GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Ice rink humidity issues

kdhockey | Posted in General Questions on

I have a mini ice rink. The dessicant dehumidifier runs too much. I can’t get the RH very low. 

4 walls 
Block walls on sides  with regular paint both sides. 

block wall and brick for front 

back wall separates lobby from the rink with walm plywood, batt insulation and vapor barrier on warm side. (Seems to the the job as lobby could be 65 def when rink is 30deg) I have r13 twice and an air space in this 11 inch thick wall) 

roof is a black rubber roof with foam board in it. 

I just put a low-e radiant barrier foil ceiling the in the rink.

today it was 74F outside, 43F in my rink. Humidity was at 70percent. The dehumidifier won’t get below 55-60 even if I ran it all day. 

advice I have been given….

1) get bigger dehumidifier 
2) vapor barrier the block walls with liquid rubber coating over existing paint to seal the block. Moisture is coming in through the Porous block
3) spray foam the rinj
4) check for air leaks (I tried a homemade blower door I don’t know what I’m doing)
5) put foam board on the blocks walls and seal it up nice. 

basically the ice has been good all fall,winter,spring in Pennsylvania climate. I want to run it in the summer. It’ll get into the 80s and even 90s and humid. I need to lower the humidity in general to 40percent all year round. I put the rink in this December 2019 and have never had it that low. 

I’ve been told that the block is porous and the dehumidifier is overworking and it won’t settle down until I seal the building properly??? 

please help?! 

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. tommay | | #1

    Have you tried just a regular exhaust fan?
    This brought back some old memories of the old boston garden during nhl playoffs when the whole arena used to get all fogged in....

  2. Jon_R | | #2

    #1 is air sealing. You can use an exhaust fan and a IR camera or thermometer to find leaks.

    1. kdhockey | | #3

      How? I do have an IR red laser thermometer.

      I tried to put two boxes fans on top of each other and put plastic on the front door and blow the fans outside. I feel like I did a crappy job. I tried to use incense smoke and go around everywhere I thought there might be a leak. The smoke just rose to the ceiling everywhere except right next to the fans (it got sucked in then)

      1. Jon_R | | #5

        You can do a search for "blower door directed air sealing". I've edited above to include an IR camera (much easier than the thermometer). You may want to pay someone to do this.

  3. walta100 | | #4

    I suspect that ice rinks are one of those special situations where there are very few experts that learned their lesson fixing others very expensive mistakes and are unlikely to give much free advice. I would guess they charge a lot but I am sure in the end it is a bargain.

    To me your goal of 40% seems impossible anywhere near the ice, as the ice will try to cool the air down to freezing. Since cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air. The air touching the ice will always be at 100% humidity. Where and how do you want to measure 40%? My guess is you could end up heating the cool dry air in the lobby in August when it is over 90° outside.

    I lived in a town with a city owned rink after 40+ years the ground under the ice had become permafrost and heaved the wall and the building demolished and rebuilt as I recall.


Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |