Surface Preparation

Give your surface a fighting chance; place the emphasis on the preparation!

Prep work is the foundation for successful performance of any sports surface, especially Tennis Courts. Properly preparing the existing surface (base) before it receives any type of new overlay or even just acrylic paint should be common sense. Surprisingly, many problems arise from this lack of attention to detail. A proper foundation is paramount for building any sort of structure. Most surfacing problems arise from improper base preparation.

Which leads us to the question; what is an acceptable level of preparation? The manual for the American Sports Builders Association will tell you that for asphalt surfacing that filling any birdbaths deeper than the width of a nickel and all cracks with an acceptable blend of a concrete latex patch mix is acceptable. If the cracks are wider than an inch and a half and seem to run all the way through the base; then filling with sand, concrete, and then a latex patch mix is the standard. This is a generally accepted method for crack filling, and once sanded smooth the surface is ready for acrylic. So why should anyone expect anything less than these standards for an overlay system?

A rule of thumb for all overlay systems, ranging from cushioned all weather courts to synthetic grass court, is that abnormalities in the base will reflect through to the surface. Depressions will not be hidden by placing another surface on top, and any gaps left in the existing base may translate either by being cosmetically visible or producing less than standard ball bounce (dead spots). The “prep work” section of a tennis construction proposal just may be the most important part. So, make sure your surface preparation is perfect and give your tennis court a chance to perform as designed.

More information about cracks.

For more information on crack filling read the Opinion Line titled Crack Filling 101 from a 2008 edition of the American Sports Builders Association