How to maintain and clean your artificial grass lawn
By Gavin Hall
Maybe one of the reasons you invested in a new artificial grass lawn was because it requires little maintenance.
This is true but there are some regular and not so regular tasks that you need to carry out to keep your grass in pristine condition. Here I will show you how to look after and clean your artificial grass lawn throughout the year.
1. Regular artificial lawn maintenance
To prevent debris such as leaves, sticks and soil building up on your artificial grass we suggest you use a blower once a week in the Autumn and once a month for the rest of the year. A stiff broom or a plastic rake will do the trick if you don’t have a blower. We don’t recommend using a metal rake as this will damage or pull out the grass fibres.
A hose down with water a couple of times a year or when necessary will also help. The British weather will do the rest! If you choose to use a pressure washer to clean the grass we suggest you spray the grass gently from a distance. Do not try cleaning the grass like you would a patio as this could damage the grass fibres and could also damage the base of the lawn.
2. Avoid bird feeders
Keep bird feeders well away from your artificial grass. These will only encourage droppings to build up and rodents to dig at the grass below the feeder.
3. How to remove pet waste and the smell of dog urine from artificial grass
Remove any dog mess or urine with a hose. Because the grass is porous there is no risk of flooding. If you do have an issue with your grass smelling of dog wee we highly recommend using our unique ‘Dog Wee Sand‘. It took us many years trying and testing a whole variety of products before finally coming up with this relatively simple solution. Give it a go it works.
4. Raise the grass fibres from your synthetic grass
If your lawn is walked on regularly the grass fibres may become flat. In such cases we recommend that you brush some sand infill into your artificial grass to raise the fibres. If you have a large lawn a power brush can be rented from a Hire shop to do the job (see photo below). For smaller lawns or for those people on a budget a plastic leaf rake will do the job perfectly well.
5. How to prevent weeds
Weeds should not come through your grass because a membrane should have been placed beneath the surface. However there are always weed seeds in the air that can land and germinate in your grass or grow up the sides (this is why we always make it clear it is 90% effective at preventing weeds). If you do have a few weeds in your grass you can simply buy a weed killer that is fine to use with synthetic grasses. The weed killer spray we often use is Roundup. Make sure that you spray on a dry calm day so the rain does not wash it away or blow it on to your plants that are surrounding your lawn.
6. How to get your artificial lawn to smell like ‘real grass’
If you want your artificial grass to smell like the real thing then add some artificial grass cleaner to it and brush it in. These grass cleaners often contain the chemcial compound cis-3-Hexenal. This compound is a colourless liquid that has an intense smell of freshly cut grass. Mixed with other ingredients and bingo you are able to deliver that freshly cut grass smell. We don’t recommend using these products to cover up the smell of dog wee for example as we have found it results in a dog wee grass smell. It is best used like a perfume; You wouldn’t apply perfume or aftershave without washing first!
7. How to remove snow and ice from your artificial grass lawn
There are certain steps we recommend taking to look after your artificial lawn during the winter months when there is very cold weather or snow.
To get rid of snow from you lawn I advise using a plastic snow shovel to take away the bulk of the snow and then using a broom to get rid of the rest. It is not recommended to use salt as this will leave grit on the grass and may cause discolouration or potential drainage problems with the grit blocking up the escape for water.
There is no harm in leaving the snow on your grass either. In fact the snow can work for you and give your grass a good clean. Just remember to use a plastic leaf rake or powerbrush to lift the fibres up once the snow has melted away. Unlike real grass lawns that will look muddy, grey and awful after snow your artificial lawn will look great again.
The melting snow will really highlight the quality of your groundworks. Good groundworks like the ones we put in will be able to cope with the snow melting and the water will drain through the grass and through the groundworks with no trouble. Poorly installed groundworks and need I say more …
Artificial Grass will not freeze
Artificial grass is a very durable product and even if temperatures plummet to -10°C or less it won’t freeze and become brittle. What might happen is water may be present on the grass fibres and this may then freeze. Like any other icy surface this will become slippy so we do suggest you excercise caution when walking on your grass at times like this.
8. How to prevent snow building up on artificial grass
If you really don’t want to have any snow accumulating on your grass there are a couple of options open to you. Firstly the budget option is to cover your lawn with a plastic tarpauline before the snow begins. Once the snow stops you can remove the plastic sheet and voila a beautiful green lawn awaits.
If you are a Premiership footballer and you have a generous budget the second option would be to install an artificial turf heating system. This would raise the temperature of the grass to prevent any snow from settling in the first place. Many football clubs use this to allow play all year round.
I hope these tips will help you keep your artificial grass in prime condition. I will be happy to discuss maintaining your artificial grass in more detail following the installation of your artificial grass lawn.
If you have any further questions please leave a comment below.