Category Archives: Tennis Court Surfaces

Tennis Court Resurfacing Application Tips & Techniques

Tennis court resurfacing & repair is best performed by experienced sport surfacing contractors.  However, sometimes tricks of the trade are lost in translation or bad habits can form.  Most of the time it is not intentional, but a result of limited training sources.  This article will point out some important  application tips and techniques that are often overlooked.  It will also highlight some common pitfalls or things to avoid doing, for a quality tennis court repair and resurfacing result.

Keep A Clean Work Area

Most experienced tennis court contractors know the value of a clean and organized work area.  From time to time, we still see work areas that are unprotected and open to spills and splatter.  Make sure to use a tarp, old carpet remnants, or layers of masking paper when setting up your staging and mixing.  Dried paint spills, bucket rings, and other such mishaps may not be hidden by the new paint job. Plus, if you are setup outside of the court playing area on a sidewalk, you don’t need the extra work of sandblasting and trying to remove dried paint and coating residue.

Mixing Area

Application Squeegee & Tool Marks

There are a variety of procedures and options, when it comes to tennis court resurfacing and repair.  Many of the industry tools are very specific and make quite a difference in quality and ease of application.  The application squeegee should be between 50 and 60 durometer, which is the measure of softness/hardness of the rubber. The lower the number, the softer the rubber squeegee blade.  If the blade is too soft, it will bend over in the middle and create problems, as well.  An application squeegee blade that is too hard, will cause more visible application rows and “scalp” the color coatings leaving more visible marks.

Inside Playing Color
Tennis Court Application Marks

Touch-up Paint & Edging | Court Surfaces

Many times, the difference between a court resurfacing that is just OK and one that is great, relies on the details.  Conscientious tennis court contractors will go the extra mile with the following items:

  • Paint old net posts that aren’t ready to replace, but look worn
  • trim around the outside edge of the court, under & behind fences
  • Pull off excess material onto masking paper, like rosin and roofing paper, instead of shoveling up on the surface or pulling into the other color area
  • Use an anti-bleed line primer, like SportMaster Stripe-Rite, for crisp lines
  • Remove center strap anchors and net posts that slide out of the sleeve before surfacing.  Then, tape over the open hole before surfacing.  This prevents filling the holes with paint and keeps squeegee rows straight during application.
  • Touch up as needed if one color went into the other area, or there were line paint mishaps
  • If possible, try to start and finish squeegee application away from main entrances into the court.  Start on an edge or area that is not in a high visible area, in case there is a line from starting and ending the application.
  • Try not to blast windscreens with a pressure washer, as they can damage older, sun-baked fabrics and leave pressure washer patterns.
  • Scrape and sand previous repairs and coats so that they don’t show show through the final coats.

Workmanship | Tennis Court Application

A few more common workmanship issues to mention is squeegee handling and proper pouring of mixed coating materials.  Avoid setting a wet squeegee blade down on dry pavement, as it can leave squeegee blade marks that mirror through the final coat.  When applying the material, set your squeegee down in the puddle of wet material and then begin squeegeeing as usual.  If you set the squeegee down by accident and leave a slash mark, use the bottom of your show to rub out the mark before it dries.

Pour Marks | Tennis Court Resurfacing

Pour Marks are nearly impossible to eliminate when tennis court resurfacing.  There are ways to minimize the marking, which include:

  • After your initial windrow pour, always pour into the existing puddle/windrow and not directly onto the dry surface.
  • Pour low & gently into the windrow and don’t toss the material.
  • Avoid extremely hot temperatures when pouring and applying, if possible.  This will also minimize squeegee application marks.
  • Mist the surface a few passes ahead of the squeegee applicator. This brings the surface temperature down and decreases heat shock and marking.

Many experienced tennis court contractors will also try space their material pours so that each pour happens on the area where a line will be.  This helps to mask the potential pour mark from the eye, beneath the tennis court striping.

