Court Maintenance Guidelines


Congrats on your new tennis court!  You have chosen the surface, fence system, shade shelter and lighting system for your new court.  The court was built to your specifications and you have outfitted your new facility with the coolest accessories and purchased the equipment needed to maintain it.  You have begun to enjoy playing on your new court.  Suddenly you realize – Hey, I need to take care of this new asset!

We have put together court maintenance guidelines for the major types of tennis courts so that you know the tasks that will need to completed on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis to keep your court in top playing shape.  We have also put together a comprehensive operating and capital budgeting guide to help you understand the costs of lifetime ownership.  Simply click on the type of court surface you have below to see the corresponding maintenance guidelines.  Note that if you want to see any of the court equipment discussed in this section in use, click on the video tab on any product!






  1. Har-Tru (clay) Tennis Court with sprinkler irrigation system
  2. Har-Tru (clay) Tennis Court with subsurface irrigation systems (FDC HydroCourt, Hydrogrid)
  3. ClayTech Tennis Court
  4. Hard Tennis Court (Asphalt/Concrete) with cushion systems or standard acrylic paint

 


 


1. Maintenance Guidelines - Har-Tru (clay) Courts with Sprinkler Irrigation Systems

Daily Maintenance

Brush the court after play to redistribute the loose top dressing material and smooth it out. Brushing also dries the court out so it should only be done just prior to watering or if your court is too wet.  We recommend the following products for daily grooming of a sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) court:


After grooming, clean the line tapes using a line broom


After lining, water the court thoroughly and uniformly.  Water keeps a court firm and stable and ensures proper traction.  Watering should take place as needed to keep court conditions optimal.  At most facilities watering is done overnight and once during the middle of the day.  Whatever the schedule, it should be designed to provide the court with enough water to keep it playing well until the next watering cycle.  We carry a variety of sprinkler heads to keep your court in top condition


After watering your sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) court, roll the court as needed.  Rolling a court will make it firmer and faster.  It also helps prevent too much loose top dressing material from building up on the court surface.  Rolling is particularly important for tennis courts coming out of the winter in a freeze/thaw environment and should happen daily in this setting until the court reaches an optimal compaction.  Subsequent rolling can be done as needed to achieve desired playing conditions. Rolling is most effective in the morning when a court has moisture in it.


As Needed Maintenance

Agitating/Scarifying

Sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts may develop hard areas on the court perimeter, around the net post and along the net line – areas that are not hit with a drag broom in daily grooming.  The following tools are good options for eliminating these hard areas

Patching

Sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts will develop depressions or low areas over time in certain high play areas (baselines, service boxes).  These depressions/low areas will be evident because water will stand in these areas after a heavy rain.  Running a string line over the court will also highlight low areas.  These low areas will need to be patched.  To patch a low area, follow these steps:

Scarify the low area with a Lute/Scarifier or other scarifying equipment to rough up the surface, as this will help the new Har-Tru material bind and adhere to the existing court

Spread new Har-Tru clay court material into the low area

Level Har-Tru material with the straight-edge of a ladder, flat side of a 48” Lute/Scarifier or raised edge of a drag broom

Hand water the patch with a hose and roll the low area with a Hand Roller, Tow Roller or Power Roller

You may need to repeat the process if the low area is particularly deep

 

Top Dressing

Sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts will lose material over time due to the effects of wind, rain, and play.  Sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts in most regions of the country will lose +/- 2 tons per year (50, 80 lb. bags).  Sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts in Florida will lose +/- 3-4 tons per year (75-100, 80 lb. bags), due to more rain and year round play.  In order to properly maintain a sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) court, they must be top dressed on an annual basis.  To top dress, follow these steps:

Remove and dispose of the line tapes and nails

Use the straight edge of a Lute/Scarifier to scrape the loose Har-Tru clay granules (“dead” material) into piles and remove from the court using a flat shovel


Scarify the entire court surface using a 4’ Mini Tow Scarifier, Court Devil or X-Sled Scarifier

Patch low areas (see Patching section above)

Apply Har-Tru court surfacing material using a spreader

Level the new Har-Tru court surfacing material using the flat edge of a ladder

Hand water and roll the court

Top Dressing Tips

You can either top dress using a small amount of material (12 bags per court) multiple times per year or top dress using a large amount of material (75-100 bags per court) once per year.  If you plan to add more than 25, 80 lb. bags at one time, you may also need to remove and replace the line tapes, as more than 25, 80 lb. bags may bury the lines.

Long-Term Maintenance and Upkeep

Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts require 1" of Har-Tru surface material for optimum playability, court stability and moisture retention.  For this reason, all new sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru tennis court are built with +/- 40 tons (1,000, 80 lb. bags) of Har-Tru surfacing material.  Each new Har-Tru tennis court is also built with a 1" in 30' slope to ensure adequate rainwater drainage.  This means that a new single court will slope 4" (if it is sloped from end-to-end) or 2" (if it is sloped side-to-side).

