Facility owners across the UK are being educated as to the benefits of maintaining their artificial football pitches rather than look at costly replacements.

Replay Maintenance, which specialises in maintaining synthetic sports surfaces, such as 3G pitches, has seen an increasing number of facilities who are appreciating the value of maintaining their sports surfaces.

Mill Hill School, Repton School and Kirkbie Kendal School are three prime examples of how being proactive with maintenance which extends the life of sports surfaces and ultimately saves money.

All three schools consider themselves centres of excellence for providing top quality sports facilities, with London’s Mill Hill School, for example, having a new indoor swimming pool, three new Eton Fives courts, as well as facilities for rugby, hockey, cricket and golf.

Steve Wennington, the Estates Bursar, said: “Competitive and recreational sport is important in the life of pupils at Mill Hill. Mill Hill is fortunate in its sporting facilities allowing for a range of sporting activities throughout our 120-acre site, and obviously maintaining our facilities is a top priority.”

Both Mill Hill School and Kendal-based Kirkbie Kendal School have taken advantage of the Replay Rejuvenation® service, which has dramatically restored their compacted and contaminated synthetic pitches to ‘as new’ in terms of both performance and appearance. This was achieved by using compressed air to remove the contaminated layer of infill and restore the pile to vertical. New clean infill is then added to complete the procedure, giving the surface a new lease of life. And it works just as effectively on 3G long-pile surfaces as it does on sand filled/dressed surfaces.

Garry Martin, Replay Maintenance’s director, explains why the Replay Rejuvenation® process is so successful: “Artificial turf pitches, over time become contaminated and compacted. Playing on the pitch becomes more difficult and more dangerous, particularly if there is surface water that won’t drain away. Processes like the Replay Rejuvenation® or our Replay Revive® service not only improves the playing performance but creates a safer surface for the players by de-compacting the surface and increasing its porosity.”

Often, the issue of drainage becomes a priority following heavy rainfall or, as in the case of Repton School in Derby, when a local river flooded both their water-based and sand-dressed surfaces last year. Replay Maintenance responded to an urgent call from the school after severe damage to its facilities completely stopped play. It received both the Replay Rejuvenation® process for the sand-dressed synthetic turf pitch and Replay’s Aquatrax service for the water-based. Aquatrax combines pressure washing and vacuum extraction to achieve noticeably cleaner and healthier athletic tracks and as in this case water-based pitches.

Darryl Parkinson, Grounds Manager at Repton School, explains how Replay Maintenance moved quickly and efficiently in getting the surfaces back to their original high standards: “We suffered from severe flood damage from contaminated water, but the equipment, speed of reply and speed with which Replay were able to assess and repair the damage was very impressive. It all ran very smoothly and is definitely an avenue we would like to go down on an annual basis.”

“In times where money is tight and budgets are restricted, taking steps to reduce spending is essential. Replay Maintenance offers a hugely cost effective service that rejuvenates and repairs tired, worn or damaged artificial sports surfaces at a fraction of the cost of replacing them. The results are immediate, long lasting and can noticeably improve the performance and safety of play,” said Garry.