Guest Column - October 2013
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Sports

Tiptop Turf
Keeping Your Synthetic Turf in Shape

By Bruce Cheskin


Snow & Synthetic Turf

Weather plays a role in the maintenance of your synthetic turf field. Perhaps the most obvious condition is the removal of snow for outdoor facilities in colder climates. First, your installer or manufacturer should provide you a list of approved snow removal equipment for your type of turf. Quality-made synthetic turfs require a PVC pipe to cover any snowplow blade that could potentially come in contact with the surface.

It is also important that snow removal takes place often during a snowfall to avoid more than two inches of accumulation on the turf at any time. Small layers of snow will melt once the turf is exposed to sunlight, and it's best to use a shovel to clear these areas. In extreme cases, ice can be removed by spreading a pilled fertilizer-grade urea over the field. You should never use chains or studded tires under any circumstance, park equipment on the turf surface for any length of time, attempt to remove ice from the field with a plow or use ice-melting agents such as rock salt or calcium chloride on your playing surface.

Other Things to Consider

To keep your field in top-notch condition, remember the following tips:

  • Walk your field regularly and inspect it for any necessary repairs. Report and repair them right away.
  • Encourage players to walk the field after each practice or game and simply pick up any trash or debris found on the field.
  • Groom the field on a regular basis; this keeps the fibers standing tall and your field in optimal playing condition.
  • Promote even wear on your field to avoid excessive use of specific areas. If possible, alternate practices on different sections of the field.
  • Pay special attention to areas that get repetitive wear and when the infill looks low from displacement, brush in infill from higher surrounding areas to even out the level of infill.

A synthetic turf field is an investment that can provide years of elite-level playability and recreation for schools, colleges, athletes, coaches and parents. Some of the leading high school and collegiate athletic programs across the United States depend on the reduced maintenance artificial turf provides. Working with a trusted installer and proven manufacturer of synthetic turfs is the first step in ensuring your new field performs well.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bruce Cheskin is executive vice president for Sprinturf, a synthetic turf company headquartered in Atlanta. Sprinturf manufactures 100 percent of its products in-house and in the United States. For more information, visit www.sprinturf.com.