Maintenance is important in most of the things that you own. If you don’t properly maintain your car it can die on your in the middle of the freeway. Regular maintenance on your HVAC system ensures that your home is nice and warm when it needs to be and cool when it needs to be. Maintaining things, in general, extends their life and makes things run a lot more smoothly. If you have a synthetic ice skating rink in your home or you’re considering getting one, you’re going to want to know how to maintain it.
Synthetic ice is a great hockey training aid, fortunately, this process is actually pretty simple and you should be able to do it with little to no problem. It’s mostly time-intensive but doesn’t cost much to do. Most people do recommend doing most maintenance every few weeks or so. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to maintain an artificial ice skating rink, and you could probably even have your children take care of most of it, assuming that they’re at an appropriate age for the tasks that need to be done to make sure that everything is in working order. Let’s take a look at the most important things that need to be done.
Cleaning Your Synthetic Ice Skating Rink
Everything needs to be cleaned at least occasionally. Dust settles over time, sometimes you bring debris from the floor up onto things. Cleaning an artificial ice skating rink is actually pretty easy, just about as easy as cleaning up your kitchen floor. It really only takes a few minutes to get done and it can make sure that your artificial ice skating rink is in a condition that’s ready to be skated upon at a moment’s notice, no matter what kind of surprise guests might want to take a skate on it.
The most common type of cleaning you’ll need to do on your artificial ice skating rink is just regular, plain-old sweeping. You can do this with a broom and dustpan. A lot of people do this once a week while some people do it every time they skate. The reason you need to do this is that when you skate on the artificial ice, the blades from your ice skates cut it up making grooves that make shavings. Leaving those shavings on the rink can make it a lot harder to skate, which no one wants.
The grooves that are created by the act of skating are actually a good thing. They make the skating experience on the surface better over time, so don’t worry too much about that. Just sweep your artificial ice skating rink like it’s any other hard surface in your house and collect the shavings in a dustpan so you can throw them in the trash. It doesn’t get easier than that, and most children that are old enough to be ice skating or playing hockey are old enough to sweep so if it’s your children’s ice skating rink, you can use this as an opportunity to teach them a bit of responsibility.
Occasionally, you might notice a bit of dirty grime on your artificial ice skating rink. This is completely normal and to be expected. When that happens, all you’ll need to do is clean it up. You can do this with something as simple as soap and water. Dish soap works just fine. You can use a mop, a sponge (the non-abrasive side, preferably), or even just an old rag. It doesn’t take too much time, depending on the size of your rink, and this should only need to be done about once a month or so, depending on where the rink is.
If you have the rink in your backyard or anywhere else it’s possible to get mud on it, you might want to clean it a little bit more often to make sure that it’s not covered in mud. That being said, there are plenty of places where you can leave it, both inside and outside, that won’t increase how much time you’ll need to spend cleaning it off with soap and water. This is mandatory maintenance because if you don’t clean these kinds of things off the rink will be unusable.
Older versions of artificial ice required a lubricant once a month in order to ensure that you could actually skate on it. Odds are that the artificial ice you went with won’t require this, but make sure to double-check any papers that came with the ice to be completely sure. If your artificial ice rink needs to be lubricated that will increase how often you need to wash it with soap and will also need to be relubricated once or twice a month to ensure optimal ice skating conditions at all times.
Looking Over Your Artificial Ice Skating Rink
The second most important thing after cleaning your ice skating rink is visually inspecting it to make sure that everything is in the right place. This might not seem like the most important thing in the world, but it’s a lot more important than you might think. Making sure that everything is right where it needs to be can help prevent serious damage to the rink and also prevent anyone using the rink from getting injured from an accidental trip. Both of those things are very important for the continued usage of your ice skating rink.
The first thing that you’ll want to do is make sure that all the tiles are properly aligned. There isn’t much that can knock the tiles out of place, but it can happen and if it does that creates a huge trip hazard. For this, all you’ll need to do is look carefully at the seams between the tiles and make sure none of them have come up. If all of the tiles are right where they should be, perfect. If not, all you need to do is push it back down and you can ensure that your ice skaters will be able to do so without any hindrance.
You’re also going to want to check for major damage in any of the tiles. This can be kind of tricky because you are supposed to expect some grooves to appear from skating, but just have a careful eye and you’ll be able to see them. Most artificial ice manufacturers do a great job at having super durable products, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t break. Anything can break under the right conditions, and synthetic ice is tough but it’s not as tough as something like diamonds or carbon fiber.
All you need to do for this is look for any cracks in the tiles. Anything that looks really off should probably raise a red flag for at least closer examination. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be checking for nothing, but it’s not impossible to find something wrong with it. If you do see a damaged tile, all you need to do is take it out and order a replacement. That might mean having to rearrange the entire rink, but ensuring that your rink is safe to skate on is incredibly important so that no one accidentally gets hurt.
Now, this isn’t a required step at all, but a lot of people do consider expanding their rink while they’re doing maintenance and it can be an excellent idea. There are a lot of ways that you can go about expanding the rink, and size isn’t the only one. Of course, size is one of the main ones, and if you want to do that all you’ll need to do is add more tiles and voila, you have a bigger artificial ice skating rink that provides more room for practicing your hockey skills at home.
You could also do things like adding a goal net, a cardboard cutout goalie, and other decorations. This is a really fun part of having an artificial ice skating rink at home because you decide how to decorate it. You could have it set up to look like a real hockey rink, or you could do something a little more fun and personal. Maybe your child is really into pirates so you could do pirate-themed decorations to make the area more fun. The sky is the limit and it’s really up to you and what you want to do with your space.
Keeping Things in Tip Top Shape
When most of us spend money on things, we want to make sure that they stay nice for as long as possible. Whether that thing is an artificial ice skating rink, a car, or even just a fancy notebook. That being said, it can be pretty easy to keep just about anything working and looking good so long as you know how to properly take care of it. The longer you can make something last, the more bang you were able to get for your buck. No one’s complaining about getting something that lasts for the rest of their life.