You can store Artificial turf for a long time under the right conditions. This means you can take advantage of a sale to stock up on turf when you can get a good deal, and then store it until you’re ready for installation. Contrary to grass sod, which only has an installation window of 24 hours after harvesting before it starts to die.
If you’re planning to store turf for an extended period of time, here are some tips to keep it in good condition until you’re ready to install it!
3 Tips to Store Artificial Turf
1. Store Turf in Rolls
Turf typically comes in rolls, and they can be stored in the rolls they come in. Lay them flat, don’t store them vertically on the rolled end, as this can lead to warping or tearing. The turf rolls can be stacked, but the more you stack, the more weight compresses the rolls. Keep this in mind when you see flattened fibers. They will spring back up or you can rake them back into position. The more rolls you stack on top of each other, the more weight there will be compressing the rolls, and they longer they may need to decompress before installation.
2. Store Turf Indoors
Keep turf out of the elements. Turf is durable and made to be regularly exposed to heat, drought, sunlight, rain, and snow. However exposure to extreme heat as a result of reflected sunlight off windows or other shiny surfaces can damage turf. Extreme heat could cause the fibers to warp and fade, and even melt and become damaged.
Like many materials, turf’s backing will expand and contract with temperatures and humidity. Turf is water permeable and can help address drainage problems but moisture can lead to microbial growth. Turf is resilient and designed to be exposed to rain, snow, ice, pet waste, and sunlight. However, turf does require some maintenance to keep it looking good. so keep turf dry to prevent mold and odors.
3. Store Turf in A Safe Place
Make sure to keep turf out of the way where it won’t be stepped on or moved around a lot. Turf is durable once it’s been secured to a surface, but the backing can be at risk of tearing if you repeatedly drag it across the ground. If you plan on storing turf for long periods of time, put it somewhere you won’t have to keep moving it. That creates opportunities for you to the damage the turf.
Additionally, keep turf stored away from animals, especially ones that like to chew. Animals like rats, raccoons, or other vermin can chew or tear through turf or looking for food or a warm, safe place to hide. Turf is tough, and dogs aren’t able to chew it to bits or dig it up once it’s installed, but until then, make sure your turf rolls don’t end up as chew toys.
How NOT to Store Turf
Knowing how not to store turf is important to know how to store it properly. Don’t store turf:
- Outdoors and exposed to the elements, animals, and other hazards.
- Unrolled and laid out flat. This creates more chances of being crushed, dragged, and ripped when handled than when in a roll.
- Upright on its end. This can cause it to warp or tear. Instead of leaning a roll of turf against the wall, stack turf rolls horizontally.
- By a window, light source, or heating element. Excessive heat such as that from light reflected from windows or reflective surfaces can cause turf to fade or melt.
Caring for Turf for in Storage
If you’re installing turf after it has been stored for a long time, unroll it beforehand and lay it out flat. This will let the turf rolls decompress for proper installation, which helps prevent warping and future bubbling, rippling, and tearing.
Before you start cutting, unroll the turf and allow it to relax on a flat surface for at least an hour before installation. Some professionals will even say to let it rest for two to six hours, or even a full 24 hours. Ideal installation temperature is 55 to 95 degrees fahrenheit. This is an important step because the panels of turf will be compacted and prone to curling up from being packaged.
While the turf is rolled out before installation, you should take the time to; inspect it for signs of damage like rips and tears; remove any dirt or dust that may have collected; and brush or rake the fibers to get them standing upright.
Activity that would easily kill natural grass and cause bald spots can cause turf to become flattened and lose some of its soft, natural appearance. This includes rolling, stacking, and storing turf for extended periods of time. The easiest way to address this is with a rake, broom, or a specific tool for fluffing artificial turf. The final step of the installation process includes brushing or raking the turf infill and fibers into place.
Potential Problems with Turf in Storage
Under the right conditions, mold, mildew, and fungus can grow on turf. Mold growth usually isn’t a major concern with turf lawns because most turf infills include an antimicrobial coating to prevent bacterial growth. Additionally, the turf spends an extended amount of time in the sun, which helps prevent mold growth.
In particularly wet climates with limited sunlight, mold and fungus are more likely to appear. This is especially if pets regularly do their business on the lawn. However, this is easily prevented by proper cleaning and care, and it’s easily remedied if it starts happening. You can prevent odors, stains, and mold from appearing by regularly removing debris and solid waste, and spraying the turf with water weekly.
If you stored turf for an extended period of time in a dark, cold, and moist environment, there’s a chance of mold growth. When stored in a dry environment, there is a reduced chance of mold growth on turf. If you do spot mushrooms popping up, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide solutions will take out mold, kill spores, and end any musty odors.
Turf Factory Direct is here for all your artificial turf needs, and whether you’re making a playground, an indoor gym, batting cages, soccer fields, or anything else, we’ve got the tips and tricks to make your landscaping the envy of the neighborhood.