Patricia's Construction and Contracting Blog: Tips for Novices to Experts

Keep It Clean, Keep It Green: Protecting Synthetic Grass From Southern Winters

by غزل موسوی

Whether you use it for sport, relaxation or simply making a lawn that your dog won't dig up overnight, synthetic grass can be a practical and surprisingly attractive choice for low maintenance outdoor surfaces. However, synthetic grass must be protected from inclement weather in much the same way as real lawns, and the cold, wet winters that hang over Australia's southern reaches can do a lot of damage to your turf. However, winter damage is far from an inevitability, and with a few precautions you can protect your synthetic grass from the worst that winter can throw at it.

Maintaining drainage 

One of the most important aspects of synthetic grass care is ensuring that water drains away from it freely and quickly. Any rainwater that is allowed to pool on the surface can cause serious damage to the pile, as well as promoting the growth of damaging mould and mosses. It can also make grass used for sports dangerous and even unusable, due to the slip hazards it presents.

Fortunately, modern synthetic grasses are tremendously porous, and allow rainwater to drain through quickly. However, this isn't particularly useful if the ground underneath does not provide adequate drainage, so if you are having the grass installed yourself you should make sure that the ground you lay it on is fit for purpose. Sand, crushed concrete and crushed stone are all excellent choices for promoting subsurface draining, but they may provide uneven footing for sporting purposes—porous tarmac is a safer bet in these instances, and can be supplemented with drainage grids. Ensure that shock pads installed to improve the feel of your grass do not impinge on drainage channels.

Dealing with snow

Snowfall on your artificial turf can be removed, but whether you actually should depends on the circumstances. Generally speaking, small amounts of settled snow can be disregarded, with a few sweep of a soft-bristled brush enough to bring the pile back into place once it has melted. However, heavier snowfall should be tackled with care—overzealous shovelling can cause serious damage to artificial grass, especially if you use traditional metal snow shovels. 

If snow has frozen overnight, or has become heavily compacted, attempting to shovel it away will probably do far more harm than good. In these instances salt can be used in small quantities to promote melting and drainage. However, the salt you use should be as fine as possible, as coarser road salts can cause chemical damage to some artificial grasses, and can cause the sand infill to clump and solidify.

Total coverage

Of course, using a physical barrier such as a lawn cover or tarpaulin can save you a lot of winter hassles, but even when covered your grass will need a little maintenance. Ensure that mould and moss deposits are not allowed to grow in the dark, moist space between your cover and the grass, as they can cause irreversible staining. You should also make sure to rejuvenate your lawn once the cover comes off in spring, as winter covering can leave grass blades flat and infill hard and compacted—thorough brushing and some fresh infill sand is usually enough to bring your grass back to life.