Do you remember the first time you walked on your newly installed artificial turf? How the blades stood up tall? How lush your entire lawn looked? Whoever said the grass was greener on the other side hadn’t seen your lawn! You had the best-looking yard on the block!
But after a while, the lush appearance faded just a bit. You suppose it had something to do with the leaves that repeatedly fell, dirt and dust from the roadside, your son’s bicycle tracks, and your dog’s habit of using one spot on the lawn to do his business.
Thankfully, with a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule, you can get your grass looking great again and experience several other benefits, as well.
Ensure Your Turf Drains Properly
Proper drainage for your turf is essential to maintain the quality and improve the longevity of your turf. Thankfully, your turf yard, tennis court, or football field is made specifically to allow liquids such as water and pet urine to drain through the backing and down into the ground. Thanks to the perforated backing, your artificial turf works just like regular grass lawns when it comes to liquid drainage.
However, if there is a significant buildup of dirt and debris, the backing can get clogged, resulting in poor drainage. When you experience poor drainage, you can also experience:
- Bacteria, Mold, and Mildew Growth
- Pet Urine Smell
- Deterioration of Turf Material
Not only does proper drainage contribute to lengthening the life of your turf, but it keeps the surface safe and clean for little hands and feet to play on. Drainage is essential to keeping your turf surface healthy and bacteria-free. Keep your turf drainage as good as new by lightly raking or brushing large debris such as leaves. If you are in a dry and dusty area, hose your lawn down weekly to remove dust and small debris, such as bits and pieces of leaves that blow into your yard.
Keep Pet Odors Under Control
There’s nothing like walking outside on a nice sunny day, taking a deep breath of fresh air, and smelling the sweet scent of… pet urine? Dogs are notorious for picking a “favorite spot” and using it repeatedly to mark their territory. While this isn’t usually a problem with living lawns, it can become an issue on turf surfaces – if they aren’t cleaned or maintained regularly.
So what does regular cleaning mean? If you have pets that use your lawn for their bathroom breaks, those areas need to be hosed down as soon as the dog finishes. Consider covering the area with an anti-microbial coating to prevent any bacteria growth or buildup between your deep cleans. Finally, you’ll want to deep clean your surface periodically with a biodegradable, non-toxic cleaner. These types of cleaners are safe to use around kids and pets – who can go back to playing on the lawn as soon as your turf is dry.
Keep Your Turf Free of Debris
Debris and buildup can turn into significant problems for your turf if ignored. Not only will buildup impede proper drainage, but it can also harbor bacterial growth, increase the scent of your pet’s urine, and even cause your lush lawn to become an environment that is unsafe for kids and pets.
Debris comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s essential to understand how to remove each. Here are a few standard cleaning methods you should regularly use.
- Raking – For leaves and other large debris such as flower petals, fallen blooms, or other organic material, use a rake. Gently rake through your entire turf lawn to remove all large debris.
- Brush – Use a brush to help remove smaller debris such as broken leaf pieces, grass clippings from a neighbor’s weekly lawn mowing, and dust buildup.
- Hose – A hose helps remove small particles such as dust. When hosed weekly, dust buildup becomes minimized.
- Magnet – Use a magnet to pick up metal objects that may have fallen into your lawn, such as screws, pins, and nails. If you live in a high-traffic area or near a construction site, use this method to eliminate items that pose a safety hazard for your family.
Avoid Permanent Damage of Turf Blades and Seams
If enough debris is allowed to accumulate or turf is ignored for too long while the kids and dog run around and play, you’ll start to notice your turf blades becoming flattened. Heavy wear, regular traffic patterns, and use from kids and pets will wear your turf down. Your lawn doesn’t have to look worn down, however.
A power broom is an electric-powered device used to brush your turf back into place and redistribute infill. When using a power broom, the turf is brushed in the opposite direction that the blades are leaning. After the broom has been used to restore the life and look of your grass, previous flat spots or wear patterns should be erased.
If you follow a regular schedule for cleaning your grass, you should only need to power broom once per year. For especially high-traffic yards, lawns, and athletic fields, power brooming might be required more frequently.
With power brooming, your grass lawn is restored to its like-new state with blades straight and tall and infill distributed for an even look and feel. If turf blades are allowed to get too flat and aren’t power broomed when they start to look matted, you risk them permanently staying that way.
Maintain a Strong Base Beneath Your Turf
Your turf’s foundation is essential for maximizing the longevity of your lawn. If dirt, debris, bacteria, mold, and mildew can build up, this buildup will not only block the drainage holes but will damage the base of your turf. While you may only “see” grass, there are materials underneath your turf that help your entire lawn to look and feel beautiful. Depending on your turf location, you might have shock pads to make the grass softer if it was placed over concrete. At a minimum, you will have a base of sand or gravel spread out underneath your turf to help water drain from the surface of your lawn. By regularly cleaning your lawn, these hidden areas of your turf stay clean, bacteria-free, and contribute to the look and life of your yard for years to come.