How does maintenance on the pitch help in cold weather

Now that the cold snap is upon us, everyone has their heating on full blast. We have our scarves and gloves ready in anticipation for the inevitable drop in temperature – it’s predicted to be a record breaking cold winter! However, for the outdoor sports fans this doesn’t mean the season ends here – play can continue on artificial hard courts, or grass courts and pitches with the right care programme in place.

The life expectancy of an artificial turf field naturally depends on the maintenance and how often it is played on. After approximately 10 years, the playing characteristics of a pitch can deteriorate, but if correctly looked after during the warm weather, drainage will remain good when it comes to the wet winter months. This helps to prevent deterioration during sub zero temperatures – frost, ice and snow are the worst enemy of an artificial sports pitch

In these conditions, especially, if there’s a prolonged period of ground frost, it’s important to establish a regular and robust maintenance regime using only the recommended care methods and materials. This will prevent damage and brittling caused by the elements and more importantly, eliminate corrosion caused by using the wrong chemical-based snow melts. This allows the surface to be used in all weathers – the exact objective of having an artificial grass surface as opposed to real grass. After all, it’s best to avoid a mudfest and waterlogged/frozen pitch resulting in cancelled games!

Good maintenance also prevents artificial hard tennis courts from cracking. We definitely advise not to cover any type of tennis court, as a dark, dank environment is ideal for the growth of moss and algae and if you already have issues with moss impregnating your macadam court, frost, ice and snow will undoubtedly make it worse. Cracks can become larger due to frost damage, leading to a dangerous playing surface.

A regular maintenance programme will ensure that your court is free of moss, mold and algae. We also do not recommend you use grit to clear ice and snow as it will damage the artificial surface. However, a power brush or snow blower is ideal for clearing not only the artificial surface, but also car parks and paths.

Once the excess snow is cleared, we recommend a preventative measure using only the correct salt. Keeping snow and ice from reforming on artificial sports pitches requires salt to be near a human consumption standard – often known as pure vacuum dried salt (PDV). PDV salt is similar to pure processed household salt (do not use rock salt due to the grit component) and will preserve the life and condition of the surface without causing erosion. It is ideal for carpet-based surfaces as Urea or Carbamide based ice melts can damage the latex backing of the carpet.

We recommend PDV salt to keep an artificial pitch ice and frost free primarily because it is effective against frost build-up  (it prevents water from re-freezing, thus preserving the condition of the surface). Also, it fits with our company’s green ethics as this product is extremely low terms of contaminants. This makes it more beneficial to the environment with no negative impact on the water table and it’s also safe for urban wildlife. We pride ourselves in being a caring, socially responsible brand as well as providing a great customer service for artificial sports surfaces!

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