Tag Archives: asphalt

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.

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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.

 

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How Long Does Tennis Court Crack Filler Last?

Question: How long does tennis court crack filler last?

Answer: Cracking of asphalt and concrete pavement surfaces is a common problem. Even if the asphalt or concrete is properly built, there are still variables beyond the control of the contractor and crack filler producer.

There are different reasons for pavement cracking, but a majority of the cracks on concrete and asphalt courts are structural. This means that the cracks go completely through the pavement layers, into the base of the tennis court.

Acrylic tennis court crack fillers are designed to fill and seal off the surface of the crack. This is designed to minimize water and moisture flowing into the crack and stone base of the court, and slow down degradation of the court through further cracking. The main problem is that once a structural crack opens, there are two separated slabs of pavement constantly moving back and forth. This expansion and contraction happens daily, depending on temperatures, moisture, and other environmental conditions. That being said, cracks that have been filled may open within days, weeks, months, or years of application.

Pourable Tennis Court Crack Filler
Pourable Tennis Court Crack Filler

Even though we offer some elastomeric acrylic crack fillers, the degree of movement in the crack determines how long the product can perform before breaking open or pulling away from one side of the crack. Frequency of moisture, freeze-thaw, and various climate conditions are other factors that play a role in longevity of crack fillers and repair.

Crack filling is a maintenance role. The best way to maintain a tennis court crack is to fill it whenever you see it open. A good rule of thumb is to check the court(s) over in the spring and early fall (when temperatures are not getting below 50°F or 10°C) and perform necessary crack filling to extend the life of the facility. Many sport surfacing contractors also offer maintenance programs, where they make spring and fall visits annually, and advise court owners of needed crack repairs, resurfacing, or other issues.

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Does My Tennis Court Need Acrylic Resurfacer?

Acrylic Resurfacer is a product that is commonly used when resurfacing tennis courts and other sport surfaces. All major manufacturers of acrylic sport surfaces produce this product and recommend using it on both new and existing court surfaces. Even though many installers think of Acrylic Resurfacer as a primer, it serves specific purposes not entirely related to good adhesion.

First of all, Acrylic Resurfacer is a filler coat.  It is designed to suspend large amounts of silica sand for the purpose of filling minor voids in the surface.  Asphalt is a common pavement used for tennis court construction.  Mostly comprised of asphalt binder and rock, asphalt can exhibit a wide variety of porosity from one location to another.  Many factors can influence the pavement porosity, from available regional and local sources of aggregate to project specifications.  Acrylic Resurfacer can fill the surface voids to produce a tight surface without voids and pits that show through the pigmented surface layers.  If the surface voids are not properly filled, they can lead to some of the following problems:

  • Pitting on the playing surface
  • Surface pinholes that are created from air in the voids during application of tennis court color coatings
  • Poor coverage rate on the pigmented surface coatings

Secondly, Acrylic Resurfacer creates or restores texture to the surface prior to application of the colored surface coatings.  Existing acrylic sport surfaces tend to become smooth with years of wear.  The fine silica sand that was in the coating eventually rolls out and the acrylic color surface becomes polished and smooth.  The resurfacer uses an angular sand to create a sandpaper-like texture to better accept the color coating layers.  The colored tennis court surfaces contain a very fine, rounded sand to minimize surface streaking and application marks.  If resurfacer is not applied to create proper texture, the color coating can be applied too thin by the application squeegee.  An example for comparison would be cleaning a glass window with a squeegee.  Since the window is very smooth, the liquid glass cleaner is wiped almost completely off.  If there is no texture on a tennis court, the surface coatings will not be applied in an adequate thickness.  This will minimize film solids and shorten the life of the court surfacing system.

With its heavy body, one or more coats of Acrylic Resurfacer can also be used for shimming rough surface repairs, and hiding patches from depression or crack repairs.  After application, resurfacer dries to a firm, hard film and can be scraped and sanded prior to application of the acrylic color surfacing coats.

Finally, the only situation where Acrylic Resurfacer is not required is when you have an existing acrylic surface with adequate texture.  This occurs when the courts have been properly maintained and resurfaced before the original texture is lost.  Visit SportMaster for a tennis court maintenance manual and for further care instructions on extending the life of the sport surfacing system.