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Archives > September 2013 > Fixing Problem Courts & Base Faults: Overlay with Modular Tile System

Fixing Problem Courts & Base Faults: Overlay with Modular Tile System

Over time, many hard outdoor game courts--asphalt and concrete based--develop problems due to various factors: construction, ground conditions, weather, trees, damage, etc.

By: Fred Jones

These can include cracks, poor drainage, birdbaths, heaving, deterioration of the base, etc. They can be repaired. However, if the court is color coated, new color coats and game lines must also be applied to hide the patches. To do repairs properly can be an expensive proposition in both time and money.

One problem with base repairs is that once the problem occurs, the probability of recurrence is high. Even the best contractors cannot guarantee that the cracks or birdbaths will not reappear.

A modular system consists of interlocking resilient tiles assembled and installed on top of the present hard court. The existing base becomes simply a foundation to support the modular surface. A modular surface is designed to provide the comfort and playability of a soft court with the low maintenance and durability of a hard court.

The tiles themselves are made of resilient yet durable materials and are a raised grid design. The grid pattern provides traction and drainage and is held above the subsurface by hundreds of supporting legs per tile. This design allows for installation over imperfect bases while also allowing rainwater to pass directly through the system and drain off underneath. The tiles are fully color impregnated and treated to fight the effects of time and weather.

Minor base problems will require little or no repair. A good rule of thumb is that if the court is playable as it stands, even with base problems, a modular surface can be installed with only minor base work. However, it is usually advisable to make any desired base repairs prior to installing the modular surface.

If the problems are more substantial, one can make the repairs–cracks filled, birdbaths leveled, net posts repaired, etc.–and then install the modular surface. Any future base work can be addressed as becomes evident.

Resurfacing with a modular tile system may not eliminate the need to repair base problems over time, depending on severity, but it will eliminate the need to recoat with color and/or textured surface every time repairs are made. For any future repairs, a section of the modular overlay can be easily removed, the repair made, and the original modules replaced. There is therefore no change in the court’s appearance.

In addition to solving recurring base problems, installing a modular surface overlay is a very effective way to upgrade a hard court into a comfortable, soft court that does not have the routine maintenance associated with clay types or other artificial turfs.

Another unique feature of the modular surface overlay is that by screening the heat and UV radiation off the base, the recurrence of base problems is reduced or postponed over time. The modular surface itself is fully warranted for up to ten years.

Modular tile systems can be used for almost any outdoor sport: Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Inline and Ball Hockey, Field Hockey, Soccer, Futsal and others. Virtually any color and line pattern can be accommodated, and installation can be done in as little as one day per court. 

 

 

About The Author
Fred Jones

is Vice President of Products and Services at Mateflex, where he’s worked for over 30 years. Incorporated in 1974, Mateflex Corp. is a wholly owned division of the Mele Companies, who recently surpassed 100 years in business; Mateflex has been a member of the American Sports Builders Association for over 35 years.

 

 

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