Maintaining synthetic grass tennis courts is more straightforward than maintaining real turf. In fact, one of the main selling points of artificial turf is its ease of maintenance. It does not require water or fertilizers. Due to its grass blades made of polypropylene or polyethylene fibers, it can support heavy foot traffic with minimal wear and tear. As such, artificial turf is the preference for sports surfaces such as tennis courts.
However, synthetic grass still requires regular maintenance and cleaning, especially since synthetic grass does not contain the microbes that enable wastes on real grass to decompose. One tempting option is pressure cleaning, where water is applied with a powerful force to remove all foreign objects. While effective, there can be various downsides to this technique. Shown below are the pros and cons of pressure cleaning.
Due to the high pressure of the water stream, dirt removal appears to be faster and easier but in fact can take significantly longer and it can also remove valuable tennis court sand.
Cleaning agents can be added to water to further increase the cleaning potential of pressure cleaning. By adding detergent based solutions you can deodorize synthetic grass and remove any stains.
Pressure cleaning can appear to be a cheaper option as the home owner can carry out the work and it does not require specialized training to operate a pressure cleaner.
Pressure cleaning may seem like a miracle for maintaining synthetic grass, but it has serious drawbacks.
Synthetic grass tennis courts predominantly have a sand infill which is installed and kept at the correct level for adequate play. Pressure cleaning can remove a large amount of the sand infill and it is costly to replace. The purpose of the sand infill is to keep the mat pile upright, and removing the infill will allow the fibers to fall over and in some cases bend. The sand will need to be reinstalled after it is has been pressure washed and tennis grade sand can be costly.
Very strong water streams can also directly damage the synthetic grass fibers. The force can cause rips and tears, making the grass blades collapse. Strong water streams can turn the artificial turf to break off, which can contribute further to its unevenness. The unevenness can be a trip hazards to players, and such damage can void the warranty of the synthetic grass, which usually lasts for seven years for tennis courts, result in costly repairs and in some cases void insurance claims.
The runoff produced by pressure cleaning can also be significant. This runoff will contain all the dirt removed by the water as well as any chemicals used during cleaning. If allowed to seep through the ground, it can contaminate the groundwater or other nearby bodies of water. This can wreak havoc on the environment.
Sportzing recommends to avoid the use of pressure washing on synthetic grass courts.