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TIPS on Dasher Board Maintenance

by Karen Bartusek-Bierle

The purchase of a dasher board system is an investment in the future. Whether you have a municipal or private facility, you have a vested interest in maintaining your dasher board investment to ensure problem free use, safety and reliability for 20 to 30 years.

Dasher boards also impact the overall image of your facility. Clean boards give customers a lasting and positive impression. Starting with newly installed boards, begin the maintenance process by sealing the clean poly facing. This can be done with a sealer or wax that is applied with a paint roller. This does not stop marks or dirt from forming on the facing surface but does reduce time and labor for subsequent cleanings. Two light coats of a sealer applied to new boards or freshly cleaned boards will pay for itself in one cleaning process, due to time and materials saved.

Maintaining a dasher board system is a process that begins as soon as the boards are installed. After installation, a punch list is created with the builder or consultant listing any problems or adjustments that might need to be completed. Make sure your dasher board manufacturer completes this repair/adjustment list promptly. Every gate (personnel or equipment) should open and close relatively smoothly and fit within the opening without rubbing and binding. Shielding (both tempered glass and acrylic) should be snug within the support posts and free of any cracks or chips.

Since boards are rarely installed at the chilled temperatures that will exist in the rink once the ice sheet is in, this visual inspection should occur again very soon after you build your ice. Polyethylene material used to face dasher board systems expands when warm and contracts when cold. Gaps naturally appear between the white facing, but an unusually wide gap (large enough to insert a hockey stick, for instance) should be refitted.

GENERAL MAINTENANCE

Daily/Weekly: It is recommended that a visual inspection of the dasher system be made to make sure that all fasteners and related components are tight and that there are no undo hazards to any patrons who may use the facility. A quick visual walk through each day, both on the ice side and the non-ice side of the dasher board system to make sure that everything is in proper working order, is recommended. Make adjustments and repairs as necessary.

Monthly: Monthly maintenance again is related to making sure that the dasher board system and related components are working properly for their intended use. Below is a suggested list of specific items to be checked on a monthly basis:

• Inspect all shield support posts - make sure all fasteners are tight and that all shields are aligned and tight in support channels.

• Inspect all shielding (acrylic or tempered glass) for cracks, sharp edges or other possible hazards.

• Inspect the ice side of the dasher facing, caprail and kickplate for loose fasteners, sharp corners or other possible hazards.

• Inspect the back side of the dasher system to make sure that all fasteners, backer panels, etc. are tight and that there are no other possible hazards.

• Gates: Inspect all gate hardware to make sure that it’s working properly and that the gate operates smoothly. Adjust as necessary. Check hinges and grease if necessary.

• Anchors: If possible check floor anchor bolts to make sure all are tight and aligned. Inspect all bolts holding panels together again, making sure all are tight.

Annual: Inspect all aspects of the dasher system to make sure that everything is in proper working order. Make adjustments as necessary.

• Gates and Hardware: Gate latches may need an annual adjustment. See latch illustration for component details. Spring latch mechanism should be checked to make sure that the latch operates properly. If a latch seems slow or sluggish it is possible that the internal spring needs to be stretched. To make this adjustment remove pins on latch linkage (SL-LINKAGE) and remove linkage bracket (SL-LINK-CONN) so that the spring (SL-SPRING) can be removed from the body of the latch. Stretch the spring by pulling on either end and then put the stretched spring back into the body of the latch and over the threaded rod (SL-THREADED ROD) and re-assemble. Check to make sure the latch operates properly. Inspect the catch (SL-CATCH) and latch bar (SL-BAR) for wear. Inspect handle assembly (SL-HANDLE) for worn or broken components. Worn or bro-ken parts should be replaced.

• Hinges: Inspect and grease all gate hinges.

• Anchors: Inspect all floor anchors and make sure they are tight.

• Steel framework: The BAP6.0 steel frame dasher framework is constructed to withstand the everyday abuse associated with the game of ice hockey. However, an annual visual inspection of all welds and assemblies should be made to assure that everything is in proper working order. Inspect and repair as necessary.

• Galvanized components: Most of the framework on the BAP6.0 steel frame dasher system is hot dip galvanized to resist rust. Inspection of the steel components and any touch up of the steel framework is recommended to keep the system looking good and rust resistant.

• Zinc electroplated components: Gate latches, slide bar components and other related hardware are zinc plated to resist rust. Inspect and touch up as necessary.

CARE AND CLEANING OF DASHER BOARD SYSTEMS

There are many products available to clean the dasher board facing, backer panels and shielding. Below is a listing of some products that work well for cleaning and maintaining the dasher board system.

• Acrylic Shields and Polyethylene Facings: Cleaning and polishing of plastic facing and acrylic material should be done as required, with cleaning products similar to the products below. Always use products recommended for cleaning plastics.

• Novus #1: Gently cleans all plastics without scratching and leaves an anti-static finish on all plastic surfaces.

• Novus #2: Removes fine scratches, haziness and abrasions from most plastics and works well to maintain the acrylic shielding.

• Novus #3: Removes heavy scratches and abrasions from most acrylic surfaces. Use only on severe scratches and gouges.

• Board Bright cleaner: Works well for removing puck marks and fine abrasions.

• Citrusolve: A general purpose cleaner for boards and all around the arena, this product works well for removing black puck marks from the dasher facing. This product, along with BlueDash, is used in the Becker Arena Products board cleaning machine.

• Blue Dash: Highly abrasive dasher board facing cleaner for really tough jobs.

• Buffers and polishing machines: Some buffers or polishers work well for cleaning acrylic shields. Cyclo polishing machines, using Novus #2 plastic polish, work well for cleaning the fine scratches and puck marks from acrylic shields.

• Tempered Glass Shields: Many products work well on tempered glass shields, and it is recommended that you use the one that works the best for your facility. Below are recommended methods for keeping tempered glass shields clean and looking good.

• Window washing solvents: Many over-the-counter window products work well for cleaning tempered glass. (i.e.: Windex, windshield washer solvents, etc.)

• Soap, water and squeegee: Washing tempered glass with soap (ammonia) and water and a squeegee works well for removing fingerprints and general cleaning of tempered glass.

• Razor blade: Use a single edge razor blade in a razor blade holder to remove puck and tape marks on tempered glass. Lightly scrape off the marks. Wash the glass after removal of puck marks.

• General Cleaning: It is recommended that the dasher system, ice side and non-ice side, be cleaned on a regular basis. The surfaces of the dasher facing (both front and back) and caprail have a glossy finish and if kept clean will look good for a long time. Steel components should be wiped down to maintain a clean, attractive finish.

The aluminum shield supports have a clear anodized finish and need only general cleaning to keep them looking good. Periodically wipe down the posts with a general-purpose cleaning product to maintain a clean and glossy surface.

Proper dasher board maintenance and cleaning enhance the appearance of your arena and pay dividends on your investment.