Despite a noticeable absence of 'summer' in recent years, it is somehow always a shock to the system when winter arrives, prefaced by nondescript autumn months that do little to ease us gently towards the dark evenings and chilly, wintry weather. But we are not the only ones to suffer from the rain, drizzle, frost and fog: the effects of the Great British winter can also take their toll on synthetic sports surfaces, leaving behind a trail of standing water, surface silt and health & safety risks. What's more, the increasingly poor summers have done little to ease the pressure on artificial pitches and courts, which as 'all-weather' facilities must be in peak condition all-year round, to meet the ever-rising demand for sport and leisure activities.
Growing numbers of pitch managers are being forced to cancel fixtures during the winter months, discovering that their synthetic surfaces are insufficiently prepared to withstand both the increased rainfall and the resultant mud and sludge being trafficked onto the pitch by users. Cancellations in winter soon create a downward spiral of lost revenue, from which it can be hard to recover - in these circumstances, spending time and money on maintenance is often rejected in favour of accruing some much-needed income as the weather begins to improve. However, continually postponing maintenance until such time as a synthetic surface can no longer function without urgent remedial works is nothing short of a false economy, leading to a reduced life expectancy and even higher costs. And all it takes is a few bad summers, coupled with longer, harsher winters, for a neglected surface to deteriorate further and faster…
If this situation sounds familiar, then don't panic: Technical Surfaces, the UK's leading synthetic pitch maintenance specialists, are here to help steer you through the coming winter months.
It is important to remember that maintenance is not just an annual requirement; the vast majority of procedures can (and should) be completed year-round. Although Technical Surfaces are keen to stress the importance of a regimented maintenance programme from installation, specialist works can be introduced at a later stage, and will help to combat the effects of winter. Whether your facility needs a Winter Revival™ to deal with surface mud and sludge, Repairs to fix any failed seams or inlaid lines weakened by the colder climate, or even a Rejeneration® to remove the deeper contamination that causes standing water (which, if not resolved, will compromise the quality of play and cause long-term drainage problems), Technical Surfaces can help you meet your winter survival needs.
In line with their company ethos, 'Maintaining Standards', Technical Surfaces also recommends and designs regular preventative maintenance programmes, helping to stop such problems from developing in the first place.
So, while it may be tempting just to 'muddle through' the winter months, with good intentions of getting around to sorting out that persistent standing water when the weather improves, don't forget: the British climate offers no guarantees, and surface issues are often symptomatic of deeper-seated problems, which will only worsen if ignored. Instead, let the experts get your synthetic sports surface through the winter and beyond, giving you an all-weather facility that really can cope in all weathers.
For further information, please call Technical Surfaces' National Office on 08702 400 700 or visit www.technicalsurfaces.co.uk
Image 1: Failed seams
Image 2: Frost is a problem during the winter months