Asphalt tennis courts are a sizeable investment and require regular maintenance to keep them in playable condition. Keeping your court clean and frequently inspecting for cracks minimizes repairs and can extend the life of your court by ten years! Neglecting your court is an expensive decision that could require an asphalt overlay or complete rebuild in less than 20 years. The four main tennis court repairs range from minor repairs to complete rebuilds, and we’ve explained when and how you should use each method below.
Minor Crack Repair
You can use crack filler on your tennis court surface when the cracks are less than ½” wide. This option is reasonably cheap and easy to execute in three steps:
- Clean the cracks
- Fill them with a sand/backer rod
- Fill the cracks with an elastomeric caulk that matches the color of your court
Once the cracks are visible, you should complete this type of maintenance every other year. Keep in mind that repainting or resurfacing isn’t always necessary after filling minor cracks.
Tip: We find that over-tightening nets can cause cracks and recommend using a tension gauge to stop this from happening.
Major Crack Repair
If you have cracks that are greater than ½” wide and spaced more than 40’ apart, you’ll need to use a membrane repair kit to fix them. Often, you complete this process in combination with the minor crack repair discussed above.
- Clean the crack
- Fill with sand/backer rod
- Install a flexible membrane repair kit to bridge over the crack
- We recommend using a multi-layer, flexible system to eliminate tripping hazards and expand/contract as the ground does. This membrane is adhered as a layered system on either side of the crack and will impede water from getting into the newly repaired crack.
- A new acrylic surface will be required after you complete the major crack repairs
If you have visible cracks that are closer than 40’ apart, you’ve reached the point that you need an asphalt overlay.
- Remove the nets and net posts
- Adjust net post sleeves
- Adjust gates for 1.5” asphalt overlay
- We recommend using a virgin asphalt mix that does not contain recycled asphalt and eliminates metals that can cause rust spots. If nets and gates cannot be adjusted, a 1.5” milling of the existing asphalt will be necessary.
- Apply a new acrylic surface
If your asphalt has completely deteriorated beyond repair and has noticeable surface and subsurface drainage issues, unfortunately, you’ll need a complete rebuild.
- Demo the entire courts and subbase
- Rebuild with proper subsurface drainage(i.e., underdrains, capillary break for subsurface groundwater, etc.)
Far too often, we see courts that could have been saved from demo if they received regular maintenance and cleanings. Keeping up with minor repairs extends your court’s lifetime and saves you money in the long run. If you need a court repair or evaluation, reach out to the Sportworks team of experts today!