Court Maintenance

Court Plaster: 
The plaster used to repair or re-plaster squash courts should be some product like Armourcoat or Proderite that is specially made for squash courts, and you should certainly not use ordinary plaster. The recommended product is high quality blend of alpha grade gypsum, resins and aggregates and the current Ireland agent is Microcement in Belfast where Ian Chivers (contact details below) will be happy to handle your queries.  His firm will either do the job or supply the plaster for smaller jobs and 2 kg repair packs can be bought for €125 each. Recent jobs include the front walls in the courts at The Mardyke, Cork as well as Sunday’s Well.

Painting the Walls: 
For a good job you need the proper paint and, once again, Armourcoat – supplied only by Microcement – is the best product for this job, being recommended by Squash National Governing Bodies as the only paint designed for squash courts. This product costs about €85 per 5 litre can and you’ll probably need 4 per court giving it two coats. As with the plaster, you should avoid using products not designed specifically for squash courts so this is probably the only product guaranteed to do the job.  The suppler also stocks Armourcoat cleaning solution for cleaning the rubber off the walls

Cleaning the Walls:
Armourcoat also supplies a solution that removes the squash ball rubber marks. It dilutes in a 10:1 ratio and one 5 litre drum (about €150) was sufficient to do the 3 walls at Highfield in August of 2016.You dampen an area no more than 1 square meter with a damp cloth, apply the solution with a rough cloth and scrub the area with that. A clean damp cloth is then used to clean that area before moving on to the next. It works very well but won’t remove the graphite marks in the back right and back left ‘boast’ areas as that is not rubber. You can paint that but use the proper squash court paint! Ideally if you are considering painting the walls you should really clean them off with this solution first. You might even decide they don’t need painting!

For more information on all the plaster, paint and cleaning solution contact Ian Chivers at Micro-Cement, Belfast – 00447803169577 or ianchivers@gmail.com. Let us know your experience so we can keep clubs advised.

Derek Doyle of Proudpaints.com who can be contacted on 0879020583 supplies Squash Court Paint for €74.89 (plus 23% VAT). Many squash clubs across Ireland have been using their squash court paint repeatedly with no complaints, ball speed is not effected and surface is washable repeatedly, when two coats have been applied. 4 tins will cover 1 squash court. Testimonials on website.    Dublin Office 01 6177955 or Galway Office:091 704858 – Email: ecommerce website sells directly online with next day delivery. Technical data sheets and advice can be downloaded online from the website.

Floor Sanding: 
Most floors will take a sanding a few times before it becomes problematic to do so. However, you should use a professional (carpenter?) who will use a belt sander lengthways and not across the grain. The carpenter should be asked to make good any ‘dodgy’ floorboards as part of the job. You should be able to get this done for anything around €250 / €300 per court (?). It takes a day to do a court (?). You will need a lot of voluntary work from your members to vacuum the courts and surrounding area once the sanding is done. Remember to wipe down the walls and light fittings before you start vacuuming! This cleaning will have to be done many times before using the courts again as it takes days for the dust to settle. You should then clean off the courts with something like white spirits.
You are better off not to apply any floor varnish when the sanding is done but club members have to be told to use court shoes in future and not simply non-marking shoes. The difference is that you want them going on court only with shoes used exclusively for squash! If you are lax in this area it will result in marked courts and a recurrence of the problem.

Court Markings:
The court markings should be renewed using some strong and quick drying FLAT paint (gloss increases the likelihood of slipping). For a longer lasting finish you can get a special compound red paint for squash courts that is available from White River Group in Dunleer, Co. Louth (www.wrg.ie  041 686 1000) that will cost you around €64 plus delivery. It is a compound and needs to be painted over with a lacquer at a price of about €78.  These will do all your red lines on all of your courts so isn’t that expensive overall. This paint definitely needs to be applied by someone who knows what they are doing –maybe you have a member who is a painter, as the odds are that otherwise it’ll be a bad job!

Cleaning the squash courts floors: 
The first point to stress is that brushing squash courts is not a good idea. It causes the dust and dirt to be moved about thereby smearing the surface and dust will lodge between the floorboards only to rise again once the players run about the court. It also causes a greasy film to be formed on the surface and, over time, the courts become slippery. Ideally the courts should be vacuumed a couple of times per week and a very slightly damp cloth wrapped around the brush head should be applied to the courts maybe weekly to remove any dirt. A cordless vacuum cleaner is very helpful as it does away with the trailing wire and is an easier job so will be done more often.

Squash Shoes: 
Players should be required to use non-marking squash shoes that are not worn anywhere else. (Merely requesting non-marking shoes will not keep your courts clean if the players use them for other sports or indeed use them outside the squash courts. The shoes become dirty and then mark the courts)

Other information: 
England Squash provide technical information sheets that can be accessed on www.englandsquash.com .