Although the number of synthetic turf installations steadily grows each year, the maintenance of these facilities remains an all too frequently overlooked aspect of groundscare. Many people still think that such installations are completely maintenance free, but this is far from the case. A planned programme of regular work, using specialist equipment is essential to achieve optimum performance and long surface life, as pupils and staff at one Ealing-based school can confirm.
Staff and pupils aged between 6 and 18 at St. Augustine's Priory School in Ealing are now enjoying a variety of outdoor sports during school hours and evenings, thanks to the on-going maintenance programme instilled by Technical Surfaces, who were first called in when the school took full control of the facility from a financial institution eight years ago when the synthetic pitch was in a bad shape and had been neglected over the years.
With specialist cleaning work, Technical Surfaces were able to restore the pitch back to a playable condition without the need for a replacement surface. The pitch, now in its 21st year, is a testament to the expertise of Technical Surfaces.
"We have been extremely happy with the overall level of work and service provided by Technical Surfaces in maintaining our synthetic pitch" commented Chris Mortimer who has headed up a small, dedicated team of groundsmen at the school for the past ten years.
Several essential maintenance tasks are regularly undertaken at the school. These include drag brushing to redistribute the sand infill; brushing to lift the pile and regulate ball speed; topping up the infill in heavily used areas such as goal mouths & centre circles and removing surface litter and debris. Using purpose built equipment is paramount for best results.
In some instances, as on pitches that have had years of neglect, more drastic remedies might be required. While sand encourages the percolation of water to drains underneath, it also traps debris and dust, which results in the infill becoming compacted, dirty and inefficient. Rejuvenation processes are available than can remove the debris and filter out the dust.
"Properly planned and with the right equipment, maintaining synthetic surfaces need not be difficult and it should certainly not be neglected" commented Simon Lemanski, Operations Manager for Technical Surfaces. "Groundsmen/Site Manager of facilities can all play their part by using a little thought: the strategic placement of litter bins around the perimeter of the facility can reduce the amount of debris left on the pitch in the first instance, and boot-cleaning brushes placed at entrance points can minimise the amount of dirt transferred onto the carpet."
For further information, call 08702 400700 or visit www.technicalsurfaces.co.uk
Drag brushing to redistribute the sand infill; brushing to lift the pile and regulate ball speed; topping up the infill in heavily used areas such as goal mouths and centre circles and removing surface litter and debris and using purpose built equipment is paramount for best results in the maintenance of synthetic surfaces.