Synthetic Turf field maintenance program for schools and sports clubs

Synthetic Turf field maintenance program for schools and sports clubs

synthetic turf field maintenance program

For athletes and spectators, a well-maintained field isn’t something they think about. When the whistle blows, and bodies start moving, the focus shouldn’t be on the quality of the field. Instead, minds are on the plays and the competition. That’s why it’s crucial for your field’s surface to be game-ready every time. In order to ensure a great playing experience, you need an artificial turf maintenance program.

Growing up, we’ve all played on fields that have been less than ideal. Bare spots in the grass, divots in the outfield, and uncut grass all take away from the overall experience of play. 

That’s why the benefits of artificial turf in a sports venue are so great. It gives you an opportunity to create an arena that is aesthetically and functionally perfect for your athletes. They are long-lasting, durable, and can withstand the constant activity from competitions, training, and special events.  Especially now, with new technologies, materials, and installation procedures, your teams can enjoy a high-performance surface for years to come.

But like a traditional field made of organic materials, synthetic turf needs consistent care in order to keep athletes and users safe, happy, and at peak performance levels. While most maintenance and repairs can be done in-house, it requires a specific skill set that many crews don’t possess. 

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about designing a turf maintenance program. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of performing maintenance in-house vs. outsourcing to a professional.

If you are in a hurry and want to get an estimate for the annual maintenance costs for your sports field, use our artificial turf field maintenance cost calculator.

Why turf field maintenance is important

Although synthetic turf is more durable than grass or sod, it doesn’t mean you can ignore routine maintenance. Keeping your field looking, feeling, and playing great doesn’t happen magically. 

When you are creating your maintenance program, there are 3 key ideas you need to consider:


A safe field should come before everything else. 

Keeping athletes and visitors safe is non-negotiable, and a robust maintenance program can help. Safety is the highest priority for any school or sports club. It is the responsibility of every administrator and organization to ensure that their athletes are playing on a safe field at all times.


Your athletes deserve the best possible playing experience. 

Nothing hampers competition quite like a shoddy surface. Having to alter play to accommodate loose turf, worn-out tiles, or even divots and berms is frustrating for athletes. By maintaining your surface you can help your athletes perform at a higher level. 


A good-looking field creates an incredible experience. 

When athletes and spectators come to a sports venue, there is a certain level of expectations for the look and feel of the field. While you may never reach the levels of professional venues like see on television, routine maintenance can help get you close. The right colors, sounds, and tactile response can help elevate an amateur event to new heights. 

Protect your investment

In addition to the benefits above, routine maintenance of your synthetic turf field can help extend its lifespan. A sports venue is no small investment. By keeping it in good working condition, you can protect your investment for years to come.

Why you should leave turf field maintenance to the pros

Maintenance of your turf field might seem simple, but it actually requires an abundance of experience, techniques, and knowledge to do well. 

We talk to a lot of organizations and athletic directors who have tried to fulfill a sports field maintenance program in-house. While some are able to find the right tools, workers, and strategies to be successful, many wish they had brought in the pros from the start.

The issues with in-house synthetic turf maintenance

Training & Certifications

Caring for synthetic turf is much different than maintaining a natural surface. The science behind the materials and the techniques necessary to keep up its structural integrity requires a special set of skills. 

When developing a turf maintenance program, many managers forget to include the cost of training and certifications. These are essential to ensuring your team has the know-how to do the job right. 

Necessary Equipment

Just like the technical skills needed, the equipment necessary for synthetic turf is unique as well. Unlike natural surfaces, you can’t just go purchase a mower and some weed whackers. You need to find specialized tools to perform even the most routine of replacements and repairs. 

Although hiring an outside team of professionals may seem more expensive than keeping it in-house, it may help you save in the long run. Speak with a professional to analyze your options. Hiring a team that has the right equipment and knowledge, is much more efficient than starting from scratch. 

What is a turf field maintenance program?

Now that you understand why a turf field maintenance program is important, let’s talk about what they are. For most providers, there are different tiers for maintenance:


Provides essential maintenance care like debris removal, field decompaction, and infill re-distribution (which is vital to keeping your surface level).


Many premium tiers will include everything in the Basic package, with the addition of more intricate maintenance. For instance, a company might offer magnetic sweeps to remove metal fragments (great for safety concerns), UV microbial cleaning, and fiber revitalization.

Custom Maintenance Plans

Most providers will offer a custom maintenance plan. This is a great option if you have multiple fields or specific budgetary concerns. You can work with your partner to develop a strategy that fits your needs.

Full Lifecycle Commitment

One of the most tremendous benefits of outsourcing your maintenance is a commitment to the full lifecycle of your of your synthetic turf. Your needs are going to shift over the years, and a great maintenance partner will be there every step of the way. 

For maintenance providers, look for someone who will provide:

  1. Audits of your surface
  2. Repairs on an ongoing basis
  3. Brush, aerate, rake and sweep for debris
  4. Test (Gmax)
  5. Training and preventative maintenance

Now, the frequency of these tasks will vary depending on how much use your field gets and the weather conditions in your area. It’s vital that you work with your partner to find a plan that fits your budget and will ensure your field is always ready for game (or practice) days.

Maintenance should be scheduled on a per month, season and semester basis. Simple duties like visual audits, brushing, and raking should be done more frequently than others. Testing your surface impact attenuation (Gmax) and redistributing your infill can be done on a longer-term schedule. 

What other services do turf field maintenance companies offer?

Routine maintenance isn’t the only thing that turf field maintenance companies offer. Most have a full suite of services you can add to your plan: 


Many will even help you train your staff, so you can set up a long-term plan to move routine maintenance in-house while leaving larger chores to your trusted partner. 

What is the annual cost of a turf field maintenance program?

So, you’re probably wondering, how much will turf field maintenance cost me each year? 

Generally speaking the annual maintenance cost for a synthetic turf sports field falls between $8,000 and $23,000

However, the exact price is hard to determine without knowing some essential information about your sports facility and turf field. The price tends to vary depending on the following factors. 

  • The first is the size of your field. Smaller fields will require fewer worker hours, less equipment, and smaller amounts of supplies. 
  • The next factor is the type of field surface you choose. Some materials are more prone to damage, while others may last longer, but are more expensive to maintain. Talking with a knowledgeable professional before choosing your surface type will help you lock in an estimate for maintenance. 
  • Lastly, the level of competition you are hosting will play a major role in the maintenance costs. If you need to adhere to stringent codes and regulations, maintenance will be more frequent and labor-intensive.

Use our artificial turf field maintenance cost calculator to get a customized estimate for the maintenance costs of your sports field.

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