Last night we experienced a blizzard. This morning when I went out to check the condition of my portable basketball hoop, it brought a big smile onto my face.
This is because I winterized our basketball hoop a few days ago & now, it is standing in its place with no damage done.
Sadly a few moments later, one of my neighbors came with a half broken backboard in his hand. His hoop got shattered yesterday.
I asked why he hadn’t winterized the hoop before. In reply, he said he had no clue whatsoever how to do it. Therefore, I decided to write this article on how to winterize a basketball hoop.
Winterizing a basketball hoop is a smart idea if your location sees a lot of snowfall in the winter season. Your hoop base will crack if water freezes, or a strong wind can just blow your hoop away
Either way, you will land in trouble & it can cost you extra bucks to repair the damage. With Inground hoops, there is no way these bad things can happen. Still, you’ve to do some work.
Basketball hoop winterizing tasks can involve securing the base & then protect from rust. It can also be like draining the base & disassemble the hoop. Then there are Inground hoops too.
So depending on the basketball hoop type (portable or in the ground) & whether you want to take down the hoop or leave it outdoors, steps can differ. So keep on reading this complete beginner’s guide to winterizing basketball hoops.
Table of Contents
- Ways of Winterizing Portable Hoops
- Ways of Winterizing In Ground Hoops
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
Ways of Winterizing Portable Hoops
# In case of leaving basketball hoop in backyard:
This is the case where some people might want to play hoops during cold winter months. So they are not going to disassemble the hoop.
Rather than that, they will look to winterize the basketball hoop in a way that gives them the option to use hoops anytime they want.
It can be done in a few steps:
Secure the hoop base with water
If you have a water-filled base system, there is some work to do. Water tends to expand at freezing temperature, and your base can crack then. By adding antifreeze into the water, you can get rid of this problem.
What is antifreeze?
One type of additive that can be used to lower the freezing point of water based is liquid. It increases the boiling point of the liquid. Basketball hoop base antifreeze does the exact thing.
Why mix antifreeze with water?
If you don’t know, water is an efficient conductor of heat, and it has good properties as a coolant. Adding antifreeze into water creates a coolant mixture. It prevents a rigid enclosure (like a basketball base) from cracking because of expansion when water freezes.
What kind of antifreeze do you use in a basketball hoop?
You should only use non-toxic antifreeze for the basketball base. This is due to the toxicity of anti-freeze
Antifreeze containing ethylene glycol & methanol is the most hazardous. A small amount of antifreeze can cause life threatening complications in your blood, nervous system & kidneys. Propylene glycol is found less dangerous.
Antifreeze tastes so good that children & pets can easily be attracted. So you should keep it out of their sight & reach. When you’re using them, you have to be careful. If it spills somehow, you should clean it up immediately.
While they both are safe & affordable, you should also use chlorine bleach in your water. Because unwanted stuff can start growing inside water and it will smell not good then.
How much antifreeze does it take to keep water from freezing?
The common ratio of using anti-freeze and water is 50/50. That is more than enough for a 35 or 40-gallon base.
With that being said, it all comes down to where you live & how cold it gets there. Based on this, you can add more. I have seen people using only 1 gallon of Antifreeze for the whole base.
Here is a video demonstration of putting antifreeze into portable basketball bases.
Secure the hoop base with Sand
Sand is a lot heavier than water, so it makes your basketball hoop more secure than ever. Just remember one thing. It is difficult to move it around when you are using sand for a basketball base. If you have been using sand to fill the base for quite some time, then you should be very familiar with it
Assuming you are using water till at this point. But now you don’t want to take a risk with antifreeze then we recommend draining the base first and fill with sand
There are a couple of ways to do it:
1. Draining water from the base is easy. Just lay the hoop on its side, open the base hole, and now you can drain out water with ease
2. You can siphon it out with siphon pump
3. Also, you can use a hose and let gravity do the work for you. We don’t recommend sucking on it.
Secure the hoop base with BaseGel
It is true if you fill the base only with water, there is always a chance for base leaking, freezing, or evaporating. Many prefer sand for this reason, and it brings more stability.
But there are people who don’t like sand because it literally takes out the ease of transportation. They are not too sure about antifreeze either, so they can just add basegel into the water.
