Why do I need AstroTurf maintenance

The need to maintain an artificial turf field is fundamental for several reasons. These can be highlighted as follows:

  • Longevity
  • Playing performance
  • Safety
  • Aesthetics

The playing characteristics of the field will be severely impaired by lack of maintenance. The ball can become faster over the surface, it will roll unevenly and the bounce will vary from place to place.

The players will feel uncomfortable running on an uneven surface and frustrated by the inability to control an unpredictable ball.

A neglected field is a dangerous field. It can present a number of hazards to the players, which can lead to a variety of injuries and ultimately detract from the attraction of the facility.

Until recently many people still considered synthetic pitches to be maintenance free, but sadly this is not the case.

Having studied artificial surfaces for many years we have seen many synthetic surfaces age prematurely due to incorrect or no maintenance and which have had to be replaced within their first 5 years. In normal circumstances you should expect to enjoy at least  10 years of useful life from your surface. Indeed, many pitches are well over this age, some nearing 20 years lifespan!

The secret is to adopt a comprehensive maintenance regime from day 1.

Leaving a synthetic facility without maintenance even in the first 12 months can affect its longevity. Monitoring the pitch in that first year while it beds in is vital: maintaining correct infill levels helps to prevent the carpet fibres from folding over; repairing minor seam failures allows you to address them before they become major problems; and above all, the overall integrity of your installation can be assured.

A comprehensive maintenance programme would consist of Drag Brushing the surface, complemented by a series of Power Sweeps. Drag Brushing will help to keep the infill evenly distributed over the surface, which will naturally migrate from the middle (high wear areas) of the pitch to the edges. However, it will not remove any dust or fines from the surface, which is the purpose of Power Sweeping.

Without the removal of these small contaminants the infill will begin to harden, with the dust almost acting like cement. Ultimately, this will clog the system, affecting the performance and drainage of the surface. This build up of contaminants is gradual but nevertheless is occuring on your surface right now! Failure to remove it in a systematic way will eventually cause your surface to fail.

With longer pile or soccer grass systems it is also important to 'Groom' or 'Rake' the surface in much the same way as Drag Brushing. This helps to not only keep the infill evenly distributed but to raise the carpet pile.

If you have not yet formulated a maintenance programme for your synthetic surface or would like a free demonstration, please feel free to contact us.