5 Tips to Give Your Synthetic Turf a Long Life
Whether you have a large or small space, a commercial space or a home, once you install a synthetic lawn, you want to keep it looking great. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to maintain your synthetic turf. After all, you chose artificial grass because it stands up to weather, time, and daily traffic better than natural grass or other landscaping.
Homeowners and business owners in the Pacific Northwest who have synthetic lawns know that they previously spent thousands of dollars and hours working on their natural lawns. Because we service the Portland, Oregon, area, we know what kind of work to expect to keep an Oregonian yard looking fabulous. Without the need to mow, water, or spray for weeds and invasive plants and insects, a synthetic lawn saves you time and money. But what other things can you do to stretch that time between maintenance sessions?
Here are our best five tips to give your synthetic turf a long life.
1. Weekly or Monthly Cleaning Routines
In the Pacific Northwest, it’s quite an understatement to say that we have a lot of trees. Your synthetic lawn will inevitably receive dropped leaves and needles from pine trees and other debris that blows in (such as pollen in the springtime and the fallen blossoms off of flowering trees in the summer).
Once your lawn is installed, you should take some time every week or month (depending on what debris your yard receives) and either use a leaf blower or a plastic rake to clear away these undesired items. If you don’t, those leaves can pile up and create more problems than you want to deal with in an afternoon. Dead leaves are havens for insects, slugs, and rodents, and compacted leaves can shelter fungi and mold. You might have some awful surprises in the spring if you don’t do your maintenance in the fall.
2. Pet Grass Care
We know: your dog has to go somewhere. This can lead to soiled areas of your synthetic turf yard. However, it’s easily managed. Make sure you regularly pick up and dispose of any pet waste, whether it’s right when it happens or on a weekly basis. After that, every so often (depending on how many pets you have), spray down your lawn and wash any trouble spots with the artificial grass cleaning solution of your choice.
There are plenty of options out there, including home remedies that include granular detergent or solutions of half water/half vinegar. You may also use diluted bleach, but make sure that you rinse the area really well before letting your pet run around outside again. Also, some artificial grass infills can help prevent pet odor. Ask about Durafill or Zeolite infills before installation.
3. What If You spill?
Imagine it—a beautiful table setting on your artificial lawn, complete with dinner and drinks. But what happens if you knock over that wine glass, that glass of orange juice, your coffee mug, or your bowl of ice cream? You don’t want the fibers in the artificial turf to stain, and with a few simple measures, you can clean it easily so that it won’t show later.
Make sure first that you clean it up right away. Grab a handful of paper towels and blot at the liquid—you don’t want to rub at it because then you could simply spread the stain and make it worse. Once the liquid is as blotted up as possible, feel free to enjoy your meal. As long as you don’t leave the stain for a long time, you should be able to clean it up easily.
When you return to the stain, you’ll want to have a granular detergent on hand so you can make a solution by mixing it with water. Use a sponge or a soft cloth to wipe up the stain, and then use your garden hose to wash it away.
4. Wear and Tear
Avoid metal spikes in athletic shoes. Not only do the spikes poke through to the backing of the turf, but they can also damage the individual blades of the grass and pull them loose. If you’re a homeowner, make sure that your family and neighbors know they shouldn’t use their athletic shoes on your synthetic yard—it will save you some headache and heartache.
Every couple of years, you also want to take stock of your lawn to see if you need to have more infill installed. This is a matter of general maintenance—and your yard may need it sooner than two years or later than that time, depending on many variables, including traffic or weather and if there is an incline in your yard.
5. What to Avoid
Here are some of our top don’ts.
- Metal rakes. Be sure that any rakes you use on your artificial turf are plastic instead of metal. Metal rakes are much harder on a lawn and can damage the synthetic fibers, breaking them down more quickly and even pulling them out of the backing entirely. Use a plastic leaf rake or a turf rake, which is a tool specifically made for use with your synthetic lawn. This will prevent hard wear and tear on the fibers and will keep your lawn looking better for much longer.
- Stiff brushes. When spot-cleaning, make sure that you use a sponge or a soft cloth. If you want to use a brush, make sure it has very soft bristles. Hard, stiff bristles can tear those fibers right out and make it look like you have a hole in your lawn.
- Strong, harsh chemicals. If you do want to use something like bleach, make sure it is diluted extremely well—10 parts water to 1 part bleach. Before you start, test a small, less visible section of your yard to make sure that it’s not too powerful. These strong cleansers are great for disinfecting and deodorizing, but they can fade the green of your lawn if you use them too often or too liberally.
We’d love to answer your questions. If you’re in the Portland, Oregon, area, give us a call or contact Sportech Construction for your free estimate today.