Artificial turf has come a long way since it was first used as a playing surface at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island in 1964. The turf was heavily criticized for its apparent artificiality as well as its low quality, which was mainly due to the limitations of the manufacturing technology at the time. But that was over half a century ago. Today’s artificial turf is far more resilient and durable than its forerunners. You can even barely distinguish it from the real thing.
What Artificial Grass Is Made Of
An artificial turf system consists of several layers, each of which is made of a different material and plays a crucial role in the system’s efficacy as a surface cover. The combined layers result in a thick, durable turf material that is comfortable to step on, safe even for the natural subgrade, and allows for efficient drainage.
- Fiber – The fibers make up the top and most exposed layer of the artificial turf. Therefore, it has to be made from a very durable material, one that can withstand the pressure of heavy foot traffic yet retain a considerable underfoot comfort. Most modern-day artificial grass have nylon or polypropylene blades. This special type of plastic is prized for its many beneficial properties, including high melting point, resistance to cracking and stress, and very low reaction to water, detergents, acids, and bases. The blades can be produced either by cutting thin sheets into strips or extruding through molds. Extrusion produces fibers with a round or oval cross-section, which feels more like real grass. Special dyes are used to give the turf its characteristic green color and to protect it from ultraviolet rays.
- Infill – To make the turf look and feel like real grass, an infill made of sand or silica is added. This layer lies just underneath the blades, much like soil is underneath real grass. However, sand is used instead of soil because it’s much cleaner and easy to replace. Also, because sand is less compact, it adds to the turf’s underfoot comfort. The infill absorbs shock and deters bacteria as well, making it perfect for playgrounds and pet areas.
- Backing – The material used for the artificial turf’s backing is the same as the material used for the backing of most indoor carpets. Older versions of artificial turf have jutes and typical plastic for their backing, while modern, high-quality ones have polyester tire cord. This layer does not only prevent ground water from backing up but it also ensures the stability of the whole turf system.
Benefits of Installing Artificial Turf
Artificial grass has rapidly become the land covering of choice for many property owners, and for good reasons. It is packed with valuable features that can hardly be found in natural lawn. On the whole, more and more people are shifting to this lawn option because it rids them of all the issues they regularly face when caring for their natural grass. Here are some of artificial turf’s most notable benefits.
Low Maintenance. While most things that are artificial require more care than their natural counterparts, a different rule applies to artificial grass. It is actually far more maintenance friendly than real grass. First of all, it neither grows nor dies so you don’t have to trim or water them on a regular basis. You don’t even have to worry about having yellow or dry spots that need patching up because it doesn’t wither. The grass will stay green regardless of the weather condition or the time of day.
Huge Savings. Here’s the problem with lawns in the United States that a people still don’t realize: It takes more than 17 million gallons of fuel every year to operate machines needed to keep lawns throughout the country in good shape. Lawns need 10 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers an acre of farm requires. Also, up to 60 percent of urban freshwater is used on lawns. All of these wasted resources could have been utilized for other more productive applications. With artificial grass, you can significantly minimize, if not completely eliminate, the use of much needed fuel and clean water for maintenance. This is particularly helpful for properties in areas where the climate can be extreme, such as Phoenix and Scottsdale.
More Time for Yourself and Your Family. You may not realize it but you may be spending many hours each week taking care of your lawn. And where do you think you’re taking those hours from? Well, a lot of those come from your time to rest and recreate or even bond with your family. Having a beautiful lawn at the expense of your health and relationships isn’t smart. You can avoid all that by finally replacing your natural lawn with artificial grass.
How to Prolong the Life of Your Artificial Lawn
Even if artificial grass does not grow or wither like real grass, it is still vulnerable to wear and damage. Some claim that artificial grass is maintenance-free but in truth, it still needs regular upkeep, only far less hefty than what real grass needs. Performing the correct care and maintenance technique can help extend its functional life.
Keep It Clean. Foreign dust and debris can accumulate on the surface or within the piles of the artificial grass over time. Downpour can do a pretty good job of washing them away but if you live in a dry state like Arizona, you can’t expect enough rainfall to do the trick. The grass may require the occasional hosing down during extended periods of little rainfall in your area.
Avoid Placing Heavy Equipment or Furniture on It. Artificial grass is not designed to carry heavy objects, let alone huge, solid equipment and furniture. Just by looking at how soft the blades are, you could not expect it to avoid wear when pressed down for a long time. If you can’t avoid it, though, make sure to place the furniture in strategic areas and rotate them every now and then so that the grass will wear evenly.
Take Care of Spillage Right Away. You’ll be using your artificial lawn to host family gatherings or small parties with friends. Unless everyone’s incredibly cautious, occasional spillage is inevitable. Whether it is catsup or wine, you have to immediately wipe it off to avoid staining.
These are only three of the best practices for maintaining artificial grass. Less upkeep will be needed if your lawn was installed by a reputable provider, such as Sunburst Landscaping to begin with. That’s because the product they install are guaranteed maintenance-friendly. Also, with their unparalleled workmanship, you can expect your turf to look fresh and clean even with little work done.
Artificial Turf, madehow.com
What is Polypropylene Plastic?, plasticsmakeitpossible.com