Athletic field management professionals who are responsible for painting and paint removal on synthetic turf fields know the risks that come with that responsibility. Painting a synthetic field can become a perplexing challenge when it includes the expectation that the paint is to be removed in the near future and the field repainted for a different sport. This challenge can quickly become expensive, time consuming, and stressful. If you’ve recently been introduced to this challenge, here are some tips on how and where to start.
To get the best performance out of your field without an inordinate investment of time, labor, and money, there are a few essential questions you should answer before you begin.
How long will the paint be down?
A variety of factors may determine your target for paint job longevity. Having a field use plan can help you pick the right paint formula for each event or individual sport season on your field use calendar, or according to season and weather conditions. Eco TempLine paints come in three different formulations suitable to different longevity requirements. Besides helping to minimize the difficulty and time demands for eventual paint removal, picking the right formula of paint for the occasion can also help minimize the need for repainting and touchup during an event cycle.
Painting for a special event, for example, means your paint job needs to be temporary, in which case we would recommend Fast Break. If you need paint to stay down for an entire sport season and you just want to touch it up from time to time, we’d recommend Original. However if you needed it to last longer, or to perform under tough weather conditions or climate, you may want to use the Tuff formula.
What are the likely climate/weather conditions?
Understanding the climate where your field painting takes place and communicating that information to your paint provider plays a big role in choosing the right paint. For example, if you’ve been using Original, but the season in which you’ll be doing the most painting is hot and dry, we’d suggest you use Fast Break. Conversely, if you were using Fast Break but you’ll be painting during a rainy season, you should consider switching to Original during that time.
Will you need to have special equipment?
Depending on your field drainage capacity and frequency of repainting, you may want to extract the removed paint residue, rather than rinse it into your drain system. The scale of your removal project will also be a factor in determining your equipment needs in order to remove your paint as efficiently and effectively as possible.
If you’re removing just painted lines, for example, the TempLine Scrub Bug and/or Water Bug may be all that is needed. If you’re removing large sections of paint such as logos or end zones, the TempLine Mantis® Hydro-extractor will likely be a better choice, as it does the most thorough and efficient job when broad swaths of painted area are involved. Also, if your plan calls for total extraction of paint removal residue from the field, the Mantis is the industry leader for this job.
Painting your synthetic turf field can be a source of immense satisfaction and pride, or a nightmare with a steep price in terms of time, money and stress. The right plan for your field needs a systematic selection and integration of steps, materials and equipment, from preparation, to painting, to removal, with each component selected according to your specific needs. The TempLine System was designed and created to do exactly that. Perhaps most importantly, we work with each of our clients as their field painting and planning technical advisor to ensure they get the right solution for their particular field and field use plan.
If you’re in the early stages of learning how to live with a synthetic turf field, or if you’re simply ready for a fresh look at an old problem, give us a call! We would be happy to talk over your current system and see if we can help.
In any event, you should try and start with getting the answers to these questions above. Doing the extra work up front will ensure the rest of your field painting season will be a breeze, with more satisfaction and less stress.