The Green Room
With the vast array of sports available to play on synthetic surfaces nowadays your choice of line marking application can be critical.
The surface chosen should suit the “dominant” sport(s), for example if you have a need for a good soccer surface with little or no provision for tennis a 3G system may be the selection of choice, alternatively hockey may be prevalent thus requiring a sand-dressed or non-filled option.
Whatever your choice line marking will be essential, for the dominant sports you may decide to have a permanent “inlaid” line, this process is quite complicated and should always be carried out by a specialist company. Often the dominant sport(s) have inlaid lines from installation but these can also be “”retro fitted”. The required markings will be set out and cut to width and length. Specialist seaming tape will be laid into the newly created “gap” and glue applied. Freshly imported carpet in the chosen color will then be carefully placed onto the glue to adhere with help of a weighted roller. Care must be taken at survey stage to ensure new carpet type matches (as closely as possible) that which already exists (pile depth especially). Initially this process is expensive but if well applied will last the lifetime of the carpet, negating any “on cost” for further markings, often resulting in a more cost effective solution.
A more common method is the application of 2-PAC polyurethane compound (paint). Again a specialist should be considered to carry out these works as mistakes can prove to be costly. Application utilises airless spraying and surrounds or coats the
fibre giving a hard wearing painted surface that can last 12-18 months. Paint “buildup” can become a problem if the correct maintenance practices are not put in place, this can cause problems with faster ball sports (Hockey in particularly). First application will be more costly as survey and set-out will need to be carried out, but with good maintenance practice the lines have strong longevity, regardless of fill orsurface type including Athletic Tracks and Bitmac play areas.
Water-based aerosols are a short-term solution, although this system of line marking is often carried out “in-house”. These types of paint may only last a matter of weeks, which in turn will require frequent re-marking exercises, potentially taking up valuable time and resource. Often considered to be at the low end financially, frequency, paint cost and time can soon equate to an expensive process. That said if your facility has multiple sports played on it, water-based aerosols may be fit for purpose as the lines can fade when no longer needed.
Line marking of any kind is weather dependant – dry still weather is of preference. Always seek advice from a specialist company if you are unsure. Forward planning is essential and please bear in mind that your facility will require some down time (including curing). Rules and regulations often change, nibs and dotted “D’s” may need to be added, selecting the correct marking option for your surface will minimise disruption and financial duress as you move forward.