Court Repair Blog



Tennis Court Repair and Painting (Surfacing) Blog

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For August 8, 2018:

 One of our Do It Yourselfers Found a Better Method to Distribute Muriatic Acid When Etching Concrete

In our articles on acid etching concrete we instruct you to pour some of the acid/water solution onto the court and spread it around with a pushbroom.  One of our do it yourselfers (I'll only use his first name) Reva noticed while performing an agressive acid etching that most of the reaction to the acid occured in the area it was poured and a lesser reaction was achieved where it was spread with the broom.  He found that the acid was more effective when sprinkled on the surface with a plastic flower watering can.  Having spread acid myself I understood exactly why his method makes perfect sense.  You will discover this yourself when you pour the acid/water solution out of a pail.  The solution immediately starts foaming, but as you pust the solutiion around you will notice if foams much less, indicating less etching.  

He also suggested you keep a mixture of baking soda and water in a 5 gallon pail at courtside while acid-etching the court.  Acid contacting your skin is very possible during the etching process and this baking soda/water solution is a quick way to neutralize any accidental exposure to your skin or eyes.

Thank you Reva.  Great tips..

 Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For July 1, 2018:

Save Money And  Determine Exactly What Your Court Resurfacing Project Will Need

Note: This article will refer to tennis court resurfacing specifically for the sake of brevity, but the process is essentially the same for other sport surfaces such as: Pickleball, Basketball, Paddleball, Volleyball, Badminton, play areas, tracks, walking areas, etc.…  If questions arise as you read, don’t hesitate to call us at: (404) 915-8352.  We, at The Court Store, Inc., love to talk tennis courts. 

SHOULD YOU HIRE A CONTRACTOR TO RESURFACE YOUR COURT OR DO IT YOURSELF? Price is the primary reason many decide to tackle their own tennis court resurfacing projects, but there are others.  Some want to take on the work because they love the challenge of “Do-it-yourself” projects.  Others are very meticulous and feel they can do a better job. Still others cannot find a court resurfacing contractor in their area.   Do-it-yourselfers are a very special breed.  We have found they do a very good job and not one of them has ever called to tell us they couldn't handle their project.  Many tennis court owners choose to hire a contractor to handle their court resurfacing projects “turn-key”. While they spend quite a bit more to have it done, they don't have to sacrifice the time it takes to do the work.  Contractor pricing for tennis court resurfacing varies widely from one region of the U.S to another.  As the graphic below illustrates, in most Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas you can realize substantial savings by buying the materials and resurfacing your own court.  while more modest saviings can be had in certain areas of the South.  Below is a table of approximate turn-key tennis court resurfacing prices around the Country, as well as DIY materials, tools, and shipping costs to do it yourself. 

 

Number of Courts

DIY Materials, Tools & Shipping

Northeast U.S.  & California

Southeast & Midwest U.S.

Southwest & Northwest U.S.

1 Court

$1,500.00 to $3,000.00

$8,000.00 to $16,000.00

$4,000.00 to $8,000.00

$6,000.00 to $10,000.00

2 Court Battery

$3,400.00 to $4,900.00

$12,000.00 to $24,000.00

$6,000.00 to $12,000.00

$9,000.00 to $15,000.00

3 Court Battery

$4,900.00 to $6,400.00

$17,400.00 to $34,000.00

$8,500.00 to $17,000.00

$13,000.00 to $22,800.00

4 Court Battery

$6,400.00 to $8,600.00

$23,800 to $45,500.00

$11,500.00 to $23,200.00

$17,000.00 to $28,400.00

 Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For June 25, 2018:

HOW LONG SHOULD A TENNIS COURT RESURFACINGS LAST?  Tennis court resurfacing, the process of patching and repainting an existing tennis court, is usually done every 4 to 7 years.  Some do it more often.  Some wait 10 to 15 years to resurface their court.  Courts getting heavy play are generally resurfaced more often. Courts that are very old and/or are structurally deficiant, will also require more frequent attention to issues such as large cracks and settlement to keep them playable.  The average time between resurfacings is approximately 5 years.  The general reasons for waiting longer than 7 years are a lack of funds or inattention due to lack of use.  After 7 years the court may begin to become an eyesore on the property, due to substantial fading of the tennis court surface color.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For June 20, 2018:

CAN YOU FIND THE TIME TO RESURFACE YOUR COURT YOURSELF?  A tennis court is a much larger area, so it is somewhat physically challenging.  The saying, “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”, applies here.  You can take multiple bites of your tennis court resurfacing elephant each day or you can take one small bite when you have a couple of hours on a sunny morning.  Your court resurfacing project does not have to overwhelm you.  This article will help you understand how to fit it into your schedule.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For June 18, 2018:

DO YOU NEED SPECIAL SKILLS TO RESURFACE AND REPAIR YOUR COURT?  First, let’s dispel the notion that this work requires a high level of training or skill.  Tennis court resurfacing is not any more technically challenging than many common do-it-yourself projects.  If you have laid tile in your kitchen or patched and painted a wall you already have many of the technical skills needed to resurface a tennis court.  Even if you have never done these related projects, with a little guidance from us and a few trade secrets we reveal, your tennis court resurfacing project will look like it was done by a pro.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For June 12, 2018:

WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT FROM A TENNIS COURT RESURFACING CONTRACTOR?  At the very first contact with a tennis court resurfacing contractor you should let him (or her) know you have inspected the court and have a diagram and pictures of the areas you believe need attentionr.  Of course, acknowledge that he is the professional and you are receptive to any recommendations he has to offer.  The contractor will very likely be able to give you a verbal quote and send one in writing, based on the inspection diagram and pictures you have sent.  Most contractors will still want to come out to look at the court and meet you, but some who are extremely busy may offer a proposal without a visit. A good contractor will explain the repair issues he finds, the proposed cures, and the expected results and limitations.  He (or she) will give you a written proposal with these details clearly stated, along with the price and warranty.

Some of our customers tell us of contractors who tell them theiir tennis courts cannot be resurfaced, and should be torn out and rebuilt.  If this happens to you, listen intently to their reasoning, use you common-sense, and then call us.  We will be glad to give you an ubiased opinion on the topic.  As a court ages it will require more maintenance, but only in extreme cases require complete reconstruction. Most courts (99.9%) can be improved dramatically by resurfacing, giving you many more years of play, avoiding the high cost of reconstruction.  Some tennis court resurfacing contractors tend to push reconstruction because they are heavily invested in expensive equipment needed for tennis court construction and/or reconstruction.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For June 8, 2018:

THE PROFESSIONAL WAY TO INSPECT A TENNIS COURT FOR RESURFACING

The first step of your tennis court resurfacing project is “Inspection”, whether you plan to hire a tennis court contractor to do the work or do it yourself.  Just as you stand a better chance of a reasonable price by speaking knowledgeably to a mechanic about a problem with your car, you will be assured of the best value for your tennis court resurfacing if you know exactly what your court needs.  It’s not always possible to know specifically what car repairs are needed due to their complexity.  But, once you have followed the inspection steps below, you will know exactly what your tennis court will need and be able to communicate intelligently with tennis court resurfacing experts.  A thorough inspection and recording will allow you to proceed on to planning and pricing your tennis court resurfacing as a do-it-yourself project, or to provide local court contractors with the information needed for them to easily give you their best pricing for a turn-key job.

Tennis court resurfacing pros know the best way to inspect a court is within an hour of a heavy rain.  The gloss from the water reveals highs, lows and other imperfections that are more difficult to see when the court is dry.  Slight humps created by roots intruding onto the court are a good example of identifying high spots.  Standing water can best be identified one hour after flooding.  Therefore, the obvious first step to a thorough inspection of your court is to wait for a good soaking rain or flood it with a garden hose.  Immediately after the court has been flooded, walk over every square foot of it looking for any imperfections (except standing water).  You should have a big yellow crayon in hand to mark each area you think needs repair.  Don’t hesitate to write on the court where you want to be reminded of details of the problems. 

You should wait one hour after a good flooding to find and mark areas where water is standing.  The U.S.T.A. (United States Tennis Association) regulations state: any area holding water deep enough to cover a nickel (1/8” or greater), one hour after flooding, should be patched to eliminate or at least reduce the standing water.  In our industry these areas are called, “Bird-Baths”, oddly enough.  The U.S.T.A. is primarily interested in eliminating these Bird-Baths because they slow the drying of the surface after a rain, delaying the resumption of play.  As a court owner, you should eliminate them because water standing on the surface for too long will allow mildew to flourish, creating a slip hazard when damp and eventually degrading the paint.  So, one hour after flooding, use your yellow crayon to mark around the outer edge of any Bird-Baths you find. 

 Typical crayon markings will look similar the graphic below (black lines represent cracks).  Don’t be alarmed if your court has many more marks than show here. 

 

 NOTE:  If you plan to resurface the court relatively soon, you should consider cleaning your court (including pressure washing if needed) before you perform the inspection steps above.  Cleaning with water will remove many of the markings.  Rain will erode them away after a month or so.