SportMaster | Official Playing Surface of the Connecticut Open

SportMaster is excited to be the official playing surface of the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies.  This is a WTA Premier event, taking place at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven, CT from August 19-27, 2016.

This prestigious tournament takes place a week before the US Open and highlights some of the best and top-ranked women players in the world.  Here are just a few of the high-caliber women players that have committed to the CT Open this year:

  • Roberta Vinci (Current WTA World Ranking – 8)
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova (Current WTA World Ranking – 10)
  • Madison Keys (Current WTA World Ranking – 11)
  • Dominika Cibulkova (Current WTA World Ranking – 12)
  • Petra Kvitova (Current WTA World Ranking – 13)

Are YOU pumped for #ctopen16!? We are! ????????????

A photo posted by Connecticut Open (@connecticutopen) on

Men’s Legends Event | PowerShares Legends Event

The Connecticut Open will also host the Men’s PowerShares Legends Event and will feature four of the best tennis players of all time: John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, James Blake, and Mark Philippoussis.

SportMaster Tennis Court Surfaces

There will be 18 tennis courts used for the event, which have been recently surfaced with tournament-quality, SportMaster tennis court surfaces.  The specialized sport coatings were fortified with a specific mix of specialty aggregates, to provide spin-responsive play and the preferred speed of play for this tournament.  These surfaces are durable and provide safe footing for optimum performance.

Tournament Quality Playing Surfaces | Installers Worldwide

SportMaster Sport Surfaces are installed nationwide and around the world by experienced tennis court contractors and surfacing professionals.  If you are interested in having a private court built or resurfaced, feel free to reach out to us and we can provide qualified local installers to provide you with free estimates.

SportMaster products are distributed and supported throughout the United States by the SealMaster franchise systems.  There are currently over 90 locations nationwide.  For more information, please visit http://www.sportmaster.net.

SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui

The SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui is a USTA Pro Series Event, and the only professional tennis tournament in Hawaii. SportMaster is the title sponsor and official tennis court surface of the Challenger series tournament.

This is very popular and growing event, on the beautiful shores of Maui.  In 2016, the tournament will host both Men’s and Women’s matches, with $50,000 total prize money for each.

Players from over 20 different countries will be competing in the SportMaster TCOM, including last year’s winner, Jared Donaldson. Here are some bullet points that the tournament will host, as pointed out by the USTA Pacific Section:

  • 32 Qualifying Men’s & Women’s Singles Draw
  • 32 Main Men’s & Women’s Singles Draw
  • 16 Men’s & Women’s Doubles Draw
  • $50,000 total prize money and showcasing some of the finest men’s tennis players in the world – ranked number 50 and above
  • $50,000 total prize money and showcasing some of the finest women’s tennis players in the world – ranked number 40 and above

Royal Lahaina Resort & Tennis Ranch

The Royal Lahaina Resort will be hosting the SportMaster Tennis Championships of Maui at their Tennis Ranch.  This site boasts 11 tennis courts, just resurfaced with a green and blue SportMaster surfacing system.  The courts include a premium texture package for a medium pace, or playing speed. Tennis Court Surfaces Hawaii
The surface texture provides spin-responsive play and ideal footing for optimum play and competition.

SportMaster Sport Surfaces | Title & Surface Sponsor

SportMaster is premium brand of tennis court surfaces, with stocking and supporting locations throughout the world.  There are currently over 90 locations, including Hawaii, where SportMaster tennis court surfaces can be purchased.  The SportMaster brand is produced in the United States and has been in production since the 1970’s.

Hawaii Tennis Court Resurfacing
Royal Lahaina Challenger Tournament | Maui, HI

“We are proud to be the title sponsor and surface of this exciting tournament”,  said Jeff Gearheart, director SportMaster Sport Surfaces.  “All Court Hawaii does an exceptional job on installing the court surfaces at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch, and it is a top-notch destination”

How Often Should Tennis Courts Be Resurfaced?

Tennis courts should be resurfaced every 4 to 8 years.  This is a standard range with quite a few variables, as you could imagine. Lets go over some reasons why the same resurfacing process would last 4 years on one court and 8, or double the amount of time, on another.

