concrete pad for backyard ice rink

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Old 01-13-10, 07:51 AM
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concrete pad for backyard ice rink

Anyone have any ideas on if this is a good or bad idea? It would be something akin to a cement patio that I could flood with water in the winter so it ices over.

- I guess standard bag mix would work.
- I was thinking about insulating the pad to protect it from ground warmth. Thoughts?
- Self leveling compound on top.

Any other ideas / thoughts welcome.
 
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Old 01-13-10, 08:56 AM
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I've seen combination basketball courts, tennis courts, and winter ice rinks up here in the north, but not sure you will get much skating time down there. To isolate the ice from the ground, like in a slab home, you would need a layer of insulation. Then to keep it from breaking up with the frost, you will need for it to be thicker and probably a better mix than bag cement. Frankly that would be A LOT of bag mix. I would go redi-mix for sure if I went with concrete.

Another option would be asphalt, but the black surface might compound the melting problem.

As a started, you could go with a gravel pad. You could even lay down your insulation and cover it with plastic. As long as you get a couple of inches of ice, the plastic and foam would be protected. Then if it turns out to be a great idea, you have the insulation and a level foundation ready to go. But if it is a bust, you aren't out there trying to remove 4 yards of concrete.

Which ever way you go, recess the pad if you can, so no banking is required, You will need an outlet for drainage that can be blocked so you can fill the area with water.

Bud
 
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Old 01-13-10, 09:13 AM
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Actually I was thinking of laying it down as a hoops court first but be sure it was something I could potentially use as a rink if / when weather permitted.

Not sure one should lay asphalt over rigid foam - I thought the asphalt would be too hot - but I could just paint the surface white with some sealer and Shark-Grip additive or something so the black part wouldnt be an issue.

Would also keep it flat / raised as a lip would not be ankle-friendly for pick-up games. But I could imbed some sleeves horizontally into the slab edges to take some kinds of pin to secure kick baords.

Them's me thoughts!

Is asphalt cheaper??
 
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Old 01-13-10, 10:05 AM
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concrete pad for backyard ice rink

Much depends on your climate. When we have good cold weather, we also have a clear sky and a lot of snow.

Traditionally, all of out ourdoor rinks were on baseball, football or soccer fields that were just flooded with shnow banks for pleasure skating or bords for hockey rinks.

Here we can usually get decent ice about 12/1 and then have to give up just after 2/15 because of the radiant heat of the sun, unless we have a "sissy" winter with clouds late in the year. The sun is the enemy no matter what the surface is because the radiant heat has to pass through the ice to heat anything below.

Any outdoor rink takes a lot of work for snow removal and scraping/leveling and reflooding the rink. - That is the reason we have so many year around indoor rinks. Years ago, there was an indorr rink in every small town in northern Minnesota where they could open to protect the ice from the sun the ends every night after they put down another layer for the next day or two. The indoor all-season rinks have shifted the power and tournaments

We have many outdoor rinks and there is a resurrection of the old outdoor hockey. some are on lakes where they will have 15 or 20 rinks for hockey/pond hockey tournaments. At a national sports facility with 28 soccer fields they built 4 or 6 indoor rinks, but have over 20 outdoor rinks, but the life is limited and maintenance can extend it somewhat.

I had a neighbor in michigan that virtually abondoned his garge (60' wide lot, so he could have a backyard rink the covered his entire backyard (grass) and the portion of the driveway (concrete) leading from the street to the garage. The snow removal was a big problem and the season did not start early enough, but it was certainly convenient.

I lived in Virginia also and depending on your location, the challenge will be to build up a good thickness that can be scraped/groomed frequently. I assume you are not in the tidewater area and are probably west and maybe north.Your ice will certainly be faster than our outdoor winter ice that requires more power to skate on. Ice at -20F is not very fast, but it has a longer season and many hockey coaches require the player to get a certain amount of time on cold ice for strength purposes.

Good luck with your project and recognize you never win in the end if you are fighting "Mother Nature".
 
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Old 01-13-10, 04:24 PM
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Just be aware of Global Warming and the eventual effects on your project. Gosh, I didn't say that, did I?
 
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Old 01-13-10, 04:58 PM
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I don't think "Global Warming" will affect the rink plans for a few years since it is a long term cyclical thing that will affect the growth of future dinosaurs.

Last month, we were 10.4 degrees F below average, but the snow was down 2.4" unfortunately, but still enough to keep the temps down. Maybe the warm weather will raise the lake levels. The January thaw with rain might help.

The combination of cold and less than average will be great for outdoor rinks, but the sun always over-rules. We should have enough snow for the Winter Carnival.

People just have to undestand the short term weather variations and separate them from different scientific opinions.

I don't think I will be around to see the second or third generation of dinosaurs, but it would be good to see some ancestors and recent descendants.

Winter is just a state of mind and someone that wants a rink should be congratulated.

Dick
 
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Old 01-13-10, 06:27 PM
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I think the rink idea is innovative, and could be a blast for the kids. And I was being facetious regarding the warming thing.
 
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Old 01-14-10, 05:05 AM
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It's all good. Thanks for the comments. Chandler has been great help on more than one of my projects so I always apprecaite the input.

To be honest, this is about as far South as one could even hope to try this (D.C. area) but I have come to the conclusion that it *might* be do-able given:

- Make it on a basketball court so the space isnt wasted if the whole idea doesnt work , I'm not hearing anything that says dont build it on your own pad.
- PROTECT IT FROM SUN: NE (rising) - low hockey boards blind the radiation when the sun is lo, East (morning) - again, some kind of temp. blinders, South (late A.M. thru afternoon) - two story house, West (late afternoon) - garage, NW (setting) - small hill.
- Temps - normally dips down to -5F at night but 30's in the day. I should think that a couple rolls of Reflectix should insulate it when it gets too warm - you can find "ice blankets" on line.

Thats my cunning plan!
 
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