Artificial Grass Tennis Court Maintenance
Artificial grass court maintenance explained
Thinking about getting artificial grass courts installed at your club? Not sure how time consuming the maintenance really will be? Read on to learn all you need to know about artificial grass tennis court maintenance and how to increase your court’s lifespan.
Artificial grass has become the second most popular tennis court surface after macadam hard courts. We now have around 6,000 artificial grass tennis courts around the UK. Artificial grass is popular with tennis players as it makes for a beautiful playing surface that is kind to players' joints. You can play on artificial grass all year round and it is low maintenance. But some court maintenance is necessary to keep your new playing surface at its best for longer.
Why do you need to maintain?
An artificial grass court is a short pile carpet material with a sand infill. The infill keeps the pile fibres upright and protects them from damage. When you play on the surface, two things happen: first, the infill gets compacted and may shift around, and second, the carpet pile gets matted down. As a result, the surface will harden causing reduced water permeability and permanent damage to the pile.
Regular artificial grass tennis court maintenance should:
- keep the carpet pile upright
- clean the court surface
- keep the sand infill evenly distributed
Your most important maintenance task is regular court brushing. With the right brush you can lift the carpet pile and at the same time evenly distribute the infill. You will need to brush areas with higher wear, for example along the base line, more than less worn areas.
For best result, brush your court when it is dry and always brush in all directions.
Manual brushing is best done with a specifically designed drag broom such as our ARTIFICIAL TURF broom. Clever design features include semicircular spacers on each side of the brush head to prevent it from being caught in the tennis net or court fence. Two galvanised 800gr weights provide for the necessary weight to make brushing efficient. Keep the brush handy on court with fence hooks to encourage regular use.
As a rule of thumb, you should brush your court after every 10 hours of play.
Your installer will be able to advise you on options to power brush or intensive brush your court. Depending on how much your courts are being used, your installer may recommend this once or twice annually. In this process, a heavy duty drag brush or rotating cylinder brush is mounted to the front or rear of a tractor. We recommend commissioning your installer with this type of annual machine brushing. Tractor wheels and the tractor weight can easily damage the sensitive court surface if it is not carried out professionally.
Keep your court surface clean
Regularly cleaning of the surface of an artificial grass court is just as important as brushing it. You have to avoid organic matter building up, breaking down and rotting or you will see moss and algae growth. It can also lead to reduced water permeability of your court.
You can clean your court as you brush it. Alternatively, some people prefer to first clean and then brush. In this case, we recommend our CLEANSWEAP drag mat or alternatively our RUBBER RAKE to clean your court from litter and leaves etc.
An easy way to help keep the surface clean is by installing shoe brush trays at each court entry point. Tennis Court Supplies offer a choice of shoe brush trays from either WOOD or PVC.
How about the infill?
A regular brushing regime as described above will keep the infill evenly distributed. However, you may also want to keep an eye on the infill depth. Check with your installer for their recommendation as to the ideal depth of infill for your court surface. Areas with intense play could show signs of reduced or compressed infill and may need to be topped up.
6-8 weeks after installation the surface still will settle and stabilise. Therefore, pay more attention to the infill level in this period.
Avoiding surface damage
Prevention is better than cure. Preventing surface damage will contribute to its longevity. Most damage to artificial grass court surfaces is caused by:
- players wearing inadequate shoes
- activities for which the court is not designed
- wheel damage from prams, shopping trolleys, skateboards etc
- heat like fires or fireworks
Artificial turf must never get into contact with petroleum-based liquids. If you use a petrol powered leaf blower to clean the court, always refuel it off-site to avoid spillage damage.
Artificial grass tennis court maintenance is straight forward if you have the right equipment.
A regular regime that focuses on manual brushing will keep the court clean and prevent damage. In addition you might want to book an annual overhaul with your installer.
If your club has synthetic clay courts, you might be interested in reading our article on artificial clay court maintenance.