One of the most common problems seen with asphalt and concrete tennis courts is surface cracking. There are many causes for pavement cracks from improper construction to oxidation and ground movement. Once pavement begins to crack, it becomes a maintenance issue. Permanent crack repair has not been perfected yet, but there are some good products and methods to maintain them and slow down the degradation.
Why should you fill the cracks?
When cracks appear in the court surface, water can drain into the crack and loosen the base materials. This can speed up the growth of the crack or result in bigger problems. Also, excessive water that penetrates the surface cracking can freeze and expand to create more cracking.
Hard tennis court surfaces are acrylic based. When filling the cracks, make sure to always use an acrylic crack sealant that is compatible with the surfacing materials. Asphalt based, also known as “rubberized” crack fillers, should not be used with acrylic tennis court coatings. While asphalt based crack fillers may be good at sealing the crack, acrylic coatings will not adhere to them for very long. The beautiful court surface will soon have black lines all over where the color coatings release.
If your court is located in an area that has freezing temperatures or expansive soils, you may want to look for an elastomeric tennis court crack filler. These products are flexible and can stretch with the expanding and contracting cracks or joints. Some manufacturers also make acrylic crack fillers in common colors or neutral, tintable formulas. This way you do not have to resurface the entire court to hide the crack repair if it is not necessary.
Some minor tennis court repairs can be performed by do-it-yourselfers. However, extensive damage or cracks with heaving should be repaired by a professional sport surfacing contractor. If you need assistance locating a qualified applicator near you, contact a manufacturer of sport surfaces for contractor referrals.