Failing Court

What is a failing court?


Athletic court surface damage: peeling/blistering

Surface blistering is one of the most common issues with athletic outdoor courts. Blistering occurs when the paint surface of the court losses its adhesion with the underlying surface (concrete, asphalt, etc). Once the surface paint loses its adhesion with the surface beneath, water, dirt, and other substances are able to get in between the paint layer and hard surface. Such substances then start to accumulate and begin to “blister”/bubble-up. As the size of each developing bubble increases, the un-bonding of paint to the surface continues to develop in the surrounding of the bubble.

Depending on the severity of the blistering it may be necessary for the court to be court surface blasted off. Surface blasting completely removes the paint surface on the court. This may be necessary because in many cases once the paint surface has started to blister off, adding a new coat of paint over the damaged paint does not fix the underlying issue and the un-bonding between the hard surface and the first coat of paint continues to exist. This means that the court will continue to blister off.

In summary, the solution to repair a blistering court is to surface blast the damaged paint surface and then resurface the court.

Hard Surface Rotting

Athletic court surface spalling

Hard surface rotting is the degradation of the hard surface under the paint layer. This is most commonly due to the old age of a concrete/asphalt slab which begins to degrade and break down. The image above depicts how concrete can begin to rot/break-down and lead to court surface issues. A court whose hard surface is degrading is very difficult to remediate and the best solution is to build a new hard court as the damaged slab will continue to degrade.


damaged basketball court (peeling)

Delamination occurs when the paint layer loses its adhesion with the hard surface (concrete, asphalt, etc). This is similar to blistering as mentioned above, except that delamination does not exactly blister up. Delamination is mostly due to the age of the court and the natural un-bonding between the hard surface and paint layer over time. If a good hard surface construction and quality resurfacing were performed at the beginning of the courts’ life, then delamination should not occur for quite a few years.

The best repair for delamination is surface blasting the existing paint surface which is delaminating and then resurface the court.

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