| By Kevin J. Healion

Closing court for the winter
Winterizing a hard court for the winter months is important. Special attention should be given to windscreens, which are attached to the fence system on your tennis court. The winter months bring severe winds which may not only damage your windscreens, but can also do costly damage to framing and fence fabric. Windscreens should be removed in fall months as a precaution.

Tennis nets should be lowered to relieve the nets posts of tension. Some players like to play on those occasional nice days in the winter in which the net can be raised fairly easily. Another option would be to take the net down completely and store it inside. This helps the longevity of the net and reduces frequent replacement.
One more important tip for tennis court winterizing is removing leaves and organic debris from the court surface which generally gathers in the corners of the court surface. This will reduce staining and mildew buildup, in addition to keeping the court in a “ready to play” condition.

Tips on hard court maintenance
A well-constructed and well-maintained tennis court will offer years of play. To maximize the life of any type of court, the owner should develop and implement a regular schedule of maintenance. Regular inspection of the court and the repair of minor irregularities are more cost-effective than allowing the court to deteriorate to the point where it requires major repair.

Hard court surfaces are generally considered maintenance free; however, court cleaning may be required from time to time in order to maintain a safe playing surface. “Safe playing surface” refers to the condition of the surface. Conditions such as moss and mildew may cause slippery areas on the court, possibly resulting in personal injury while playing. To remove stains, start with the gentlest treatment, as a soft brush and mild cold water detergent solution may remove the stain. If that doesn’t work, try the same brush with a mild chlorine bleach solution—about one cup of bleach per gallon of water and rinse with hose or light power washing. Power washing is not as easy as it sounds and costly damage to court surface can occur. Hiring a professional may be the best course of action in this case.

Other conditions, such as bumps, cracks and holes, must be addressed prior to tennis play to avoid tripping hazards and serious injury. Contacting a tennis court professional for information on methods and new techniques of repair will help you make these important repair decisions.

Play safe and have a nice winter.
 

Kevin J. Healion, CTCB

<p>Kevin J. Healion, CTCB of Deer Park, N.Y.-based Century Tennis Inc. may be reached by phone at (631) 242-0220 or e-mail <a href="mailto:Kevin@CenturyTennis.com">Kevin@CenturyTennis.com</a>.</p>