How Much Work is Artificial Turf Maintenance?

When talking to folks from anywhere outside the Southwest, it’s always interesting to hear their take on lawn maintenance. Most of the time, just the thought of installing an artificial lawn is completely foreign to them, but after only a few minutes of consideration, they say something like, “Well, I guess you’d never have to mow… That does sound pretty nice!” Here in the Southwest, the equivalent response is, “So you’d never have to water? That does sound pretty nice!” No matter the climate zone, a low-maintenance lawn is appealing to most folks.

“But there has to be some work involved in artificial turf maintenance, right?

Yes, while it’s certainly easier to take care of than natural grass, there is still some routine work involved. The good news is it’s even easier than other household routines, like vacuuming your house or changing the oil in your car. Here, we’ll look at just what it takes to keep your artificial turf looking good and performing at 100%.

Brushing

Period brushing is usually needed.

Speaking of vacuuming, have you ever run one over a rug and noticed that it seems to become plusher? That’s because the rug fibers have been pressed flat by foot traffic and are pulled up by the action of the vacuum brush and suction. Artificial turf works the same way. The fibers can become pressed flat over time and with traffic, so periodic brushing is usually needed to return the grass to its like-new state.

This is easily accomplished with a regular push broom, but a power broom can be of tremendous help as well. Power brooms are small, easy to use, and make the work go a lot faster.

If you choose the right turf and infill amount for the level and type of traffic you expect, you won’t need to do much brushing. Once every few months might be sufficient, or even once a year. It certainly won’t be anywhere as frequent or intensive as mowing.

Cleaning

Keeping your turf clean is a breeze if proper precautions are taken during installation.

Cleaning is most often an artificial turf maintenance concern for pet owners but applies to anyone who owns artificial turf. Assuming that the turf has been installed correctly, it should be very easy to keep clean. Most of the time, routine cleaning can be accomplished with a specially-designed cleaning agent and a garden hose.

The frequency of routine cleaning is up to you. If you’ve got leaves or other yard debris, a shop vac or leaf blower will be sufficient to remove it. Don’t use a rake, as this will damage the grass blades.

When odors and stains do appear, the cause can almost always be traced back to an installation problem. If you’re a pet owner, choosing a pet-friendly grass and an antimicrobial infill will go a long way toward keeping your grass clean. Rainwater is your biggest aid in washing away unwanted microbes and odors. For this reason, it’s important to make sure the area of installation drains rainwater properly. To that end, the area needs to have a grade, even if only a slight one. Taking these precautions while planning and installing your grass will make cleaning a breeze.

Weeding

Installing artificial turf doesn’t guarantee a weed-free yard, but it can significantly reduce the amount of weeding needed. 

Do weeds grow through artificial turf? Yes, they sometimes do. And when they do, they’re just as annoying as when they appear in a natural lawn. However, artificial lawns make it much easier to control weeds. The secret, yet again, is in the installation process. Weed barrier is the best first defense against weeds. It’s a filament installed beneath the grass that blocks the growth of any plants.

With this countermeasure in place, weed-killing chemicals are no longer necessary, making your yard healthier. While you may still find an occasional weed that crops up around the border of the installation, weeding is largely a thing of the past for owners of artificial turf.

Conclusion

So, how much work is artificial turf maintenance? Compared to a natural lawn, barely any. The most important factor in making sure your turf is ultra low-maintenance is a proper installation.

  • The turf and infill should be right for your application.
  • The area should be able to drain completely.
  • Weed barrier is recommended for most yards.

Keep these things in mind as you move forward in your project plan and, if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call or visit your local store. Check out our knowledge base for the nitty-gritty on all things artificial turf.

Take a peek at the installation process with this DIY Easy Install Guide to get an idea of what you can expect.
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Posted on January 9, 2020