Care of an artificial turf sports pitch – Rules to be observed

Care of an artificial turf sports pitch – Rules to be observed

The advance of the artificial turf sports pitch is very much in full swing. In many places old pitches are being transformed into artificial turfs or new stadiums are being built. As the artificial turf is deemed as low-maintenance, this means that it is unfortunately cared for all too infrequently. However, only a regularly and well-maintained artificial turf can be played on properly and for a long time. Below is an overview of the most important measures which are crucial in maintaining an artificial turf sports pitch:   

1) The maintenance of an artificial turf sports pitch is compulsory – and, therefore, regular maintenance is needed here, much like with any other sports pitch. It is true that the artificial turf pitch is not as high-maintenance as a natural turf pitch, but that doesn’t mean that no maintenance is required. Quite the opposite: An artificial turf pitch which is kept in good condition can be used and played upon for up to 15 years. 

2) The surface must be free from debris – for this reason rubbish, leaves and dirt of any kind should be removed. For it isn’t just the threat of lasting damage to the turf or the settling of moss and lichens, but also the risk of injury to the sportsperson is increased, e.g. due to wet leaves and lichens.  

3) Brush at least every two weeks – so that granules are re-distributed equally and the fibres of the artificial turf are straightened up again. It is important that the brushing is carried out in different directions because otherwise the fibres will tilt to one side.

4) Top up granule regularly – but please only do so where required. Measure the difference between the filling and the fibres using a straightedge on different areas of the pitch beforehand and then top up or redistribute, if necessary, afterwards.  

5) Carry out an intensive clean once a year – as a result the filling should be loosened automatically so that the water runoff can function on a long-term basis and so that the filling doesn’t get stuck together. Loosening should only be carried out in dry weather conditions. In addition, the filling should also be sifted using a filter which will remove dirt and other debris from the filling.

6) Irrigation of the artificial turf sports pitch is unnecessary – unless it is a hockey pitch. In this respect, however, the irrigation is related to the playing properties. It is also important for the maintenance that you ensure that a breeding ground for algae isn’t formed.  

7) Get Professional Advice and Help – if you do not have enough experience or the equipment to maintain artificial turfs. There’s a series of special maintenance machines for artificial turf pitches available for purchase. So even small municipalities and associations can ensure the maintenance of their sports field. Different companies offer their services to maintain artificial turf. Specialists regularly come to the sports pitch with maintenance equipment and carry out the cleaning professionally. So, even small municipalities and associations can ensure the maintenance of their sports field.

8) The correct maintenance for special artificial turfs – is what you always learn from the manufacturer. In accordance with DIN 18035/7, the manufacturer is even obliged to impart this information following the installation of the artificial turf, at handover at the latest. Given the many different artificial turf systems available, there is the odd difference here and there that only the manufacturer can really explain. If the information didn’t get handed down or got lost, it is important to enquire to obtain this.
The correct care of an artificial turf sports pitch isn’t an exact science and most of the steps can be carried out using simple methods. However, it is important that regular care and maintenance are ensured. The high investment in the installation of artificial turf should be worth it in the long term. Because a well-maintained artificial turf pitch not only lasts longer, it also looks better and, above all, offers a great deal of fun, too.    

Photo: Wiedenmann GmbH

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