Artificial grass has many advantages and one of them is that it looks great all year long, but sometimes it needs a bit of help. You likely chose synthetic grass for its low maintenance but ultimately artificial grass does require some basic maintenance. As part of a yearly maintenance routine, grass should be refreshed at least once a year to keep it looking its best and ensuring its lasts a long time.
The idea of refreshing artificial grass is quite simple and can be carried out by anyone with the right tools. The easiest and best way to freshen matted grass is to use an artificial grass power brush and there are other options but it will take a bit more time and effort to achieve the same results. The process of reviving synthetic grass blades from a flattened position to standing more erect will improve the appearance and it has other practical benefits as well like making it more resistant to future wear and tear.
When taking a look at how to refresh artificial grass the first thing is to identify what materials were used when it was manufactured. Not all synthetic grasses are made the same and in fact there are a wide range of materials and manufacturing processes used around the world. This variance leads to discrepancies in best practices for maintaining it. There are high quality synthetic grasses that will last 30 years or more while there are also low quality grasses that will last 5 years at the most and will start to show wear in as little as a few months.
If your grass is polypropylene based you will have the hardest time keeping your grass looking fresh and in its original form. It's a great option if you are on a budget, want a grass solely for aesthetic purposes and won't receive much foot traffic or wear. In general it's a thinner blade that will often be soft to touch but the downside is that it won't stand up to wear. This type of grass is the hardest refresh and is most susceptible to flattening.
Synthetic grass made from polyethylene is the most common and can be found at any reputable manufacturer or supplier. It has an increased cost but is worth every penny when you look at all the advantages. The average lifespan of polyethylene based artificial grasses far exceeds it's counterparts, ranging up to 25 years or more. It's ideal for high traffic areas used by children or pets and in addition to looking ultra realistic it'll stay looking new for a long time. This type of grass will benefit the most from regular refreshing with a power brush.
Artificial grass made with nylon or a combination of nylon and polyethylene is the best on the market today but it comes with a high price tag. It's durable and with that comes a resilience to most kinds of wear. The blades are stiff and strong making it ideal for areas of high foot traffic and energetic pets with the downside of typically not being overly soft to touch. Nylon based synthetic grass will resist flattening, melting from high temperatures or reflective light and deformities from bearing weight.
There are many reasons why brushing (brooming, blooming, freshening, reviving, combing) synthetic turf is necessary. After looking at the different types of turf you should have a good idea of how often your grass needs attention and how much success you're likely to have during cleaning and refreshing your grass. We'll go over the process of how to refresh artificial grass below for best results with your lawn.
The first step is to clear the grass of as much debris as possible, firstly by removing large twigs, leaves and of course any dog poo, if necessary. This task can be made easier if have a power brush with collector bag but you can also use a blower or basic artificial grass safe rake. If you do have an automatic power broom your task of refreshing will likely be complete as this process will both clean and refresh at the same time.
While this step isn't absolutely necessary it's a good idea if the grass is showing signs of discolouring, darkening or fading. This could be caused by an accumulation of dust and dirt that has collected over time and is easily remedied by a rinse with a garden hose. This step will be necessary for artificial grass owners that live in climates with very little rain and of course if you live in an area that is prone to dirt and dust.
The process of refreshing the grass is equally important as keeping the turf free and clear of dirt and debris. If you don't have a power brush and are doing it manually, you will need a stiff bristled broom for this process. After determining the direction the grass blades are leaning, push the broom against grain (lean direction) of the grass, for best results. This process forces the grass to stand erect and if done properly, the sand infill will help permanently adjust the blades to staying straight up instead of leaning.
A stiff bristle broom or brush should be used for best results. Avoid using anything metal as the metal tines will likely cause damage to the grass, backing material and displace the infill material.
Any stubborn stains or areas that need special attention should be addressed at this point. If you have pets that use the grass for peeing or pooping we recommend giving your grass a sanitary clean to kill potentially harmful bacteria. The goal of this final step on how to refresh artificial grass is to get the grass looking how it did when it was new. The better you take care of your grass the longer it will look good and last.
We've taken a look at the main types of artificial grass and how each will respond to wear and tear over time. It also gives you a good idea of how much maintenance will be required to keep it looking new as long as possible. It's unfortunate, but some cheaper grasses just won't respond to refreshing but it's still worth doing as much as you can to extend the life of the grass. The following frequently asked questions related to artificial grass refreshing include some tips and advice from industry professionals.
How do you professionals clean artificial grass?
All professionals clean artificial grass by removing all large debris from the surface including; leaves, twigs, rocks, bark, pet hair, and poop. This is followed by using a power broom or push broom to remove the rest of the debris and refresh the grass. If the grass needs an enzyme clean due to pet usage, this step is completed last.
How often should you power brush or refresh artificial grass?
We recommend power brushing your grass monthly during times of high usage to prevent matting and premature wear.
How long does artificial grass last?
A high quality synthetic grass will last 25 years and longer if taken care of properly. On the other hand there are cheaper grasses that will start to flatten and show signs of wear in as little as 1-2 years.
Can you ruin artificial grass?
Most synthetic grasses are hardy and designed for high usage but there are things that can damage artificial grass or cause premature wear like; sharp objects, excess weight, intense heat and chemical spills.
Why does artificial grass turn black?
Black patches are likely caused by mould or algae growth that originates in the backing material at the base of the grass blade. This is caused by poor drainage that can be the result of infill material being overtaken by organic materials, due to a lack of power brushing.
How do you clean dog urine from fake grass?
The first step is to rinse as much of the urine as possible through the grass backing. Assuming the drainage is adequate this should remove the majority of the urine. After the grass dries, apply an enzyme cleaner or a solution of vinegar and water to kill the bacteria found in pet urine.
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Duralawn® artificial grass installations, products and service in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, etc since 2018.