Maintenance

Artificial Grass Maintenance & Care

Getting artificial grass installed at your home or business is exciting and probably required a significant investment. To ensure that your turf lasts for years to come while maintaining its beauty, aesthetics, and function it will require a little TLC. Compared to natural grass, maintaining synthetic grass is a breeze! You don’t have to worry about mowing, trimming, watering, weeding, or fertilizing. Keeping up with the minimal maintenance requirements of artificial turf will ensure the longevity of your installation and keep it looking as good as the day it was installed.

It’s worth noting that pet turf installations will require more attention. That said, it’s still significantly less than would be necessary with a natural grass environment. You won’t need gas-powered landscaping equipment to maintain your artificial grass, however, there are a few tools that will help maintain your turf.

Tools & Equipment for Artificial Turf Maintenance

Maintaining and caring for your artificial grass only requires a few tools that will make the task easier. The necessity of each tool also depends on the size of your turf installation. Below are a few tools that we recommend to make it easier to maintain your artificial grass.

General Maintenance Tips:

The maintenance tips below are applicable to most turf installations. If you have pets then as mentioned above, you’ll need to put a little more effort into maintaining your synthetic grass. We’ve included a section below the general maintenance tips on maintaining pet-friendly artificial grass. If you have questions or concerns specific to your turf installation, you should contact your turf installer. If you went the DIY route, you should reach out to the manufacturer of your artificial grass.

1. Remove Debris Regularly

1. Remove Debris Regularly

Leaves, sticks, pine needles and other debris will inevitably end up on your artificial grass. One of the easiest ways to keep your turf in top shape is to regularly remove pieces of debris from its surface. Removing this debris before it breaks down or decomposes will prevent the material from settling between the turf fibers where it can clog your turf’s drainage. These items can be picked up by hand in a few minutes. The tool of choice for this process is a leaf blower, but a turf rake or stiff bristle push broom will get the job done as well.

2. Rinse With A Hose

2. Rinse With a Hose

While you won’t need to spray your artificial turf with water every day, the occasional rinse won’t hurt. With artificial grass, you can use water to remove any dirt, dust, pollen, or remaining debris while complying with any drought restrictions in you area. Spraying your synthetic grass once a week or so will prevent the buildup of pollen, dirt, dust, and other contaminants. Additionally, it will help to keep your infill evenly distributed.

3. Re-Fluff Turf Fibers

3. Re-Fluff Turf Fibers

The individual fibers of artificial grass are supported at their base by the infill material that’s applied during the turf installation. The infill settles between the fibers and helps to keep them upright, giving them a more natural appearance. Over time, foot traffic from people and pets causes the “matting” of the fibers. Combatting this is as simple as brushing the fibers in the opposite direction. Cross-brushing your turf every month will help counteract this matting and prevent any long-term damage to the blades. A stiff bristle push broom with synthetic bristles works well to re-fluff turf fibers without damaging them. For large installations, a power broom is your best option.

4. Remove Spills Stains

4. Remove Spill & Stains

Accidents involving spills or stains on your artificial grass can’t always be avoided, especially if your turf is in a high-traffic area or if you have kids. The most important part of successfully removing spills or stains is your response time. The longer a spill is left unattended, the more time its had time to set.

Removing dry spills is most easily accomplished using a shop-vac. Do not just stick the end of the hose into the turf as this will remove infill. Hold the hose off of the turf surface so you won’t suck up the infill along with the debris. For stubborn spills that remain after using the shop-vac and hosing off the area, use mild natural soap + warm water OR Equal parts vinegar & water to remove the substance.

Modern artificial grass products are manufactured with materials that are stain-resistant. This makes cleaning up spills and accidents pretty simple and straightforward. The majority of stains can be rinsed away with a garden hose. For substances like paint, that will adhere to the grass blades a water-soluble solution is recommended. DO NOT use acetone or petroleum-based solvents, as harsh chemicals can damage your artificial turf. If you’re dealing with a stubborn stain that you can’t remove using the methods above, contact your artificial turf installer.