Tennis Court Construction Methods | Surface Longevity

Tennis courts, and other sport surfaces, should be properly built. There are important differences between a parking lot or driveway, and a tennis court surface.  The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) maintains construction guidelines for tennis courts and even has a certified tennis court builder program.  If tennis courts are not built correctly, they could require more frequent repairs and resurfacing.  Here are just some of the common construction problems influencing the decision of how often tennis courts should be resurfaced:

  • Improper slope = ponding water and premature breakdown of acrylic surfacing system.
  • Insufficient compaction  = susceptible to deforming, moisture damage, cracking, etc.
  • Incorrect or missing drainage system = backup of water and a long list of problems like surface bubbles/blisters, premature surface wear, and more.

Environmental Conditions and Surrounding Issues | Resurfacing Cycle

Acrylic tennis court surfaces require very little maintenance, but here are few important tips in extending the life of color coatings:

  • Surface debris removal – Don’t let leaves, pine needles, or any other organic debris build up on the court surface.  It will hold moisture and rot on the surface.  This is cause faster wear of the tennis court surfaces.
  • Trim edges – Be sure to keep grass, vegetation, and dirt trimmed down around the court edges.  This will help to prevent back-up of water that drains off of the court.  Puddled water will break down the acrylic surface coatings prematurely, and result the need for more frequent resurfacing.
  • Periodic washing –  Light to moderate pressure washing of the surface with mild detergents will help to extend the surface life and keep the court surface looking good.

Acrylic Resurfacer | Money Well Spent When Resurfacing

Many court owners want to skip the Acrylic Resurfacer step and just apply the color coatings.  Acrylic Resurfacer re-textures an old smooth court and helps to ensure the proper application rate of color coatings.  Since tennis court coatings are applied with a soft rubber squeegee, the colored surface coatings tend to “wipe off” when the surface is old, smooth and polished.  This results in thinner surface layers that won’t last as long, and definitely impacts how often the tennis court should be resurfaced.

Active Players and Busy Tennis Courts

Obviously, if there is good tennis programming and lots of players, it can impact the wear of the tennis court surfaces.  Active players and high traffic counts will speed up wear of the surfaces.  If this is known before resurfacing, talk to  a SportMaster representative and they can offer recommendations or prepare a custom scope tailored to your facility.  Extra coats may be recommended to extend the life of your tennis court surfaces.

Is It Time To Resurface Your Tennis Court?

Click on the “Contact Us” button and we can put you in touch with a factory-authorized tennis court contractor.  They can provide free estimates and make sure your tennis court is resurfaced properly. SportMaster Sport Surfaces are stocked and supported world-wide, and are ideal for all climates from extreme heat to frigid cold.

 

Can Pickleball Be Played On A Tennis Court?

Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports in the nation.  The demand for places to play Pickleball leads to the question, “Can Pickleball be played on a tennis court?”  

Yes, Pickleball can be played on a tennis court surface, and we will discuss some great options to keep Tennis and Pickleball players happy.

Blended Pickleball Lines On A Tennis Court

A common trend, that is working well, is to maximize the current “real estate” of existing tennis courts.  That is usually a “win-win” and has been done for years with tennis and basketball court combinations.  By USTA and ITF rules, tennis court lines must be white.  Pickleball court lines can be added in a different color, so that tennis or pickleball can be played on the same court (at different times, of course) and the eye can focus on the applicable set of playing lines.  As with the USTA’s kids tennis program known as 10 & under tennis or Quickstart, it is usually recommended to paint the Pickleball lines in the same color family as the court surface color. To better explain, if the court color is blue, apply the Pickleball lines in a shade of blue that is lighter or darker than the surface color. This makes the lines less distractive to tennis players.

How Much Does It Cost To Add Pickleball Lines To A Tennis Court?