Rain, wind and play over time will cause Har-Tru material to wash off the court and to migrate (or "shift") from the high side of the court to the low side of the court.  Over time, your Har-Tru tennis court will lose the ideal surface depth of 1" and the slope of the court will begin to "flatten out".  These changes will cause the court to shift under rolling, shift under play and drain poorly, resulting in less than optimum (possibly even dangerous) playing conditions.  Consequently, sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru clay courts should receive a "laser-tapered" resurfacing every 5 years or so.

In a laser-tapered resurfacing, laser guided grading equipment is used to remove excess material at the low end of the court and add new material at the high end of the court to restore the proper court slope.  Our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc., was one of the first companies in the United States to utilize this revolutionary technique to restore Har-Tru courts to a like-new condition.

If you are interested in hiring a contractor to perform a laser-tapered resurfacing on your sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (Clay) tennis court, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.  We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:

www.fast-dry.com

 


 

 

2. Maintenance Guidelines - Har-Tru (clay) Courts with Subsurface Irrigation Systems

Daily Maintenance

Groom the court after play to smooth out and level the surface material.  The best tool to groom your subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis court each day depends on the age and maturity of the court.  New or newly resurfaced courts require a less aggressive grooming tool as the new Har-Tru material needs to firm up.  Mature courts require a more aggressive grooming tool to ensure the court is agitated to inhibit hardness and the growth of algae and fungus.  We recommend the following tools for daily grooming:

New or Newly Resurfaced Courts

Mature Courts (Varies, but typically 4+ weeks after construction or resurfacing)


After grooming, clean the line tapes using a line broom.  We recommend the following tools for daily line brooming:

 

As Needed Maintenance

Agitating/Scarifying

Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts have a tendency to become firm over time due to the high moisture content of the courts.  The daily use of a Gator Rake or Classic Court Rake for grooming will minimize this issue in the court area.  However, you still have to address the areas on the court perimeter that are not reached in daily grooming.  The following tools are good options for agitating and scarifying hard areas on the court perimeter, around the net posts and along the net line:

Patching

Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts will develop depressions or low areas over time in certain high play areas (baselines, service boxes).  These depressions/low areas will be evident because water will stand in these areas after a heavy rain.  Running a string line over the court will also highlight low areas.  These low areas will need to be patched.  To patch a low area, follow these steps:

Scarify the low area with a Lute to rough up the surface, as this will help the new HydroBlend material bind and adhere to the existing court.  The following tools are good options

Spread new HydroBlend clay court material into the low area

Level HydroBlend material with the straight-edge of a ladder, flat side of a 48” Lute/Scarifier or raised edge of a drag broom


Hand water the patch with a hose and roll the low area with a Hand Roller, Tow Roller or Power Roller. You may need to repeat the process if the low area is particularly deep.


Rolling

Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts rarely need to be rolled, primarily because the high moisture content keeps them firm and compact.  However, the entire court should be rolled after a top-dressing until it is firm and playable.  The line tapes should also be rolled periodically if they start to get high in relation to the surrounding surface.

Top Dressing

Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts lose much less material on an annual basis than sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts.  However, subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts will lose material over time due to the effects of wind, rain, and play.  Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) courts in most regions of the country will lose +/- 1 ton per year (25, 80 lb. bags).  Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts in Florida will lose +/- 2 tons per year (50, 80 lb. bags), due to more rain and year round play.  In order to properly maintain a subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) court, they must be top dressed on an annual basis.  To top dress, follow these steps:

Remove and dispose of the line tapes and nails

Use the straight edge of a Lute/Scarifier to scrape the loose Har-Tru clay granules (“dead” material) into piles and remove from the court using a flat shovel

Scarify the entire court surface using a 4’ Mini Tow Scarifier, Court Devil or X-Sled Scarifier

Patch low areas (see Patching section above)

Apply HydroBlend court surfacing material using a spreader

Level the new HydroBlend court surfacing material using the flat edge of a ladder

Hand water and roll the court

Top Dressing Tips

You can either top dress using a small amount of material (8 bags per court) multiple times per year or top dress using a large amount of material (50 bags per court) once per year.  If you plan to add more than 25, 80 lb. bags at one time, you may also need to remove and replace the line tapes, as more than 25, 80 lb. bags may bury the lines.

Coarse Blend Material

Subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts generate a smaller quantity of large particles that provide the sliding material on the top of a sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru (clay) tennis court.  In order to replicate the sliding surface and playability of sprinkler irrigated Har-Tru courts, Coarse Blend surfacing material was developed   Coarse Blend is available in 80 lb. bags and includes only larger granules of Har-Tru surfacing material.  It can be spread in small quantities on top of subsurface irrigated courts to provide some "sliding" top surface.