Motor oils, grease, paints and other stubborn substances can be successfully cleaned with mineral spirits or a mild detergent solution mixed with warm water.

Food and drink spills should be cleaned as soon as possible after the spill with a mild cleaner and for best results. Rinse the area afterwards to remove the cleaner residue and don’t use chemicals that can corrode or cause discoloring. Tree sap, candy and sticky gum is difficult to remove from artificial grass but it is possible with a bit of elbow grease. A good method is to freeze the substance with ice cubes, dry ice, or an aerosol refrigerant and then break it away carefully. If you need to use a tool, a plastic putty knife can help with the removal.

3. Re-Fluff Turf Fibers

5. Replenish Infill

Infill serves as ballast and a protective barrier for your turf backing and turf fibers, so it’s important that you add more infill as levels deplete over months and years. We recommend replenishing your infill bi-annually or annually, depending on foot traffic to maintain an optimal level. Maintaining your infill will help best protect the turf’s backing and prevent tears, extending your synthetic turf’s lifespan. Learn more about the infill options that are available.

Pet Owner Maintenance Tips:

The general maintenance tips above are applicable to all types of turf, however, pet turf maintenance requires some additional considerations. The brown dog urine spots in natural grass that are caused by the high nitrogen levels in dog urine are familiar to most dog owners. The nitrogen won’t damage your synthetic grass, but, can cause a buildup of odor and bacteria in your turf. Below we’ll outline the simple steps you can take to prevent the buildup of odors and bacteria on your artificial grass.

1. Rinse Urine With Hose

1. Rinse Urine With Hose

Dogs are creatures of habit and tend to urinate in the same spots to mark their territory. This makes it easier for you to prevent the buildup of odors or bacteria by simply rinsing these spots regularly with a hose. This will wash away the urine and it will pass through the turf’s backing and into the sub-base below. An increasingly common feature on pet-friendly artificial grass is antimicrobial technology that helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria, mold, and mildew that can cause stains, odors, and premature product deterioration.

2. Remove Solid Waste

2. Remove Solid Waste

Removing dog poop from artificial grass is no different than removing it from natural grass. When your dog does its business, just wait for the poop to dry. Once dry, use a plastic bag, paper towel, or a small scoop to pick it up and dispose of it in a trashcan. It’s extremely important to remember to allow the dog poop to dry, as it will prevent it from smearing into the turf.

3. Apply Enzyme Cleaner & Deodorizer

3. Apply Deodorizer / Enzyme Cleaner

The buildup of bacteria and odors in artificial grass isn’t a major issue, but, if you have a dog or dogs it’s a good idea give your turf a thorough cleaning with a turf deodorizer/enzyme cleaner. You can easily create a solution at home that consists of equal parts vinegar and water that can be attached to your hose with a sprayer nozzle. If you’d prefer to purchase a turf deodorizer spray, the following are popular choices:

The easiest way to cover a lot of area in the least amount of time is to use a hose end sprayer with a ratio dial for setting the desired concentration. Make sure you apply it evenly to the entire installation. Go over the spots where your dog(s) most frequently poop and pee a second or third time to ensure adequate cleaning agent is applied. This should only take 15-20 minutes for every 1,000 square feet of synthetic turf. The cleaner should have recommendations for dilution and the area that should be covered with the volume of cleaning solution you have.

4. Turf Cleaning & Odor Removal Services

4. Turf Cleaning & Odor Removal Services

If you’re a pet owner that needs to clean your artificial turf, but you don’t have to time to take care of it yourself, don’t worry. There are a number of great artificial turf cleaning and odor removal services that you can rely on to get the job done! In addition to being an artificial turf information hub, the Turf Network is also a directory of turf companies. One of the categories we use to organize companies is “Odor Removal Services.” You can search our directory for odor removal services near you. You’ll be shown a list of turf companies in your area that specialize in odor removal or offer it as a service to complement their turf installation services.

They’ll be able to clean your artificial turf in no time using professional, state-of-the-art artificial turf disinfectants. Most of the specialty odor removal companies allow you to choose the frequency of services and the level of service you need, ensuring that you find a turf cleaning service tailored to your exact specifications.

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