by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (September 23, 2017) – The 95-degree September temperatures did not stop Jeff and Jake, from U.S. Tennis Court Construction Co., from spending a Saturday, September 23, resurfacing the two tennis courts at Rotary Park. It rarely gets “too hot” for painting, said Jeff, and he likes to work as much as possible during the summer. Once the days begin cooling and night temperatures drop below 50 degrees, tennis court resurfacing season is over. The paint can’t cure properly below 50 degrees.
Jeff and Jake are “surface guys” with U.S. Tennis Court. A different crew took care of the asphalt patching and leveling at Rotary, and a different crew will probably do the striping of the courts. Jeff and Jake specialize in sloshing paint from a wheelbarrow onto the surface, and then using large squeegees to spread the paint smoothly and evenly.
Squeegees are the instrument of choice for applying this kind of paint, because there is so much sand mixed into it. The sand is necessary to create the right texture for playing — ball spin, glare, and shoe grip are all considerations for a proper court surface — and sand would wear down the nozzles of a spray apparatus.
The Rotary tennis courts received two coats of black “primer” paint, and then two coats of green for the courts and two coats of beige for the perimeters. The paint takes about 24 hours to dry and cure. When a quality paint is used, and when it is applied correctly, a court surface should maintain its color for at least five years.
Green and blue are standard tennis court colors these days, though any color can be customized. Jeff has painted purple and gray courts for the Merrillville High School tennis teams, and a “really nice” contrasting blue for the Downers Grove South tennis teams. The company also does a variety of logo and graphic work on pavement surfaces.
Once the Rotary Park tennis courts are striped, new nets can be installed, and players may be able to get in a few sets yet this year.
SEPTEMBER 25 UPDATE: Patching, painting, and striping now finished
SEPTEMBER 29 UPDATE: Nets up, courts in use
Linda Koselke, Liz Daley, Sandy Stadler, and Mitzi Krucina took their doubles match to Rotary Park this morning to try out the newly resurfaced courts. Lan-Oak Park District installed the new nets on Tuesday.