Whether you are looking to maintain a private court, a community outdoor court or an indoor sports centre court, we often find that little consideration is put into the cleaning of a tennis court – until the job becomes overdue and necessary for safe play.

Tennis courts are made of all manner of materials, including tarmac, astroturf and clay among other surfaces. While all three of these need to be regularly brushed to avoid build-up of dust around the net and player sections of the court, putting them through a thorough clean is part of ensuring the court remains as hazard-free as possible.

Why is it particularly important to clean tarmac courts?

While both astroturf and clay are covered surfaces with a solid block finish, tarmac is designed through the moulding together of millions of pieces of broken stone combined together with tar to create that really solid and textured surface that is recognisable from roads and pavements as well as tennis courts.

One of the more durable court surface solutions, tarmac may be able to withstand all conditions but it is also subject to the growth of algae and moss; all of which can grow and set between the cracks and gaps in the tarmac, and can quickly become slippery and hazardous to players.

The solution? To keep them clean!

Soft washing a tarmac court

When it comes to the cleaning of a tarmac court, a soft wash is an ideal treatment not only removing the algae build-up but in tackling the issue from its roots – ensuring that it does not grow back again anytime soon.

Soft washing your tarmac tennis court should follow these steps:

1. Do a thorough examination of the court and ascertain where the largest build-up of algae and moss is. You will likely find that this is around the net and the edge of the court, where footfall is more sporadic.

2. Go over the court with a broom or scraper to rid the surface of the worst and thickest growth.

3. Spray the surface using professional soft wash equipment (either hired, purchased for yourself, or using the help of a professional cleaner).

4. Ensure the worst affected areas are completely saturated to maximise the effectiveness and the length of time treatment will last.

5. You will likely find that the initial treatment requires a strong solution, whereas, for ongoing maintenance, you can drop the solution to water ratio as per the instructions on your chosen soft wash container.

If you have a pressure washer at your disposal, using the power of a strong jet of water to first remove as much as possible from the tarmac can be a good starting point before you move into the soft wash process, though care should – as always – be taken to ensure you follow safety procedures both for yourself and for the protection of your court surface.

The other alternative, as mentioned above, is to engage the services of a professional cleaning company who can ensure your court is safe to play on through an efficient service which includes removal of all debris and algae cleared from the court.