One of the reasons people love artificial turf is because it is a low-maintenance option. It always looks great and creates an awesome place for families to enjoy the outdoors. That is especially true in Arizona, where grass is more of a luxury than a common item.
However, artificial grass is an investment. As with any investment, it needs regular maintenance to protect it and insure its longevity. Some of the reasons to regularly maintain your artificial turf are:
· To keep it beautiful
· To make it last longer
· To keep it safe for the family
· To improve playtime for kids
Artificial Grass Maintenance
The first thing to do in maintaining your yard is to understand the individual recommendations from the installation company. That is important because deviating from the company’s recommendations could invalidate your warranty as warranties are typically linked to maintenance.
Specifically, do not use any chemicals without consulting with the installation company. Certain chemicals, especially petroleum-based ones, can damage artificial grass. That includes gasoline, so if you are using gas-powered equipment for doing other yard work like hedging or trimming bushes and trees, make sure to fuel your equipment away from your lawn.
Basic maintenance for artificial grass
Professional arenas recommend doing once a week because of the intense use of the field. You will not need to brush your lawn so often, but it depends on how much foot traffic and use your yard gets. An occasional cookout won’t require as much brush time as kids playing every day in the yard.
Brushing your yard helps in a number of ways. It keeps it level and also keeps your artificial turf from leaning or flattening. Worn grass tends to lean in one direction over time and brushing keeps it upright. Always brush in different directions and be sure to brush it when the yard is dry. Also, be sure to use a brush with synthetic bristles. Brushes with wire or metal bristles will damage the fibers in your artificial turf.
Spray it down with water
True, artificial turf doesn’t need water like traditional grass because it does not grow. You don’t need to water it as often or as long as you would seeded grass. However, you do need to spray it down with a pressured water hose every once in a while. The reasons are logical ones:
1. There is built up dust and pollen which a quick spray would remove. This is particularly true if you live in the desert areas of Phoenix.
2. A spray down will cool the yard’s surface. Artificial grass can become hot with temperatures over 100 degrees.
3. It will stabilize the surface and keep it in place.
There are a few other things you must do to keep your artificial turf looking great.
Artificial grass products are pet-friendly, but you do have to clean up after pets use the bathroom to avoid lingering odors and possible stains. Simply use your preferred method for removing solid pet waste by either a pooper-scooper or bag. Hosing down this area weekly will also help ensure your yard stays clean and odor free. With hardened spills like animal waste, use a plastic table knife or spatula to remove it.
Depending on your particular pet, or the number you own, you may want to use a enzyme neutralizer. There are some good products available at both pet and hardware stores that work effectively to control odor. You can also neutralize the order with a mix you make in your own kitchen. Mix equal amounts of water and distilled vinegar and apply to the spot. Spray the area with a pressure hose afterward.
Cleaning Liquid Spills
Other liquid spills can be blotted up with a paper towel or clean cloth. Or cover it with something like cat litter or Fuller’s earth. This allows you to sweep or vacuum up the mess later. Hose it down after sweeping or vacuuming. While many artificial grass products are stain resistant, there are times you will have to do some additional work to prevent staining.
There are several options including:
· Mixing warm water with a mild household detergent. The ratio is 95 percent water to 5 percent detergent. If it is a tough spill, follow the first scrub with a second scrubbing of a solution combination of hot water with 3 percent household ammonia.
· Use a cleaner that is, generally, acceptable for artificial grass. There is a group of cleaners that most installation companies would approve for their product. Some of those include bio-friendly products like “Simple Green” and detergents that are low sudsing or used for washing fine fabrics. You can also use a solution of water and 1 percent hydrogen peroxide for moldy areas.
Do not use anything that has chlorine bleach in it. Also those cleaners with a PH above 9 or below 5 should be avoided. Those are highly caustic or acidic detergents and will damage your yard.
Things like tree sap or chewing gun should be removed with a freezing process using refrigerant that comes in aerosol packs or with dry ice. These can be found at stores providing carpet cleaning supplies.
Finally, you will need to watch out for weeds and grasses. While this is not something that happens regularly, some weeds and grasses can start to grow in your turf over time. Leaves and other debris also fall on the ground and will need to be raked up to make your yard look beautiful. Any organic matter should be removed before it starts to accumulate to avoid a significant problem later.
Once you learn how to properly maintain your artificial grass, you’ll find that just a few minutes a couple times a month will result in a beautiful, long-lasting yard that everyone enjoys.