It’s winter in Canada, so that means rosy cheeks, hot chocolate and family fun! Have you always wanted to build a rink in your backyard? According to instructables.com, it’s easy – here’s how they recommend you get started in 5 simple steps:
1. Decide the size of your rink and map out the perimeter – doesn’t have to be huge, especially if your kids are little. The sky’s the limit though, if you plan to host your neighbourhood’s Stanley Cup!
2. You need to get the PVC pipes set up by digging a gutter just deep enough to stabilize the piping around the perimeter. Once you cut the piping to size (reserving some extra to join in the corners), place the piping all around the perimeter and stake it down.
3. Lay a tarp on top of the piping and secure with something weighty (they recommend using bricks or what you have around the house) to stabilize the overhang of the tarp and use weights to tidy in the interior corners. Once assembled, it should resemble an oversized kiddie pool. At the first deep freeze, fill with about 4-6 inches of standing water and let freeze for a few days before skating. Waiting for a solid freeze before adding water is important, this is because it will help freeze from the bottom once there is water and having rock solid ground underneath will help maintain the water if there are any leaks.
4. Wait a few days to allow it to fully freeze and then test it out.
5. Maintenance involves sweeping it to keep it clean and shoveling excess snow lightly off the surface. Some recommend re-flooding if there are severe temperature fluctuations so that you can keep a smooth surface. They also recommend investing in a floodlight, too, so that you – and your neighbours – can enjoy your rink at night!
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