Reasons To Think Twice About Artificial Turf

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Introduction

Lawns are thirsty and consume more water than you may imagine. They are also a pain to maintain. You need to pull out the weeds occasionally, fertilize them and seed them with the change of seasons. That’s why many assume artificial turf is the perfect solution. However, that might not be the case. If you want to reconstruct your lawn turf you can search for “landscape companies near me” and hire professionals fit for the job. Let’s check out a few good reasons that make you think twice about artificial turf:

The Reasons

  1. It looks great initially – Artificial is made of plastic and recycled rubber obtained from old tires. Its composition consists of polyester, polyethylene, polypropylene, nylon, or a hybrid of these types of plastics that go into making the grass blades. It’s basically an outdoor carpet that is designed to mimic natural grass.

The blades are embedded on many layers of padding material and receive an acrylic coating before they are coated with latex or polyurethane. The spaces between the blades are full of an infill material mostly made of sand and crumbed rubber that comes from recycled tires. That much plastic in an open environment can never truly replace natural grass or do what natural grass does. They may look great initially but lose that aesthetic appeal with regular use and foot traffic.

  1. It needs regular cleaning – Since it’s a big plastic rug it needs to be cleaned like any other rug. Natural grass grows blades, and those blades also fall off along with other organic debris into the soil. They become nourishment for the grass. On the other hand, bird droppings, dirt, food crumbs, pet hair, and human fluids like sweat, blood, and saliva can’t seep through artificial grass into the soil. They need to be cleaned regularly to keep the artificial turf hygienic.

You’ll need to clean these bits and particles with water. You’ll also need to straighten and fluff up the blades of the artificial grass with a rake. So, the notion of artificial grass saving water couldn’t be further from the truth. You may end up using more water to clean the grass. That’s why artificial grass makes more sense in professional sports where they are accompanied by a complex irrigation system to clean the grass.

  1. It isn’t safe – Most artificial turfs for professional sports have irrigation systems not just for cleaning. They are also needed to cool down the turf. Since artificial grass is made of plastic and doesn’t get any of the natural cooling benefits of plants, it becomes a hot stretch of green. On the surface, artificial grass temperatures stay around 20 to 50 degrees higher than natural grass.

If you’ve ever tried to build your own driveway and done some research, you may know that that’s as hot as asphalt pavement. Research shows that artificial grass can get as hot as 200 degrees. Manufacturers of the product are well aware of this issue and are trying to solve it with better materials.

However, until a new revolutionary artificial grass is introduced to the market, the green stretch of plastic can become very uncomfortable without water cooling solutions. Moreover, that kind of high temperature can easily cause rashes, skin burns, and other heat-related illnesses.

  1. It isn’t as soft as natural grass – Unlike popular belief, artificial grass isn’t remotely as soft as natural grass. While it may feel softer than tiled floors, it is hard since it’s made of shards of plastic. When you or your kids fall on artificial turf while playing sports it doesn’t give way. If you decide to install artificial grass on a concrete foundation injury would happen.

Even if you go for the more expensive sand base, it isn’t going to help a lot. That sand lacks moisture and gets compacted on pressure. There’s no cushioning effect to dampen your fall. Manufacturers have been experimenting with the texture and materials of the turf to make it more shock-absorbing and cause fewer skin abrasions. For now, you’ll hurt yourself and may come back with more skin abrasions after being on artificial turf.

  1. It’s very expensive – Artificial grass isn’t a small investment by any means. You’ll spend around $5 to $20 on every square foot. That may not seem bad as an upfront cost. However, you need to calculate maintenance costs as well. If you want to keep the turf clean and cool, you’ll spend a lot on your water bill. With all that extra cost, natural grass may be the cheaper option.

Moreover, if you live in a hot desert climate you should seriously reconsider artificial turf. In desert settings, artificial grass can get blistering hot and the plastic may start melting or breaking down. That will create very poisonous fumes and will also make you replace the artificial turf. You need to ask yourself if the health and financial risk is worth it.

Even in ideal conditions, artificial grass doesn’t last as long as they are advertised. While manufacturers claim a replacement time of 15 to 20 years, the turf looks horrendous after a decade with regular foot traffic. That forces you to replace the turf.  

  1. It’s not good for the environment – Natural grass may not be very environmentally friendly since it needs so much water. However, artificial turf may be worse. Artificial grass is made of plastic that’s difficult to reuse and recycle. Their production creates a lot of harmful chemicals and when the turf needs to be replaced, they end up in the landfill. When the plastic breaks down in the landfill it releases harmful chemicals that seep into the soil and pollute the water.

Conclusion

While it has a few merits, artificial turf also has many disadvantages. It is harmful to the environment, needs to be cleaned regularly, and needs to be replaced earlier than advertised. If you want a natural green turf for your property, search for “landscape companies near me” and hire pros to get the job done.

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