Patching Your Court

INSPECTION

Once your court surface has been thoroughly cleaned, take out a note pad and pencil and draw a large rectangle that represents your court or use one of our pre-made forms (Single Court, Two Courts). Now, leave your drawing and drag your garden hose out to the court.

Flood the entire court, holding the hose nozzle upward at a 45-degree angle. Let the water cascade onto the surface like heavy rain, making sure to hold the stream of water in each area until it begins to run off. If you have the time you can wait for a heavy rain.

Whether you flood with the hose or wait for a good rain, your next step is to mark all of the imperfections that need repair. To do this you must outline these areas with a carpenters crayon precisely 1 hour after flooding. You will notice that the remaining water will help highlight the areas needing patches or other work (i.e. grinding or sanding). Now, outline the puddles and other imperfections. Use any kind of shorthand that will help you recognize the problem areas when patching. You don't need to mark such things as cracks that will clearly be visible after the court has dried. Below are some typical markings used by the pros.
 

Now that you have finished the inspection and marked the court, it's a good idea to sketch the problem areas, and make notes describing them, on the court drawing you made prior to flooding. This diagram will help you determine exactly which (and how much) of our patching products will be needed for your project.

PATCHING LOW AREAS AND OTHER IMPERFECTIONS

Using a tape measure, measure the width of each patch you have marked on the court and record the measurement on your diagram. These measurements will help you determine the length and number of straightedges you will need for patching.

Find the widest point of each patch, it the direction you plan to strike-off the patch, and add one foot to each of these measurements. In other words, if you have three patches measuring 3', 5', and 6' at their widest points, you will need three straightedges: a 4' straightedge, a 6' straightedge, and a 7' straightedge. Refer to the drawing below:

 
A straightedge can be made from almost anything, as long as it is very straight and rigid. Wood 2-by-4s, steel angle iron (1"), or aluminum rectangular tubing (2" x 4"), make excellent straightedges. All can be purchased at your local builders supply. Remember, whatever you use it must be perfectly straight.
Below is a list of other items you will need for patching low areas and other imperfections. Most can be purchased locally. The applicator squeegee is a specialty tool that can be purchased from us.

Flat Trowel

Masons Rubbing Stone with Handle

Tape Measure (at least 25’)

Blower (hand, backpack or push)

5 Gallon Buckets (2)

Floor Scraper

1 Gallon Bucket

Flat Shovel

Putty Knife (3” wide)

Drill with Paint Mixing Paddle

Push Broom

36” Applicator Squeegee

Flower Watering Can (2 gallon)

Razor Knife

Garden Hose with Spray nozzle

Extension Cord

Silica Sand (30/60 mesh)

Portland Cement

 
It’s now time to start patching. Open a five gallon bucket of TruPatch. Pour whatever amount of TruPatch you think you can apply within 15 minutes into an appropriate size pail, add 1 part portland cement to every 4 parts of TruPatch and stir, (with mixing paddle attached to an electric drill) until the mixture is lump free. The patch mix should have the consistency of a thick milkshake. Warning: Never try to add more water as the mix begins to set. If it is too thick to use, dump it out and make a fresh batch. You may also use SuperPatch Kit interchangealbly with any TruPatch application. The kit is similar to TruPatch but it includes all of the components: the latex, sand and portland cement. You will have to purchase portland cement for use in TruPatch.
 
 
 
Place the appropriate straightedge on the court about 1 foot in front of where you plan to start your patch. Pour the TruPatch or SuperPatch mixture in a pattern as wide as the patch at the edge of the straightedge. Preferably with a helper at the other end of the straightedge, pull the patch mix across the area to be patched. Add more patch mix as needed. If the patch is not fairly smooth, pull the straightedge back over the patch. Make sure the edges of your patch completely cover the area you marked. If the patch looks rough, lightly mist the surface of the patch with water, and pull the straightedge over the patch again.

 

Feather the edges of your patch using a square trowel hand squeegee. Try to blend the patch edges with the court surface. This is the secret to blending the patch into the court so that is invisible once the resurfacing is complete.

After the patches have dried overnight, take a masons rubbing stone and rub any rough or high spots smooth. Blow off loose particles created by the stone.

It is always a good practice to flood the court again, after the patching is complete. Patch any areas which are still holding water.

Many professionals apply a coat of EnviroFill Resurfacer or EnviroCoat Color Coating over all of their patches prior to the application of the color over the entire court. This extra coat over the patches, called a “feather-coat” or “skim-coat”, helps hide the patching. I highly recommend you take the little bit of extra time and materials to apply this technique. It is truly one of the secrets of the trade.

After any patching or coating application you should always walk the entire court with your floor scraper, scraping up any drips or smears left on the surface. It is very important to scrape these areas well. Once you have finished this step, blow all of the scrapings and other debris off of the court before starting the next step. If your patches are real rough, rent a floor sander from Home Depot and smooth them out in hurry. The sander and paper will cost around $50.00, well worth it when you consider the wear and tear on your back and knees when scraping and rubbing by hand.