How To Protect Your Basketball Hoop in the Winter

Basketball Hoop Winterization: How To Protect Your Basketball Hoop in the Winter

Do you have an outdoor basketball hoop? Outdoor hoops can be a great investment — getting kids involved in a fun, healthy hobby that’s great for physical development.

As with any outdoor activity, however, play is often subject to weather conditions. As colder months approach, you may be wondering, “How do I protect my basketball hoop in the winter?”

That all depends on what kind of outdoor basketball hoop you have. While in-ground hoops usually don’t need much winterization at all, portable hoops require special consideration — as they often contain water in the base. It’s also important to store your portable hoop in a strategic area for maximum protection.

Here are some tips on winterizing outdoor basketball hoops:

Winterizing Portable Hoops

Can portable basketball hoops be left outside during the winter? Absolutely! All outdoor hoops are made to withstand harsh elements. That being said, there are a few precautions to take before the temperature drops and the snow piles up.

Prepare the Base for Freezing Conditions

Portable hoops are designed with large, tank-like bases meant to hold water or sand. When filled, the base holds a lot of weight, keeping your basketball hoop planted on the ground. During winterization, it’s important to know what material is contained in your hoop’s base.

Water will freeze in frigid conditions, expanding up to 9% in the process. During the winter months, your base should contain no more than 75% of its capacity in water. This will leave more than enough room for the ice to expand without damaging your base.

As an alternative, it’s also possible to add around 2 gallons of non-toxic antifreeze to your base, making sure the mixture fills the tank completely. This will give you the right balance of water and non-toxic antifreeze, preventing any freezing and subsequent expansion.

Sand is unaffected by freezing conditions. If your base contains sand instead of water, it’s already prepared to take on winter.

If you plan on having your portable basketball hoop for a long time, filling it with sand may be worth it — saving you time and effort every year in the winterization process.

Move Your Hoop Out of Harm’s Way

A lot of people keep their portable basketball hoops alongside their driveway or on the edge of the curb during warmer months. While this is often ideal for play, it’s not a good idea for winter — especially in snowy areas. With snow plows and snow blowers clearing large amounts of heavy snow, there’s the potential for hoops to get knocked over, damaged and buried in snowbanks.

Ideally, you should find shelter for your hoop, placing it in a garage, barn, shed, or under an overhang. This is made easier by adjusting the height to the lowest possible setting, often around seven and a half feet.

If you’re not able to find shelter for your hoop, don’t worry. It should be able to survive winter weather without any issues — as long as it’s lowered to its shortest setting and out of harm’s way.

Use a Tarp and Bungees

If you want to take winterizing to the next level, you can wrap your hoop in a tarp so it’s protected from ice, snow or other precipitation.

To do this, first make sure the hoop is at its lowest setting. This will not only make the process easier, but protect the hoop from blowing over in the wind. Drape a tarp over the top of the backboard, then start bunching the corners together over the pole. Take several bungee cords and secure the tarp into place.

Once the tarp is secured, your hoop will be ready for its winter hibernation.

Winterizing In-ground Hoops

In-ground outdoor basketball hoops offer a distinct advantage over portable ones — they’re firmly planted into the ground. This makes them rugged enough to withstand the snow from plows or snow blowers, although you should still exercise caution around your hoop.

To prepare your in-ground hoop for winter, simply lower it to its shortest setting. This makes it less susceptible to winter winds, which can get fairly severe at times without leaves or foliage to block air currents.

Much like portable hoops, it’s possible to cover in-ground hoops using a tarp and bungee system. This may be a good idea if you’re at all concerned about hitting the backboard with snow while shoveling or snowblowing.

Ready for a New Hoop?

Not interested in winterizing your portable basketball hoop year after year? Make it easier on yourself with an in-ground model! Explore Rainbow Play’s line of adjustable in-ground 60” and 72” basketball hoops today! They’re great-looking, well-made and come with an industry-leading warranty.

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