Friday, August 1, 2014

Important Safety Tips For Installing Outdoor Patio Swings

Summertime is a great time for playing outdoors, and what backyard would not be complete without a tree swing? Outdoor patio swings can give years of fun, but it is important that you install them in a way that ensures both your safety as well as the health of the tree. Below are some tips for the safe installation of a tree swing.
Choosing a Tree and Branch
If you are hanging a tree swing, make sure that you consider the following:
  • Tree type: The branches of a sturdy hardwood tree, preferably oak, are best for a tree swing. Avoid evergreens, fruit trees or trees that easily split.
  • Branch Size: A tree swing requires a horizontal branch with at least 8 inches diameter that is no more than 20 feet off the ground.
  • Branch Condition: The branch for a tree swing should be healthy. Inspect the branch from trunk to tip and avoid branches with signs of splitting, disease or infestation. Never use a dead branch.
  • Clearance: The branch should be big enough so the swing hangs at least 3 feet away from the trunk without the branch bouncing.
Attaching a Swing to a Tree
In general, there are two main approaches in installing a swing to a tree:
  • Eye bolts: Carefully drill a vertical hole all through the center of the branch and insert at least a ½-inch diameter, corrosion resistant eye bold, using nuts and washers to secure it to the tree. Eventually, the tree will grow around the bolts for a permanent installation. This eliminates the friction on the bark, although it causes damage to the tree.
  • Rope: A tree swing can be attached to the branch using rope if you take steps to prevent the rope from cutting into the tree bark. If you opt to tie the rope round the tree branch, using a running bowline that will loosen when the swing is not used, so the tree can grow larger without being girdled by the rope.
Choosing the Tree Swing Rope
Use at least a ½-inch thick rope for your swing, in any of these materials:
  • Polyester rope: Braided polyester rope is perhaps the best choice among synthetic ropes for a tree swing. It holds up well to the elements, gives maximum strength and has little stretch.
  • Nylon rope: This might be the strongest rope, but nylon is susceptible to stretching and can be slippery for little hands to grasp.
  • Polypropylene rope: Lightweight and inexpensive, polypropylene rope makes for a poor choice as it rapidly deteriorates in the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Natural fiber rope: These are ropes made from natural plant materials like help, manila, sisal and cotton. They are not as strong as synthetic, so replace it every year or two.
  • Metal chain: It is not as attractive as rope and can pinch small fingers, but corrosion resistant chain is strong and holds up well to the elements.
Essential Swing Safety Tips
Follow these tips to maximize the enjoyment and safety of your tree swing:
  • Inspect the tree branch, along with the ropes and the swing itself, on a regular basis. Look for fraying, splitting or other damage, and repair it immediately. A properly installed swing should not cause grooves or damage to the tree.
  • Plan on replacing the ropes once every couple of years.
  • Move the swing to new eye bolts if the tee grows over the ends.
  • Ensure that the carabineers, rope and hardware are rated for the maximum weight.
  • Make sure the knots are securely tied to prevent unraveling.
Top Tree Swing Style Choices
Here are some stylish and comfortable tree swings from renowned brand Vivere:
Take time to relax with the help of the Parachute Nylon Hammock in Navy/Red Fabric by Vivere Hammocks. Inspired by a memorable vacation, this hammock promote relaxation and healthy lifestyles – in your backyard, camping, or anywhere outdoors.
The Brazilian Style Hammock - Double Deluxe in Natural Fabric by Vivere Hammocks is a hidden gem. This hammock is complimented by an elegant hand crocheted fringe that would make anyone feel like royalty. An excellent addition to any backyard or cottage.

Cotton Rope Hammock - Double in Natural Rope by Vivere Hammocks
The Cotton Rope Hammock - Double in Natural Rope by Vivere Hammocks is made from 100% Cotton and tightly woven for increased body contact. It is made with 3-ply twisted Cotton rope that enhances strength and durability, but at the same time it continues to breathe for dry relaxing.

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