The 10 Most Common Problems with Artificial Grass + How to Fix Them

A lot of people hold off on getting artificial grass because they think it comes with too many complicated issues…

But in reality, that couldn’t be less true!

Artificial grass is much simpler to maintain than a traditional lawn, and can often look a lot better, too.

Right now, you might be worrying about making such a big investment – We get it.

As a team, we’ve installed artificial lawns in hundreds of yards, sport facilities and golf courses.

Today, we’ve compiled the 10 most common problems with artificial grass that people face, as well as simple solutions for each of them! 

While some people worry about these potential problems, you are going to be surprised by just how minor these problems are, as well as how easy it is to fix them. 

1. Weed Growth

Yes, you can get weeds growing on your artificial grass. However, the amount of them is not nearly as much as you would get with a traditional lawn. 

Some people don’t experience weed growth on their lawn at all, though, and that’s likely because they installed a good quality weed-suppressing membrane.

Because of this, airborne seeds and leaves can cause weeds to grow right through the backing and onto the surface.

How To Fix It:

When you first get your artificial grass installed, ask specifically if you can get an anti-weed membrane installed. 

This is just a semi-permeable mat that sits under the grass and stops the weeds from coming through the backing and up to the surface. 

Alternatively, you could always go the old fashioned route of using a weed killer or pulling it up from the root.

Just be careful with the chemicals you use around the pets. Choose a safe weed killer, or try making your own using vinegar!

Also, always maintain and clean your lawn and keep away

2. Moss Growth

While artificial grass itself doesn’t facilitate the growth of moss and other algae, the filaments and debris trapped in the grass might! 

This is because moisture and bacteria can gather underneath any debris left on the grass, and facilitate in moss growth.

How To Fix It:

Removing moss can be a tricky task. It usually entails rinsing and scrubbing the grass by hand.

That’s why your best course of action is always prevention before it happens. 

Every now and again, go out to your lawn and give it a quick going over with a leaf blower or a brush. This is going to get rid of all that organic matter and keep moss well away. 

Make sure you don’t use any brushes with hard bristles, and definitely don’t use a power hose. These tools can damage your grass, so try to avoid them. 

3. Surface Heat

Something that tends to go under the radar for a lot of artificial grass owners is just how hot it can get.

Believe it or not, surface heat is one of the dangers of artificial grass that most people aren’t aware of.

This is especially true for some hotter places. Artificial grass doesn’t have the natural cooling properties that grass does, so it can’t get rid of the heat.

Don’t worry – Your artificial lawn is not going to melt or catch on fire, but you are going to notice the heat if you walk barefoot.

Luckily, it’s a problem that’s easily preventable.

How To Fix It:

If you live in a particularly warm area, simply invest in artificial grass that has a lighter shade color.

Some brands now offer additional cooling properties too.

Additionally, most cases of overheating are due to window magnification of sunlight. So consider getting some shutters to put in between your lawn and your windows.

4. Flattening Over Time

Your artificial grass is going to see a lot of foot traffic over time. After all, what’s the point of the lawn if you can’t enjoy it?

Guests, kids, pets, BBQ parties, patio furniture, and more all play a part in flattening your grass.

It isn’t a major issue, but it can make your lawn look a little less vibrant.

Luckily, fixing flattened artificial grass is very easy to do.

How To Fix It:

Every so often, go outside with a soft plastic brush and give the grass a little bit of a sweep. This will fluff up the grass and make it look fresh again.

You can get rid of any loose leaves and debris at the same time.

Keep in mind, though; it’s important that you’re sweeping against the grain of the grass. This technique is called cross-brushing, and will make your artificial grass stand up more.

Brushing along with the grain, however, will just make it flatter.

Alternatively, you could invest in a power brush. This handy tool lets you easily clean your grass, renew it, and get you better results in a much shorter time.

5. Lifting Edges

Lifting edges is one of the more annoying common artificial grass problems that people face. However, there is a fix for it!

When you get your artificial lawn installed, the edges should have been either secured down with pins or by a timber frame. 

But if it’s lifting along the edges, this either means it hasn’t been installed correctly, or something has come loose.

This can become a hazard – You and your family could trip over it, or your artificial grass could lift off the ground in strong winds and storms.

Either way, not to worry! There are plenty of ways you can secure the edge of your grass back down.

How To Fix It:

The easiest method available is simply to go online and buy some more fixing pins. 

