Orange and Black Pack

How To Maintain a Backyard Ice Rink?

How to Maintain Backyard Ice Rink

Ever find yourself constantly maintaining your backyard ice rink rather than actually having fun on it? 

It absolutely feels like a chore sometimes, doesn’t it? 

But when you’re armed with the right tricks and tips — such as understanding that keeping a smooth surface requires steady watering from a garden hose or better still, an ice resurfacer — maintaining your rink can be as chill as a winter breeze.

This blog will take you through some straightforward yet effective methods to upkeep your backyard ice rink.  

Tips for Proper Maintenance of Your Backyard Ice Rink

Clean after every use

Keeping your backyard ice rink clean after each use is a must-do. Here’s how:

  1. Sweep the edges of the rink 
  2. Get rid of snow under the boards 
  3. Wait for the ice to freeze before cleaning 
  4. Make sure to take out any trash or debris
  5. End each session with a quick sweep to clear off any loose snow or ice chips

Use a tarp to cover the rink

Using a tarp for my backyard ice rink comes with many upsides.

  1. It helps to keep the ice even and clean
  2. The tarp makes filling the rink easier and faster
  3. I paint the tarp halfway with water and let it freeze first. Then, I add more water 
  4. When not in use, I pull off the tarp. This stops pests like mice from coming over 
  5. My tarp goes up to the top of the curb or even higher, this helps build a better rink 

Fill with hot water to smooth out surface

Let me tell you how hot water can help your backyard ice rink. This is such a good step to follow.

  1. First, get some hot water. It would be best if you had enough to cover your whole rink.
  2. Next, pour the hot water all over your ice rink. Start from one end and make your way to the other.
  3. Let the water sit on the ice for a while. It needs time to do its job.
  4. After some time passes, watch how the hot water works! Hot water makes the ice smooth like glass.

Do this process again when you see bumps or lines on the ice.

Address any damage or divots immediately

If you notice any damage or divots in your backyard ice rink, make sure to take care of them right away. Here are some steps to follow for proper maintenance:

  1. Assess the damage: Take a close look at the area and determine the extent of the damage or divots.
  2. Clear debris: Remove any loose pieces or debris from the affected area.
  3. Smooth out the surface: Use a shovel or a specialized tool to level out any uneven spots and fill in divots with snow or slush.
  4. Add water: Pour hot water over the repaired areas to help smooth out the surface even more.
  5. Let it freeze: Allow the repaired areas to freeze completely before using the rink again.

Something you need to know about diy home rinks is that you don’t need Zamboni’s for these. A decent ice resurfacer is good enough to do the job. 

Extended Use and End of Season Care

To ensure the longevity of your backyard ice rink, it’s important to properly care for it throughout its extended use and at the end of the season.

But how?

Using a rain shuttle or squeegee for excess water

To remove excess water from your backyard ice rink, these tools are helpful. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Use a rain shuttle or squeegee to push the water towards the edges of the rink.
  • Start from one end and work your way across, making sure to cover the entire surface.
  • Push the water towards a drain or an area where it can safely drain away from the rink.
  • If there is too much water to handle with just a rain shuttle or squeegee, you can let the ice melt naturally to an acceptable level before using these tools.

Properly storing equipment

  1. Clean and dry all equipment, including skates, hockey sticks, and any other accessories.
  2. Inspect the equipment for any damage or wear and tear; replace or repair as needed.
  3. Store skates in a cool, dry place to prevent rusting. Consider using blade guards to protect the edges.
  4. Hang hockey sticks vertically or store them in a rack to keep them organized and prevent warping.
  5. Store any nets, goals, or other larger equipment in a secure location to protect them from the elements.
  6. If you have synthetic ice panels, clean them thoroughly before storing to remove any dirt or debris.
  7. Consider covering your stored equipment with a tarp or storage container to keep it clean and protected.

Preparing for next season

To get ready for the next skating season, there are a few things I like to do:

  1. Remove any remaining ice: Before the weather gets warmer, I make sure to completely remove any remaining ice from the rink. This helps prevent any damage or deterioration during the off-season.
  2. Thoroughly clean and dry the rink: I thoroughly clean the rink by removing any debris or dirt that may have accumulated over time. Once it’s clean, I let it dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
  3. Inspect for damage: It’s important to inspect the rink for any damage or signs of wear and tear. If there are any cracks or holes, I make note of them and plan to repair them before setting up the rink again next season.
  4. Store equipment properly: To ensure that my backyard ice rink equipment stays in good condition, I store everything properly. This includes draining and storing hoses, cleaning and drying boards, and safely storing any other accessories or tools.
  5. Plan for improvements: During the off-season, I take some time to think about ways in which I can improve my backyard ice rink setup for next season. Whether it’s adding additional lighting, upgrading boards, or improving drainage systems, this is a great opportunity to plan ahead.

To Conclude

Maintaining a backyard ice rink can be easy if you follow these simple tips. Remember to clean the rink after each use and cover it with a tarp when not in use. Smooth out the surface by filling it with hot water and fix any damage right away.

Additionally, properly care for your ice rink at the end of the season by using a rain shuttle or squeegee to remove excess water, storing equipment correctly, and preparing for next season.

With these steps in mind, you’ll enjoy skating on a well-maintained backyard ice rink all winter long!