Football can be played on a variety of artificial surfaces – from polymeric rubber through to long pile artificial grass. Many of these artificial grass surfaces may also have a shock pad base underneath; this increases its shock absorbency.
Such artificial surfaces range in size: from single tennis court, where 5-a-side football is played up to full sized pitches or cross play pitches.
Line markings – can be cut in to the surface or are painted on using two-pack polyurethane paint.
Each type of artificial sports surface potentially requires a slightly different maintenance regime:
Sand Filled Surfaces – these typically have pile heights of 20 to 24mm, they require regular brushing. The interval depends upon the surface usage and its positioning. A shaded surface which is close to deciduous trees will require more frequent maintenance than one that is out in the open with no nearby vegetation around. All artificial surfaces which are well used all year round will require more regular maintenance. Sand Filled Artificial Sports Surfaces need chemical treatments and deep cleaning throughout their life in order to ensure longevity of the surface. Sometimes if it is found that contamination is widespread throughout the surface, it may be essential to remove the sand replace it completely.
Sand Dressed Carpets – these are predominately surfaces designed for hockey, but they are also used for football practice as well as tennis. These surfaces usually have pile heights of between 15 and 20mm. They have less sand than the filled surfaces and consequently they have faster play characteristics one reason why they are ideal for hockey. Sand Dressed Carpets require regular brushing, chemical treatments and deep cleaning.
3G Surfaces or Third Generation Sports Surfaces – These are sand and rubber filled carpets ranging in length from 35mm to 65mm. They make great sport surfaces for football, while the shorter pile versions can be used for hockey practice. 3G sports surfaces require regular brushing, in particular if hockey is regularly played on them. The regularity of such maintenance is again dependent on its usage, heavy usage can cause the loose infill rubber granules to rise or migrate from the surface to surrounding areas. Should this be the problem, the granule levels will require topping up.