Setting up a trampoline on your backyard patio provides a place for outdoor exercise and fun, but it can also pose some problems. Besides local zoning laws that require nets and padded frames for trampoline safety, you must ensure that your trampoline is set up in a way that doesn't damage your patio's surface. If scratches become an issue, you can move the trampoline or address the specific components that cause scratches.
When a trampoline causes scratches on your patio's surface, it actually represents two distinct problems. The first involves the scratches themselves. As a trampoline's metal legs move across a patio, they can leave marks that are difficult to remove or conceal. The other issue involves safety, since scratches indicate that the trampoline is not firmly in place and moves while in use. The larger the scratches, the more range of motion the trampoline has and the greater the risk of accidents.
Different patio surfaces will scratch in different ways from the metal legs of a trampoline. A wood patio or deck may take on deep gouges that create splinters and cut through the finished surface of the wood. Slate, brick and pavers are more likely to experience surface scratches that chip material away. A patio made of poured concrete can become scratched or scuffed if the trampoline's feet have rubber pads that wear off against the hard, smooth surface.
The type of trampoline you have will determine the steps you need to take to avoid scratches on your patio. Some trampolines have pedestal legs, which are usually made of hollow metal tubes. These legs are capped with plastic or rubber feet to prevent skidding. However, over time the metal tube inside can wear through the soft foot, leaving scratches behind. In this case, replacing the foot should solve the problem.
Other trampolines use W-shaped leg braces, which only place rounded metal tube edges against the patio. While the rounded edges shouldn't leave scratches behind, they can still scrape rust and debris against the patio surface. To solve this type of problem, clean the leg braces or insert rubber mats between the leg braces and the patio surface for better protection and stability.
If scratching persists on your patio or you find your trampoline wearing through rubber feet or mats frequently, you may want to consider an alternate location. While most trampolines can be set up on any level surface, a grassy yard is the best option. This provides a soft, level base for the trampoline's feet and also a relatively soft landing spot in case of accidental falls.