A basketball court can be a great way to make use of the unused space in your front or backyard, or it can make a great addition to a shared community space in a neighborhood with lots of kids and active adults. Asphalt is a good choice for an outdoor court surface – it's easier on players' legs and joints than concrete, and it offers the traction and bounce that you need for a good game. Once your court is in place, though, you need to take some time to come up with a maintenance routine that will keep it in great shape. Not only is a neglected and crumbling basketball court an eyesore, it's unsafe for players. Check out some good tips for keeping your basketball court looking like new.
Asphalt gets dirty fast, so you're going to want to make sure that you're cleaning it often. If you're the person in charge of maintaining the basketball court, a good push broom will be your best friend. The court should be swept off before and after each game. This can help reduce the chance of injury from clutter on the court. Also, the court should be swept off after any storm. Don't just shove the debris off the court; bag it up and get rid of it. Otherwise it will just find its way back.
Once a year, use a power washer to thoroughly clean any dirt and grime off of the court. Stains diminish the aesthetic value of your court, and a good annual cleaning can keep them from becoming permanent. This is also a good time to check the court for cracks that could spread or depressions that could become holes.
If you notice cracks or depressions during the annual surface cleaning, it's best to fix them as soon as possible. Left alone, cracks in the asphalt will spread, and depressions can become potholes, rendering your court unsafe for players. Luckily, it's not too hard to fix these problems while they're small.
Cracks in the asphalt can be filled with asphalt crack filler. For the easiest application, you can choose asphalt paving crack filler that comes in cartridges that will fit into a caulking gun. Once inserted into the gun, all you have to do is squeeze the trigger to shot the filler into the crack. You also have the option of choosing liquid filler, which can be poured into the cracks.
For a depression in the court, a cold-mix asphalt patch is the answer. Prepare the area by scraping out any debris from the hole, then apply the patching compound to the hole with a trowel, adding it in layers. Make sure that each layer is firmly packed down before adding the next one. The entire patch should be packed down once it's finished.
Not everyone chooses to paint a home or community basketball court, but doing so gives the court a polished, finished look that it won't have otherwise. Furthermore, paint can help protect the court from the elements, and it can provide a little extra traction for the players.
Tennis court paint is what is typically used to paint outdoor asphalt or concrete basketball courts. Remember that you need to wait for two weeks to a month after the asphalt is initially laid or after it's resurfaced in order for the asphalt to cure before you can paint. Then you should start with two coats of resurfacing paint, followed by two coats of color. A professional taping machine should be used to create the white lines. You will have to repaint every couple of years, depending on how fast the color fades.
Remember to maintain more than just the surface of your basketball court – you should also keep some replacement nets around, and check the hoop for damage on a regular basis as well. The more effort you put into maintaining your court, the longer it will last.