The Ice Man
By Mark E. Melone
Most people rarely give much thought too, or understand how the ice they skate on is made. In this first, in a series of articles, on ice installation I will explain and illustrate for you how the entire process is done. This is how to take a bare rink floor like the one below,
and construct it into the floor that everyone sees as this
First, remove all dirt and debris from the floor surface. This can be very easily be done by a team of 5-6 men with brooms sweeping the floor from one end to the other, or a two-man team using a floor scrubber.
Next is to bring the floor down to temperature. When started, the compressors need to be brought up in stages to avoid overloading and causing any damage to the systems. Next is to bring the floor temperature to a maximum of 16 degrees before painting; 14 degrees is even better.
After the floor is down to the desired temperature, the next step is to lightly spray the entire floor with a light coating of water. The water will freeze almost instantly and I would recommend spraying twice, laying a paper thin glaze of ice over the entire floor.
The next step is to apply high quality white base ice paint; Jet Ice paint would be my recommendation. The white paint comes as a powder, and will need to be mixed with water and applied using a sprayer; shown below.
It is recommended to spray 3 to 4 coats of white ice paint over the entire floor surface. When successfully completed, your surface should like the one in the picture below.
After the paint has been applied, once again lightly spray water on the surface, sealing in the paint. It is recommended this be done 3-4 times to protect the paint. Never shoot hard streams of water on the ice paint as this will force the paint up, causing imperfections in the ice.
Well, that’s about all the time and space I have for this article, but come back soon to learn how the lines, circles and logos are laid out, and painted in.
Mark E. Melone
Aka: The Ice Man
Questions for Mark can be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org please don’t be shy, Mark will be happy to answer any questions you may have in future articles.