Protect Your Artificial Pitch from Frost this Winter

Although synthetic surfaces are often described as being suitable for all weathers, just like any outdoor facility a synthetic surface will be susceptible to extreme weather conditions such as harsh frost. Playrite Area Manager Sean Colbert has put together some information below on why pitches freeze, how you can prevent frost occurring and most importantly how to protect your pitch throughout the winter.

 

Why are artificial pitches affected by frost?

Basically, low winter temperatures allow for the freezing of any moisture present in the infill of the carpet. A vast majority of outdoor carpet will contain a sand component and aggregate at the base of the carpet is likely to retain moisture for some time, especially during the winter months. Low temperatures will allow this moisture and consequently the sand to freeze.

 

What problems can this create in terms of play?

This can severely inhibit the playing and draining characteristics of the carpet and pose a health and safety risk to the users of the facility. The severity of the risk is something that will need to be determined locally and take into account the nature of the users and the types of sports – it’s worth remembering that where the infill fills the carpet completely then the risk to the users will be greater.

 

Can the frozen surface simply be left to thaw?

This is the less risky option, leaving the frozen surface along with the natural surface to thaw. Occasions of freezing weather have tended not to last long, and the synthetic nature of the fibre can hold residual heat and thaw relatively quickly.

 

Does covering the surface work?

This is only really effective on small areas such as tennis courts. Covers can be fitted across the carpet and this may be enough to prevent the surface from freezing in the first place.

 

What can be done if the surface is covered in snow?

If snow fall is experienced on the surface it can be removed by hand or by machine. Extreme care needs to be taken and this should be done in degrees and in the direction of the seams to help avoid damage. Space is needed at the edge of the surface to store the removed snow, and don’t forget to replace any infill that may have been removed when temperatures return to normal. The removal of the snow may reveal a frozen pitch beneath that may need to be thawed.

 

Can frost be prevented in the first place?

Agents can be sprayed onto the pitch prior to the freezing conditions arriving, usually taking the form of a de-icing liquid mixed with water and sprayed onto the pitch. Depending on the product used, this will have an element of de-icing exiting frozen infill as well as preventing freezing in the carpet pile for a pre determined time. Drawbacks of this are the cost and the fact that the product will only work for so long and only down to a certain temperature. These conditions may be acceptable to the operator of the surface if they have a specific important event at the facility.

 

Can salt be used to melt the ice?

Yes, but it’s very important to remember that the salt used needs to be a certain variety, in the same way that only certain infills in the carpet are fit for purpose. Salt needs to be near a human consumption level – sometimes known as vacuum dried salt - as this product will be extremely low in any contaminants and will act quicker on any frost build up. The use of rock salt or similar products must be highly discouraged, not only will the various contaminants within this salt break down and sit at the bottom of the carpet, possibly affecting drainage and causing standing water, the nutrients within the salt will provide a resource for various mosses and algae to form within the surface. This is likely to lead to problems with the pitch for years to come.

 

Please contact Playrite directly if you have any further questions.

 

Votes: 0
E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Open forum activity

Gary @ Landscape Juice Network updated their profile
2 hours ago
Billybop replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"yes safety first with all these new fangled gadgets... something else to bear in mind to those using a combination of petrol and battery tools is to keep the petrol and batteries very much separate. It doesn't bear thinking about what could happen…"
14 hours ago
BCH Gardens replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"Thats the best and safest result John.  Pleased that's resolved this way.
Spot on Billybop - but they are designed that way because the first thing a joiner does is throw a battery into a toolbag of sharp things in the back of the van, or drop it…"
14 hours ago
Gary RK replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"Good customer service :ThumbsUp:"
14 hours ago
Billybop replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"that's good.  to be fair, the power tool type Li-Ion battery packs are generally a lot sturdier and less volatile than the Li-Po type used in radio controlled planes etc"
19 hours ago
John F replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"Crikey !! I was just about to give the battery a bang on the ground but on second thoughts ? 
Thanks for the advice It just highlights the need to treat these batteries with respect .
I have contacted the supplier and absolute sterling service after…"
19 hours ago
Tim Bucknall replied to Paul Doyle's discussion Viburnum problem
"Viburnum rhytidophyllum.  Horrible plant, I would always take it out if I had the chance.  If you have to prune it, do it on a rainy day.
Never had a problem with any other variety."
21 hours ago
Sam Wharton is now a member of Landscape Juice Network
yesterday
BCH Gardens replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"John
check your charger manual to make sure the green/red flashing does not indicate a bad cell - a good charger should point blank refuse to charge a battery with a bad cell.  Li-ion batteries can do very weird things when they have a bad cell. …"
yesterday
john jones replied to John F's discussion Henchman Most Practical Position
"My next door neighbours painted their whole house inside and out during lockdown using my 12' tripod. (Massive high ceiling in the hallway.)  "
yesterday
Andrew Betteridge replied to John F's discussion Henchman Most Practical Position
"Has anyone tried painting a house using a Henchman tripod stepladder?
 Andy "
yesterday
Dave Hooper replied to alan mcmillan's discussion I'm looking for a decent duplicate Invoice book?
"Didn't see that🤣🤣🤣"
yesterday
Billybop replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"probably not charging up to quite the voltage of a healthy battery of the same type which can indicate a cell gone bad in it. or even a battery managent system failure. does that flashing sequence on your charger indicate a fault, as brands are…"
yesterday
BCH Gardens replied to alan mcmillan's discussion I'm looking for a decent duplicate Invoice book?
"LOL. Thanks John.  Thought there was something about it didn't seem right."
yesterday
John F replied to alan mcmillan's discussion I'm looking for a decent duplicate Invoice book?
"The original post is 10 years old ."
yesterday
John F replied to John F's discussion Battery indicates fully charged but does not operate ?
"No i have not Billybop  . what indications should i be looking for ?  I have tried charging it up again but charger is flashing green / red  /green / red / i gave the terminals a gentle poke with a penknife but nothing ."
yesterday
More…

petrol v battery

Any views on battery v petrol for a long reach pole trimmerI have had a petrol husqvarna for quite a few years but unfortunately coming to the end of its life I feel as blades have ceased (although this one is only 3 years old ! and maintained…

Read more…
10 Replies · Reply by Billybop yesterday