Maintenance of an artificial pitch is vital in order to maximise the life of the pitch and retain acceptable performance. Carpet manufacturers will often specify maintenance requirements in order for any guarantee (typically 8-10 years) to be valid and a pitch may not be certified to the required FIFA standard if maintenance training, equipment and programming has not been taken into consideration. Maintenance costs should be considered at the outset of any project and maintenance logs should be kept.
Three types of maintenance are usually required:
Regular (at least weekly)
- Drag matting or brushing to redistribute infill
- Brushing to lift the pile. Flattened pile results in a faster surface, fibrillation and matting and a consequential reduction in performance.
- Localised topping up of infill levels (penalty spot, centre spot, corner kick areas…) to support the pile and maintain maximum dynamic response from the carpet.
- The removal of litter, leaves and other debris from the surface
Periodic (1 – 4 times per year)
Ride-on brushing system with oscillating brushes
- Relieving compaction of the infill to ensure consistent ball and foot response.
- Removing moss or weeds within the surface, particularly around the edges of the pitch.
As the carpet pile wears, dirt and debris inevitably become trapped in the infill. Contaminated infill can compact, which will give a harder playing surface and problems with drainage leading to flooding. Contaminated infill should therefore be replaced before such problems occur.