Bury Turfcare have been creating and maintaining turf playing surfaces for many years now. Peter Knight and his team have experience of almost every type of grassed area, especially synthetic surfaces. He offers his opinion on how and when this should be carried out.
"It is a common myth," says Peter, "that a synthetic turf surface is maintenance free. This is simply not true and time and experience have proven this. Without crucial ongoing maintenance a synthetic turf surface will deteriorate with compaction, to leave a dangerous and uninviting surface at the risk of revenue loss and liability."
He finds most applications for his Redexim Verti Top, Verti Comb and Extreme Clean 1200 machines are in schools. Peter again, "It's difficult to get school Bursars to part with money at the best of times. You can't clean wet sand and if you try to it's a complete a waste of money.
In most cases Groundsmen appreciate the importance of artificial maintenance but the results after doing it 'wet' takes their argument away with the Bursar.When the sand is dry, you can suck out the infill with the Verti Top and do a great job. Even though you can use the Extreme Clean in wet conditions, because it decompacts the infill, it's still better to do it in dry conditions because everything flows."
He wants to educate people that jobs have to done when the weather is right, not necessarily just when the job is booked. He believes in flexibility and working on a daily basis, cancelling days if necessary and rearranging jobs for a better day. "Most people are quite flexible and will wait to get the job done properly. That way Bursars and Heads of Sports Departments can see that the money spent on maintenance helps to keep the playing surface in excellent condition, decompacted and prolong its lifespan; an investment in fact."
Maintenance should be done twice a year with all three of his Redexim machines Peter believes, once just after winter around spring time and once before winter around August time to avoid the peak usage times of the facility.
This combination of equipment sucks out the infill and cleans it before putting it back in and then levelling it all out. He points out that some contractors are using very unsophisticated, cheaper, equipment that won't produce the same results. In contrast his company has made major investments in industry-leading equipment to provide an efficient, cost effective service, to give superb results. Anything less means the job has not been done properly and the surface won't be in good condition and won't last as long as if it was looked after it properly.
Curtis Allen, Synthetic Specialist of Charterhouse Turf Machinery comments, "Choosing the correct contractor is important, the man in the seat is only as good as the implement on the back and the implement on the back is only as good as the operator. Use the 'interview' time with a new contractor to question them on how and why they will use a particular machine and what results will be gained. Also ensure that measurements and readings are handed over with reports or invoices - it is important that the operators know what condition the facility is in; not just the players and contractors."