When should you as a pitch owner make the replacement call?
A number of (local) conditions will usually play a major role determining the actual, technical lifetime of your artificial turf system. The most important factors include the original product quality of the used infill and carpet; the construction of the base and under layer; the wear and tear from players, maintenance machinery and unauthorized users as well as all-year weather conditions.
The technical life time
By normal usage, the technical lifetime for standard artificial turf systems average 8-10 years. Hereafter you should be expecting:Loop holes in the carpet, which are hard to mend. Thus, players are likely to face a higher risk of injuries. In addition, it may become almost impossible to regain an acceptable playing condition around the mended spots.The grass fibers are worn and torn – also, they often lie flat. It may be very difficult to brush up the fibers, making it impossible to secure proper playing conditions (speed of the ball).Over time, the volume of external impurities will grow and thereby pose a hazard to the health of the players and create drainage problems. Such impurities may include fractions of glass, metal, pencils, capsules etc.During the usage, small particles will loosen from the material fractions of the turf system. These rub-off particles are likely to stick-together and clog up the drainage system. As a result flooding is likely to occur and subsequently the infill will “sail away” – even beyond the boundaries of the pitches. During wintertime, the pitches will be covered by ice, because of a clogged drainage system.
maintenance of old and new pitch systems.At some point in time, owners of artificial turf systems are faced with maintenance costs for an old turf installation, which are likely much higher than the depreciation of a new pitch. In addition, it is worth noting that product development is really moving fast these years. Investment in third or 4th generation pitches will normally help the pitch owner to reduce the maintenance costs considerably – and with clearly improved playability, new pitches are likely to attract a wider crowd of players – maybe from a higher league, which will often overcompensate and justify an investment.
Sponsors are also more attracted to the new generation of pitches. Do not forget to include additional sponsor opportunities in your final calculation.