Very little thought is given to the effects that a long hard winter has on synthetic surfaces. In some cases, adverse conditions will have diverted play over to them, increasing the strain and contributing to the overall poor condition of a pitch. This increased traffic, coupled with the almost constant damp, will have escalated the usual issues with compaction and drainage, causing headaches for many turf managers struggling to keep playing surfaces looking good and playing well.
The chances are the surface will not have been cleaned properly since the previous summer and, with months of heavy rain and snowfall having passed since, surfaces have become even more contaminated. As the spring and summer months arrive, and the surface will now (hopefully!) be drier, groundsmen have the first chance to really clean the infill. Charterhouse Turf Machinery have a range of synthetic equipment, including intensive cleaning machines, that can revitalise a winter-worn pitch.
The Verti-Top continues to set the standard for the maintenance of artificial turf surfaces. A powered rotary brush sweeps to a pre-determined depth, lifting the pile and extracting up to the top 15mm of infill, along with any foreign material. The infill is lifted onto a sieve which separates out any detritus, while a vacuum draws out fines and dust. The cleaned infill is then brushed back into the surface leaving a clean and level result. The Verti-Top is available in either 1.2 or 1.8 metre working widths, both featuring adjustable decompaction tines and interchangeable sieves suitable for different infill types.
Also available is the Speed-Clean, a land-driven surface sweeper. The paddle brush system allows the Speed-Clean to lift the infill from the surface where debris is separated and collected in bins on the rear of the unit. The clean infill is returned and brushed into the surface. The machine also features a tine section which aids decompaction while the rear brush preens the surface to leave an aesthetically pleasing finish.