The most common problem with asphalt courts is cracking. Cracking is caused, in part, by asphalt’s natural tendency to shrink as it weathers and ages. In addition, asphalt loses its flexibility and becomes more brittle over time. Since outdoor courts are also exposed to temperature extremes that cause expansion and contraction, cracking is inevitable, almost without exception. Quality design and construction may minimize or delay cracking, but it cannot completely eliminate it. This is where armor crack repair comes in because once cracks appear, it may be impossible to repair their cause, but it is not impossible to repair the cracks themselves with the ARMOR® Crack Repair System.

The ARMOR® Crack Repair System utilizes a knitted fabric that will expand as the crack widens. The secret to making this repair work is how it is purposely NOT bonded to the court in the vicinity of the crack, thereby allowing more of the fabric to absorb any movement or growth of the crack without the fabric tearing or delaminating from the surface. Thus, the reason why the ARMOR® Crack Repair System works so well is that it effectively spreads the stress of the crack over a wide area of expandable fabric-other brand name repair “systems” do not do this.

Although your court is technically still cracked, the filled cracks are hidden beneath our repair and then covered over completely with color-coating materials. Although it will not prevent cracks from developing elsewhere on the court or prevent cracks from growing in length out beyond the repair, the ARMOR® Crack Repair System successfully keeps repaired structural cracks from reappearing on the surface. There are some limitations, and not all cracks are repairable with our product, so talk to your contractor about your specific court.

Inherent characteristics and limitations of Armor Crack Repairs:

Armor crack repair fabric is intentionally NOT adhered to the court over the repaired crack. This design is why it is so difficult for underlying cracks to break through the fabric.

On-going asphalt movement under Armor repairs can cause the Armor fabric to wrinkle or pucker over repaired cracks, especially in cold weather months. As the weather warms, the fabric becomes much flatter to the court surface.  Due to the extreme flexibility of the Armor fabric, color coatings on top of the fabric may craze.  Hollow sounds and lower ball bounces can also be expected when a ball lands directly on a repaired area.

Armor Crack Repair Installation Process

Comparison of “Fabric” Crack Repair Systems

Not surprisingly, the success of the ARMOR® Crack Repair System has spawned imitations. Despite what they claim in their marketing materials, neither of these two new products are as good as ARMOR®. Don’t make the mistake of using one of them, assuming that they are “just like ARMOR®,” only to be disappointed when it fails. An “approved equal” to the ARMOR® Crack Repair System does not exist.

ARMOR Riteway Guardian
Width of Repair 36″ 29″ 27″
# of Layers Over Crack 3 2 1
Thickness of Repair Thinnest Thick Thickest
Time to Install & Prime Least Time More Time More Time
Slipsheet Technology Yes No No
Dry Material Cost Least $ More $$ Most $$$
Year of Origin 1993 2006 2003
Width of Repair: The ARMOR® Crack Repair System is the WIDEST of all three systems. Wider is better. Narrow repairs crack along the outside edge of the repair. During our R&D years, we tried narrow repairs, only to discover that they always failed after a few short years.

# of Layers Over Crack: The ARMOR® Crack Repair System utilizes 3 layers of material over the crack. Two of these layers are fabric. The others use less layers. During the R&D years, we tried less layers of fabric and concluded that 3 layers last more than twice as long as 2 layers.

Thickness of Repair: Despite having the most layers, the ARMOR® Crack Repair System is almost 1/2 the thickness of the other products. Thinner repairs are easier to hide and less visible when the entire job is finished. Thick repairs are difficult to hide, affect rainwater runoff, and often cause puddles. Guardian is the thickest at .067”, Riteway is .056”, and ARMOR® is the thinnest at .035”.

Time to Install & Prime: The ARMOR® Crack Repair System has more layers than either of the other two systems. Thus, it takes a little longer to apply our fabrics than it does theirs. However, because our completed repairs are almost half the thickness of the others, ours take less primer coats of A/R to hide the repairs. Less coats + less time waiting for each coat to dry = less total time to install our product.

Slipsheet Technology: The middle 6 inches of the ARMOR® Crack Repair System is purposefully NOT bonded to the court. This “slipsheet” allows more of the fabric to expand as the crack widens in the winter without the fabric ripping. Neither of the other systems employ this proven technology.

The Wrong Way Crack Systems

These photos show what can happen when roof repair, sticky tape is used over cracks. Flaps can develop on each side of tape creating dangerous tripping hazards.