The Importance of Drainage in Court Construction

One of the big considerations when constructing a tennis court is the drainage system. This is an important element if you want to maintain the court’s structural integrity and make sure your tennis court is playable 24/7.

The professionals at North State Resurfacing can take care of your tennis court construction and advise you about the drainage system and drainage maintenance you’re going to want to have. We’re going to explore why drainage structures are so important for tennis courts as well as look at the different types of drainage systems you can choose from to avoid significant damage to your court.

proper drainage is important to prevent standing water on sports courts

Why Do We Need Tennis Court Drainage?

Without the proper drainage system, excess water will build up on your court and you can pretty much forget about playing on it. When there is excess rainfall, all of the water will just stay on the court without the proper drainage, potentially leading to foundation damage to your court.

If you want your court to drain properly, it’s usually recommended to have a minimum slope of at least one each for every 10 feet from side to side, end to end, or corner to corner. You want to be sure that the surface does not slope away in two directions from the net.

What Does a Drainage System Do?

A tennis court drainage system has many benefits not only to the court but also to the area around the court.

Routes Water from Uphill

If you have water coming from uphill, a drainage system will reroute the water in a different direction so that it does not soak the court’s soil. If this happens, the soil will get soft and ruin your tennis court. You want to be sure that the water is redirected and gets away from the court. This will protect your court and your foundation material.

Side to Side Drainage

You want to be sure your tennis court has drainage on either side of the court. Without it, the soil strength will weaken as it gets soaked.

Redirects Underground Water

A tennis court drainage system can also help to reroute underground water. If the drainage system suspects there is water underground, it can redirect its flow, allowing water to go somewhere else, preferably where it won’t ruin your tennis court.

Avoid Damage to Landscaping

Without an irrigation system, the water will move laterally, potentially ruining any nearby landscaping. Drainage can help to avoid water damage to any nearby flowers or other vegetation.

What Happens if There is No Drainage System?

Ignoring the importance of a drainage system will compromise the investment you’ve made in your tennis court and can cost you a great deal of money. Here are some things to consider:

Water Will Have Nowhere to Go

Without a drainage system, the water will not only stay on the court, but can also develop in the soil under the clay, concrete, or whatever type of court material you have. Poor drainage or no drainage can also lead to mold and algae growing on the court due to the accumulated water on the court’s surface.

Soil Damage

If there is no drainage system installed, you will have water flowing to the surface. As this happens and the soil gets saturated, it will make it difficult for it to hold the court. This can lead to many structural issues and costly repairs.

Cracks May Appear

You may also notice significant damage like cracks when the surface water on the tennis court has nowhere to go. The more water that accumulates, the greater the risk of cracking.

As more cracks appear, you may need to have your court resurfaced sooner than you would if you had a functioning drainage system. It’s better to spend the money upfront on the drainage system than to have to worry about resurfacing costs and other maintenance due to the excess water.

Paint Can Fade

If the lines on your tennis court are constantly soaked with rainwater or runoff water, you’ll notice those lines will start fading. When this happens, you’ll have to repaint the lines more frequently to be able to play correctly.

Types of Tennis Court Drainage Systems

To avoid all of these concerns, it’s best to have a tennis court drainage system installed when your court is constructed. There are several types of tennis court drainage systems to choose from:

Open Drain System

Open drains are shallow swales that use gravity to move water. Swales are shallow channels that are made to store and move runoff water.

Close Drain System

A closed drain system uses a swale design to collect and move water to inlets located at the center of the swales. The water inlets are connected underground to a pipe that carries the water to catch basins or other areas.

Combination System

A combination system uses swales and/or vertical stone drains to complete the drainage process.

Prefabricated Channel Drain Systems

Prefabricated channel drain systems are a popular choice for tennis courts as well as track and field surfaces. If you go this route, shallow excavation may be required. Some even have built-in slopes to help direct the water more successfully.

Subsurface/Below Ground Drainage System

These types of drainage systems deal with water under the surface. They will redirect water so that it does not cause damage to the soil and the court.

FAQ About Tennis Court Drainage Systems

Do I need a subsurface drainage system?

If you have sandy or gravel in your soil, you may not need a subsurface water drainage system.

Is excavation always required for a drainage system?

Typically, some excavation is necessary to properly install the drainage system and make sure it moves the water correctly.

How do I know what type of drainage system is best for my tennis court?

When you have your tennis court installed, the experts at North State Resurfacing will conduct a careful analysis of your area to recommend the best drainage system for your court and soil type. We will keep all safety considerations in mind to protect your court and the property around it.

Contact North State Resurfacing for All Your Tennis Court Construction Needs

if you’re considering tennis court construction, the professionals at North State Resurfacing are here to get the job done. We will look at your area and determine the best location for your court as well as review your drainage system options. Our team of experts knows what is essential to help you maintain your court properly, and that includes a functioning drainage system.

Call us today at  (919) 365-7500 to learn about how North State Resurfacing to learn more!