How Long Does It Take for a Tennis Court to Dry? (With Tips)

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Rain is a game stopper when it comes to outdoor tennis. It is difficult and almost unplayable when the weather conditions are wet.

The only thing you can do If it’s raining is to wait before it dries.

However, tennis courts dry differently depending on the surface and also how good the drainage system is.

In this article, we will show you how long does it is for a court to become playable after rain and methods you can use to speed up the drying.

How Long Does It Take for a Hard Court to Dry?

A hard court is the fastest one to dry if the sewage system is well built. It is one advantage of investing in porous cement and a good sewage system to construct a tennis court.

Typically, a hard court can dry in 30 to 60 minutes in normal weather after the rain stops.

However, if the court doesn’t have enough porosity, water might stay on the surface for days unless you remove it manually.

How Long Does It Take for a Clay Court to Dry?

Clay courts are tricky when it comes to rain. When wet, they become muddy and slippery, which is very dangerous and also impractical because of irregular ball bounces.

When it comes to clay, you need to distinguish between two types of rain.

1) First rain

This is the rain that happens after a long drought period (let’s say more than a week based on experience).

When it rains after a long drought period, the clay court takes a long time to respond to the sudden flow of water.

The clay layers are first imbibed and retain water for a certain time before it reaches the bottom and then the sewage system.

Typically, a clay court dries to a playable level in 48 to 72 hours after a first rain.

2) Second rain

A second rain happens shortly after a first rain (less than a week). The clay court is now ready to accept water flow and the pores are open to quickly absorb and drain the rain.

In normal circumstances and with a properly built clay court, it takes 30 to 60 minutes to dry to a playable level, after the full stop of a second rain.

How Long Does It Take for a Grass Court to Dry?

Grass courts are the slowest to dry. They are as well the worst to play when partially wet.

In addition, they are very slippery and can cause bad injuries.

If you watch grass tournaments like Wimbledon, you can notice how fast the organizers cover the courts after the first drops of rain.

Typically, grass courts dry to a playable level in 1 to 5 hours, after a light rain.

Again, it really depends on the quality of the court, especially the design of its sewage system.

How to Dry a Tennis Court Quicker? (Tips)

There are tips you can use in order to speed up the drying process and make the tennis court playable in a short time.

However, these tips can only be used in a hard court. Clay and grass courts can’t dry quicker by human intervention. 

1)    Take out the excess water

If you are on a hard court, you can remove the excess water using a floor squeegee scrubber with a rubber blade.

It requires some effort but it is worth it when you are in a hurry to play.

Simply go back and forth from one end to the other until you sweep out all the water and debris if there are any.

This step requires 10 to 15 minutes if done by one person.

To optimize your work, you can choose 3 types of tools, depending on your budget or the availability in your club.

1) A normal floor squeegee

This is something you would find at any home or facility. Typically, they come at 18 inches with a long handle.

2) A curved steel floor squeegee

This will provide a longer sweeping zone without having the water to escape from the edges, thanks to the curved design. It will surely speed up the drying.

If you are interested in one, have a look at this one from Ettore.

3) A Rain Shuttle squeegee

This is a professional tennis court squeegee that is user-friendly and very quick and effective. It has curved edges and can be pushed using two small wheels.

The sweeping area is an impressive 5ft.

You can shorten the drying time by 50% if you have one of these. However, they come at a high price.

Here you can see the price of the Vermont Rain Shuttle Tennis Court Squeegee.

2)    Dry using a squeegee roller

If it happens that you find a near sponge roller, use it. Alternatively, you can use a roller with a microfiber towel.

tennis squeegee roller

It is effective to absorb the residual moisture from a hard court.

To optimize your effort, start with only the noticeable wet spots and dry them nicely by rolling 3 to 4 times in each spot.

After that, simply sweep up all the court in a simple go.

This step takes 5 to 10 minutes by one person.

This is our recommendation for one of the best squeegee rollers out there based on people opinions:

A 36-inch sweep for excellent court coverage with Black PU Foam or Blue PVA materials for great water-absorbing capacity.

Final Thoughts

Playing right after rain is not an easy job. You need to watch closely your steps and pay attention to the lines, which tend to be slippery.

The best thing to do when it is raining is to wait for it to stop and wait for the court to be completely dry and perfectly playable.

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