This is a relatively inexpensive process and is usually performed by a qualified tennis court contractor.  It can range anywhere from $250  to $600 per court, depending on a variety of factors:

  • Existing surface condition (how much cleaning and prep is needed in order to get the new line paint to adhere properly)
  • Total number of Pickleball courts to be painted (better price per court, for multiple applications to minimize mobilization)
  • Lower cost to apply the Pickleball lines as the tennis courts are being resurfaced.

To get a free estimate from a qualified Pickleball court contractor on your facility, contact us and we can put you in touch with an experienced installer.

Pickleball Court Construction | Permanent Pickleball Courts

There is also a boom of permanent Pickleball courts being installed in park districts and residential settings.  Since Pickleball courts are smaller (44′ x 20′) than tennis courts (60′ x 120′), more and more avid players are building backyard Pickleball courts.  It is great fun for families, kids, and older players alike.  In fact, many older players that are unable to physically handle tennis are turning to Pickleball for fun and fitness.

Pickleball court construction utilizes the same construction methods as tennis and basketball courts.  Generally they are comprised of an asphalt or concrete substrate, and then surfaced with a non-slip, textured SportMaster brand of acrylic surface.  Here are some additional resources for Pickleball court construction, surfacing, and striping layout:

  • Pickleball Court Surfacing Specifications – Asphalt
  • Pickleball Court Surfacing Specifications – Concrete
  • Pickleball Court Striping Layout & Dimensions – Diagram

 

 

What causes bubbles or blisters on a tennis court surface?

Bubbles and blisters on a tennis court surface, or other coated sport surface, are fairly common.  This is usually a result of improper tennis court construction or malfunction of the drainage system.  When sub-surface water becomes excessive and is not properly drained away from the court, it can breathe through the slab in a vapor form and create hydrostatic pressure under the coatings.  This pressure builds more in weaker surface areas and creates a blister or bubble.

How Do I Get Rid of Bubbles and Blisters on a Tennis Court Surface?

In order to take care of the bubbles and blisters, long term, you will need to do some investigating.  Start by making sure any and all drains around the tennis court are free of debris or anything that would prevent proper flow of drainage water.  You may want to enlist the help of an architect or excavation professional in order to evaluate the current drainage system and see if it was installed properly, or at all.  If the court substrate is concrete, you must ensure the following:

  • Was a vapor barrier installed beneath the court when poured?
  • Are there perimeter drains that can take the water away from the court when it runs off after a rain?
  • Was the concrete allowed to cure for 28 days, prior to coating?
  • Was the concrete surface acid etched to neutralize the alkalinity and balance the PH?
  • Were any curing compounds used on the concrete?
Tennis Court Blisters
Tennis Court Blisters

The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) maintains construction guidelines for asphalt and concrete tennis court and sport surfaces.  Ensure that the construction of the court meets their guidelines and find out from the tennis court builder if they followed the ASBA recommendations.  This may help you figure out why the blisters are occurring.  If you are still not sure what to do, feel free to fill out the contact form on this page and we can put you in touch with a SportMaster recommended, tennis court builder.  They can perform a free site visit with you and provide feedback and estimates for repair, resurfacing, or re-construction.

[show-contactus.com-form formkey=”YTlmNTE1YzQ0Yg,,” version=”tab”]

What Causes Rust Spots On A Tennis Court Surface?

In various regions, rust spots are a common sight on tennis court surfaces.  They are actually visible on driveways, parking lots, and other asphalt surfaces, but they are more pronounced on a colored tennis court surface.

The rust spots are the result of metallic minerals, called pyrites, that contaminate the stone used to create asphalt.  Asphalt pavement and acrylic tennis surfaces allow vapor to transmit, or breathe through them.  When the mineral pyrites become wet, they rust and bring the stains upward into the acrylic surfaces.  These rust stains are unsightly and mostly an aesthetic issue that don’t affect the ball bounce or play of the game.  However, sometimes the aggregate reacts, swells, and pops out.  This leaves a rust stain and sometime a small mound with a tiny hole in the surface.

