Blog: Dome Stories

Winter’s weather woes

Anyone living in a northern climate knows the nuances of winters. Some are mild, some are mean. The mean winters deliver weeks of stubborn, sub-zero cold and heavy blasts of snow. They test a commuters’ patience, keep kids out of school and meteorologists employed.

Inflatable dome with snow removed properly

Any structure – whether brick-and-mortar or an air-supported dome – needs to be safeguarded for winter weather events. “There’s no such thing as not being vigilant in a snow event,” says Bill Kindra, one of the owners of Quad Indoor Sports.

The facility manager for Augsburg College’s dome echoes that sentiment. “When we’re tipped off about the weather, we raise our temperature and adjust our pressure. We want it as hot as it can be,” he said.

Slip-slidin’ away

When it comes to air dome winter maintenance, if a dome’s indoor air is warm, snow is less likely to accumulate on top of the structure. It can slide down the walls to the ground. Facility managers who maintain oversight during snow events usually don’t experience any problems. State-of-the-art sensors, monitors and controls assist them in managing unusual weather events.

But heavy snowfall can mean a large volume of snow collects at the dome’s base. During February 2018, the snow around Augsburg’s dome was more than five feet deep in some areas. “I got about 20 college kids to shovel it out of there.”

Soccer club practicing inside an inflatable sports dome

At Quad Indoor Sports in Evanston, IL, Bill Kindra is vigilant about air dome winter maintenance and snow removal.  “You have to remove it,” he said. “It can melt, then re-freeze which is a hazard. So you’ve got to shovel it out of there.” He uses a team of contractors to remove the white stuff from the building’s perimeter.

“An indoor sports facility is fantastic during the winter months,” Kindra said. By staying on top of air dome winter maintenance, Kindra ensures the facility is safe and welcoming – no matter what the weather brings.