Artificial turf maintenance can be an unexpected surprise

July 19, 2012 -  By

By: Kirk Hunter

Advertising and promotional claims for any number of products can sometimes be misleading. Often, the problem doesn’t have to do so much with what is said or written, but rather, what information has been omitted.

While promises that no watering, mowing or chemicals required may sometimes be true, consumers and key decision-makers may be confused by claims that suggest artificial turf surfaces require none of the above. Yet there are a multitude of products that are made specifically for artificial turf surfaces to address issues that don’t exist on natural grass surfaces.

According to SynProTurf.com, a company specializing in synthetic turf maintenance, “A common problem with artificial turf is debris and bacteria buildup deep down within the infill. This problem is compounded by compaction of the material, restricting drainage through the backing material and creating damp, stagnant areas.”

GrassSyntheticInfo.com, a site that examines different brands of synthetic turf suppliers, states, “There are a lot of new responsibilities for a groundsman who has just inherited an artificial turf pitch to care for, quite different tasks to the maintenance tasks that would have been required when the field comprised of natural grass. Not only will there be new artificial grass maintenance tasks to perform but there will also be new equipment to buy to make the job easier.”

Artificial turf maintenance may require a need for several tasks, including:

·       Removal of harmful debris

·       Reducing compaction/surface impact

·       Reducing migration of granules

·       Adding/replacing infill

·       Brushing to decrease wear patterns

·       Cleansing/disinfecting the surface to reduce risk of infection from MRSA, staph, mold, fungi and algae

·       Removal of weeds caused by airborne seeds that take root

·       Watering to reduce high temperatures

·       Watering to control particulates

·       Watering to clean the surface to remove feces, blood, spit and other bodily fluids

·       Maintaining proper drainage to avoid water damage and foul odor from stagnant water

·       Repairing ripped seams and damaged areas

·       Removal of paint

There are many artificial turf equipment and product manufacturers who have spent many thousands of dollars in research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of artificial turf maintenance products. These companies would not have invested in these products if there were no demand or need for them. Equipment made specifically for artificial turf maintenance can at times be costly and extensive depending on the size of the area, location, intended use and frequency of use.

In addition to specialized equipment, there is a need for trained personnel who can properly operate the equipment. There are also artificial turf service providers who can be contracted to perform required maintenance and who employ certified-factory trained technicians to address expected and unexpected issues and/or concerns.

Both natural turfgrass and artificial turf have their own roles. And each requires appropriate care and maintenance and treatment. When devising a treatment plan for artificial turf, first research which products will work best for your needs and have a detailed budget, to avoid costly surprises down the road.

LM Staff

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