Since its invention in the 1960s, astro turf has become a common playing surface due to several advantages it has over traditional sod. The most obvious advantage is that astro turf doesn't need to be replaced or patched up nearly as often. Although astro turf is very durable, proper steps should be taken in the cleaning process to ensure that both the appearance and the functionality of the turf are maintained. Unlike its traditional counterpart, astro turf can grow bacteria if it is not cleaned properly.
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Things you need
- Broom or power sweeper
- BowDry (or other form of water removal device)
- Pressure washer
Inspect the turf. The easiest thing to check for is excess water. Once you have done that, walk up and down the turf and inspect it for holes or tears. During the cleaning process, any small tears could catch on cleaning equipment and damage the turf.
Remove excess water, if any is found. While this can be done with a standard handheld water pump, there are devices specifically designed for removing water from astro turf such as the BowDry. This device is a large roller that is pushed around the turf. It compresses the turf to squeeze the water out and collect it.
Sweep the turf. If the surface area is not very large, this can be done with a regular broom or dust mop. Make sure that you press down firmly to apply a good amount of pressure as you sweep. For larger surfaces, a motorised power sweeper is a better option.
Pressure wash the turf if it has gone a long time between cleanings. If the turf is still discoloured after sweeping, it will be necessary to use a pressure washer. Again, the model you use depends on the size of playing surface. For smaller fields, use a handheld model that can be purchased at hardware stores. For larger fields, a motorised riding unit is better.
Establish a set of guidelines for maintaining the turf. Some of these guidelines may include rules like not eating while on the turf, or a schedule of how often it should be cleaned.
Tips and warnings
- It may be necessary to use a disinfectant or cleaner to get rid of mildew or bacteria. Use a disinfectant that is safe for astro turf and the environment since it will be rinsed off, either by mechanical means or by rain.
- In some cases, water removal may not be necessary due to improved technology such as self-draining turf. If you are installing new astro turf, consider this option to help reduce maintenance.
- Consider investing in a tarp to cover the field. This will protect the turf from the elements when not in use.
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