Unfortunately, there isn’t a good or compatible primer or stain blocker that can prevent this from happening.  The best defense is a good offense, which means:

  • Use only non-recycled asphalt when paving tennis and basketball courts
  • Do research: Stay away from limestone or aggregate sources with known contamination issues
  • Talk to an experienced architect and/or tennis court contractor ahead of time in order to avoid the wrong asphalt type and source.
What causes rust spots on a tennis court
What causes rust spots on a tennis court?

If it is too late and you already have rust spots on your tennis court, here are a few tips:

  • Your tennis court contractor can use a hand drill and drill out the reactive spots.  Acrylic Crack Patch can be used to repair the surface holes and the court can be touched up or completely resurfaced.  Sometimes there are hundreds of rust spots and drilling is not always a viable option.
  • This may sound silly at first, but you can pick a color scheme that closely matches and doesn’t contrast the rust color (i.e., Brown, Maroon, Red)

For more information on this, fill out the contact form on this page and we will be happy to answer your questions or put you in touch with a local tennis court contractor.

 

[show-contactus.com-form formkey=”YTlmNTE1YzQ0Yg,,” version=”tab”]

Kids Tennis | Adding Blended Lines for 10 and Under Tennis

The QuickStart (10 and under) tennis format, also known as Kids Tennis, is a program that the USTA is promoting to ensure the growth of tennis.  Statistics show when kids learn a sport early in their lives, they are more likely to continue playing throughout their adult life.  Kids tennis takes it one step further and reshapes the tennis court surface dimensions, racquet sizes, and tennis balls to better fit the size and abilities of kids.  This makes is much easier for kids to begin learning their tennis techniques, and have fun doing it!

QuickStart/Kids Tennis has changed the following standards, to meet the needs of kids:

  • Smaller Tennis Courts – Less area for kids to cover
  • Specialized tennis balls with less compression for slower and lower bounce
  • Smaller kid-friendly racquets for easier handling
  • Modified scoring rules for age groups

Many clubs, parks, and schools have begun adding kids courts to their facilities.  Some have installed permanent quickstart courts, but many have been adding blended lines so that players of all ages can use all of the courts.  This makes the best use of space, and provides flexibility at a minimal cost.  Blended lines for kids tennis, are normally painted with a shade of line paint that is lighter or darker, but of the same family as the tennis court surface.  For example, if the inside court color is blue, the quickstart lines must be a darker or lighter shade of blue.  The standard court lines are always white.

There are two different sizes, when it comes to quickstart courts.  The 60 foot court length is for 9 and 10 year olds, and the 36 foot courts are for ages 8 and under.  If you have a court that is designated for kids, you may also check with a surfacing manufacturer or contractor about resurfacing your court with a slower playing acrylic surface.  This will slow the ball bounce down and give the kids more time to get to the ball and volley.

If you are interested in finding a qualified tennis court builder near you, fill out the contact form on this page and we will provide qualified contacts.  We can recommend authorized installers near you that are trained in application and knowledgeable in standard tennis and quickstart tennis court layout.

 

Indoor Tennis Court Resurfacing Problems | Common Drying Issues

Resurfacing indoor tennis courts can have a few challenges not common to outdoor tennis court resurfacing.  Indoor tennis courts do not have to contend with outdoor enemies like UV rays and harsh weather, but some indoor conditions can wreak havoc, even for the experienced tennis court surfacing contractor.

Indoor Tennis Court Resurfacing | Drying Problems

Acrylic tennis court surfaces are water-based and dry by evaporation.  Water is the vehicle that allows the heavy coating solids to be squeegee applied.  Once the coating is applied, the water begins to evaporate.  If there is not adequate ventilation in the facility, the water can be trapped in the airspace above the courts and slow down the drying of the surfaces.  This can cause a “marbled” look on the coating, resulting in light and dark or patchy areas.

