More than 12 million Americans play tennis and several million play pickleball.
While those players make up a mere 4% of the U.S. population, they are a dedicated group. Many avid tennis and pickleball players participate in weekly games and belong to leagues.
With all that activity, those sport courts are going to take a beating. Over time, sport courts get cracks that need maintenance. How do you make repairs and fill court cracks, you ask?
Luckily, you've come to the right place. Read on to learn how to fill cracks on your pickleball or tennis court and get back to the game.
Why is it Important to Fill Cracks on a Pickleball Court?
While there are a variety of tennis court surfaces—clay, grass, hard, and carpet—hard courts are the most common and the most affordable. They're also the only type of court that can crack.
Hard courts have a base of asphalt or cement that's coated in acrylic. Unfortunately, asphalt and cement are both susceptible to cracking. In climates where there is a freeze-thaw cycle, the concrete breaks down from the inside as frozen water expands and contracts.
If left untreated, cracks can lead to further deterioration. Over time, water damage or soil erosion can threaten the structural integrity of the court. If you do nothing to address the cracks, you might have to do a total reconstruction of the court.
Cracks on a pickleball court can also be a trip hazard. Tripping can lead to painful injuries, and at the very least, lost points.
General Tips for Repairing Your Court
If you're concerned about new cracks in your court, you may want to contact a court contractor. They can investigate and tell you the cause of the crack, whether it's from wear and tear or a structural issue.
If it's something you can repair yourself, pick a few days when there's no rain in the forecast. Make sure the court is as dry as possible. Water makes it difficult for crack filler to set up correctly.
Also, make sure the air temperature is above 50°F the day you apply the filler and the day after. If it's too cold, the filler might harden too quickly.
Make sure to read the product directions before you begin and follow them to the letter.
How to Prep the Cracked Area
Before you begin your repairs, pull any weeds, moss or grass you see in the crack. Then, use a damp towel to wipe away any dust, gravel, or loose rocks.
If the crack is very deep, you should fill it first with sand or foam backer rod. This will create a better seal for the crack. Plus, you won't need to use as much crack filler.
Choosing the Right Product for the Job
Since cracks in hard courts are practically inevitable, there's a range of pickleballcourt crack fillers on the market. But they're not one-size-fits all. You have to choose the right product for your particular situation.
The right product will depend on the size and location of the crack as well as the surface conditions of your court. Also, there are two types of cracks you could be dealing with—minor surface cracks or serious structural cracks.
Depending on the overall condition of the court, you may still need to get the court resurfaced after you've filled in the cracks.
You should also make sure to pick a filler that matches the color of your court. The most common colors are green, blue, red, and neutral.
- Acrylic Crack Filler - Trowel Application
This type of filler is an acrylic, sand-filled emulsion. TCS Acrylic Crack Filler is ideal for large cracks that are up to 1-inch wide, but it can also cover hairline cracks.
Since there is sand in this type of filler, it can crack again during the freeze-thaw cycle. It isn't as flexible as a rubber-based filler, but it is the most affordable option.
If the crack is deeper than 3/4-inch below the surface, fill the crack with foam backer rod or sand. Then, remove any weeds and wipe down the area with a damp towel to get rid of dirt or dust.
Use a trowel or a putty knife to completely fill the crack with the product. Smooth away any excess and let it dry completely. You can sand the surface once it's dry.
- Acrylic Crack Filler - Pourable Application
This filler is a pourable form of rubberized acrylic. TCS Acrylic Pourable Crack Filler is for small to medium cracks up to 1/2-inch wide.
This is a rubberized filler, which means it stays flexible even in temperatures as cold as -10° degrees C. Unlike sand-filled acrylic, you won't have to worry about this filler cracking due to temperature changes. But, you may need to reapply this liquid filler since it will settle in the crack as it dries.
Pour the acrylic into the crack until it's full, then scrape off any excess with a putty knife or trowel. Then, use a damp towel to clean up any excess around the crack and let it dry. Refill the crack as needed.
- Rubberized Crack Filler - Trowel Application
This filler type is a thick, rubberized form of acrylic that you apply with a trowel. TCS Crack Mastic is for medium cracks of up to 1/2-inch wide. If the crack is more than 1-inch deep, fill it with sand or foam backer rod before applying this product.
It's especially useful in repairing joints in sport courts. Unlike the other options, it's extremely flexible so the product won't crack, but it is the most expensive filler. It sets up like rubber, so it can handle lots of movement and activity.
Use a putty knife or trowel to fill the crack completely. Then, scrape off the extra product to smooth the surface. Make sure to smooth it out because you can't sand it down once it's dry.
Start Repairing Your Pickleball Court Today
If your pickleball or tennis court sees a lot of activity, you'll have to deal with a crack at some point. If you don't deal with it soon, your sport court could deteriorate and a player could get hurt.
At Pickleball Court Supply, we offer the high quality products and equipment you need to play a great game and keep your court in top shape.
If you have any questions about our products, don't hesitate to contact us today!