Over the years, artificial turf has moved beyond its reputation for durability and low maintenance and has become an increasingly popular way to add visual interest to areas like paths, driveways, courtyards, and backyards. Listed below is a description of artificial grass, as well as some of the pros and cons to consider before deciding if it is the right choice for you.
Artificial grass consists of plastic materials that make it look like living grass. Although many people probably think of the Houston Astrodome or The Brady Bunch when they think of it, it has actually come a very long way over the years, and looks far more realistic than in the past. These days, you can still get the look and feel of a real, natural grass lawn, without the hassles and hindrances associated with it.
In recent years, artificial turf manufacturers have made great progress developing a formula for manufacturing turf products that are not only durable, but also that last. In the past, the warranty offered on most turf products only covered a few years. However, with the developments in technology and manufacturing in the artificial grass industry, the warranty for the life of your grass can now reach up to 25 years.
Pets have a very tough time digging through it, and it is exceptionally stain and fade-resistant. The edges stay crisp and look sharp over the years with little to no fraying, so if you do decide to go with artificial grass, you will have a long-lasting, durable lawn.
NO PESTICIDES OR FETILIZERS NEEDED
Apart from ample water, proper garden maintenance requires the use of fertilizers and pesticides, which are packed with powerful chemicals that can contaminate the ocean and groundwater. Every year, Americans spread roughly 80 million pounds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides on their lawns. Obviously, some of that makes its way into our water system. Artificial grass however, does not need fertilizers, pesticides, and other weed killers to maintain its beauty. Therefore, switching to artificial grass can help reduce these numbers, helping to ensure that our water is clean and safe to drink for decades to come.
Not having to be bothered with watering, weed-eating, mowing, and/or fertilizing saves you a lot of time. The typical natural grass lawn owner will spend 70 hours a year on lawn maintenance. In the event that you do not have the time to maintain your lawn properly, it goes by the wayside and ends up dead and overrun with weeds. Artificial grass requires much less care and attention.
In addition to not using harmful chemicals, a synthetic grass lawn does not require a gas-powered lawnmower to maintain. The EPA has found that grass clippings are the third largest component of Municipal Solid Waste, so switching to an artificial grass lawn is a great way to help save the environment.
Almost 9 millions gallons of water are used daily throughout the country, much of it for watering gardens and lawns. Around 50% of this water is wasted due to over-watering, largely due to inefficient irrigation methods and systems. Thus, every day in the US alone, 4.5 billion gallons of water is lost to evaporation, wind, and runoff due to inefficient watering methods. Artificial grass eliminates the need for watering, saving you time and helping the environment as well.
HEATS UP IN DIRECT LIGHT
Artificial grass can heat up in the summer when it is exposed to the sun for the majority of the day, and can become very hot over time, especially in climates like Florida that get more direct sun exposure. The surface gets much hotter than natural turf, up to 30 degrees warmer than the air temperature. However, some artificial grass manufacturers incorporate cooling technology into the manufacturing process, which can greatly reduce this problem.
As with any product, artificial grass does require some level of maintenance, and there are a few ways to keep your artificial grass looking and smelling its best year-round. Over time, with pet usage, artificial grass can have a buildup of odors and bacteria if not properly cared for, but that can easily be prevented by rinsing the turf after pets relieve themselves.
Infill is used to help weigh the turf down and keep it in place. While infill is a great way to keep your turf looking its best, it does need to be replaced every few years. Also, the crumb rubber used for infill can contain harmful chemicals, and the runoff from materials can leach into groundwater.
DECISION IS PERMANENT
If you decide to go with artificial grass, make sure that you are certain about your decision, since the installation process kills off any soil life underneath the turf, making it virtually impossible to revert back to living grass or plants at a later time.
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