As a leading supplier of synthetic turf, one of the most common questions we’re asked is around the maintenance of artificial turf.
Understanding how to look after synthetic surfaces is a key part of keeping your turf looking its best and extending its lifespan.
Whether you are considering synthetic turf for a sports field, school, commercial project or public space, it’s important to understand that there is a small but regular amount of ongoing maintenance required.
Let’s take a closer look at what is involved in maintaining large areas of synthetic turf and how much this ongoing maintenance is likely to cost.
How to maintain artificial turf in commercial and public spaces
Once your artificial turf is installed, you’ll want it to look its best for many years to come. Synthetic grass can last for up to ten years when professionally installed, however with frequent use comes the need for frequent maintenance.
To keep your turf in excellent condition, regular maintenance is needed on a weekly and monthly basis. Take a professional sports field for example: for surfaces that see less than 40 hours of usage per week, around 6 hours of maintenance is the gold standard. Heavy use areas that see over 60 hours a week may need 10 hours or more of maintenance. This can be scheduled as follows.
It’s a good idea to gently blow down the synthetic turf surface each week and remove any leaves, twigs and other debris. This helps to lift the fibres and keep the surface in good condition, especially for high traffic areas such as synthetic turf sports fields and playground areas.
Where artificial turf areas butt up against concrete pavement, weeds can sometimes accumulate. Even in the most professionally-installed projects, the perimeter creates a natural join line where the odd weed can take root, so a brief check over and removal is a good idea as part of your weekly maintenance schedule.
Maintaining synthetic turf surfaces which have an application of granular infill includes checking this infill level occasionally. We recommend a monthly check for precision high-use areas such as soccer pitches and other surfaces that need to meet exacting standards.
Likewise, for civic projects, playgrounds and other public areas, a monthly turf maintenance schedule should include checking sand infill levels, checking that seams of inlaid lines or patterns are still firmly in place, and the use of a tougher drag brush process to lift and reinvigorate the individual fibres.
Other scheduled maintenance
A good preventative maintenance program includes seasonal tasks that can be carried out by your maintenance crew. Treating the surface for moss in the damp winter months, power brushing to revitalise the surface, and a deep clean with a mild detergent can help breathe new life into well-loved synthetic turf.
We also recommend a surface decompaction process twice a year – again, this is particularly important for precision playing surfaces such as Football NSW approved synthetic turf fields.
How much does synthetic turf maintenance cost?
Although this maintenance schedule may sound intensive, compare this with traditional grassed surfaces. Maintaining a living grass surface can be time consuming and expensive, with frequent mowing, weeding, fertilising, watering and repair of damaged areas.
Whilst this may be fine on a small scale, large commercial grassed surfaces quickly become unmanageable, requiring a qualified specialist or greenskeeper to maintain areas such as sports ovals, golf courses and school grounds. Not to mention a run of hot days burning the grass and ruining all your hard work. Floods too can inundate natural grassed areas, creating a boggy mess that takes a long time to drain away.
In contrast, synthetic turf surfaces require lower ongoing maintenance than natural turf surfaces. With proper site preparation and drainage, they are mostly unaffected by heavy rains, and the UV resistant material means they look good even in scorching weather.
For applications that need to be compliant with specific standards, such as synthetic football or soccer pitches, a budget could range anywhere from $12K to $20K per year for routine maintenance, including inspections, grooming, cleaning, as well as algae and weed treatments.
However – every surface and application is different, so this number may be heavily reduced for areas that don’t receive heavy foot traffic. For example, a typical school playground measuring 600m2 (depending on the use, condition, and a few other variables) may only require a maintenance budget of $1500 – $2000 for biannual servicing.
Naturally, these figures are a general guide, so it’s important to get personalised advice on the ongoing maintenance needs for your project.
Ask our synthetic turf experts about maintenance and upkeep
The team at Preferred Turf is here to provide help and advice on large commercial turf projects. Get in touch with us for specific advice on maintenance requirements for your application.