Artificial turf fields offer solutions to issues that plague general-use, natural-grass fields —overuse, use while wet, compaction, and more. Natural-grass fields simply cannot withstand the volume of traffic that many fields are asked to endure. Thus, artificial fields have become an answer to today’s problems and consequently their use is expanding exponentially.

Although artificial turf fields can withstand heavier use than grass fields, heavy use can bring problems, including split seams, low infill material, ponding of water on the field, and compaction. At the first recognition of any of these problems, the owner should begin remediation—after all, even automobiles need service occasionally.

The aforementioned issues are the easy ones to solve. They are recognizable from the surface by an untrained eye. Noticing the problem is easy, finding the cause of the problem may be more problematic, particularly if the problem is beneath the surface.

Athletic Field Consultant - Grove Teates, Alpine Services, Inc.

Ian Herbst Photography

This is where Grove Teates may begin his work. It takes a trained eye to determine if water is standing on the field because of poor grading or if the grade is proper and the drainage does not work. The drainage may not work because drain pipes are compromised or because incorrect stone was used as a drainage layer under the turf. There may be insufficient or incorrect stone installed by the field builder. Experienced observation, evaluation and interpretation of what exists is of paramount importance. Reasoned knowledge of existing facts allows one to proceed with decisions that are sound.

Knowing the source of the problem may help the owner decide whether to pursue satisfaction via warranty claims, and/or litigation, or to simply repair the problem quickly if possible. The consultant can offer advice on desired next-step action, in his opinion, which is determined by multiple different inputs.

There are few end users of an artificial turf field who can accurately interpret their forensic data on turf fields. Regardless of the situation, one always wishes to solve the immediate needs exposed by experienced field analysis and to then determine what/who went wrong. This requires one to obtain the best knowledge possible to address the apparent and hidden field needs. No one wants a problem to continue when it is easy to investigate it.