While artificial grass has a major benefit over a traditional surface in that it requires much less maintenance so saving considerable time and money, it’s important to be aware that at least some maintenance is required.
Maintaining artificial grass is still far less involved than with real grass, but certain activities year-round and at particular times are required to keep artificial grass looking good and performing well. For example, maintaining artificial grass in the autumn requires one or two specific activities.
How to maintain artificial grass
Certain tasks undertaken regularly will be required:
Clearing leaves and debris
A characteristic of the autumn season is of course falling leaves and other organic debris as winds freshen.
It’s important to keep on top of leaf and debris removal as, if left unchecked, they can block the all-important drainage holes in your artificial grass and water may start collecting on the surface.
This can give rise to weed and maybe moss and mold growth.
If your surface has been provided and laid by professional synthetic grass experts, efficient drainage will have been built in; keeping autumnal debris under control will ensure it continues to drain efficiently.
A leaf blower or broom will be fine for removing leaves; don’t use a metal rake.
Maintaining artificial grass by guarding against moss
If leaves and debris isn’t cleared and moisture builds up, then moss can grow; an important part of maintaining artificial grass in autumn is guarding against moss growth and tackling it quickly should any take hold.
The combination of shadier conditions, wetter weather and possibly more fallen debris is a potential recipe for moss and even mold growth.
As stressed above, a competent artificial grass installation will drain properly if the drainage holes are kept clear, so check that debris hasn’t built up.
Also, a regular clean as part of maintaining artificial grass year-round helps ensure drainage continues to be efficient by helping to keep the drain holes clear. A good hose down and sweep a few times a year will help ensure this.
If you do find moss growing you can treat it, and it’s best to act swiftly before it really takes hold:
Rinse – a hose with decent water pressure should be enough to effectively blast away moss.
Brush – use a stiff broom, power brush or garden vac to ensure the last vestiges of moss are removed.
If you have had to treat moss as part of your maintaining artificial grass in the autumn regime, then resolve to ensure it doesn’t return by stepping up debris and leaf removal activities regularly to ensure the surface is clear and the drain holes aren’t obstructed.
You can apply a water-based weed killer to your artificial grass to help prevent moss from returning.
While you may notice the first frosts of the cooler weather months appear in the autumn, there’s no need to worry as synthetic grass can stand up to it.
If for any reason you do want to remove a layer of frost, be careful what you use – avoid sharp edged tools like spades or rakes. It’s best to use a plastic snow shovel.
Cleaning as part of maintaining artificial grass
You may find possible autumn rainfalls do the cleaning job for you naturally as rainwater keeps your artificial grass clean and the drainage holes clear by washing away any particles and light debris.
If, however, it’s been a dry autumn then a simple clean will be worthwhile; hose the grass down thoroughly and visually check the water drains away properly with none left settling on the surface.
How often you do this will depend on weather and usage conditions, but it’s unlikely to need doing more than fortnightly and maybe less during periods of regular rainfall.
If any soiling is in evidence, then ‘spot cleaning’ these areas with a mild solution of household detergent and warm water applied with a sponge then rinsed away with the hose will suffice.
Commercial artificial grass cleaners can be used, but you’ll normally find a basic cleaning solution as described above will do the job on soiled areas.
Brushing the fibres
To prevent matting – where the fibres eventually lie flat after prolonged use – you should brush the surface as part of maintaining artificial grass in the autumn and year-round.
Using a stiff broom with synthetic bristles (not metal or wire), brush against the direction of the fibres – you’ll notice your artificial grass has a definite ‘pile’ like a carpet where the fibres grow in a certain direction.
This brushing technique effectively fluffs up the blades of grass.
If you’ve had a top-quality installation of your synthetic surface undertaken by professionals, and subsequently kept on top of keeping it clear of debris and ensuring good drainage, you shouldn’t have weeds growing through.
It is possible for weeds to grow directly on the surface having been carried through the air as seeds to settle on your grass. As they’re not growing through the layers below the grass these surface weeds are easy to remove – but as with all maintaining artificial grass in the autumn activities, keeping on top of them ensures they won’t take hold.
Weeds can grow at the edges of your synthetic surface where the weed membrane ends, so check regularly and remove any offenders.
To guard against weeds, applying a water-based weed killer perhaps twice a year will help inhibit growth.
How to maintain artificial grass effectively
Overall the answer to ‘how to maintain artificial grass effectively?’ boils down to attending to maintenance issues regularly.
While artificial grass doesn’t need as much looking after as real grass, as discussed above some attention is required and – as with maintaining artificial grass in the autumn – certain season-specific tasks need attending to.