Long-Term Maintenance and Upkeep

Har-Tru (clay) tennis courts require 1" of Har-Tru surface material for optimum playability, court stability and moisture retention.  For this reason, all new subsurface-irrigated FDC HydroCourts are built with +/- 40 tons (1,000, 80 lb. bags) of HydroBlend surfacing material.  Each new FDC HydroCourt is also built with a 1" in 30' slope to ensure adequate rainwater drainage.  This means that a new single court will slope 4" (if it is sloped from end-to-end) or 2" (if it is sloped side-to-side).

Rain, wind and play over time will cause HydroBlend material to wash off the court and to migrate (or "shift") from the high side of the court to the low side of the court.  Over time, your FDC HydroCourt will lose the ideal surface depth of 1" and the slope of the court will begin to "flatten out".  These changes will cause the court to shift under rolling, shift under play and drain poorly, resulting in less than optimum (possibly even dangerous) playing conditions.  Consequently, subsurface-irrigated FDC HydroCourts should receive a "laser-tapered" resurfacing every 7-8 years.

In a laser-tapered resurfacing, laser guided grading equipment is used to remove excess material at the low end of the court and add new material at the high end of the court to restore the proper court slope.  Our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc., was one of the first companies in the United States to utilize this revolutionary technique to restore FDC HydroCourts courts to a like-new condition.

If you are interested in hiring a contractor to perform a laser-tapered resurfacing on your subsurface irrigated Har-Tru (Clay) tennis court, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.  We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:

www.fast-dry.com




3. Maintenance Guidelines – ClayTech Tennis Court

Daily Maintenance

The beautiful thing about a ClayTech tennis court is that it requires very little maintenance – just brush and water as desired.  Brushing helps redistribute the top dressing material across the court surface. When wet, brushing will help lift more of the loose top dressing out of the fibers and dry the court out. Brushing can be done as needed before or after play.  We recommend the following products for daily grooming of a ClayTech tennis court:

After grooming, clean the line tapes using a line broom

You do not have to water a ClayTech court.  However, water will keep the court a rich dark color and will help keep the court cooler.  Watering can be done just prior to or even during play as desired.  We carry a variety of sprinkler heads to keep your court in top condition:

As Needed Maintenance

As needed maintenance on a ClayTech court addresses court changes that occur over time.  These should include the addition of material where needed (we recommend keeping the court filled to the top of the membrane to prevent accelerated wear), the elimination of growth around the perimeter of the court, and the clearing of drainage channels.

Long-Term Maintenance and Upkeep

ClayTech tennis courts do not require much in terms of long-term maintenance and upkeep.  The lines should be inspected and painted or refreshed as necessary.  New HydroBlend and/or Coarse Blend should be added as needed.  We recommend keeping the court filled to the top of the membrane with HydroBlend to prevent accelerated wear.

If you are interested in hiring a contractor to perform a reconditioning of your ClayTech tennis court, we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.  We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:

www.fast-dry.com

 

 


 

4. Maintenance Guidelines - Hard Tennis Court (Asphalt/Concrete) with cushion systems or standard acrylic paint

Daily Maintenance

There is no daily maintenance required for hard tennis courts (asphalt or concrete).  If you are really detail oriented, you could brush leaves and debris off the court on a daily basis!

As Needed Maintenance

Sweeping& Water Removal

A hard tennis court should be swept clean of any dirt of debris on a weekly basis.  Leafs, twigs and plant material left on the court may stain the court and can also result in a tripping or slipping hazard.  If you want to play shortly after a rain, you should also have a water removal unit on hand.  We recommend the following products for sweeping and removing water on your hard tennis court:

Pressure Cleaning

A hard tennis court should be pressure cleaned every 1-2 years to remove built up mildew, dirt etc.

Long-Term Maintenance and Upkeep 

Resurfacing

Hard tennis courts (asphalt/concrete) should be resurfaced every 4-5 years.  Resurfacing consists of the following steps: 

  • Crack repair, which can entail filling in cracks or installing a fiberglass membrane over the cracks
  • Patching of low areas and depressions that hold water
  • Application of acrylic resurfacer to cover minor imperfections in the surface
  • Application of cushion materials, if required
  • Application of acrylic court paint
  • Application of acrylic line paint and line sealer

10-S Tennis Supply stocks all of these resurfacing products and can ship them directly to you if you are interested in completing the project yourself.  If you are interested in a written estimate, including shipping, please complete this form.

If you are interested in hiring a contractor to perform a reconditioning of your hard tennis court (asphalt/concrete), we strongly recommend our sister company, Fast-Dry Courts, Inc.  We have included helpful links to the Fast-Dry Courts, Inc. website and information request form here:

www.fast-dry.com