It gives the same amount of stability as sand. BaseGel is cheap and lasts for several years. It is for all-weather use. So you don’t have to bother about those messy situations anymore
Get your BaseGel here
Secure From Windy Storm
scenario, it may fall over. Apart from properly securing the base with water & sand, this is what you can do:
1. Check all the nuts & bolts. Tighten them up if there are loosened
2. Use the strapping method to protect from heavy wind. You will need Liberty Ground Anchor & Ratchet Straps to make sure it works perfectly
Ground anchors should be placed on both side of the base, and then the strap should be hooked onto the anchors
3. Lower the pole of your hoop. Doing so will give your hoop stand more strength to withstand the impact of wind
If you want to secure your portable hoop from wind, we recommend checking out this guide: How To Keep Basketball Hoop From Falling Over?
Protect From Rust
In the wet season, the cold temperature, snow, ice can combine altogether & deteriorate your backboard, pole, rim, net material. The hoop unit can get rusted if not taken properly care of. Here are few things you can do:
1. Routine Cleaning
2. Repaint the surface by removing all the loose paintings
3. Get a heavy-duty, durable barbecue cover. This all weather-resistant, dustproof cover will protect your hoop from impacts of wind, sand storm, sun & rain. They are easy to clean as well. You can use duct tape to secure it
4. If some areas of your hoop are already rusted, then you can apply a rust protective.
5. Remove the net when there is no play. Otherwise, it can deteriorate if dealt with harsh weather conditions.
# In case of taking down the hoop:
If you are not going to shoot hoops during the rainy season, which most people do, then it will be better to disassemble the hoop & store it in a covered place.
This can be done in a few steps:
1. Remove the backboard & rim attached to your hoop. It will come in handy in the next step.
2. Remove the pole. With no backboard and rim are attached, it is not as heavy as before.
3. Empty the base unit
4. Now, store all the components properly in your garage. There will be nuts & bolts for different parts. So put them separately in a small box and place them right beside that particular unit
Portable hoops are moveable. Whether you choose to dismantle the hoop or not, bringing it under the cover is always the best idea to winterize basketball hoop.
Ways of Winterizing In Ground Hoops
Basketball hoop for the outside has concrete installation. Unlike portable hoops, they don’t have any plastic bases. Instead, they are perfectly secured deep into the ground.
So there is no way you're in ground goal can fall over or blow away by the wind. Besides, there is no risk of base leakage or water freezing.
Still your backboard, rim & pole are left exposed to the weather elements. If they continuously encounter with heavy rainfall, it can also deteriorate the materials
Two things you can do here:
1. One is removing the backboard & rim. If it seems a herculean task to you, then skip this one & do the second
2. Protect your hoop unit from rust. The task of rust prevention involves regular cleaning, repainting the surface, purchasing waterproof cover & applying rust preventative. It is advisable to remove the net. Also, keep the hoop at its lowest height adjustment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Water inside my hoop base is already frozen. The base is yet to crack, though. Is there anything I can do to prevent it from cracking?
-If your hoop base is not broken, try to take off the hole plug. Then pour some road salt (salt is generally spread to melt ice on areas where there is a lot of snow & ice in the cold season). It will help in lowering the freezing point
Finally, when the ice is melting into liquid, just drain the base & fill it with sand. It will eliminate the risk of the base being cracked. You can also use antifreeze with water or just BaseGel.
2. Should I use sand or water to fill my base?
-There are many who face a dilemma whether to put sand or water in the basketball hoop. Water is a good choice if you think about getting advantage in transportation
But it tends to freeze in winter, and also if there is any leakage in the base, you might not notice it
In contrast, sand provides more support to your goal, and you can use them all year around. If your preference is water, you need to add antifreeze in the winter season.
No doubt, storing indoors shall increase the lifespan of your basketball hoop. But disassembling the whole unit might feel troublesome & time consuming, so if you ask me, I would suggest you leave it outdoors
For portable hoops, fill the base with sand, bring the hoop at the lowest height, wrap with a cover. You can give your base extra security through the strapping method. Apply rust preventative or repaint if needed. You can also do some routine cleaning
For in ground hoops, do as it’s written in this article.
You can also check out our basketball hoop maintenance guide and get more valuable information.