SISIS England about caring for artificial grass

SISIS England about caring for artificial grass
Regular maintenance will ensure the satisfactory condition of the playing surface and will extend its operational life. 
27.09.2019

Caring for an artificial surface

An artificial surface is wrongfully described as a surface requiring no maintenance. It’s not true. Regular maintenance will ensure the satisfactory condition of the playing surface and will extend its operational life. A policy calling for “a bit at a time but often” is usually the best one. Basic maintenance begins immediately after the field has been laid and is more cost-effective than waiting for problems to arise. Local weather and environmental conditions should be taken into account when determining the schedule for technical work along with the following recommendations. In general, all fields with an artificial surface are created in the same way and consist of a bed with a drainage system suited to local climatic conditions. An artificial “carpet” is laid over this bed, and filler is introduced. The type of aggregate differs depending on the sport and personal preference, though it is usually either sand or crumb rubber. (Usually 3G or 4G).

Regular brushing

The most important and most frequently carried out maintenance operation is surface brushing. During the game, infill material moves within the surface from high intensity use in game zones like the goal area and centre circles. If no action is taken, the critical length of the grass used will be damaged in these areas and lead to premature wear. As soon as infill levels decrease in these areas, surface performance also decreases with a significant effect on the rebound of the ball. Injury to players becomes more likely. Both of these factors must be taken into account when scheduling maintenance. For this reason, regular brushing of the surface in different directions is necessary to keep the infill flexible and maintain a constant level on the field. Brushing should be light but aggressive enough to raise the grass and move the infill. It is recommended that the Flexicomb brush (FXC/180) and the straight finishing brush (QB/6) be combined for both sand-filled and 3G/4G fields.            3G/4G fields (crumb rubber filler), however, require more aggressive brushing, which can be achieved with a simple Flexicomb brush connection. Both of these combinations can be mounted on a Twinplay frame (TWP/6) and used with a suitable compact tractor with a 3-point hitch.

Aggressive brushing

All types of artificial field become compacted over time as a result of intensive use, thus breaking down the structure of the playing surface. It is necessary from time to time to perform more aggressive brushing, with upper levels of infill mixed to soften the surface. If regular light brushing is carried out, aggressive combing may only be required every 4 weeks, provided the field is used approximately 50 hours a week. If frequent light combing is neglected, it will be required more often. With a Sisis OSCA/3 brush on a small tractor with 3-point hitch and PTO, it will take approximately 1.5 hours to cover the field.

Collecting debris/cleaning up

As mentioned above, all organic debris must be removed before it harms the surface along with all potentially harmful debris before the game every day. In a safe controlled area, debris should be minimal, but in an urban municipal environment it is an urban matter. Falling leaves can be a problem at certain times of the year when the field is located close to trees, though it may only be in one small part of the field. The frequency of collection will vary and may only be seasonal. However, the use of a garbage collection device will reveal unseen debris on the surface. Cleaning will also turn up lost fibers, something that can occur quite frequently after installation. The field should be swept on average once a week and take no more than 1 hour.

Infilling

After a certain period of time, the level of aggregate may decrease to the point that sand or crumb rubber must be added. It may include the entire surface or only some places. The Powaspred trailer sand machine with PTO drive can be used with a small tractor capable of spreading any type of material evenly.

Conclusion

It is important that proper maintenance be carried out as quickly as possible after installation so that the synthetic site be useable for as long as possible. Failure to perform regular maintenance will result in premature field wear and increase the risk of injury to players. A field covered in weeds and a crushed carpet are the result of poor maintenance!

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