How to make an ice rink in your backyard
The weather forecast for the next few days shows that the daytime temperature will not rise above -5°C? It’s a good time to pour an ice rink – it’s not too cold, the water will have time to spread before it freezes, and it will set properly. The main thing is to do everything correctly and without mistakes.
1. Choosing a place
Pouring requires a flat dense area. Parking lot, barbecue area – any area with asphalt, concrete or tile surface is ideal. In an extreme case, compact the snow on a flat area in the garden. Even garden paths can be used for family skating runs.
You should not pour an ice rink on the lawn – the grass will probably not survive or thin out. The exception – a lawn that you plan to update, buy rolled, regularly planted new.
2. Site Preparation
Asphalt, concrete and tile are cleared of snow completely. If the ice will be on the ground or pad paved bud7gshlm – it is better to tamp the snow with a garden roller. Compacted cushion height of 5 cm will help to fill the roller evenly and not immediately dissolve water droplets. Fence the prepared area with boards, shields or make a snowbank.
The surface should be able to withstand the weight of a person. If the snow is crushed – the ice in this place will quickly crack.
3. Pouring the first layer
The work will require a hose with a sprayer. The water needs to be cold so it solidifies as quickly as possible without melting the snow. Pouring the rink with a jet is not allowed – irregularities and potholes will form. A sprayer creates a better surface – the droplets solidify immediately after falling.
When pouring, start at the far edge and do not stay in one place for long. It is important to create an initial crust of ice that will keep the next batch of water down.
When pouring the first and subsequent base layers, raise the atomizer 30-40° upward so that the flow falls only under its own weight. This reduces the force of the impact of the droplets, and the water still cools a little in flight.
4. Pouring the main body of the rink
Work continues when the first layer freezes (from 2-3 hours to several days). To avoid formation of a slope, the next layer should be poured from the other end of the rink. After it hardens, the procedure is repeated several times.
The thickness depends on the intensity of skating:
- Are you going to spend the New Year vacations on the ice? Then pour a full-fledged rink with the thickness of 10-15 cm. During a day of active use skates cut up to 1 cm of ice, but you should not skate on ice thinner than 5 cm – there are cracks.
- You fill rink for children or plan to go skating only on weekends? The thickness can safely be reduced to 7-10 cm. With small weight of athletes and infrequent use, this is enough.
The base is formed in several stages – each layer is poured only after the previous one has cured. Fresh snow is swept away before the work.
To make the ice get matte or colored, chalk powder, gouache, water emulsion paint is added to the water of the top layers. But do not overdo it, otherwise you will have to clean the site for a long time in the spring.
5. Sanding the surface
This is the most responsible moment – without sanding on the surface remain lumps, protrusions. The main rule: use hot water for grinding.
Ice sanding techniques:
- The use of a drag with a sprayer. A T-shaped product made of a pipe with holes, skids-restraints on the sides, and a towel for leveling. The dragline is suitable for working on a large area, pouring full-fledged rinks.
- A drummed paddler. The technology is similar, but instead of a hose, a barrel of water is placed on the sled, which is gradually fed directly onto a towel or blanket.
- Wide mop. The easiest method, which is suitable for leveling a small area.
The main thing when sanding is not to stay in one place for a long time, do not put containers of hot water on the ice and do not work in strong winds. Once properly treated, the surface will melt and then harden into a “mirror.”
6. Rink Care
With active use, cracks, deep skate marks, and potholes appear on the surface. Minor damage can be repaired by sanding, or cracks can be sealed with a mixture of water and snow. If the rink turned out to be unexpectedly popular and the ice became absolutely thin, it is possible to recover the layer, to fill extra centimeters. The scheme is already worked out, you know what to do.
Important: clean the rink from the fresh snow in time – it quickly sticks to the surface of the ice, spoiling it. If you do not remove the snow immediately, then later you will have to rebuild the rink.
7. It won’t melt on its own
The easiest way to speed up the melting of ice is to break it into pieces and move it to the side. Using salt and chemicals in the country house is not worth it, ash and other sprinkles will have to be removed. So take an ice axe, a shovel – and clear the site until the next winter.