Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Backyard Ice Rink Project - Part 2: Heat, Wind, & Leaves

On Christmas Day, the kids enjoyed a little hockey on the backyard ice rink just before lunchtime. It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids had a lot of fun out on the ice.
And over the next few days, the weather got even nicer. My thermometer says it hit 60 on Saturday...which was bad news for the ice rink. A cold front rolled through Saturday night and the temperature plummeted as the winds howled.  And when I returned from my in-laws on Sunday, I had an unpleasant discovery.

Leaves.  Melting.  And leaking.

In trying not to put holes in my liner, I didn't fasten the liner to the boards...and that appears to be a major mistake.  In the warmth, the ice pulled back from the boards, and the melting water leaked out.  Even worse, as the winds howled, in came leaves from all over the neighborhood.  Even a plastic chair that I had placed next to the rink as a "penalty box" and bench blew onto the ice.  And froze.

Some of the leaves could be removed by taking the shovel and scraping the surface.  The chair needed a good pull to free it from the ice, but it was easy to remove.  The rest of the leaves are probably there for the duration of the winter, but if I get enough water on top of it, they'll become hidden.

Except now any water I pour on top runs off the ice and out into the yard.  How to fix that?  Good question.  My first attempt to fix this problem is to take some rolled up newspaper and jam it into the cracks to occupy space.  I then poured a small amount of water on the paper to soak it and freeze it in place.  So far so good.  The remainder of the gap probably can be filled with the snow that scheduled to fall tomorrow.  I'll bank it against the boards after the Husker game tomorrow afternoon, and resume the fill process.

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