Marbled Tennis Court Surface
Marbled Tennis Court Surface

Poor ventilation and cooler outside temperatures can also create problems by causing condensation to “rain” down onto the tennis court surfaces.  If the inside temperatures are warmer and the ceiling is cool from colder outside temperatures, the moisture can drip onto the partially cured surface, creating blemishes.  To prevent both of these issues, make sure to turn on heating or air conditioning systems to draw humidity out of the air. Open any available vents, doors, and windows to allow an escape route for moisture.  Large industrial fans can also be rented and help to circulate the air, as well as push moisture out when placed at exterior doors.

Tennis Court Squeegee Application Issues | Smooth Indoor Court Surfaces

Another common problem with surfacing indoor tennis courts is application of coatings on a very smooth surface.  Indoor courts do not benefit from the wind and rains, which actually help to move debris off the surface.  Dirt and sand particles, that come out of the surface, become abrasive to color coatings under the scuffing of tennis courts.  Long-term, this can create a very smooth surface which makes it difficult for application of color coatings.  The application squeegee can wipe the coatings off of a smooth surface, and leave a very thin coating.  This can sometimes cause irregular color patches or inconsistent textures on the surface.  To prevent this, apply the first coat of Acrylic Resurfacer (properly mixed with sand and water) with a squeegee, but follow directly behind with a soft, horse hair-type broom or brush.  This puts a fine grooved text in the coating.  Once the first coat of Resurfacer is dry, squeegee apply another coat of resurfacer, going the cross-direction.  This allows the second coat of resurfacer to “grab” onto the groove finish and deposit a complete textured coat.  At this point, the surface is ready to accept the tennis court color coating surface layers.

[show-contactus.com-form formkey=”YTlmNTE1YzQ0Yg,,” version=”tab”]

Drying Vs Curing | Tennis Court Surfaces & Paint

One of the most understood topics and frequently asked questions are,  “what is the difference between drying and curing”  when it comes to tennis court paint and coatings.

Acrylic sport coatings are water-based, and latex is the binder or “glue” that adheres to the pavement or existing acrylic surface.  The binder also locks in all of the components of the coating system, like pigments, sand, and other proprietary ingredients. Water is the vehicle that thins the coating solids so that application by squeegee can be achieved.  Once the coating is applied, the water evaporates leaving the solids of the coating in a consistent film.  This evaporation is “drying“.

At this point, the film solids are dry.  They can even be walked on without a problem. However, all of the components of the coating are not entirely connected and bonded in a strong film.  In order for the coating components to properly coalesce, or “melt”  together,  it is important that the film remain mostly dry and in temperatures above 50° Fahrenheit.  This is especially important within the first 24 hours.  This is “curing“.

If the coating is not allowed to achieve this initial cure, the components like sand and pigment can wash or roll out the film can fall apart to varying degrees.  The level of damage or failure depends on how marginal the cure.

Tennis Court Curing Failure
Tennis Court Curing Failure

Many coating and paint specifications include the statement “product shall be applied when temperatures are 50° and rising”.  This means start coating in the morning when the temperatures are at least 50° and getting warmer, not late afternoon or evening when temps are dropping.

Remember, the coating must dry before it can begin to cure.  Starting application late in the day puts the film at risk of dew and cooler nighttime temperatures. A good rule of thumb is to avoid acrylic paint and coating application on days when the nighttime lows are forecasted to drop below 50°.  If the daytime highs are not very warm and it is cloudy, or the courts are heavily shaded, you also need to take that into consideration.  The shade will increase the drying time and affect the temperature of the court surface.  These factors affect drying and curing.

If you are forced to push the application on marginal days, you may want to use an infrared thermometer to check the surface temperature.  Pavement absorbs and holds cold for longer than most people think. In Spring and Fall, the sun is further away and not as intense. The pavement surface isn’t able to warm up as quickly as it does in the summer.

If you are a contractor and your customer is pushing you to apply when the temperature and weather is not within acceptable range, make sure to provide them with a copy of the coating manufacturer’s specifications and ask to reschedule application when conditions allow.

[show-contactus.com-form formkey=”YTlmNTE1YzQ0Yg,,” version=”tab”]