“To have great Har-Tru courts, three things are needed: solid irrigation, the correct slope and a one-inch layer of Har-Tru.”

Annual reconditioning helps to ensure that courts remain in optimal condition. However, even with proper care, most courts will need a laser lift about every 12 to 15 years to restore correct slope and surface thickness. Over time, the initial layer of clay will thin out, skewing an older court's slope and pitch. Stones from the base layer often begin to show through the court's surface, compromising play and posing a safety hazard. Water may begin to collect in certain areas of the court due to drainage issues and the surface may dry out fast during the summer months due to a lack of surface density. A laser lift will correct these problems and give an older court the appearance of a newly constructed court.

The laser lift process begins with a laser-controlled leveling process to regrade the court's existing surface and to recreate the proper pitch. The court's brick perimeter is often adjusted and in some circumstances rebuilt to follow the corrected slope. In fact, the brick curbing could be causing drainage problems which contribute to moss and algae accumulation. The surface is ultimately reconstructed by adding up to an inch of new Har Tru base material. The new material is laser-graded to achieve the proper pitch and depth. This is followed by a period of rolling and grooming the surface to achieve playability. The new court will perform by retaining moisture but will also dry out enough to allow for play following a rain event. Moisture retention allows for improved compaction and gives the court that deep dark green color texture, the look and feel that Har-Tru is known for. 

Because this rolling and grooming process must be done over an extended period of time, fall and winter are ideal seasons for this procedure. The winter is also a great time for the new Har Tru material to “cure” and settle. The courts are then reconditioned prior to play in the spring, which will include adding the final top dressing and installing the line tapes according to United States Tennis Association specifications. Sport Builders also works with facility owners and/or managers to create a maintenance plan for the reconstructed court or courts and reviews this plan with the maintenance staff.  If your Har Tru court is not performing, we encourage you to contact us at your convenience; we will be happy to answer any questions you may have or to plan a court consultation with Matt Jacobs.

Even with proper maintenance, older Har-Tru courts eventually develop problems due to years of use. These problems include:

  • Poor drainage.
  • Inconsistent conditions (part of the court stays dry while other areas are soaked).
  • Low spots especially around the baselines.
  • Hard pan areas where material doesn't bind and water won't penetrate.
  • Moss and algae build-up.
  • Poor playing conditions.

A laser lift will correct all of these problems.