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Tennis Court Maintenance: The Dos and Don’ts

This is the time of year when essential tennis court maintenance needs to be carried out, in preparation for the summer.

Normally, the tennis season would be in full swing by now and we would be looking forward to Wimbledon at the end of June. However, due to the coronavirus lockdown, all of this summer’s sporting events have been postponed until a later date.

The good news is that the government has relaxed some of the restrictions, so finally, we’re able to look forward to a game of tennis again.

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Coronavirus guidelines

The Lawn Tennis Association has clarified the government’s latest strategy in relation to playing sports, which came into force in England on 1st June. Small group tennis coaching for up to six people, including the coach, can now resume.

In addition, players from different households can play doubles together, but they must observe social distancing and stay two metres apart from each other where possible. The guidelines are part of the government’s strategy for the phased return of outdoor sport and recreational activities.

As a result, the LTA has had further discussions with health chiefs to develop an updated list of guidelines, which it’s distributing to tennis coaches, court operators and players to enable tennis to be played again this month.

Now that playing tennis is no longer outlawed, tennis clubs, coaches and individuals with a court at home should be looking to having it maintained, as it may have been out of action for some time. Read on for some tips to create the perfect tennis court conditions.

Tennis court cleaning

It’s important to look after your court properly, not only for the safety of the players, but also to ensure you can enjoy a good game on a decent surface. A court that isn’t clean can create all kinds of issues.

For example, in shaded corners in particular, fungus and mould can gather, due to decaying foliage or foreign matter, such as spilled food and drink. This can damage the playing surface and cause slips.

Tennis court cleaning is a crucial part of your pre-season preparation. Eliminating dirt, debris, moss and algae is a must for a safe and playable court.

It’s important that the cleaning methods are thorough, while remaining sensitive to the tennis court’s needs. It’s easy to damage the court’s surface if the wrong cleaning equipment is used. Never use a broom with hard bristles to scrub the court – a sweeping brush with soft bristles is sufficient.

When you employ the professional services of Dragon Courts to maintain your tennis court, we use a Thor pressure washer for precise and powerful results. We always carry out a patch test first to ascertain the best water pressure for each court.

Drainage

A common issue on outdoor tennis courts is drainage. You need a first-class drainage system to ensure no excess water is left lying on the surface. It should divert water away from the court and underneath the ground.

To make sure it’s always fully functional, have the court’s drainage system inspected from time to time. Check for any obvious damage to the pipes or surrounding equipment. Clear away debris, such as vegetation, which might be blocking the drains.

The English summer normally has its fair share of rain. While the water can help clean the court’s surface, if it doesn’t drain away properly, it has the opposite effect, permitting standing water to accumulate dirt. If it’s allowed to dry out, rather than sweeping it away, this can leave debris on the surface, creating a sandpaper-like feel.

Never leave pools of water to sit on the court – have your drainage upgraded, or at the very least, make sure the standing water is swept away, to avoid damaging the playing surface.

Vegetation

Tennis courts can be both functional and visually appealing. When landscaping an outdoor court, if you have grass and other vegetation in the adjacent area, it must be kept away from the edge of the court. Keep the grass well-trimmed and make sure bushes and foliage are pruned and not planted directly next to the playing surface.

Don’t use products such as weed-killer, insect-control sprays, fertiliser or any other chemicals near the court, as they could damage the surface. Never over-water plants around the court, as excess moisture can build up and may infiltrate on to the playing surface.

Repairs

If your tennis court shows any signs of damage, you should call a professional company to take a look. Once the damage has been done, no matter how well the court is constructed, it must be repaired properly.

Common problems are an uneven surface with dips, or even cracks, on the tarmac and concrete base of the court, due to factors such as the growth of tree roots, ground movement and sinking. Your court should be inspected every spring by a court maintenance professional to evaluate its condition. Once the first major maintenance session of the season has taken place, you should have it maintained once a month to keep it in tip-top shape.

To avoid damage that may need repairing at a future date, treat your court properly. All players should wear the correct non-marking tennis shoes, while no food, chewing gum or drinks (apart from water) should be allowed on court.

Fix benches and any permanent equipment to the ground properly, to ensure they aren’t accidentally pushed on to the court.

Tennis court painting

After the playing surface has been cleaned and maintained, tennis court painting is the next step.

The majority of tennis courts are coated with a special coloured paint with non-slip properties. This creates a bright and appealing surface, while delivering more bounce and ball control.

Dragon Courts carries out tennis court painting using a coloured coating to apply a protective layer to the tarmacadam. This ensures safer playing conditions.

Tennis court lining

A standard tennis court is usually white-lined, with a line width of 50mm. Dragon Courts’ tennis court lining services use top-quality paints with slip-resistant and anti-glare properties.

Our paints are durable and will withstand the challenges of action-packed games and the weather. Our team of experts will paint the tennis court markings accurately and by hand to ensure a precision finish.

To contact Dragon Courts and find out more about our tennis court maintenance services, give us a call on 01572 770404, or use our handy online contact form.

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