How to Look after Artificial Turf
What Is Artificial Grass?
Artificial grass is material that is made of synthetic, man-made fibres that looks like real grass.
The synthetic grass blades come in different pile heights and is constructed in the same way that carpet is made; it has a solid backing and then the blades are machine stitched on. A rubber crumb is used as infill and the carpet is laid on a polypropylene base.
Why is maintenance essential?
Arguably the most important factor in artificial pitch maintenance is to keep the turf upright and to stop compaction of the rubber crumb. By keeping the turf upright it helps support the elements of natural play such as traction, ball movement, and it also prevents player injury. Compaction of the rubber crumb can lead to flooding during heavy rain and even player injury. Contamination can occur if debris / litter is not removed on a regular basis, which in turn along with compaction can lead to moss and algae.
How do you maintain artificial turf?
A rule of thumb is that for every 9 hours of play 1 hour of surface brushing or drag matting is required. Requirements for this could be a normal garden tractor which is able to pull along implements such as a Countax C60 or preferably a compact tractor such as a Kubota BX231 or if budgets allow B2231. These tractors are light weight, which won’t cause compaction and have various capabilities. Implements needed for daily brushing and drag matting vary in many ways and are available in towed or tractor mounted versions depending on whether you have a Kubota tractor or Countax garden tractor.
Drag Matts are a simple quick technique that moves the rubber crumb around aiding in crumb dispersion and levelling off heavy wear areas. Sisis manufacture a towed version in steel and rubber which vary in size far more aggressively.
Brushing, is more aggressive and tends to stand the turf upright and loosens the rubber crumb. Once again these are available from Sisis in both towed and tractor mounted versions and there are easier and better ways with the benefits of a twin play frame from Sisis. A flexi comb and brush duo can be fitted making 1 pass doing double the job. That is deep decompaction with the flexi comb and final finish with the brush.
Regular debris / leaf collection, should be done on a daily basis wether it be litter picking or sweeping. Sweeping with a towed sweeper such as the Sisis SSS1000 which is a rotary brush which will collect debris along with broken down fibres, yet allowing the rubber crumb to fall back onto the carpet.
Monthly heavy decompaction is essential using a powered brush such as the Sisis Osca 3 which is an oscillating brush enabling to agitate the rubber crumb all the way down to the carpet matt relieving all compaction. This is a slower operation and can only be done with a suitable tractor such as a Kubota B2231.
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