Choosing a lawn of artificial turf in place of a natural lawn of grass can be a great decision for you as artificial turf requires far less maintenance and saves you a lot of money in the long-run.
However, you should be warned that while artificial grass does not require the same level of maintenance that a natural lawn does, it is still possible for your artificial turf to become affected by a number of issues if it is not properly maintained.
The following article intends to cover one of the most common such issues: mold, and how to combat it.
Does Artificial Grass Get Mold
Yes, artificial turf is susceptible to mold growth if it is not maintained properly.
Mold is essentially a kind of fungus that thrives on moisture and wet conditions. Like any other kind of unwanted vegetation it has a tendency to reproduce rapidly through spores.
And it can be very difficult to get rid of one it attaches itself to your property.
This is due to the fact that a turf’s base often consists of material, such as silicon sand, that attracts moisture which encourages mold growth.
Mold growth is not as likely on artificial turf as it is on a natural lawn, but it is still possible given the right conditions.
Black Mold on Artificial Grass
You may have noticed the development of a few small black patches here and there sticking out. amongst an otherwise completely perfect sea of grass.
Some people mistake this as possible discoloration of their turf, but it is actually most probably mold growth.
This can happen if you haven’t taken very good care of your artificial turf.
If you notice a lot of these black patches of mold spread all across your artificial turf, it means that there is a serious infestation of fungus that has been made possible due to neglect.
Black mold is one of the most common varieties of fungus found on artificial grass, so it should not be too surprising for you to find it on your turf if you do not properly and regularly clean it.
Causes of Mold Growth On Turf
There are a number of reasons why mold can grow on your turf.
But nearly all of these will inevitably relate back to the fact that you probably have not taken adequate care of your turf.
Poor Quality Turf with Fibers that Absorb Water
If you invest a decent amount of time cleaning your turf but still find it infested with mold, it is possible that the quality of turf you’ve purchased is so low that the material is simply not able to prevent mold growth.
This occurs if you use extremely cheap varieties of turf with very poor-quality fibers that have a very high tendency to retain water.
The increased moisture absorption encourages mold to grow since it thrives in wet conditions.
Moisture Between Turf Fibers
Assuming that you water and clean your turf regularly, it is possible that maybe you’ve watered your turf too much and that has resulted in the accumulation of excess water between turf fibers.
While it is definitely recommended that you should clean your turf regularly, an excess of water, beyond the natural drainage limitations of the turf, will result in the accumulation of water that will eventually result in the encouragement of mold growth.
Inadequate Drainage When Installed Over Tiles or Concrete
If you haven’t installed your turf appropriately over your hard surface, i.e. concrete or tile floor, it is possible that the lack of proper drainage is contributing to the rise of mold.
The interrupted drainage would prevent water from being removed appropriately, thus leading it to pool up on the surface of the tiles and remain there for long periods of time.
This pooled-up water would then encourage the growth of mold over your turf.
Inadequate Pet Waste Cleanup
Dogs have a tendency to leave their mess on your turf. And it is possible that due to the lack of proper cleaning the waste matter encourages mold to accumulate and grow.
If your pets frequently urinate or leave feces on your artificial turf it can go uncleaned for hours if you’re not paying attention.
In this case you need to improve the cleaning up of their waste to prevent further mold growth.
How to Prevent Mold Growth on Artificial Grass
Now that we’ve covered why you may be experiencing some serious mold growth on your
turf, it’s time to address how to prevent it from growing further.
Buy High-Quality Turf
Your turf might be infested with mold even if you clean it regularly. This means that your turf is probably just too low in quality to be usable in your area.
It is best to replace it with higher quality material. Higher quality turf will naturally incur a greater cost though.
But it will come with the added benefit of reduced chances of mold developing because of special anti-microbial treatments.
Use Airgrid Tiles for Installation on Hard Surfaces
Air grid tiles are a great choice for you if your turf is installed over a hard surface, i.e concrete or tiles.
They allow the excess moisture that accumulates in the bottom of the turf to be released harmlessly into the air.
Air grid tiles are especially beneficial if you are uncertain about how well your drainage performs.
Brush the Turf Regularly
If you have high-quality turf, with adequate drainage, and you still find the occasional patch of mold, it would be best to invest more effort in turf maintenance.
Brush the fibers of your turf regularly to remove all traces of mold and continue regularly brushing to avoid future mold development.
Wash and Maintain Regularly
Use appropriate cleaning supplies to wash and water your artificial turf on a regular and consistent basis.
Proper washing will ensure that the turf retains its mold-free exterior for the longest possible time.
Provided of course, that your turf is of high quality, has adequate drainage and is being brushed regularly.
Cleanup Properly After Your Pets Do Their Business
If your pets have a tendency to urinate or lay feces often on your turf, do not allow their waste to remain uncleaned for hours on end after it has been left there.
Clean up after your pets as regularly as possible to prevent the likelihood of their waste acting as a source of moisture for the growth of mold.
How to Remove Mold Growth on Artificial Grass
We’ve covered why you might have a mold problem with your turf, and we’ve addressed how you can prevent your mold problem from proliferating in the future.
Now we will explain what you should do in case you already have a mold problem and are looking for a solution on how to treat it.
Vinegar + Bleach Mix (DIY)
A mixture of vinegar and bleach is a common made-at-home solution for dealing with mold.
The acidic nature of vinegar combined with bleach will immediately kill any mold it comes into contact with.
You should apply the mixture with the utmost of caution.
If it comes into contact with the fibers of your artificial turf, depending on the quality of the turf, it could be damaged as well.
So this is a Do-It-Yourself solution that works if you’re a very careful individual.
Use Commercial Mold Cleaners
If you find the prospect of using DIY solutions too risky or time-consuming, there are a number of great commercial mold cleaners that you can purchase.
Commercial mold cleaners are relatively inexpensive but extremely effective.
Typically, they will consist of a spray that you can apply over an infected area and within a few minutes the mold will die off, and you can wash it off.
Commercial mold cleaners are a great choice for you if you just want to get rid of the mold on your turf as quickly and effectively as possible.
Of course, using a commercial mold cleaner has the disadvantage of resulting in a higher cost to you than if you were to opt for the aforementioned DIY mixture of vinegar and bleach.
Overall, though, either method is highly effective, and you should choose the one that you’re most comfortable with using. You will succeed in removing your mold problem either way.
Mold can be a very common problem on artificial turf, especially if your turf is left unclean or improperly maintained.
There are a number of causes for mold growth ranging from poor quality material to improper drainage and uncleaned pet waste, but it can all be prevented by opting for high-quality turf, installing air grid tiles, and cleaning after your pets regularly.
With respect to eradicating an existing mold problem, you can either prepare a DIY solution of vinegar and bleach, or you can choose to purchase and use a commercial mold cleaner.
Either way, you will be able to eradicate your mold problem, and provided you follow the necessary steps for maintaining your turf, you will need to worry about mold in the future.