 Once you have inspected the tennis court and marked the areas needing work, it’s a good practice to document these areas with a diagram and electronic pictures.  These will be invaluable to anyone you contact to either supply materials for your tennis court resurfacing or for contractors to give you turn-key pricing.  If you would like a blank tennis court diagram for your notes, click on one of these links for one of ours: SINGLE COURT DIAGRAMTWO COURT BATTERY DIAGRAM.  They are free.  Your pictures should include close-ups of the problem areas and a few half-court and full-court overview shots.  It helps to drop a coin in the close-ups for perspective.  When finished your diagram will look something like the one below.

 

 Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For May 25, 2018:

WHAT REPAIRS ARE OFTEN NEEDED ON TENNIS COURT RESURFACING PROJECTS?

 Root Intrusion is usually found around the first 15 feet of the court perimeter, all though I have seen roots reach well into the playing area.  The telltale sign of root intrusion is a long, relatively narrow hump (4” to 12” wide) emanating onto the court from its edge.  A crack is often, though not always, present running along the top of the hump.  With your crayon, mark the lowest point of both sides of the hump.  Root intrusion is not as hard to repair as most believe.  Mark the root intrusion on the court with the yellow crayon and record it on your diagram.

 Most root intrusion will occur on asphalt courts, where even small roots can grow between the base rock and the asphalt.  Only very large roots will distort concrete.  Where it occurs on concrete, the distortion is pronounced and can only be fixed by cutting out the concrete and replacing it.  Repairing root intrusion on an asphalt court is much simpler.  Many people think they should cut out the hump in the court down to the root.  Not only is this unnecessary, it is unwise.  Every cut in a court will create a future crack. 

Standing Water.  As previously described, standing water (birdbath) is any area holding water deeper than 1/8” one hour after flooding.  Mark these areas with your yellow crayon.  It is useful for future reference to make a note inside each birdbath such as: D for deep, S for shallow, 1/8”, ¼”, ½”, etc. After the surface is dry, sketch the birdbaths on the diagram including the same notations on the court.  Measure the dimension of each patch you have marked on the court and record them on your diagram. These measurements will help you and your coatings supplier determine the length and number of straightedges you will need for patching, if you decide to tackle the tennis court resurfacing project yourself.  Your detailed diagram and pictures will also be instructive to prospective contractors should you decide to solicit quotes.  You will see much more interest from contractors if you have these materials ready to email or text to them.

Court Cracking – Cracking is the most common repair item which must be addressed before tennis court resurfacing (repainting) can begin.  Unless you are one of the lucky few who have a post-tensioned concrete tennis court you will very likely have some cracks to repair.  In the inspection phase you should sketch in all the cracks on a scaled diagram of your court or courts.  Note the width of each crack. Once the cracks are mapped out on the court diagram you or prospective tennis court contractors can estimate the total lineal feet and average width of the cracks to be repaired.  Now it’s time to decide whether you want to invest in repairing the cracks permanently or just fill them and continue to treat them as a maintenance item.  All crack fillers will re-crack, usually starting the first cold days of Fall or Winter.  Our patented permanent crack repair system, CrackSpan, costs around $6.00 per lineal foot.  Contractors typical charge between $15.00 and $25.00 per foot for turn-key installation of similar systems.

Humps or Dips That Could Affect Play - These areas are best seen right after flooding when the surface is still glossy.  Mark them with the crayon and sketch them on your diagram.

Rough Areas – Rough areas can be seen whether the court is wet or dry.  If they are prominent you won’t need to mark them with the crayon, but you should draw them on your court diagram and note their dimensions.

Surface Delamination Or Cracking Around Net Post or Fence Post Foundations - This also a common repair issue for most tennis court resurfacing projects.  Note them on your diagram.

Delaminating Patches and Surface Coatings – Sometimes, due to defective products or improper surface cleaning, you will find areas on the court peeling or delaminating.  You should make a note, and take pictures, of these areas, but you will not know their true size until you blast their edges with a pressure-washer.  Your new tennis court surface will only be as sound as the old surface beneath it.  You will have to follow the weak surface where ever the pressure washing leads.  While the area may not be much larger after pressure washing, you must get rid of the weak surface areas.

