The artificial grass that you had installed was a sound investment, as over the years you will no longer have to pay someone, or spend your own time, trimming, mowing, watering and spending money on pesticides or chemicals. Since you made the investment, it’s important to do some routine cleaning to ensure it ’s year round beauty for many years to come.
There are a few factors to consider when cleaning and maintaining your artificial pet grass. Keeping the surface free from debris and pet hair is one important factor. Also, keeping your fake lawn odor free from pet urine and other types of odors will make it possible to enjoy your back yard and get the most use out of your investment.
Removing Urine Smells and Other Pet Odors
75% of homeowners with artificial grass are pet owners. Due to their pets going to the bathroom in the yard, these homeowners will have to rinse their lawn off a couple times a week. Some may have to more than others, depending on the size of their yard and size and number of pets that they have. Dog urine, excessive saliva and feces can also leave unsightly stains on the surface of the turf. For homeowners with lawns who have odor problems and pet stains, it’s important to flush their lawn with a living bacteria product. A quality odor control product should also have stain cleaning properties.
Pet Hair Removal
Keeping your turf free from pet hair is important, as the pet hair can stop water from getting down into the fibers when rinsing off your lawn. (This is especially important when rinsing off pet urine.) No special tools are needed, just a bristle push broom or hand brush, some decent weather and a little bit of elbow grease!
The easiest way to brush the lawn with a push broom is to drag the broom backwards, gathering the pet hair in a few small areas so it can be picked up easily. If the hair is not too far down into the turf fibers, you may able to get away by using a leaf blower. Keeping the surface of your artificial grass lawn clean will make it easier to remove dog urine odors, pet feces or other contaminants that may cause an odor in your back yard.
Please note: When you are ready to clean the pet hair out of the turf, do not wet the lawn beforehand, as wetting the lawn will make the dog or cat hair stick to the turf fibers.
For homeowners who have a very large lawn with large amounts of dog hair, you may want to consider hiring an outside service to do the job.
Sweeping and Skimming
Use a hard bristle push broom on occasion to sweep and skim the artificial turf surface. This will keep the surface clear of small rocks, seed, leaves and the occasional piece of trash that may have blown into your yard. It’s a good idea to keep the artificial turf surface free from debris, so when it comes time to hosing off your lawn, the water can get down into the fibers and rinse off any smaller sediment that may have settled. Assuming you have the proper drainage and sloping in your yard, the turf should rinse off easily and maintain it ’s lush, green appearance.
Once you have cleaned the surface of the artificial turf, it’s important to make it safe, especially if children play in the yard or walk around in their bare feet. Depending on the usage of the yard, there’s always a chance that a stray nail, screw, paper clip, or hairpin can find it ’s way into the yard. This would not bode well if someone were to step on a sharp end of one of these items. Going over the yard with a large sized magnet will pick up these items, keeping the lawn clear and safe for your guest, kids and pets.
Re-Lifting the Turf Blades
This is a technique that is used for older artificial turf lawns, as over many years the turf fibers can get impacted. Over the years, the turf can become a bed of microscopic dust particles. These dust particles can fill the gaps between the turf infill and can sometimes give the surface a hardened or compacted feel. Over the course of many years, your turf is exposed to all the elements of the different seasons, and is subject to wind, dust, pollen and rain ( which is acidic), all which can contribute to the turf being compacted. A way to fix this problem is to get a pressure washer and blast the surface with high pressure streams of cold water. This is great for blasting out the microscopic particles which will loosen and free the turf fibers. Although this process is seldom necessary, it’s a great way to blast out the lingering dog urine or feces bacteria that is deep within the fibers. Pressure washing the surface is also an easy way to give your turf a face lift, and help expand the blades to give it that same lush appearance that it had when it was first installed.
Adding New Infill to The Surface
This step is not always necessary but may be a good idea for artificial turf lawns that are more than 10 years old, or for homeowners with multiple pets, who are dealing with a severe pet odor problem. It’s important to use a natural product like Zeofill, which is 100% organic and biodegradable. Zeofill is actually volcanic ash, and works amazingly well in keeping pet urine odors as well as feces, vomit, saliva and wet dog smells down to a very minimal level.
Please Note: There are some artificial turf companies that like to use ground up rubber as their infill. We highly discourage this practice, as rubber based infill can keep the surface temperature of the turf up to forty degrees hotter as opposed to an organic infill. Rubber infill is also not biodegradable and not well suited for the environment. Infill typically comes in 50 lb bags and is usually priced around $20 per bag. The general rule is you will need approximately 1lb of infill for every square foot of artificial turf.
Adding infill to the turf is easy – a basic seed spreader can be used. Simply fill the spreader with infill and distribute it evenly across the surface of the artificial turf. Work the infill into the turf fibers using a basic push broom.
In closing, keeping your artificial turf clean and free of debris, pet odors and sediment will pay it’s dividends. It will provide the home owner with a lush, green lawn that is safe to use and will last for many years.