This post will only apply to HarTru type courts that are built in areas that don’t have consistent hard freezes in the winter. For those warm weather courts you may get a random freeze but the effect of that is only temporary and is generally not an issue. For those courts however that do suffer some hard freezes in the winter the courts need a little TLC in the spring. There are some simple things that you can do throughout the winter (if possible) that will help the spring prep work on HarTru courts.
- Try to roll the courts, even if only a couple of times, in the winter when the weather allows. This will help you speed up the compaction of the courts in the spring.
- Take your nets and windscreens down. There is no need to keep your nets up if you aren’t using your courts and the windscreen causes shadows on the court surface making those shadowed areas stay frozen and we. You don’t have to take the windscreen down as you can roll it up and tie it to the fence.
- Drain your irrigation system. This is probably the most important winter/spring prep.
- If you have HydroCourts, drain the control boxes. I have seen cracked control boxes due to heavy freezes in the winter.
- As soon as you see the weather starting to shift into spring it is a good idea to drag and aggravate the court surface. This will help diminish the amount of algae or moss that will quickly start growing.
- If you left your lines down, they will have come up by now so they should be removed. You can use your lines for a couple of seasons but you will need to pull all of the nails out of the lines so if you do want to use the lines again it is probably smarter to pull them as soon as winter starts so you can use the winter months to remove the nails. Throw away any bent or headless nails.
- Finally, do not install your line tapes until you are sure the possibility of freeze is over. If you put your lines down too early, while the courts are still soft the rolling will cause your lines to snake.
All-in-all these little steps can save a week or two of maintenance in the spring and make your life a little easier.