27 Feb 2015

How to care for Artificial Grass

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Caring for an artificial lawn is a whole lot simpler than the maintenance requirements of looking after natural grass. While there is no need for mowing, fertilising, watering or any other traditional chores usually required for keeping your lawn well maintained, there are still tasks that can keep your artificial lawn looking pristine all year around.

How often you need to perform maintenance and upkeep will depend on a few factors. Like most things the more it’s used, or in the case of synthetic grass, the more foot traffic the area encounters, the more regularly you should care for area.

Other considerations such as where the artificial grass is located (indoors/outdoors), if pets will use the space, and what activities are taking place in the area (sports field, playground) should determine how often you should care for your grass.

Regardless of the factors, it’s better to perform a little maintenance weekly or monthly with your synthetic grass, rather than doing larger yearly cleans, as it will ensure maximum longevity and protection for your investment.

Keep it clear – remove debris, foreign objects and waste

Removal of debris by rake, blower or by hand on a regular basis is recommended, whether it be tree leaves, branches, dirt, pet waste, vegetation or rubbish. Not only do they clutter and reduce the appeal of artificial grass, but they may damage the surface drainage or be the cause of long-term stains which can become hard to remove.

artificial grass walkwayOrganic waste like food scraps and garden mulch need to be removed immediately as they can produce corrosive chemicals that damage the grass blade fibres. Organic matter left untouched can also be the cause of weeds growing in your artificial grass.

While obvious, keeping you space clean will make it easier to perform maintenance brushing – a very important technique required to keep artificial grass at its finest, which we’ll explain in more detail later on.

With this information in mind, here are few specifics in keeping your artificial grass bright and clean.

  • Plants and weeds: To stop weeds and moss growing, spray your area with a water-based weed killer at least once a year, preferably during the rainy season. To help prevent against future weeds, a mixture of vinegar and clove oil can be quite effective. Once they have died, you can hose or sweep them away.
  • Pet waste: Synthetic grass is certainly a pet-friendly option, but you still need to take due diligence if you want to keep your lawn protected. Allow solid waste to dry before disposing of it as soon as possible. Hose down the area, keeping in mind that if waste remains you may need to use some warm water and detergent before rinsing the area again. Turf deodorizer or enzyme neutraliser can be used to control odour if you notice your grass still smells after cleaning.
  • Chewing gum and tree sap: Remove sticky substances by chilling or freezing them. Depending on the situation ice cubes can be used, or if you need something stronger, use dry ice or aerosol refrigerants. After freezing the affected area, scrape away the substances carefully with a dull object so not to damage the synthetic grass blades. Eucalyptus oil can also assist with the removal of gum.

Remove stains – preserve the quality of your synthetic lawn

Rainfall is one of the best natural cleaners of stains, marks, dust and pollen for your artificial grass. During particularly dry spells using your hose to wash the grass at least once a week is a smart idea. Synthetic grass is resistant to staining so this should sufficient for removing superficial stains

Stronger stains like oil, grease, adhesives and paint should be removed as quickly as possible with a solution of warm water and cleaning detergent. If a stain is still giving you trouble, try using a clean, damp cloth and mineral spirits. And avoid using strong cleaning products, chemicals and solvents as they will damage the surface.

If you notice fungi or mould growing in spots, a solution of hydrogen peroxide in water with a soft cloth or sponge can assist in its removal. Wipe slowly and then wash away affected areas thoroughly.

Fire should be kept away from artificial lawns. While fire resistant, grass fibres will melt away from discarded cigarettes, ash and charcoals, so avoid smoking, cooking and open flames in areas prevalent with synthetic lawns.

Brush or rake the fibres – Keeping artificial grass in peak condition

Brushing and raking of your synthetic grass are highly recommended means of ensuring it will last longer and always look its best.

In the first few months of having new artificial grass installed, light brushing is important to aid the settling of turf infill. Don’t brush too heavily during this period, as you just want the infill to be evenly spread around, penetrating and settling into the surface.

Throughout the life of any artificial lawn, it should regularly be brushed, anywhere from weekly to monthly. The more traffic an area encounters, the more times you should brush or rake it to make sure the grass fibres feel lush and springy. Brushing the fibres redistributes them, so they are more balanced and provide a more consistent look. This is why you should always brush into the pile to keep synthetic grass upright and looking fresh.

Always remember to use a synthetic bristle brush, never using a metal or wire bristles as they can cause damage to the grass fibres. Larger areas utilising synthetic lawn and turf may require a mechanical power brush sweeper to assist in the job.

Using these steps, you can be sure to have your artificial grass look and feel fantastic for many years to come!

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