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Tips & Tricks

So Mother Nature dumped several inches of snow on your rink and the ice has sank due to the weight allowing the water to seep and make the snow a nice slush. What do you do now?

 

Well you have basically two choices.

1. Shovel the slush off of the ice
2. Leave the slush and wait for it to freeze solid.

Now these seem so simple, but they are far from it. Many things come into play here. How thick is the ice? What is the weather forecast for the next five days? Will the ice support you and the snowblower?Once you answer those questions you will see that perhaps you can't remove the slush.

Removing slush is like shoveling mixed concrete, it's HEAVY! So if you are going to remove it you better be prepared for some of the worst shoveling you have ever done. Leaving the slush to freeze is not any easier because it will not be a smooth surface and will take several light floods before you can even think about having good skating.

Having gone through this twice already this year I can say with certainty that #2 is the better choice. Storm 1 this year I tried desperately to get the slush off the rink. The heavy slush combined with the constantly seeping water makes getting a clean surface near impossible. Not to mention that the water on top of the ice actually weakens the ice and could cause serious cracks. Storm 2 I just let it be and hoped for the best. I had to do bucket dumps (two per night for two nights) to get the surface in skating condition. This went against everything I had heard to this point, but the ice was too thin to hold me to be able to shovel and after storm 1's failures I just wasn't up for another fight with heavy slush.If I could have used the snowblower, then I would have removed the slush both times but this was not an option.

So I leave you with this...It is my experience that if the ice is not thick enough to get a snowblower onto the rink to remove the slush, then leave it be. It is a LOT less effort to resurface a couple times than it is to shovel slush by hand while standing in 2" of water and listening to the ice crack all around you.

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