Firstly, it weighs down the grass, providing stability to the surface and ensuring that there are no folds or wrinkles that could create hazards. Secondly, sand surrounds the blades of grass and ensures that they remain upright and don’t become compacted through use. This improves the appearance of the pitch and creates better shock absorption. Finally, sand infill helps to reduce friction between the player and the sports surface, thus limiting the damage to the surface through prolonged use and extending the life of your pitch.
Artificial turf sports pitches with sand infill can be used for many different sports where traditional grass surface might have been used in the past. This includes, but is not limited to, football, tennis and hockey. Sand on top of artificial turf is increasingly used in domestic landscaping because an artificial grass surface has fewer maintenance requirements and the benefit of improved drainage. A properly-maintained sand-based AstroTurf pitch or lawn will dry quickly, be easily cleaned and will prevent the growth of moss, algae and weeds. An appropriate sand infill will not provide the nourishment that weeds need to grow.
Artificial turf pitches can be installed anywhere you might have had a traditional grass pitch, including sports centres, schools, football clubs, universities, leisure facilities and gardens. A regular maintenance plan need not be unattainable to an amateur enthusiast and can extend the life of your sand-based AstroTurf pitch by 50 per cent, or five years, according to usage and circumstances. If you rely on the sports pitch for a living, it will ensure that your pitch is in top condition, all year round.
Even though sand-based artificial turf has many advantages over grass, and does not need regular mowing, feeding and watering, it will need at least annual maintenance, depending on use. This will include brushing and drag brushing to redistribute the sand across the surface of the pitch to prevent compaction in areas of heaving use, and sand top ups with a product designed for this purpose, to address the natural migration of the sand through time. Without these two aspects, you are more likely to have an accident or injury, and drainage will be reduced. If you haven’t had regular and appropriate maintenance and your pitch is starting to be covered in weeds or algae, or if there are tears in the carpet of the pitch or lines have become detached from their backing, these all create hazards for pitch users (and your pocket).
Drag brushing, sand top-ups, deep cleaning and line and carpet repairs all depend on specialist equipment, materials and expertise that is beyond the experience of most private and commercial sports pitches. AstroCare maintenance packages start at just £500 per court or surface, per year.