How Long Does Artificial Turf Last? 5 Care Tips

backyard with dark green artificial turf and a beige cabana

When you are considering making the switch from a traditional lawn to artificial turf your first question is usually how will it look?  Once you realize there are some exceptionally good looking artificial grass options for your yard, you’ll move on to the next most logical question.  How long does artificial turf last?  The answer to this question, like many others in your backyard, is it depends.

How Long Does Artificial Turf Last?

The common knowledge floating around the backyard living community is that artificial turf will last between 20 and 30 years.  However, there are a lot of variables to consider which can reduce lifespan, and ways to help maximize lifespan.

How To Make Artificial Turf Last Longer

Despite artificial turf being less needy than live grass, it still requires attention. Artificial turf isn’t fully maintenance-free. However, it is simple to care for most of the time. Here are a few keys to artificial turf longevity.

Rake High Traffic Areas Regularly

First, there’s traffic.  I’m not talking about driving on the turf. However, this will certainly reduce the lifespan, but walking, running, playing.  If you are using the artificial turf for a patio or main walkway between outdoor spaces, expect that you’ll need to rake it regularly to keep it looking its best

On athletic fields, artificial turf takes a beating, and will usually need replacement every 7-15 years.  However, keep in mind that on athletic fields the way the turf looks is not usually the biggest concern.  In your yard, if there’s an obvious pathway from foot traffic, it’ll make your turf look synthetic, and you’ll be thinking about replacement.  

Attend To Punctures Quickly

Next, there’s punctures.  You’ll need to make sure you attend to any punctures which occur over the years before they grow into a problem.  This means you’ll want to have a small roll of leftover artificial grass stored someplace safe for this purpose.  By keeping a scrap of the original grass installed you will be able to best match the artificial grass.

Quality Installation And Planning

Additionally, when considering how long does artificial turf last, you’ll want to consider how it was put down in the first place.  Did you do it yourself or did you hire a professional?  You can install artificial grass yourself and do it properly. Although, the big test is what happens when it rains.  If there are a lot of puddles and buildup of water, you have some drainage issues.  This can cause problems over time including staining of the grass itself. Furthermore even algae can grow if the puddles are large enough.  

Water Your Artificial Turf

Day to day maintenance is also a consideration.  If you live in the southwest where it doesn’t rain all that often, and there is a high dust load, you will notice your grass looking dull and dirty. You will need to water your lawn. Yes, that’s right you’ll need to water your artificial grass to mimic a rainstorm.  This will keep your lawn looking its best and reduce the amount of dust on the blades.

Style Your Turf With A Power Broom

The next step is using a power broom on the artificial turf.  A power broom is a rotating brush which moves the turf fibers up.  This prevents squashed fibers from becoming permanently down facing, cleans debris, and generally makes your lawn look great.  When considering how long does artificial turf last, without a power broom your turf will not look its best. 

If you live in a place where you do a spring cleanup, that’s a good time to power broom the turf.  Generally every 3-6 months is a good timeframe for how often to power broom, but more often may be necessary if you have a high traffic area you want to keep looking its best.

white dog with backyard displaying how long does artificial turf last as being longer than 10 years with brown and gray fence behind it

How Long Does Artificial Turf Last Maintenance Free?

If you do not plan to care for your artificial turf, the average lifespan will decrease. While following the tips we included will result in a 20 – 30 year life, your turf will only last for 10 – 20 years if you do not properly maintain it. To make matters worse, if you do not care for it, much of its life will be dull and dirty.

How Long Does Artificial Turf Last Summary

Artificial turf is entirely dependent on how well you treat it. Contrary to popular belief, it still requires a decent amount of maintenance. Yes, you will not need to mow your lawn. However, you do still need to water it and rake/power broom. Otherwise, your turf will quickly have a worn appearance.

Artificial turf is still a great option to reduce the amount of lawn care required. You won’t ever have to worry about the best pattern to mow your lawn or finding the best lawn mower for your grass type. Artificial turf is just simply not a maintenance-free solution.