The Groundsman

July 2015

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Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions AWARD SPONSOR 20 the Groundsman July 2015 he footfall over a synthetic surface will compact the infill and flatten the fibres. The surface will become hard under foot, its drainage ability will be reduced and if the fibres are no longer supported, they will lay horizontally. If left like that, and play continues, the most vulnerable part of the fibre is exposed to loading and UV - causing premature wear and breakage to reduce the overall expected life. Here, the groundsman's most effective, yet simple, tool is the 'brush'. This will move infill around the surface, help alleviate compaction and stand up the fibres. It should take no more than 45 minutes to cover a full-size surface and the process should be conducted at least once for every 10 hours of use. A brush like the Redexim Verti-Broom can be towed by a small tractor, ride-on buggy or ATV. T Basic maintenance practices for synthetic surfaces It is a common misnomer that synthetic pitches – whether sand-filled, sand-dressed or 3G, do not need to be maintained. But while their maintenance doesn't have to be complex or costly, it must be consistent and effective By: Curtis Allen Maintenance regimes should be aligned to usage - the idea of brushing every 10 hours refers to the entire pitch area being used in the normal fashion by, say, 22 players. But this may not always be the case as the surface can sometimes accommodate up to three games of 18 players each which then increases the total pairs of feet to 54 (plus staff, referees and parents). The following calculations can help when deciding maintenance requirements. The higher the factor Ӿ figure becomes the more maintenance will be required. The calculator shows that a five-a-side site, despite its smaller area and fewer players for the same amount of hours per year, requires more maintenance than the full-size surface. Do the same calculation on the full-sized site with the 54 players on the site, and the figure of 13.5 makes an increase in maintenance of 145 per cent to compensate for the additional footfall. When it comes to surface cleaning, again a little and often approach is most effective. Most material on the surface is natural debris and detritus, which if left can get trodden on and broken down into the surface. This will then migrate downwards causing drainage problems. Machines like the Redexim Verti-Clean have proved invaluable to correct this. Brushing and cleaning is not the complete solution; more intensive cleaning to remove the build-up of finer materials and particles will be required. Synthetic surfaces unintentionally work as a water purification system, allowing water to pass through with the infill trapping dust, dirt etc. The Redexim Verti-Top will aid de- compaction and prevent the surface reaching saturation point by sweeping out the top layer; sieving the material to collect the large pieces of debris and collecting smaller particles via a vacuum system. Curtis Allen is business manager/synthetic specialist at Redexim Charterhouse (www.redexim.com). Calculation Full Size Site Five-a-Side Site No. of hours play (per annum) x No. of players per hour Playing area M 2 1500 Hours of Play Per Annum x 22 Players per hour 6000M 2 1500 Hours of Play Per Annum x 10 Player per hour 800M 2 = X = 5.5 = 18.75 At-a-glance calculations for maintenance requirements Brushing moves infill around the surface

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