Common Lawn Damage Causes & Solutions

Once you have your own yard, there is no greater mark of pride than a well-maintained and beautiful lawn to garner the envy of your neighbors and passersby. Unfortunately for the hopeful homeowners looking to impress the rest of the block, lawn damage can occur very easily and from a variety of causes. Whether you live in a dry, wet, hot, or cold climate, lawn maintenance is an intensive task, and lawn repair is a necessity when problems arise, which they often do. Today, we will talk about some of the most common sources of lawn damage you may experience, and what you can do to heal your lawn and prevent future damage.

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Sporadic Bare Patches

One obvious sign of damage homeowners often see are bare spots where grass is not growing at all or is not growing as fully as neighboring patches. There are many different causes of bare spots, such as heavy foot traffic, nutrient deficiency, pests, pesticides, and rocky soil preventing proper seeding. To solve this common source of lawn damage, you first need to identify the source of the problem.

If the terrain is simply ill-equipped to support healthy grass, you may need to landscape or excavate and replace your underlying soil with healthy soil that can support your grass seedlings. If the problem is a result of pests, a trip to the exterminator may be in order; conversely, if pesticides or chemicals are the cause, you may want to discontinue your current lawncare treatment in that area. Once the source of the problem has been addressed, filling in the bare spots will require reseeding sooner rather than later, since leaving the area exposed as is invites further damage.

Damage from Pets

We love our dogs and cats, but they can often be a source of lawn damage. Dogs can often cause bare spots and dead grass from frequent urination, and both dogs and cats are known to dig into soil and create ditches and holes that are both unsightly and potentially dangerous. The simplest solution to this problem, however, is often very difficult to properly implement: keep the animals away from the grass!

Distressed Grass

Another problem with multiple potential causes is unhealthy looking grass exhibiting signs of distress. Improper fertilization, underwatering or overwatering, improper chemical treatment, and weather and climate can all be contributing factors to this problem. Once the source of the damage is identified, solutions can be as simple as changing your chemical treatment regiment, applying new fertilizer, and reducing or increasing watering times.

Dandelions and Crabgrass

Two of the most common offenders, dandelions and crabgrass are universally abhorred for their pernicious tendencies to outcompete and eventually destroy surrounding lawn grasses. These pesky invaders can easily set up shop practically anywhere lawn grass can grow, and are notoriously difficult to completely eradicate. Dandelions are perennials, meaning they will come back every single year if you do not fix the issue; crabgrass is an annual and will not persevere to the same degree, but it tends to spread quickly and reduce your lawn grass’ ability to thrive.


To eradicate crabgrass, you should first check to make sure you are not introducing too much nitrogen into your soil, and that your soil is properly aerated since crabgrass tends to do well in compacted areas. Make sure you pick a fertilizer treatment plan that is conservative on nitrogen. Then, you can manually pull out the offending weeds to the best of your ability, or simply wait for the cold weather to kill off the existing crabgrass and prepare your lawn for the next warm season and prevent its reoccurrence. This may be your best option, since crabgrass can be very difficult to remove manually and common chemical treatments may end up doing further damaging your lawn rather than solving the problem.


Dandelions are a trickier problem since they come back every year. Using a weed pulling tool is an effective way to spot-treat your lawn for dandelions, but it will not solve the underlying problem. Mowing your lawn while keeping a healthy grass length is an important step to reducing dandelions; a thick lawn with somewhat high grass will help prevent dandelions from taking root and sprouting. Additionally, keeping your grass healthy and properly fertilized is essential for further reducing dandelions from spreading across your lawn. You may also look into a post-emergent herbicide aimed at broadleaf plants. Of course, if you do not mind a bit of yellow in your yard, dandelions are useful for pollinators as a source of nectar!

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Find everything you need to care for your lawn at Grayco Hardware & Home Center. Find My Grayco