0 Cleaning of synthetic playing surfaces end of season.

This summer has been good for synthetic pitches. Due to the warm dry weather they will have been used much more frequently than in previous years.

End of season deep cleaning is essential and makes it possible to extend the effective life-time of an artificial turf field considerably.

Curtis Allen, synthetic machinery specialist at Charterhouse Turf Machinery, gives some guidance to autumn maintenance.

As we move into autumn, the Redexim Verti-Clean will clean the top surface of the pitch and stop dead leaves breaking down into the surface.

Regular use of the Verti-Clean will stop the build-up of such matter as it picks up surface debris with a rotating brush and throws it onto a vibrating sieve.

The sieve filters infill material back on to the playing surface, whilst retaining the debris.

During the playing season regular weekly drag brushing can form the backbone of any maintenance programme.

This helps to redistribute any infill which has become displaced through general play, whilst also helping to lift the carpet fibres.

When a surface hasn't been cleaned regularly more heavy duty machinery is needed to alleviate the problem.

The X-Treme Clean maintains synthetic turf systems that use sand or an infill mix for stability.

The machine contains a set of firm brushes, which rotate in opposite directions.

The infill is vigorously brushed bringing it to the surface.

End of season maintenance is even more important if a Groundsman has been a bit light with his brushing regime, as one can expect the infill to become hardened and compacted after a very busy season - this is when damage can be done.

Not only will this greatly impact on ball roll and bounce but could be considered a contributory factor if players sustained i njury.

To brush, loosen and de-compact the hardest infill, the Redexim Verti-Groom is equipped with a variety of interchangeable tools.

The spring steel flexible tines gently lift and break up compacted areas while effectively mixing and incorporating sand infill.

However, that's not to mention the build-up of bodily fluids, human hair, chewing gum or even bird or animal droppings that present a unique problem for artificial pitches.

Drag brushing alone will not address this issue, so it is important that the artificial pitch is treated to a complete clean at the end of a busy season.

It should be swept using a rotary brush with a filtration system to lift and clean the top layer of infill before returning it to the carpet. Such processes are designed to get much deeper into the carpet pile, removing any dust, debris and broken-down carpet fibres that have migrated lower into the infill.

Moss and weed growth can also cause a potential slip hazard for players and must be treated and removed on a regular basis.

The Redexim Verti-Top 1200 employs a highly effective synthetic rotary brush to remove debris and top-layer infill from the turf, then sifts the debris out in a unique vibratory shaker which redistributes the clean infill back on the field.

Finishing the work is a rear lag brush, leaving a clean and smooth playing surface.

For more information visit: www.charterhouse-tm.co.uk

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