Most homeowners who have researched artificial turf know that one of the biggest pros of artificial turf is the elimination of a good majority of yard work maintenance and upkeep. For those homeowners who actually decide to install artificial turf, they know that their investment pays off because they get to enjoy their yard more with less work than ever before. However, although artificial lawns require less maintenance, it does not mean that they require zero maintenance at all. Although sparse in comparison to the yard work efforts required by a natural sod lawn, your artificial turf will need some tender love and care from time to time. In order to preserve your turf for the long haul and protect your investment, here’s some occasional maintenance that you’ll need to perform to keep your artificial lawn looking pristine.
Spill and Stain Clean Up
The key to handling spills and stains on artificial turf is promptness. Just because your lawn is artificial, doesn’t mean that spills aren’t real. Whether you’re dealing with oil leaks, paint residue or gas spills, you’ll need to clean them off of your artificial lawn immediately before they have time to dry or harden. Unlike natural sod lawns, artificial turf does not absorb these spills so it’s imperative that homeowners act swiftly in order to preserve their turf and keep it from looking stained or discolored.
One common myth surrounding artificial turf is that it requires no water. That’s simply not true. Although artificial lawns require less water and allow homeowners to conserve more water than ever before, spraying is still needed on artificial turf. In instances where pet waste is prominent or pollen is in full force, spraying is beneficial to keeping your artificial lawn clean and rinsed and ready for action. It’s also recommended that you spray your turf more often if you live in warm and dry climates, as artificial turf can hold heat and become very hot. Spraying also help to stabilize your lawn and allow blades to hold and stay in place longer.
Pet Waste Removal
Depending on if you have pets or not, you may have to deal with the maintenance duties associated with removing pet waste from your artificial lawn. You may even experience this due to random wildlife tracking through your yard. Unlike natural lawns where some waste will eventually dissipate, artificial turf requires that you have to physically remove and clean it up. If you let waste build up, you may experience unpleasant odors that can overtake your pristine lawn, so it’s vital that you constantly remove waste and keep your turf smelling clean and looking pristine!
Lawns, both natural and artificial, experience a high volume of foot traffic. For sod lawns, heavy foot traffic normally results in holes having to be filled with new dirt. For artificial lawns, although turf can sustain a huge amount of traffic, it will need to be maintained. Brushing is the number one solution to help keep your turf lawn from dipping or flattening. Turf can get compressed, so brushing, which is similar to raking, is a great way to help your artificial blades spruce back up and even help release airborne contaminants that may be trapped. When it comes to brushing, remember to only brush a dry yard and only use a synthetic bristle brush. Wire or metal bristles are frowned upon because they can damage artificial turf fibers.
For homes with lawns that are surrounded by trees and shrubbery, you may experience an excessive amount of weeds around the perimeter of your turf lawn. Although your artificial lawn won’t produce any weeds, it’s the nearby shrubbery and landscape where they can still find a way to thrive. It’s important to maintain and pull these weeds that grow up near your turf in order to keep your yard looking it’s best.
If your artificial lawn is close to trees, your may encounter sap drippings on your artificial turf. Sap can be sticky and hard to remove from artificial turf. Freezing is the best way to salvage artificial turf from sticky substances as it allows you to freeze focus spots and keep your turf clean. In order to freeze, you’ll need to buy refrigerant cleaning solvents. These will help you to remove these spots without damaging your turf landscape. In addition to sap, gum can also prove to be a hazard for an artificial turf lawn, but again, this can be cleaned off of your artificial grass by freezing.
Common Sense Upkeep
The beauty of artificial turf is that you get the aesthetic of a well-kept yard without nearly as much effort. However, to keep your artificial lawn looking and functioning at it’s best, some common sense is helpful. A few examples of common sense upkeep would be not lighting cigarettes and throwing them on the turf and not parking vehicles on the turf. Even removing sprinkler heads or capping them are important because if you don’t, mineral deposits can accumulate and cause discoloration. Little things like this can damage your turf, but this damage can be avoided with just a little daily attention.
Know Your Turf
Once you install your artificial turf, remember to get recommendations on maintenance products for your investment. It’s your job to make sure you educate yourself on the risks associated with losing your warranty if it is not properly maintained. You want to make sure that you do not use any non-approved chemicals on your lawn. Just by making sure you stay up to date on your artificial turf education, you can save yourself time, maintenance chores and money.
Although many myths surround the installation of artificial turf, it’s important to educate yourself about the best practices and ways to maintain your artificial lawn. With any investment comes responsibility and in order to keep your lawn functioning at it’s best, it’s important that you do your part. Whether it’s brushing, freezing, removing waste, wiping spills or just reminding your guests to keep their cigarette butts in a tray, all of these efforts will pay off when you look out and see an immaculate artificial lawn.