Court Maintenance: Taking Care of your Tennis Court
Posted on: April 20th, 2014
As the new tennis season begins, it is essential to follow the correct procedure for court maintenance throughout, as well as the required pre-season preparations. So, for a performance to rival Andy Murray, make sure you read the following tips to guarantee the perfect tennis court conditions.
To take care of your tennis court, be sure to clean the court regularly, approximately once a month, inspecting the area for any evidence of mould or fungus in shaded corners where such debris tends to gather. The growth of fungus or mould is not due to the acrylic coating, but is the result of food and drink spillages, decaying substances or other foreign materials on the surface feeding these organisms.
Indoor Court Maintenance
Maintenance of indoor courts requires frequent vacuuming and at least one annual wet cleaning with mild detergent solution and soft bristled equipment. To treat areas of the acrylic court surface affected by mould, fungus & other organisms, use a solution of two parts household bleach mixed with one part water and scrub gently with a soft bristled brush, making sure to rinse thoroughly after a few minutes.Rinsing the court with water is usually suitable for general tennis court cleaning. However, if there are visible stains on the court surface, a mild detergent solution of 4 parts water with 2 parts TSP and 1 part household beach can be applied prior to gentle scrubbing with a soft bristled brush.
Using the correct equipment is crucial to avoid unintentionally damaging the court surface during the cleaning process. Soft nylon or hair-type brooms are perfect for scrubbing the surface, as using hard bristles can spoil the court. Water brooms are an efficient tool for cleaning tennis court surfaces, with some brands using up to 75% less water than a pressure washer or hose, resulting in much less time being spent on manual labour.
Having a first rate drainage system is a very important part of outdoor tennis court construction. Properly installed drainage systems divert any excess water that flows back onto or underneath the surface, away from the court. To ensure it remains fully functioning, it is important to occasionally inspect the tennis court drainage system, looking for any obvious damage to drain pipes or any surrounding equipment and clearing away any vegetation or debris that may be blocking the drains.
A traditional English spring/summer season tends to bring with it those rainy days most of us dread. In terms of tennis court maintenance, these rain showers help clean your court. However, dirt accumulates in the standing water, leaving stains and piles of waste. This acts like sandpaper under the players’ feet and creates scrapes and scuffs on the surface. The installation of tennis court irrigation systems around the court ensures the surface remains at its best throughout the entire season. However, it is important to make sure that the sprinklers do not spray directly onto the court, to avoid any possible damage to the actual playing surface.
Any foreign matter such as leaves and pine needles not only stain the court, but also create the ideal breeding conditions for mould and mildew. In preparation for the tennis season, remove leaves in autumn and keep the court free of unwanted debris during the winter.
Tennis Court Landscaping
Tennis courts are designed to be functional and visually appealing, both of which are key factors to consider when landscaping an outdoor court. To balance the two, have a look at our following tips:
1. Keep the grass and other vegetation trimmed and away from the court surface.
2. Protect the surface from weed-killer, fertiliser, insect control products and any other chemicals that may potentially damage the court surface.
3. Do not over-water vegetation around the court as this can lead to a build-up of excess moisture beneath the base. As the surface heats up from the sun, blisters can form on the court as the moisture evaporates and comes through the acrylic layers.
As a method of damage prevention, use sign posts near the entrance of the court explaining the court ‘rules’. Such rules can tell players they must only use non-marking tennis shoes on the court, and that no chewing gum, food or drinks (other than water) must be on the playing surface, in an attempt to limit the amount of damage done to the court. Securely fix benches or any other permanent equipment to the surface to prevent any damage from sliding or dragging the objects.
Repair and Maintenance
For tennis courts exhibiting signs of damage, the services of a professional repairs and resurfacing company will be required. No matter how well the court has been constructed, the tarmac and concrete base of a tennis court can show cracking and low spots, commonly referred to as ‘birdbaths’. There are many factors that can cause this, from ground movement and sinking to the positioning of tree roots. Such issues are best dealt with by a sport surfacing professional who, we recommend, should give your court an annual inspection carried out in spring to evaluate the condition of the facility.
Most tennis court builders and surfacing contractors offer free or inexpensive maintenance to their customers, addressing the overall condition and appearance of the facility and performance of the drainage system, along with a number of other relevant services.
Court maintenance experts, such as Charles Lawrence, can carry out more comprehensive maintenance work, including court repair and rejuvenation. We specialise in maintaining ideal playing conditions to the highest standards through our extensive knowledge of all court surfaces. From repainting and line marking to installing a new carpet surface, we can help with the regular upkeep of your court, providing first-rate performance at highly competitive prices across the UK.
So, for further information, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of experts at Charles Lawrence today.