Turf Tips: Synthetic Turf Maintenance Guide
Maintain your synthetic turf field to provide consistent, safe playing surfaces.
Each time an athlete laces up to play on your field they expect consistency. Field and weather conditions will contribute to game day consistency. While we can’t control mother nature, we can strive to maintain our fields to replicate regularity for our favorite teams. By performing routine maintenance on your synthetic turf field, you create a better and more reliable field for game day, despite common wear and tear. Here are some best practices for synthetic turf maintenance that can help keep your field in tip top shape.
A great first step when formulating a maintenance plan is to attend a few practices of the various sports teams that play on your synthetic turf. This will help you identify high traffic areas on your field. Some coaches may run the same drill 50 times in one part of the field, not realizing the damage they’re causing. By watching a few practices, you can work with the coach to route certain drills and therefore, significantly cut down high wear.
Infill is the life line to your synthetic turf field. When infill is pushed out of high traffic areas, your fibers are put in danger. Without infill there to keep fibers straight and tall, they bend over and are broken off when players play on the surface. This impacts the longevity of your investment, as well as the aesthetic of the turf. Additionally, as more and more fibers break off, infill has more trouble staying in place, affecting game play.
You can combat high wear areas with routine grooming and sweeping. Grooming will rake up fibers, to keep them standing tall. Grooming will also penetrate into the infill and redistribute the materials to create an even playing surface. Additionally, if your infill appears low, you can add extra infill and drag it to fill in the low level areas. *Consult your turf manufacturer to determine how often you should be dragging and grooming your field.
For fields that are exposed to fallen leaves, helicopters, and common debris, you should be sweeping on a weekly basis, at least. Sweeping will remove debris off the surface of your field, preventing players cleats from driving leaves, etc. into your infill. If debris makes its way below the field’s surface, it will break down and turn into dirt, which hardens your fields and acts as a host for potential diseases.
Lastly, cleaning and disinfecting your turf’s surface should be performed routinely. During games, turf is exposed to players sweat, spit, blood and dirt. Especially if your field is open to the public, animals will use your field to relieve themselves. That’s why keeping it clean should be a regularly performed maintenance routine.
For more synthetic turf maintenance tips, follow along with our blog series!