These are very easy to install, and it can take care of the problem in an instant. 

If you’re thinking about doing up the garden some more, though, you might want to consider getting an edge restraint installed around the grass.

This will keep your sub-base fixed in place, ensuring your grass doesn’t sink at the edges. It will also allow you to anchor and secure the grass around its perimeter.

6. Joint Lines and Seams

Looks are a big consideration when it comes to artificial grass. After all, how it looks can make or break a garden. 

Joint lines and seams are visible gaps or overlaps in your lawn that stick out like a sore thumb.

It can be difficult to get rid of these, and in some cases you might even need help from a professional.

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of artificial grass, given that you don’t encounter things like this with real grass.

How To Fix It:

The best thing you can do to combat this issue is to make sure you install it properly in the first place, or hire a good contractor to do so.

Be sure to cut the pieces properly, matching the pile direction on both sides, and secure them with the right adhesive.

For minor joint lines, you may be able to hide them with simple brushing and using a good infill.

But in severe cases, you may need to call up a contractor. If you still have your warranty, then you should be able to get this fixed easily. 

7. Drainage Issues

Like joint and seam lines, this is an issue that you should try to avoid rather than fix. 

Drainage issues are generally the result of poor installation and can cost a lot of money to get fixed.

Essentially, this is when water fails to drain through your grass, so it gathers and forms puddles on the surface.

These pools of water might not even be visible at first, but can cause some serious long term damage.

Your grass can end up sinking down into the ground, and then you’re looking at a nasty repair bill.

How To Fix It:

A good quality, permeable sub-base is going to help make sure your grass is draining properly, so make sure to choose the right one before installation.

This will provide a solid foundation, while allowing the free flow of water through the base and into the ground.

If you already have your lawn installed and you are starting to get drainage issues, call your installer immediately. The longer you wait, the more serious the problems can become.

8. Sinking Spots and Slumps

Sinking is a problem related to the sub-base foundation of the artificial lawn.

Thankfully, it’s not a complicated problem to fix. 

Slumps generally occur when a hole under the lawn has gone unnoticed. As a result of both water pressure and the weight of gravity, the grass layer begins to dip into the hole. 

How To Fix It:

The solution to this, like drainage, is more about prevention than fixing.

That’s because it’s the same solution: A good quality sub-base.

The health of your artificial lawn is very heavily dependent on the foundation that it is installed on. So make sure your installers know what they are doing ahead of time. 

If you want to fix an existing spot, there are turf repair kits on the market made specifically for this.

This involves cutting a flap over the sunken area on your grass, and filling the space underneath with a paste.

9. Odor

Nasty smells are a particularly common problem people report from their artificial grass, but it’s also one of the easier ones to get rid of. 

Nine times out of ten, this odor is the result of a pet. However, organic plant matter can also be responsible for it. 

How To Fix It:

The best solution to this is to give your grass a regular washing, and stick to a good maintenance routine.

As we’ve mentioned above, we do not recommend using a power hose on your artificial lawn. Get yourself a regular garden hose instead.

If this fails, there are artificial grass detergents and deodorizers that will care of the smells for you. Some even leave a grassy scent to your lawn too! 

10. Choosing The Wrong Infill

Infill is the material that goes between the blades of grass on your turf. It’s the equivalent of sand for artificial grass.

Making sure you choose the right infill is half the battle in keeping your lawn looking good. 

What is the point, though?

Infill actually has a few purposes. First, the material can help keep your grass fibers standing up straight.

Second, it protects your foundation from damaging UV rays. 

Infill can also help with your drainage, eliminating odors, and it makes the lawn more springy.

Which Infill Should You Use?

The more common types of infill are silica sand, crumb rubber, and zeolite. Each one tends to offer the same advantages, but with unique drawbacks. 

Silica sand is a common choice, but can breakdown prematurely, and it has a tendency to hold water. Without proper maintenance, this could lead to moss and mold growth, as well as trapping odors.

Rubber is usually used in artificial grass sports grounds. It gives the turf a bouncy property, but it can get very hot and tends to trap odors.

More recently, there have also been some health concerns over rubber infill, so this is generally not recommended for home use.

Lastly, zeolite is a non-toxic and child/pet safe alternative. It’s also unique in that it traps certain chemicals in pet urine, preventing odors.

It’s generally more expensive than the other two, but might be worth it if you have pets.