Foreign Substances on the Court That Could Affect Adhesion – The most common foreign substances that will affect adhesion of the new patches and court resurfacing coatings are: mold, mildew, algae, and mud.  These are all easily removed by a combination of cleaning chemicals, and a good strong pressure washing.  Record these areas needing cleaning on your diagram and take a few pictures.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For April 25, 2018:

COLOR COATINGS - THE ICING ON THE CAKE

The repairs described above are the foundation of most tennis court resurfacing projects.  The color-coatings and lines are the icing on the cake.  On rare occasions a customer will call who has a perfect court, needing only to brighten up a faded finish. The other 99.9 percent of you will have one or more repair issues to address before you should apply the color and lines.  The number of coats needed to acheive an attractive, evenly textured finished surface are determined by the texture of your existing surface and the extent of patching required to repair the problem areas on your court.  If your court has only a few cracks or other areas needing patching, two coats of color and lines should provide a fine looking job.  If your court has some areas where the asphalt or concrete is exposed and rough, at least one coat of acrylic resurfacer will be needed to smooth these areas out before applying the two coats of color.  Extensive patching or a rough overall surface texture may necessitate applying one or more coats of acrylic resurfacer prior to the color-coating.  Your tennis court resurfacing diagram and pictures will be invaluable to material suppliers and contractors for determining exactly how many coats and which coatings your court needs.

Whether you hire a tennis court resurfacing contractor or do the work yourself, inspecting and recording these repair issues will arm you with the information court contractors and material specialist will need to provide accurate pricing and the best values.  If you have any questions or if your court has a repair issue we haven't covered, please call us.  We would be happy to discuss them with you.  Our phone number is: (800) 983-1357.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tips For November 14, 2017:

Tennis court surfacing and patching during the colder months:  Many customers ask us about the do's and don'ts of applying tennis court surfacing and patching products when it is cold.  While the period between late Fall through the Winter months is not optimal, work can still be done on a limited basis.  First of all, there is a much smaller window of opportunity to apply these products each day.  In the Summer it is almost impossible to stay on the court for the entire period work can be done, starting around 6:00 am and ending at midnight or later, as long as rain is not immenent.  This is due to temperatures never dropping below the minimum necessary to ensure proper drying and curing of the acrylic court surfacing / patching products (40 to 50 degrees).  During the Winter months, the lows each night in many areas of the U.S. drop close to or below this acceptable minimum range at some point on most days.  Therefore, you must wait until the low is at 45 degrees or above to begin application, and temperatures must be expected to rise into the mid-fifties by the time you are finished.  The areas where court coatings or patching materials have been appled must also get full sun for at least two hours after you have finished.  In addition, the temperatue must not drop below 40 degrees for 24 hours, and rain cannot be imminent during this same time-frame.  These dynamics reduce your window of opportunity for work to between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on the best days.  One other issue is the sun's positioning in the southern horizon.  Unless your court is out in the middle of an open field, shade will be present on its southern end all Winter.  Any court surfacing or patching done in this area will require at least 72 hours of low temperatures above 40 degrees and no rain.  As you can see, it's possible, but much harder to paint or patch your tennis court in the Winter.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For August 31st, 2017:

 Never overdilute a coating or patching product:  It is very important to follow the manufacturer's mixing instructions on the label of the product you are preparing to use.  Each of them has been engineered to be used as is or requires the addition of a certain amount of water.  Dillution rates for products requiring water should be followed very closely.  Too little water will likely make the product nearly impossible to appy and too much water will weaken the ingredients that hold it together, resulting in premature degradation, and in the case of color-coatings, undue fading and an unacceptable finish.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of July 30th 2017:

Never leave masking tape on the court for more than 3 hours:  Lining a tennis court is one of the easiest parts of surfacing or resurfacing a tennis court.  This doesn't mean there are no pitfalls to avoid.  We are here 7 days a week to protect you from these mistakes.  When lining a court, one of the big mistakes we see quite often is people leaving the masking tape on the court too long.  You should never place more tape on the court than you can paint the lines within 2 hours.  The vast majority of masking tape is not engineered to withstand more than a few hours on a hot surface before releasing some of the glue.  You may not see it right after you pull up the tape, but as dust and dirt blow across the court over the following days and weeks this residual glue will catch it, leaving two dirty strips on both sides of the line.  The only way to remove it is with a soft scrub-brush and soap and water. Unfortunately, you will have to wait until the court coatings have completely cured, approximately 30 days after lining the court.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of July 23rd 2017:

