As the summer draws to an end, fall and winter are fast approaching and, just like your home, your tennis court will be in need of some extra care to prepare for these harsher seasons. The key to getting the most out of your tennis court in the spring and summer seasons is exercising careful maintenance in the off-seasons. Fall and winter bring leaves, debris, snow, ice, and wind. All of these can impact the quality of your tennis court if it is not properly protected and prepared. Your tennis court will last longer, look nicer, and perform better when cared for properly. The professionals at Tennis Court Supply have prepared this list of tips to make sure your courts are ready for fall:
1. Keep The Court(s) Clean and Dry
It is very important to keep your court clean and dry, so sweeping up leaves and debris is essential. Tennis courts are highly vulnerable to damage from elongated exposure to trapped moisture. Leaving natural debris like leaves, weeds, and soil, as well as unnatural debris like trash or paper, can trap moisture over time, causing damage and requiring your court to be recolored or even completely re-done. When cleaning your tennis court, it is important to only use a soft-nylon or hair-like style broom. Brooms with harder bristles can damage the textured color surface of the court. This kind of damage can lead to an inconsistent ball bounce down the line during play.
2. Clean Previous Stains
Over the course of the previous spring and summer, stains will likely have built up over time. It is critical that these stains be cleaned as thoroughly as possible before the winter rolls around. These stains can be much more difficult to clean in the winter and if large snowstorms come through causing snow to sit on the surface for multiple days or weeks, it can risk these temporary stains becoming permanent. Once again, use a soft-bristled brush and a court-safe cleaning solution to remove the stains. The stain can then be buffed away with a garden hose. It is important that you do NOT utilize a power washer as it can likely be damaging to the surface of the court. Most importantly, do not give mold or moss the chance to rear its ugly head. Be vigilant of areas like the corners of the court where this can build up and be overlooked.
3. Inspect and Blow Out Sprinkler Systems
Sprinkler heads should be detached and stored away indoors for the fall and winter seasons. If you have a pressurized sprinkler system, it will need to be shut down and all of the water should be blown out before anything has a chance to freeze and damage the system. Additionally, risers should be capped and drain plugs should be pulled so the court can drain. If you have a HyrdoCourt system, the float valves will need to be removed and stored indoors as well.
4. Inspect Drain Systems
Drainage systems are an important element to your tennis court design because, as stated earlier, it is essential that the surface remains in a dry, suitable condition to play. Trapped moisture and water collection both on the surface and underneath the court can cause major and expensive problems if not taken care of quickly. Making sure your drainage system is efficient and in proper working order will keep water diverted away from the court. It is also important to have the system inspected every so often to ensure that no debris or other materials are blocking the drains and causing any flooding or other damage to the court.
5. Fill Any Cracks
This is an important step to prevent water from entering and freezing in the cracks, which will cause them to expand and make them worse during freezing and thawing cycles. This is a step in which hiring a professional would be beneficial. Having a professional come to the court to perform this maintenance will guarantee that the proper filling material is utilized and that the cracks are cleaned, filled, and repaired correctly. Tennis Court Supply also carries crack filler if you decide to do this step yourself.
6. Use a Court Cover
Like sweeping and debris collection, using a court cover is an easy way to keep your court free of leaves, rocks, water, etc. This is yet another way to keep moisture from getting trapped and causing discoloration and other damage to the court while it is not in use during the fall and winter seasons. Covers are especially helpful for a clay court, as they help to minimize the amount of clay loss that can happen in the off-seasons.
7. Take Down the Net
During the off-season, if no one will be playing on your court, it is recommended to take all court equipment down, take inventory, and store it indoors. When stored, make sure the tennis net is in a dry place and placed in an area that cannot be accessed by rodents that may chew up and damage the net. This step will help to ensure the longevity of the tennis net and keep you from having to replace it frequently. On this note, when the net comes down, it should be inspected for any damage it may already have and you should make any necessary repairs if it can be done. If the damage is too great, the net should be disposed of and replaced. The tennis court should look as clean and put together as possible, so a new net is recommended if your current one has a significant amount of wear and tear.
If you do plan to play on the court during the off-season, and you want to leave the net up, it is recommended that you at least lower the net significantly, so it is under less pressure. Then the net can easily be raised when you are ready to play.
8. Windscreen Removal
Some tennis court owners install windscreens to reduce noise/distractions, reduce wind, and provide a bit of shade. Along with the net, these should also be taken down in the winter months if the court will not be used. The stronger winter winds could cause structural damage if they are left up. Like the net, the windscreen should be stored indoors to be protected from winter weather elements and to avoid wear and tear. These easy steps will help ensure that your tennis courts stay in the best shape year-round. No matter what kind of tennis supplies you need, shop Tennis Court Supply for great prices, quality products, and friendly customer service.