Pitch Preparation

Pitch Blog - Technical Surfaces Ltd on 3G Pitches

To celebrate the launch of the Pitch Preparation Fund, Kent FA is bringing you a series of three blogs focusing on pitch maintenance.

Kent FA is pleased to confirm that we have teamed up with one of the leading artificial pitch maintenance providers in Technical Surfaces Ltd to support clubs and organisations with the responsibility of caring and maintaining 3G pitches.

Not only have Technical Surfaces Ltd compiled the following maintenance guidelines for facility owners and operators during these unprecedented times, they have agreed a price list to support Kent-based facilities and also shared some useful resources, including a daily check list.


We are mindful that every facility is unique; however, the common denominator amongst facility owners and operators is to provide a safe, functioning facility for their users. Once the current pressures are alleviated, we understand that you will want your facility to re-open without delay.

The majority of specialist maintenance providers have temporarily closed, in line with government guidance. Where possible, the site team should observe the minimum maintenance frequencies, this will help to reduce the need for extensive refurbishment, protect warranties and help to prevent any issues that may result in an extended closure period, past the current lockdown.

These comprehensive guidelines have been formulated to enable clients and operators to get the best from their synthetic facilities at these testing times. These are our best practice recommendations that have been formulated through years of experience as the UK’s largest and leading specialist maintenance provider and through research in partnership with Loughborough University. These frequencies may differ from those provided by your manufacturer and/or installer. In these circumstances, we recommend that you follow your specific maintenance program. 

Any variance should be agreed with the relevant manufacturer and/or installer in writing.

We recommend that you observe the following principles, processes and procedures during the current closure. A maintenance schedule has been included, identifying our recommended frequencies. A daily pitch inspection form is also included for your reference, please feel free to print and use this in-house.

In-House Monitoring/Daily Checks
Where possible, continue to undertake daily checks to ensure that any surface issues are identified and logged. Raise any concerns to your site maintenance team and/or specialist maintenance providers for comment. Specialist maintenance providers may have an online portal that can be used to report or log any concerns or issues. We have developed our Online Technical Information System (OTIS) to enable our clients to login and review their service history/planner, outstanding quotes, previous reports and access the support area where they can utilise the interactive plan to identify any issues with the surface. They can also upload supporting images to help to speed up the diagnosis and remedy process.

Drag Brushing, including Light Decompaction for 3G surfaces
Drag Brushing of a synthetic surface remains the primary and fundamental maintenance operation. Our research has identified that 3G surfaces should be drag brushed and decompacted using tines, a minimum of twice weekly and in varying directions.

All other surfaces should be brushed a minimum of once per week. Whilst we normally advocate the need to increase maintenance in line with factored hours usage, this is not a concern given that the surfaces should now be closed.

Litter / Leaf Collection
Leaves and litter should be collected on a regular basis – ideally daily. If left to stand on the surface, leaves will decay and contaminate the infill, impacting on the free-draining characteristics of the facility. Consider replacing litter collections with manual removal of weeds.

Vegetation Growth
Changes in usage will result in an increase in the formation of moss, weed and algae growth. Clients should be especially vigilant in areas of facilities which receive little sunlight due to overhanging trees, kickboards or general geography. Manual removal should be completed, ideally daily to help to prevent extensive build up. This should form part of the daily checks, in place of litter collections. Chemical treatments may be required, particularly for moss, algae and lichen should this proliferate within the surface. Where a specialist maintenance provider is in place, an in-house treatment should be applied in advance of the facility reopening and the specialist maintenance resuming.

Specialist Power Sweeping, including Decompaction with tines for 3G surfaces
Where specialist maintenance machinery is located onsite, the specialist maintenance regime should continue, if possible.

Where a specialist maintenance provider is in place, it is likely that you will have missed a minimum of one maintenance visit before reopening. We recommend that you complete an initial extended visit by combining two visits when the facility reopens, this will help to reverse the impact of the pitch closure.

Surface Decontaminant Solution (Sanitech®)
Where there are specific concerns relating to the transmission of Covid-19, it would be advisable to apply a Surface Decontaminant Solution or Sanitech®, available from Technical Surfaces. Scientific research identifies that the membrane of the Covid 19 virus is Lipophilic which is common to the corona genus. Sanitech® contains DDAC (Didecyldimethylammonium chloride) which bonds with the cell wall, affecting its permeability, causing protein denaturation, a process whereby a protein loses its shape, resulting in the loss of vital cell functions. Sanitech® essentially kills the corona viruses by penetrating the cell wall / envelope.

Sanitech® also kills 99% of known micro-organisms including E.coli, Salmonella, Listeria, MRSA, Hepatitis B/C and Influenza A, it is also suitable to treat surfaces affected by bird droppings. Please Note: Sanitech® does not treat toxocariasis, which is caused by roundworm parasites typically in cat, dog and fox droppings. There is no immediate danger from fresh faeces, as the eggs only become infectious after a few weeks, issues can be avoided by collecting any droppings as part of the daily checks.

Surface Performance Testing
We appreciate that you may be concerned about your surface performance certification expiring during the closure. If your certification has or is due to expire, we would recommend that you contact your accredited testing house and your local governing body e.g. regional FA to discuss your available options. We understand that the FA are looking to extend the certification of affected surfaces until June 2020, but this may change depending on the duration of the lockdown.

Preparing to Reopen
A reputable specialist maintenance provider will produce an annual inspection on the condition of the surface; it is vital that you review your most recent report and identify if all recommendations have been actioned and completed. It would also be advisable to liaise with your specialist maintenance provider, when you reopen to discuss your available options. We recommend that a Revite® is completed on all infilled surfaces and at the earliest convenience. A PowerGrade® should also be considered for 3G surfaces to help to restore the surface performance characteristics and user comfort. Any hard courts, polymeric surfaces and athletics tracks are likely to require refurbishment, including Chemical Treatments and a Hydrotech® (specialist cleaning). Your specialist maintenance provider will be able to assist with these requirements.

Please remember to stay safe when continuing to maintain your synthetic surface and ensure that you are observing government guidelines at all times. We also recommend that you continue to utilise suitable PPE and review all current lone working policies and risk assessments to ensure that these remain relevant. Your safety and wellbeing are always of paramount importance.

We hope you find this information useful, if you need any further assistance or have any specific questions, please feel free to contact Technical Surfaces on info@technicalsurfaces.co.uk and one of our team will be happy to help. These are unprecedented circumstances and we anticipate that many of our customers will contact us at this time, so we ask that you please bear with us as this will impact on our response times.

With very best wishes. Stay safe, stay well.

Jonathan Gunn
Technical Director

Pitch Preparation Fund

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