Winter maintenance: keep your pitch going all year round

If you’re responsible for the upkeep of an artificial pitch, you’ll know just how challenging winter conditions can be. Rain, frost and sitting water can quickly turn a smart green pitch into an uneven, slippery quagmire, with mould, algae and mud working together to make a surface all but unplayable.

Though you can’t control the weather, it is possible to limit the damage rain, frost and snow do to your playing surface. The right maintenance regime can make a huge difference, with pitches that are properly looked after usable in almost all weather conditions.

Regular maintenance will save you time

Throughout the year, groundsmen need to regularly sweep, decompact and chemically treat an artificial pitch to keep it even and free of debris, mould and algae. Though this can be time consuming, it will prevent a build up of detritus in your pitch and will help keep the playing surface in good condition throughout the year. You may also need to think about repainting your line markings in the winter months as inlaid or woven lines can fade in tough weather conditions. The technique you use to replace your lines will depend on your specific playing surface and conditions.

The problems with winter maintenance

Though a lot of groundsmen will enjoy caring for an artificial pitch during the summer, it’s a very different story during the chilly winter months. For a start, frozen pitches often need to be treated with salt before maintenance can begin, adding to the time it takes to prepare an artificial pitch for play. Once the surface has thawed, it can take the maintenance team a considerable amount of time to clean, brush and even the pitch out.

Time saving techniques

To save time, energy and frostbite, organisations that use artificial pitches can invest in specialist equipment to help with surface maintenance. One of the most popular systems for maintaining artificial pitches was actually developed by the team at Artificial Grass Cambridge. Called the Renew, the simple but effective piece of machinery can be used on sand filled and sand dressed 3G and 4G pitches and can halve the time it takes to treat an artificial surface.

It’s also important to regularly treat your artificial surface with an algaecide, such as Algoclear Pro, to prevent moss and algae. This product is suitable for all types of synthetic sport surfaces, requires no rinsing and degrades rapidly, leaving no environmental footprint. Algoclear Pro should be applied when the surface is dry. Simply dilute with water in a low pressure sprayer and fully saturated the surface – no additional scrubbing required!

Maintaining an artificial surface properly won’t just make it more enjoyable to play on, it will also help to keep the pitch bright, green and attractive even when the winter weather is at its worst. As Journalist Constance Craig Smith says, the main reason behind the increase in use of artificial grass is because of the “enormous increase in quality”, so why not maintain your surface properly and make sure your pitch looks great and works well throughout the year?

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