Tips on how to build your backyard rink
TIP #1: When thickening your ice, create thin layers at a time (0.5 cm). If you flood the rink with too much water at a time the thick layer of ice could crack.
TIP #2: Fill the cracks in the ice with snow rather than water. This prevents the water from seeping through the cracks and thawing the surface underneath resulting in shell ice.
TIP #3: Place your rink on a shaded, flat surface, close to a source of water and a source of light for night skating.
TIP #4: Sweep the ice around the perimeter with a corn broom to prevent a ridge from developing.
TIP #5: The warmer the weather, the finer the spray and the less water you should use. If you over-water in warm weather you will have a thin layer of ice over water commonly known as shell ice.
TIP #6: For warmer climates with less snow and the potential risk of rain, it is best to use a vapour barrier (plastic tarp) over a base of flat packed snow.
TIP #7: To clean the surface of your rink, scrape the ice with a sharp steel flat edge on a wide snow pusher.
TIP #8: When using a tarp under your ice surface, it should be approx. 2ft. longer and 2 ft. wider than the actual size of your rink.
TIP #9: First make your ice after three days of temperatures below 10C to ensure the ground if frozen. Ensure there is enough snow for a strong foundation or if using a tarp ensure the ice is 3 inches thick before you stand on it.
TIP #10: A plastic tarp helps protect grass from ice damage; gives a flatter rink in less time and helps contain the water during a substantial thaw. Also, 2 inch by 6 inch (or 8 inch) pressure-treated perimeter boards will help maintain your ice during a thaw.
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