Water is the key to smooth patches that blend well with the surrounding surface:  High quality acrylic cement and elastomeric patching compounds, such as our SuperPatch, TruPatch, Deep Patch, and CrackLastic products tend to dry fairly quickly and can become a little sicky while applying them to the tennis court surface.  There are, however, two miraculous little secrets to extending their workablility time and blending their edges into the surrounding surface areas.  Both secrets have one thing in common: the use of water.  The first secret is to spray a very fine mist of water (preferrably with a spray nozzle attached to a garden hose) on the tennis court surface area to be patched, right before applying the patch, and if needed, another fine mist on the patch itself before you make the final pass with your patching tool.  The second secret is to rinse your patching tool(s) often.  You should rinse every 5 minutes or less to keep your tools free of build-up that will leave your patches rough.  The wet tool also glides better over the patch.  Some installers carry a 5 gallon bucket of water with them.  Others prefer to rinse with the hose spray nozzle.  We'll talk more about patching techniques next week.  Most of our clients think lining a tennis court takes the most skill.  It's actually one of the easiest skills to learn.  Don't let anyone fool you.  Patching is 80% of the true art and science of tennis court resurfacing.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of July 16th 2017:

 Take your court surfacing project seriously:  Recently, we have noticed an uptick in the number of retailers (resellers) selling tennis court paint and patching products.  Some are selling their products at competitive prices, but employ no experts to help with installation issues that will assuredly arise.  Others are selling court coating products at nearly double the going rate, but advertise to inexperienced do-it-yourselfers they will only need to roll on one coat of their paint for a perfect new court surface. The many calls we receive from victims of this scam are all the we need to know these one-coat claims are untrue.  Unfortunately, these companies will likely continue this very unscruplous practice until they are finally sued by someone.  At best, the goal of these resellers is to sell you products.   Once they arrive, and you discover it is not as simple as rolling paint on a wall, it will be too late.  A few may try to help, but 99% of them have never surfaced a tennis court.  This work is not difficult if you have a little professional help along the way.  At The Court Store, our mission is to make sure you have all the help and technical advice you need to complete a stress-free professional looking court repair project.  We will never tell you something that is not true and we will only sell you exactly what you need.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of July 9th 2017:

 Plan your pours directly over the baseline, service lines and net lines for the best inbounds finish:  A common occurence on all sport coating finishes is something the industry calls, "Pour Marks".  These are faint to sometimes prominent stains created when the fresh color-coating you are pouring out makes contact with the dry court surface or the coating already on the court.  While these pour marks are always present, the pro's use a technique to minimize their prominence.   They make their pours right on top of the baseline where the coat starts, at each service line, and directly under where the net will be.  When the bright lines are painted and the net is hung the pour marks will be virtually invisible.  To accomplish this you must start by pouring 10 gallons at the first baseline, 5 gallons at the first service line, 5 gallons at the net line, and then 5 to 7 gallons  at the second service line.    If this is a resurfacing you will see the existing lines to know where to pour.  If your installation is knew you should measure and mark these dimensions and chalk the lines before starting each coat.  Always use white calk.  Colored chalk will stain the surface.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of July 2nd 2017: 

 The one coat con:  A gentleman called recently, frustrated by some coating he purchased from another company.  This company touts their tennis court paint as a one coat product.  Folks, I am sorry to say, there is no such thing as a one coat court surfacing coating.  We are sending him enough EnviroCoat to apply two more coats over the mess left by the other product.  Apparently, there were other problems with this company's coating.  One coat will leave your finish streaky if applied with a squeegee or riddled with roller-marks if rolled on.  Ask yourself: What happens when you roll a first coat of dark paint over a much lighter colored wall in your house?  Of course, it looks horrendous.  When you apply the second coat you see a rich, even color.  While tennis court paint is thicker than house paint, it is not thick enough to achieve the necessary opacity with one coat.  A few of our customers have purchase only enough product, against our recomendation.  At least 60% of them call back to  order more product.  It's up to you, but we highly recommend two coats of color for an even, opaque finish.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.

Tennis Court Paint and Patching Tip For The Week Of June 25th 2017:

Schedule your patching and court painting work for the early part of the day.  You will have three to four times longer to work with the products during the first few cool hours of the morning.  In the afternoon, as temperatures reach the 80's and above, court surface temperatures will be between 130 and 160 degrees.  These high surface temperatures will literally cook the moisture out of the products, making it nearly impossible to stay ahead of the drying, leaving you with an inferior application. If you must work during the heat of the day, schedule scraping, cleaning, material preparation and trips to the hardware store.  Even seasoned professionals, who can stay ahead of rapid drying conditions, never apply a final coat during the hot afternoon hours.  They know it will produce a finish laden with pour-stains, uneven color, and streaks.  If you are not sure if it's too hot, take your shoes off and walk on the surface with your bare feet.  If it uncomfortable to stay on the court, it's too hot to patch or paint.  So, stay cool and you will produce a better-looking job.  Please call us if you have any questions: (800) 983-1357.  We are open 7 days a week to help you.