The maintenance routine on a 3G, rubber-crumb pitch achieves four objectives:
- 1. Ensuring the surface keeps the correct play characterisitcs
- 2. Ensuring the safety of play
- 3. Removing contamination
- 4. Protecting the long-term integrity of the surface
A 3G pitch generally should be brushed fortnightly with a Drag Brush to prevent from infill migration. Infill migration occurs when the rubber infill spreads outwards towards the perimeter of the pitch leaving the centre part exposed. This has the potential to damage the surface as the infill is needed to prevent over-exertion on the synthetic turf. The drag brush will also collect fallen leaves, litter, and other contaminants before they fester or become embedded in the turf.
3G synthetic turf has a longer pile height than sand-based systems, replicating the play characteristics of natural grass more closely to suite football, rugby, American football, and field hockey. A consequence of having a longer pile height is that the turf is more likely to flatten out over time. This is known as pile fold and can affect play characteristics and the safety aspect of a surface aversely.
Specialist maintenance is needed to counteract this factor, and must be carried out with the appropriate maintenance machinery. If the turf has started to flatten out, a Power-brush procedure is needed: the Power-brush unit is equipped with a counter-rotating mechanical brush to lift up the pile and agitate the infill. Synthetic turf manufacturers recommend that Power-brushing be carried out monthly on most 3G surface types.
The general maintenance routine for a 3G surface, whether carried out by the contractor or by the site grounds-team, should include measures for removing contamination frequently and vigorously. The tools required or recommended for the job would include a stiff brush, leaf collector, leaf blower, and drag mat. The stiff brush can be used to clear away litter and leaves from the access points, perimeter run-offs, and the pitch itself. Leaf blowers and Leaf collectors can be very useful for clearing bulk leaf-fall from the surface. The drag mat which is used for grooming the surface will also help to collect leaves and contaminants.
The maintenance provider must also make provisions for the removal of moss and algae from the surface. These are contaminants which generally cannot be removed using a drag mat or leaf collector but can greatly affect the safety of the surface: moss and algae can make the surface and run-offs very slippery for players and must be removed.
A herbicide treatment should be applied across the surface to kill off moss and algae which can then be cleared away. A herbicide treatment applied in dry weather can be effective for up to six months depending on local climate and surrounding vegetation.
Looking for Maintenance on 3G?
Feel free to speak to a member of our friendly sales team for information and advice about our 3G surface maintenance packages and equipment. Advantage offer a comprehensive range of services including repair work, line re-marking, Rejuvenations, Deep Cleans, Infill top-ups, power-brushing, fence repairs, floodlight maintenance, and equipment supply.
For information about our 3G maintenance services and packages, please feel free to get in touch.