When to Set Up your Backyard Rink

This is one of the most common questions we get – when should I set up?

The answer?  When winter has arrived to stay!  The most common frustration for new backyard rink builders is trying to make a rink too early.  Truly,  the key ingredient to success is patience.

The drawbacks to setting up too early include; 

  • Leaves and debris will collect in the liner
  • Animals can run through the rink area and damage the liner
  • Unfrozen ground becomes insulated by the layer of water for the rink, causing a delay in the freezing of the rink.

Drop the liner on the day you intend to begin filling with water, reducing the time the liner is exposed to wind, debris and animals.  If you use a wooden frame, that can be set up at any time during the autumn, reducing the work to be done in the cold weather.

Some tips:

  • Wait until the ground is frozen.  Before that, the ground is still emitting heat and will delay the freezing of your rink.
  • Watch for a cold spell of at least a few days when the nighttime lows are well below -5C or 23F and the daytime high temperature is below the freezing temperature (0  Centigrade or 32 Fahrenheit)
  • Don’t set up your liner on a windy day. The liner will blow around and make it difficult to put in place.
  • Have a few friends or family members help with laying out the liner so it won’t be dragged across the frame. Liners are durable, but they can sustain damage if dragged across the corners of lumber or other objects.
  • Begin filling immediately after setup. We recommend adding an initial layer of water and letting it freeze, and then repeating the process daily.
  • If setting up with a wood frame, settle the rink liner into your frame, ensuring to tuck the liner down into the edges where the boards meet the ground. This will ensure that the boards are supporting the weight of the water, not the liner, reducing the chances of a "blowout".\

Good luck to all the moms, dads and grandparents out there making a rink for the kids!  And remember, wait for winter to ensure success!

 



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