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Daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance are essential to keep your synthetic turf lawn looking its best. Some of these tasks include:
Food spills and stains should be cleaned up as they happen to prevent them from sitting on the turf. Artificial Turf Maintenance can help, too.
A fungicide like hydrogen peroxide can also eliminate mold and spores from the turf.
Moisture is a key factor in artificial turf maintenance. While most residential artificial lawns require minimal irrigation, keeping the moisture level at its optimum is important. Too much or too little water can damage synthetic fibers.
The moisture your lawn receives will also affect how often you clean it. High-traffic areas may need frequent cleanings because wear and tear can cause soil buildup and staining. A professional can provide you with the right advice based on the specific conditions of your yard.
Aside from keeping the surface of your artificial grass hydrated, it is essential to keep the soil underneath moist for optimal performance. If your soil is too dry, it can cause various problems, from root rot to dusty, scuffed surfaces. The solution is simple — use a garden hose to rinse the soil regularly to maintain proper drainage.
Mold, mildew, and fungus are common sources of moisture in your artificial turf. These powdery growths are found in every climate and can create a musty odor if they get a foothold. If you see any spores, use a safe fungicide like hydrogen peroxide. It will remove any existing spores and prevent new ones from growing.
As with any lawn, debris, such as leaves, twigs, and pebbles, must be removed from your turf regularly. A brush with synthetic bristles is a good choice, but be careful not to apply too much pressure. Too much force could misshape the bristles, and you may be unable to remove all the dirt. In addition to this daily task, full grooming should be performed twice a year with a power or turf rake. This process helps decompact the base, removes any liners or infill that have become contaminated, and reduces the risk of harmful bacteria reaching coastal waters or beaches. It is also an opportunity to reapply the infill system if it has been displaced by wear and tear.
The first step in artificial turf maintenance is sweeping and picking up large debris such as leaves, flower petals, or twigs. A small vacuum or a broom may be used to get rid of these items before they can bury themselves in the infill and cause permanent damage to the synthetic grass surface. There are also rakes made specifically for turf that can help you gently clean your lawn without doing any damage. These rakes are especially helpful for removing pet hair that might go unnoticed, blocking drainage holes, or contributing to impacted infill.
Once the larger debris is removed, a light rinse with a garden hose should remove any dust and smaller debris like blossoms or leaves that might have been collected in your synthetic turf. It is recommended that this is done each week if your yard is heavily used or at least once every month. The rinsing helps keep your synthetic turf looking its best and is an effective way to eliminate any organic material that could lead to weed, moss, or mold growth.
Food and drink spills can also be a problem for synthetic turf surfaces and the ever-present gum that inevitably gets spit out in public spaces. For these types of stains, prompt response and cleaning are essential to prevent the stain from setting. A good rinsing with water does the trick for most food and drink spills, although more stubborn or sticky spills require a stronger cleaner.
Another important part of synthetic turf maintenance is to loosen and redistribute the infill several times a year, especially for high-use areas. This helps with shock absorption, improves footing, and decreases static electricity. It also helps restore the field to its original specifications and performance levels.
Other common synthetic turf maintenance tasks include:
- Mowing the field regularly.
- Raking and brushing high-traffic areas.
- Measuring field hardness.
- Occasionally grooming with tines to keep the artificial grass fibers upright.
Some owners de-compact their fields once a year in addition to this mowing and raking routine.
Artificial grass is far less susceptible to weeds than natural sod or a patchy lawn. A permeable sub-base and a physical weed barrier prevent most weeds from growing up through the turf’s surface. That means weeds will occasionally make their way through. Weeds that grow from the top rather than the roots are usually called surface weeds and are easy to pull up without damaging the synthetic turf.
You can help control weeds by regularly sweeping the surface of your synthetic lawn. This will remove the accumulated debris and seeds that can promote their growth. It’s important to be thorough with your sweeps during rainy or windy weather.
It’s also a good idea to keep your pets and children away while using toxic weedkillers to protect them from breathing the chemicals often released by these products. Regular cleanings can also prevent weeds from developing in the first place. If you see a weed starting to sprout, promptly pull it before it has a chance to get too big.
Although eliminating weeds isn’t impossible, you can significantly reduce their occurrence by working with an experienced and qualified installation team while installing your new artificial landscaping. This is because a professional installation crew takes all the precautions necessary to ensure that weeds aren’t able to penetrate your new artificial landscape through its surface or sub-base material.
However, the same can’t be said for weeds that grow from the air. Most of us have blown the little petals off a dandelion as we made our wishes. We may not realize that these little weeds contain seeds, and this spreading of airborne seeds ultimately leads to the infiltration of weeds into your synthetic turf.
While you won’t be able to prevent all airborne weeds, the most effective method for controlling them is by regularly pouring boiling water over any weeds on your synthetic lawn. This simple treatment can be extremely effective as it kills the weeds instantly without harming or discoloring your artificial turf.
Stains are another common problem that can occur on artificial turf. Whether they are caused by food spills, paint, or chemicals like pesticides, it is important to deal with them quickly so they do not have time to set. Blotting the stain with a cloth, kitchen paper, or absorbent material is a good place to start. If this does not work, a mild cleaner like green cleaners, a highly diluted ammonia mixture, or even a normal household detergent can be used. Do not use caustic or acidic cleaners; they can damage the artificial grass and leave permanent marks.
Most airborne stains, like dust, dirt, smoke, or pollen, are cleaned easily by rinsing with water. Many people who install artificial grass in their yard live in areas that rarely receive rain, making a hose the best cleaning tool for them. Using a hose to rinse the turf at least once a week helps to remove small debris, pollen, and dust particles that the rake or leaf blower may miss.
Some stains, such as oil-based paint or cooking grease, ink, and gum, are harder to clean. These can also be treated with a commercial pre-treatment solvent that contains perchloroethylene. Always wear protective clothing and equipment such as heavy overshirts, pants, and gloves before treating these stains as they can have toxic fumes. It was blotting the stain with a cloth, paper, or shop towel. Apply the cleaner to the soiled area and rub gently until it lifts. Rinse the area with cold, clean water for proper turf sanitation.
Keeping up with the cleaning and maintaining your synthetic grass is an investment in your home and a great way to ensure that it lasts a long time. Taking the time to perform these tasks regularly will keep your home looking great and help you avoid costly repairs in the future. By establishing routines and getting into a rhythm, these chores can become just a part of your regular household maintenance. It is also a good idea to schedule your tasks and put a reminder on your phone so that they are remembered.