What is better for synthetic turf: raking or brushing? The Dutch City of Amsterdam will soon start studying this question.
The maintenance manuals of virtually all synthetic turf installing companies say that synthetic turf fields should be brushed regularly. Often it is claimed that this helps to decompact the infill layer, to ensure that the infill is spread equally, and to prevent algae and moss settling in the field.
Gerrit de Koe, a senior advisor to the City of Amsterdam, believes that the (regular) brushing of a field is unnecessary, and, in fact, contributes to the premature amortisation of the field. “The nylon brushes that are commonly used for brushing the field are often too hard and too aggressive.” If it were up to him, clubs and municipalities should immediately stop brushing their fields (regularly). He believes that by applying the right pressure to a good quality rake that has rounded iron pins positioned in the correct configuration, the same can be achieved without damage to the synthetic turf field. Currently, most installing companies warrant the synthetic turf surface for 8 to 10 years from fear that poor maintenance practices will damage a field permanently.
The study is financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, the Dutch industry association BSNC, the City of Amsterdam and the Norwegian FA. The results are expected to be available from mid-2021.