How Much Does It Cost to Dethatch a Lawn?

Typical Range:

$100 - $700

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.

Updated August 12, 2022

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Dethatching a medium-size lawn averages $215 for 1 to 2 hours of labor. Bigger lawns could take longer and cost as much as $700; smaller lawns might only cost $100. Most lawn companies use a three-person crew to dethatch and remove debris as quickly as possible.

If your lawn has more brown grass than green, it’s probably suffering from a thatch issue. Thatch is the layer of dead grass that rests on top of the soil. When a half-inch thick, this layer prevents sun and water from reaching the roots. Once the thatch is removed, healthy grass can truly flourish.

Cost to Dethatch Lawn

Average Cost$215
High Cost$700
Low Cost$100

Lawn Dethatching Service Pricing

A lawn care service will usually use a team of three for speed and efficiency, costing around $170 to $180 per hour for the three-person crew. However, a single person may tackle some small jobs. 

Depending on the size of your lawn, it takes one to four hours to complete the dethatching process, so you can pay anywhere from $100 to $720. This works out to between $0.20 and $0.40 per square foot on average.

Thatching Prices With Other Services

Most homeowners pay between $180 and $250 for dethatching. However, your lawn care specialist will likely recommend several services to get your yard looking its best:

When you add one of these services onto dethatching, there’s a chance that you’ll get a discounted bundle rate. Check with a lawn care company near you for an estimate.

Bundling services saves you money per service and can benefit your lawn in the long run. Dethatching and aerating cause immediate damage to your grass but help to build healthier, sturdier, greener grass over the long term. These two processes open up the soil structure and remove dead grass buildup, allowing air, water, and nutrients to penetrate to the roots. 

Fertilizing right after either or both of these services is important, as the nutrient boost of a quick-release fertilizer helps your grass recover from the trauma of dethatching or aerating. And, when that's combined with a slow-release fertilizer, your grass gets that initial boost followed by the steady nutrient availability of the slow-release fertilizer, creating healthier and more sustainable grass plants over time.

After dethatching, you may also want to reseed or overseed any dead, thin, or troubled grass patches. Overseeding costs between $400 and $1,000 for a full lawn, but pros can underseed bare patches for under $100, particularly when bundled with other lawn services. 

Power Raking Cost

Power raking is $10 to $20 per 1,000 square feet. Expect to pay $100 to $200 for a typical lawn of 10,000 square feet.

Power raking is a more aggressive way to remove that dead layer of grass. It’s ideal when thatch is more than a half-inch thick. However, a cautious approach is best, as it does more damage to a lawn than standard dethatching. If you do have a major thatch problem, power raking may be a suitable option— but only in moderate temperatures and when the lawn is in reasonably good health to give it the best chance of withstanding the trauma. Even in ideal conditions, you may find you need to reseed patches of lawn to replace dead areas after power raking.

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Cost to Rent or Buy a Dethatcher

To rent a dethatcher, expect to pay around $80 to $100 per day. If you go for a power rake, expect rental costs of $50 to $60 per day. Plus you'll need to pay a refundable deposit for either machine, at a cost of around $150. Buying a dethatcher costs anywhere from $100 to $500, for a residential dethatcher.

Dethatching vs. Aerating

It’s common to dethatch and aerate simultaneously, but they're different processes. Dethatching moves the layer of thatch, or dead grass, from the base of your grass plants. Aerating removes small plugs of soil from the lawn. 

Dethatching improves airflow around plants and allows water and nutrients to reach the base of the grass and the soil. Aerating allows water and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil to easily reach the roots. It also allows air into the soil and helps to improve soil structure.

DIY Lawn Dethatching vs. Hiring a Pro

While you can rent a lawn dethatcher, you’ll also need a truck and other materials (such as a rake) to get rid of this dead debris.

You might pay more money to hire a company, but it’s almost certainly worth it. Since professional lawn companies typically send three-person teams out to dethatch, doing this project by yourself will almost certainly take hours longer (and potentially even days if you have a big yard).


How does a dethatching machine work?

Dethatching machines look like lawnmowers but have blades that cut down in crisscrossing motions. This action loosens the thatch, which is then raked up separately and removed. You might see some dethatching machines with rake-like tines. These often do not offer the best experience compared to those with blades. 

Is it better to fertilize my lawn before or after dethatching?

You should fertilize your lawn after dethatching. This gives the damaged grass a solid nutrient boost to aid quick recovery, helping your lawn to grow back greener and stronger. Fertilizing before dethatching simply wastes your time, money, and energy and may even damage your lawn. 

Is dethatching a lawn worth it?

Yes, dethatching is worth it if you've got a thick thatch layer. Grab a trowel and dig up a small section of soil and grass, and check how thick the thatch layer is. If it's an inch or more, and you're noticing problems like thinning grass, weak, patchy grass, or pale coloring, it could be time to dethatch to restore health and vigor.

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