Yet again, judging by the amount of telephone calls and emails we are receiving, flooding has hit cricket clubs hard. If your club’s ground or school’s playing field has suffered, the artificial cricket pitches or net areas, normally unaffected by the elements, are likely to have been left in need of attention…
Sport England have announced an Emergency Flood Relief Fund that will initially invest up to £400,000 of National Lottery monies into repairing sports facilities that have been damaged as a result of the floods or storms but here I offer a five step guide that every organisation can follow to help get their non-turf pitch back in playable condition to fight back against Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank!
1: Remove wrinkles from the surface
Flood water can reduce the carpet tension causing wrinkles to form across the surface, or even pushing out perimeter nails. To remove wrinkles, take out the nails and either pull out the wrinkles by hand, or in extreme cases, use a light roller (5 / 6 cwt or one that two people can easily pull) to help push wrinkles towards the edges and out. Re-fix the pins by inserting them at an angle and hammering them part way in, then straighten the angle of the nail to add tension.
2: Clean the surface
Once the surface is fixed and secure, it should be cleaned thoroughly using a power-washer or high pressure hose, starting at the centre and working out towards the perimeter, followed by sweeping with a stiff brush to remove stubborn debris.
3: Roll to aid moisture removal
When there is no standing water on the pitch but it is still damp, the surface can be rolled to help remove excess moisture. Use the light roller from Step 1 along across both the length and width of the pitch to help squeeze water from the stone beneath. If this appears to be causing depressions then the stone is too wet for rolling and the process should be stopped. Leave the pitch to dry naturally before attempting to roll again.
4: Assess the levels of the surface
Once the surface has been rolled, the levels of the facility should be inspected to ensure that ‘movement’ hasn’t occurred whilst the base was waterlogged. The ECB requirement is: there should be no deviations greater than 6mm under a 2m straight edge.
To check this, place a 2m straight piece of metal or timber onto the surface – positioned so that the ends are pointing widthways across the pitch – and measure any visible undulations. If the readings fall outside of the requirement then contact Notts Sport as you may need to employ specific expertise to carry out base re-levelling works.
5: Final snags
Once the surface is level and wrinkle free, crease areas should be re-marked and clay stump boxes, if these exist within your facility, should be watered and the clay ‘worked’ to firm it. With the facility back to full health, it is important to continue to follow the standard maintenance guidance for such a facility.
If you find more extreme damage than described above, such as holes or tears in the surface or underlays, or deep undulations, then contact us requesting a site inspection and quotation.
Notts Sport are specialist suppliers of synthetic grass cricket pitch systems for both indoor and outdoor requirements, to all levels of the game, including, in 2015, the new non-turf pitch & practice area at Lord’s Cricket Ground. If you have a new or refurbishment project then please do not hesitate to contact us via email:firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01455 883739.
Written By Mark Coeshaw – Director of Cricket & Play