Munson, Inc. is a commercial and residential fencing and paving company located in Milwaukee, WI. We have been servicing the Greater Milwaukee and surrounding areas since 1955. Our PAVING DIVISION specializes in asphalt and concrete from driveways to large parking lots and from colored and stamped concrete to small trench patching. Our FENCE DIVISON installs industrial chain link fences, gates and operators as well as decorative wrought iron style fence and everything in-between. Combined we have a TENNIS COURT DIVISION that puts all these talents together creating nationally award winning residential and commercial courts.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recommendations for Late Fall Outdoor Tennis Court Maintenance

Implementation of an ongoing program of routine and preventative maintenance is key to getting the best from your tennis court(s).   Our experience since 1955 confirms the primary cause of outdoor tennis court damage is the result of the failure of tennis court owners and tennis facility personnel to remove all dirt and debris (leaves, pine needles and pine cones, paper and plastic bags, grass clippings, fast-food packaging, sticks, and other organic and inorganic materials) from their courts in late fall.

Organic debris such as weeds, leaves, and topsoil, and inorganic debris like paper, pebbles, sand, or plastic, if left on your court for the duration of the winter, will trap moisture between the debris and your court, causing premature failure of your outdoor court color coating (which is highly susceptible to damage from extended exposure to trapped moisture) and requiring court re-coloring.
Poor late fall maintenance practices negatively impact the player experience the following spring, affecting court aesthetics, player visibility and safety, and the pace of play.  Key recommendations for late fall outdoor tennis court maintenance follow:

  • Remove all debris and dirt from the court.
  • Remove nets and store them in a dry, rodent-resistant place (mice love nesting in tennis nets and court windscreens).
  • Tag windscreen locations and inspect, clean, and store the windscreens in a dry, rodent-resistant place.
  • Remove net posts and store.
  • Cover the post-hole sleeves with sleeve caps to protect against debris and moisture infiltration during winter.
  • Fill cracks to minimize opportunities for water entering and expanding the crack during cycles of freezing and thawing.  Don’t use driveway filler or blacktop hot-pour pavement repair materials to fill or seal the cracks (employing the services of a tennis court construction professional will ensure the proper crack filling material is used and the cracks are cleaned, prepared, and filled correctly).


Don't minimize the inportance of bullet point three above.

Strong fall winds can create sail-like resistance on attached windscreens, resulting in early and costly windscreen failure.  More costly still: Strong fall winds blowing against left-in-place windscreens create significant force and are a key reason for structural damage to tennis court fencing.

For clay courts, we recommend placing a court cover over the court in late fall to minimize the amount of clay loss.  The cover should remain in place until the start of the 2013 outdoor season.  [But never cover a color-coated hard (asphalt or concrete) court, as doing so increase the chances of moisture damage to your court color-coating system.]
First Measurable Snowfall … and Other Cold-Weather Considerations
The first measurable snowfall in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois often comes in late fall, sometimes before Halloween.  If you look to extend the outdoor season beyond the first measurable snowfall, use only a soft-nylon or hair-type broom for snow removal.  Hard-bristle brooms can damage your court’ s textured color surface, creating overly fast, inconsistent ball bounce.  Do not use snow shovels or mechanical snow removal equipment on your tennis court and never flood your court in winter for use as an ice rink.
Ice and snow build-up can cause windscreen fabric to deteriorate quickly limiting windscreen service life.  Saturated windscreens can freeze quickly and contribute to fence failures during winter storms or high winds.  As noted above, the cost to tag windscreen locations and inspect, clean, and store windscreens is minimal compared to replacing windscreens or undertaking fence repair or replacement.
A post-season tennis court maintenance checklist (one page), developed through a joint effort of the United States Tennis Association and the American Sports Builders Association, is available in PDF format at the link below:


Enjoy your post-season,

      Your Tennis Group at Munson, Inc



  1. After reading this post, I thought all those beautiful and classy fences are all natural wood. This type of alternative fencing material can really help save our environment.

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  2. It is really a great post about Outdoor Tennis Court Maintenance i appreciate your work for placing this useful stuff here.
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  3. Oh yes!! This was the thing I was searching for, pretty great…. tennis court maintenance

  4. Does any one know if frost of snow can damage the nets themselves if left up?

  5. Great question. Ideally the nets should have the tension removed/slightly lowered when not in use. This brings the pressure off the net posts so in time they are not leaning inward which you will often see. If left up in climates with frequent freezing temperatures and snow, ice will build up on the nets. While great for photos, the freeze/thaw of the ice on the nets is actually damaging them. The expansion of the ice buildup inside the braided threads can break them or at the very least loosen them up with all that pressure. While your net shouldn’t be torn to pieces after being left up for one winter, it’s definitely shortening its lifecycle. Munson’s preferred nets it provides for customers is a heavy 3 MM nylon braided body all weather tennis net complete with double vinyl top binding and vinyl coated steel Flexi-Loop cable. Top six rows are double hand-knotted and tapered 42” high at the ends and 36” in the center for a “tailored” look.