Essential Maintenance Practices for 4G Astro Pitches

The astroturf revolution is well underway and 4G astro pitches are becoming commonplace in professional sports, however they are also now expected by grassroots communities who want to enjoy the benefits that come with having an artificial playing surface. These include reducing maintenance costs, keeping players safe and minimising injury through the use of a hard wearing synthetic surface.

The most recent development in astroturf technology is the fourth generation (4G) pitch, which offers the best balance between natural grass and synthetic surfaces. Designed specifically for football, rugby and other multi-sports pitches, the latest 4G surfaces replicate the feel of natural turf with true ball bounce, realistic impact and performance, making them an ideal alternative to a real grass lawn.

4G astro pitches are also more durable than 3G, so they require less maintenance. In addition to this, they remain soft during cold weather, allowing training sessions to be held irrespective of the conditions outside. This helps to keep match day cancellations to a minimum and makes it possible for teams to train in the same conditions they will experience on their home ground.

As with all synthetic sports surfaces, combining daily and weekly in-house routines with specialist maintenance processes is the key to ensuring your artificial surface continues to perform at its best. For example, regular drag brushing of the surface will help to maintain a consistent distribution of rubber infill and raise the carpet pile. Alternatively, you could consider the more intensive power grooming and deep cleaning process.

Moss and weed growth are another problem that needs to be tackled on a regular basis. If left unchecked, they will soon increase contamination levels and pose health and safety risks to players. Specialist chemicals such as AlgoClear Pro are available to treat these problems and prevent their re-occurring.

Infill is a vital part of any artificial surface. The small rubber pellets (or ‘crumbs’) found on a 3G artificial pitch or the silica sand used in hockey surfaces are there to support the fibres and make sure they stand upright when trodden on. However, it is important to regularly check the infill levels as they can drop over time and affect the performance of the surface.

Another aspect of 4G astro pitch maintenance is ensuring the shock pad underneath the synthetic grass is in good working order. This is particularly important if the surface is being used for rugby as it is required by law to be fitted with this layer of protection for the player’s safety.

Finally, it is worth considering a drainage system. Having one installed will reduce the risk of water accumulation on the pitch, further helping to ensure the safety and performance of the surface.

 

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