Artificial grass is popular due to its uniform appearance and little maintenance requirements.
As a result, many homeowners are now adopting this invention, mainly used in sports fields and other high-traffic commercial establishments.
Generally – Most artificial grass has a lifespan between 5 and 20 years, depending on factors like traffic, maintenance, quality, etc.
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What is Artificial Grass?
Artificial grass, also called Astroturf, is fake grass used as a substitute for natural grass.
Its uses have evolved over the years. In the past, sports teams used it as a cheaper, low-maintenance alternative to natural grass.
Nowadays, offices, parks, and residential homes have Astroturf to enhance the beauty and mimic the elegance of wild green grass.
Artificial grass is a blend of polymers – it primarily consists of polyethylene, a plastic used for making bottles and storage bags.
The thatch comprises nylon, polyethylene, and polypropylene, supporting faux grass and promoting blade recovery.
Factors Affecting Artificial Grass Lifespan
Here are the factors that determine the longevity of artificial turfs.
The construction of an artificial turf affects its quality, which impacts its longevity.
Here, the two main determinants are:
- the blades
- and the backing material
Artificial grass blades undergo all the abuse – from people walking over them to different weather conditions, they’re exposed to almost everything that compromises their structure.
Therefore, their quality determines how well they survive the abuse and last long.
More activity often translates to faster wear and tear. Sports fields and other high-traffic areas will need to replace artificial turfs more often than residential premises.
Another degrading agent that hurts artificial grass blades is UV radiation.
Faux grass wears out faster in areas with many sun hours than in areas prone to cloudy conditions.
Luckily – High-quality turfs have built-in UV inhibitors that protect against solar damage for up to 15 years.
It’s worth noting that artificial turfs are carpets. The backing material holds the synthetic blades in place, and its quality determines how well the blades will resist the pressure from human activity.
Inexpensive turfs have low-quality backing material, usually consisting of one layer.
Over time, this thin layer loosens, and the blades come off.
Conversely, high-end turfs have thicker, double-layered backing material that guarantees longevity, even in high-traffic applications.
You might purchase a high-quality artificial turf, only for the installer to let you down.
The most common installation errors include a weak base, loose edges, and poor drainage.
The turf will likely sink in the affected areas when the base material weakens. As a result, water can accumulate in the recessed parts causing damage.
The same happens when there’s poor drainage. Remember, too much water weakens the backing material and accelerates fading.
On the other hand, loose edges mean that the ‘carpet’ shifts quickly. If in a sports field, it might affect the match quality since the ground will be unstable.
At Home – You’re likely to fall over while walking. To avoid these installation mistakes, seeking professional assistance is the best course.
Unlike natural grass, Astroturf doesn’t regenerate.
Therefore, any damage to the blades or backing material is permanent.
For this reason, it’s best to avoid using sharp cleaning objects on faux grass. Also, please avoid placing hot objects like BBQ grills on your grass.
Taking Care of Artificial Grass
Although it won’t die if you fail to water it, you must take care of your Astroturf to increase its longevity.
Here are some helpful care tips for increasing your artificial grass lifespan.
Remove dirt and debris
Leaves, plastic, and organic waste make your lawn dirty and can affect the longevity of your artificial turf.
Use a leaf blower to remove these items at least once weekly. If you let them accumulate, they can dent the grass, affecting its durability.
Clean the artificial grass
Besides removing debris, it also helps to deep clean your artificial turf regularly.
This removes dust and other fine particles after picking leaves, plastic, and other large waste.
A garden hose is the best cleaning equipment. However, you can use a bucket of water and a lawn brush if working in a small area.
If you have a big yard, use a plastic rake. Remember, you must avoid metal objects to keep the blades and backing material intact.
Remove stains immediately
It’s almost inevitable to avoid staining your artificial grass—however, it’s best to clean the grass immediately after it happens.
Don’t let the’ carpet’ absorb it when you spill tea, soup, or juice on the turf. If that happens, it can leave a permanent mark.
Use a cloth to remove the excess liquid. After the stain hardens, scrape it off the surface with a knife.
Use plastic since the metal will cause further damage.
For stubborn stains, hire a professional cleaner.
Rotate heavy objects
To maintain blade consistency throughout your artificial grass, rotate heavy objects.
For Instance – Heavy outdoor furniture can exert too much pressure on the surface, flattening the blades.
Sometimes, heavy equipment can quicken wear and tear. The perfect way to prevent this is to frequently move the heavy object to other spots.
Additionally, it would be best if you walked in the same area for extended periods.
Try using different pathways to keep the natural grass look.
Alternatively, you can buy an artificial lawn protector. It’s expensive, but it saves you the energy of moving furniture or using alternate routes.
Avoid shiny objects
Do you know that reflections accelerate fading?
Please avoid shiny objects like sunglasses and mirrors when using your artificial grass.
Sometimes, the reflections might be so intense that they melt the polypropylene surface. Always keep reflective objects away from the grass.
Keep barbecues and cigarettes away
Artificial grass is plastic.
When hot ash drops on the blades, it leaves a permanent mark.
In Worst-case Scenarios – It causes extensive burns and leaves an ugly patch on the surface. Please avoid smoking or placing cooking equipment on the fake grass.
It’s essential to treat your artificial grass with care.
Like expensive furniture, it’s delicate and requires proper maintenance to last long. When shopping, choose high-quality artificial grass.
Then, hire an experienced installer. Remember, a well-maintained artificial lawn keeps your home beautiful for at least ten years.