Can I use Driveway Filler on my Tennis Court?
The short answer is no. The long answer is also no … and here is why.
There may be – but we are not aware of – driveway filler materials available from local
hardware stores and do-it-yourself centers appropriate for preventative tennis court
maintenance. We do applaud your desire to maintain your facility: Employing proven,
lower-cost preventative maintenance measures before court renovation is required helps
court owners extend the life of their tennis facility investments. But all too often in our
repair and reconstruction work, we encounter courts where, as a cost-savings measure,
driveway or parking lot crack filler materials are used to seal cracks. The use of these
unproven materials on tennis courts causes major problems, because any future coating
work required for the courts will not adhere to these pavement crack-filling products.
This may sound self-serving, but tennis court construction and repair is a highly specialized
field and technological advancements within the field are in constant
change. In these uncertain economic times, many competent pavement and sealcoating
contractors, hungry for work, are promoting tennis court repair and maintenance services.
Though they may have high-levels of expertise in driveway and parking lot sealcoating
and repair, this expertise does not automatically transfer to court maintenance and repair.
There are also less-than-competent pavement and sealcoating contractors, who claim
high-levels of expertise but do not follow fundamentals of good court maintenance and
repair practice. To the detriment of tennis court owners, these companies can and do
promote in the same ways and places competent contractors do.
Sometimes good intentions can go awry. A sealcoating specialist providing pavement
maintenance for a Wisconsin school offered to also provide crackfilling services for the
school’s tennis facility. He used the same black hot-pour – appropriate for his school
parking lot pavement repair services – as crack-sealing material on the school’s tennis
courts. Unfortunately, black hot-pour material does not provide a compatible surface
for court coating adherence, and we cannot find a good way to fix this well-intentioned,
but inappropriate maintenance measure, done in the name of cost-savings. The school is
resigned to living with the error and to investing in more re-coating services than should
be required, until it is time to place new asphalt for full facility reconstruction.
Lesson learned: Employing the services of a tennis court professional always provides
the best return on your tennis facility construction and maintenance investments.