I continually harp on the fact that if you spend a good deal of money on a diving board and stand, it is a prudent practice to take care of that equipment. But it’s amazing how many times you will see an expensive springboard left out during the winter, a fulcrum left to weather the elements or a trampoline left uncovered.
And then you wonder why you can’t move the fulcrum wheel the next summer or your $3000 trampoline is rusting!
The fact is that it doesn’t take much to take care of that equipment, and a few simple steps can help when opening up the pool the next year.
Just because your diving board is made of aluminum, doesn’t mean it is not effected by the elements. One of the most important aspects of a diving board is the non-slip surface, and nothing can degrade the finish faster than a harsh winter.
If you do nothing else with your diving equipment, remove the diving board from the stand and store it in a place where it will not be affected by the winter weather and shall we say, inattentive individuals.
Store your board in a place where it will not be walked on, hit by a piece of equipment, have something dropped on it, or have pool chemicals spilled on it.
Additionally, when you remove the diving board is a good time to inspect the surface and the underside for problems. If the surface looks a bit slick, send it to Duraflex International for a refinish. The fall is a much better time to do this than the spring, because if you wait too long, you may not get your board back in time for the summer season.
By inspecting the underside you may also find a hidden crack or two which might result in this!
While checking the underside, it is a good time to give the rubber channels a look. If they show signs of wear and tear, it’s a good time order a new set. Nothing is worse than hearing a diving board as it slams against the fulcrum roller. It’s loud, annoying, and can void the warranty from Duraflex International – the maker of the springboard.
A vital part of every diving stand is the fulcrum, and its moving parts and can be effected by ‘Ole Man Winter.
Just as with the diving board, the best practice is to remove the fulcrum wheel and each of the two roller block assemblies – the assembly that allows the fulcrum wheel to move forward and backward, and store each of them for the winter.
If that is not an option, a good practice is to take a heavy duty garbage bag and at the very least, cover the footwheel and fulcrum blocks. It is always better to try to cover the entire fulcrum box, including the slate runners on which the fulcrum sits, but if you have guardrails, this can be a bit troublesome.
Use zip ties to tie down the garbage bag and your fulcrum box will weather the winter nicely.
Diving Board Hinges
Like the fulcrum, diving board hinges are a moveable piece of equipment. They allow the board to bounce as the diver bounces and if left outside can become “gummed up” by the weather.
When you remove the springboard (you are going to remove the springboard aren’t your?), take the bolts that attach the board to the hinge out, clean them with a degreaser and store them in a plastic bag.
A good idea is to take that bag with the hinges and duct tape it to the diving board so that when spring comes around you are not looking for those bolts.
Hinges can be left on diving stand, but spray them with a little WD-40 at the end of the season and they will be as good as new in the spring. As with the fulcrum, it is a good idea to cover them with a small plastic bag.
If you have a trampoline and it is used during the summer months but not the winter, the best practice is to move it indoors, where it is away from the elements. If that is not feasible, then the first order of business is to remove the bed and springs.
Letting trampoline springs sit outside during the winter is a sure fire way to have them rust. And with rust comes corrosion. And when that happens, it’s time for a new spring. It may not be the worst thing in the world to replace a rusty spring – which may cost upwards of $5 if you use jumbo 10-inch springs, but replacing forty can become a bit costly. So store them inside and save some money!
The same goes for a trampoline bed. Once you take the springs off you will have no choice but to do something with the bed. So fold it up, and store it in a safe “dry” environment.
Now back to the trampoline frame. If you can’t get into a dry secure environment, then it is best to cover it. If it is a folding tramp, this is easy to do with a tarp and bungee cords. If it is non-folding, this becomes a bit more difficult. Again, a tarp is an easy fix. Plastic tarps are inexpensive and two will cover a 7x14 frame nicely, and it is a lot cheaper than a new tramp or a welder to fix a broken attachment point for the spring!