing a bit of research for this blog I stumbled upon the LevelDry website, a product I had never heard of before.
LevelDry produces a variety of rubber blocks, designed specifically for swing sets to sit on.
This keeps a swing set stable, protects it against moisture that can rot or rust structures, and spreads the weight to stop a swing set from sinking into the ground.
Its swing set blocks come in two different sizes to support different parts of the swing set and look pretty easy to use.
You can check out the blocks on the shop section of the LevelDry website.
If you are finding that your swing set is sinking into the ground, there are a few methods you can use to try and stop it from happening.
Anchoring a metal swing set in concrete should solve the problem, but I am guessing that if you are googling how to keep your swing set from sinking it is probably because you have a wooden swing set that you can’t anchor in concrete.
Couple that with soft soil, and a sinking swing set becomes a real problem.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to create some kind of base for the legs of the swing set.
Attaching the leg to the base will spread the weight more evenly and should make that sinking feeling a thing of the past.