Synthetic turf marketers sometimes claim that their fields require little or no maintenance, but proper maintenance is essential for playability and for the full usable life of the field. Minimal maintenance includes regular brushing, returning loose infill to the playing surface, and brushing to level the surface after games or heavy rain.
- Regular brushing – brushing is essential for playability. Without proper maintenance, the ball can roll unevenly, gain or lose speed, or bounce unpredictably. Heavy rain may cause the infill material to migrate, requiring additional brushing to restore a level playing surface.
- Return loose infill to the field – Infill material that accumulates around the playing area should be returned to the field and leveled.
- Temperature – In warm weather it may be necessary to water the field to reduce the surface temperature, which can be hot enough to cause skin burns and contribute to heat stroke/stress.
- Algae, bacteria, and mold – In some climates & weather conditions, it may be necessary to spray the field with chemicals to prevent undesirable growth such as algae, bacteria, and mold.
For a more complete description of good maintenance practices, see Maintenance of Synthetic Turf [PDF], from FIFA, the international soccer association.
- What Is Synthetic Turf?
- What Do Athletes Think?
- Health & Safety Concerns
- Turf Burns – First Aid & Treatment
- Antibiotic-Resistant Infections – MRSA
- Environmental Pros & Cons
- Maintenance & Upkeep
- Cost – Natural Turf v. Synthetic
- Play It Safe – Recommendations for Athletes, Parents, and Institutions
- Sources & Links for More Information
- Open Letter to Anyone Considering Synthetic Turf
These pages on Synthetic Turf are based on research and analysis completed in May 2015 by Kendall Garden [Lehigh ’16] and Peter Crownfield. Contact us by email.
[updated 22 May 2015]