Is Artificial Turf Right for You

Should you install artificial turf in your yard? Find out what the benefits of artificial turf are and how turf types differ.

When you think of artificial turf, the first thing that might spring to mind is a sports field. It is true that many sports teams use various types of artificial turf on their fields. In fact, sporting events initiated the popularity of artificial turf. Soon, after it came on the scene in sports arenas it was in use in other public areas, such as parks. Today's artificial turf, which is also called artificial grass, comes in many forms. The various types of turf can be as useful on private properties as on sports fields. In fact, homeowners across the United States routinely have artificial grasses installed in their yards for various reasons.

If you want your yard to look its best, you probably want it to have some type of grass. Natural grass is excellent, but it is not always the most sensible option. A lot depends on the climate in which you live, along with your financial situation, time management needs, and other factors. Here are some facts about the general benefits of artificial turf and the turf selection process.

What is Artificial Turf?

Artificial turf is also known as synthetic turf or synthetic grass. Sometimes general artificial turf is incorrectly referred to as AstroTurf. However, AstroTurf is the brand name of a specific type of artificial turf. In reality, artificial turf is any type of man-made grass or running or walking surface. Turf made to resemble real grass is produced in square or rectangular pieces with a strong backing to prevent it from separating. The grass and backing materials are composed of various fiber materials, which may include:

  • Polyethylene
  • Polypropylene
  • Nylon

Artificial grass today is made to resemble real grass as much as possible. It is available in different blade heights. Much of the fake turf produced today also features brown and green fibers interconnected. That produces an effect that looks similar to a real lawn with some brown and some green grass. Although, it is possible to get turf that is completely green.

Why Should You Consider Artificial Turf?

There are many potential benefits of artificial turf. The most obvious is consistency of appearance. When you install artificial grass it looks excellent from the first day and continues to maintain that look. Even in changing seasons and despite exposure to foot traffic or the elements it still looks lush and green. Additionally, a real lawn often has a patchy appearance because sunlight hits some areas more than others. That issue is eliminated when artificial turf is present.

Artificial turf is also a low-maintenance option. That may appeal to you, if you have a busy schedule. Real grass may require some or all of the following procedures, which are not required when maintaining artificial turf:

  • Fertilizing
  • Mowing or Trimming
  • Weeding

Another artificial turf benefit that can save time and resources is you do not need to water it. The lack of a need to water artificial turf is particularly beneficial if you live in a dry climate, such as Arizona or California. In fact, some states give tax credits and other breaks when you have artificial turf because it is beneficial for water conservation.

What Makes A Good Quality Artificial Grass?

Appearance is important when choosing an artificial grass. Select one that looks real, as opposed to plastic. Also, make sure it feels like natural grass when you touch it. That is an indication it is a high-quality product that is likely to last.

Another concern is safety, particularly if children or pets live in your home. Ask the company you hire for a list of the materials used to make the grass. Make sure lead and other harmful contaminants are not present. That way your can relax when your family is enjoying your new lawn.

When choosing artificial grass, it is also in your best interest to select one that is built to last. Make sure it is tightly woven. Check to see if the blades stand up to impacts. Also, ask if the materials are treated to prevent UV damage. If not, the sun's rays could cause rapid deterioration of the turf.

How Long Does Artificial Turf Last?

There is no exact length of time your artificial turf is going to last. It depends on how high quality it is from the beginning. The level of use it receives also changes its lifespan. If you have a large family with many children and pets who like to play in the yard, expect a shorter lifespan. On the other hand, your grass will last longer when rarely used.

Most artificial turf produced today is designed to last for a minimum of approximately 10 years. In a busy setting like a public park, artificial grass is typically used for eight to 12 years. However, it can last for 20 years or more in your yard. The end result depends on the conditions to which it is exposed each year, including weather changes.

The installation process can also impact the lifespan of artificial turf. That is why it is vital to select a company with a good reputation and experience level to install it. Proper artificial turf installation includes the use of some type of infill material. Infill is a sand-like material that is added to the turf. It helps to keep blades of turf standing upright and reduces flatting that is otherwise caused by foot traffic. Certain types of infill material have additional benefits. For instance, Envirofil reduces bacterial growth on the artificial lawn. It is also touted as one of the best infills for pet owners because it reduces odors.

What Else Should You Know Before Installing Artificial Turf?

Before installing artificial turf, it is important to know that it is paradoxically environmentally-friendly and not friendly at the same time. It will last for years without the need to waste water or fertilizer, but it does not biodegrade well in landfills. Also, you must understand artificial turf does not require the same type of maintenance as real grass, but it still requires some maintenance. In place of mowing and clipping, you must perform tasks like raking and disinfecting it on a regular basis. That maintenance can help your turf last for many years and keep your family safe while using it.