It would appear at a cursory glance that synthetic grass is a very expensive replacement for natural grass, but the high cost is only up front. When measured over the life of the grass you will find that synthetic grass is actually a cheaper alternative to the real stuff and the savings may not simply be the cost of maintaining the grass.
So, that higher upfront cost of a synthetic grass surface is pretty quickly recouped by the lower maintenance requirements. Time, energy and the possibility of greater usage gives you a surface that will pay for itself over its lifetime.
Synthetic Grass - The Benefits Over Natural Grass
There has been much controversy about artificial turf surfaces and its relation to heat, the sun, and hotter temperatures. There have been claims that artificial turf and its lack of watering makes it that much more susceptible to heat and heat absorbency. Studies have shown that there are evident possibilities of artificial grass surfaces rising in temperature during hot seasons. However, evidence of these studies do not completely rule this heat as an imminent danger to people or animals that come in contact with it, as there are ways of cooling turf and making it safe and hazard-free for all.
Synthetic grass fields and surfaces only rose to high numbers when under direct sunlight during studies. Thus, common sunny areas that have occasional clouds, overcast, or showers rarely reach extreme highs. The areas that do reach triple-digit temperatures usually fluctuate greatly throughout the day, depending on sun exposure. A study on heat and synthetic grass revealed that solar radiation, not air temperature, was the cause of high fluctuation in temperature. Another significant factor includes the type of infill used beneath the synthetic grass. It was noted that there is a possible lack of heat transfer from artificial grass fibers to the infill of the product. Thus, different materials used to engineer the turf could be significant factors in retaining heat. Though this study poses a risk to those who are concerned about surface heat, it should also be noted that this study was only done on one turf product, and therefore cannot be generalized for all artificial grass products on the market today.
Many modern turf products are coated with UV protection that withstands heat, sun, and other damaging effects. These products are designed to deflect heat and sun reflection that may cause discomfort to people and animals on the turf. There are different types of infill that help combat heat. The black crumbled rubber infill usually tends to absorb heat more than other types of infill. Other light-colored granulated infill, like Durafill, deflect heat better than infill that is composed primarily of dark crumbled rubber.
There are also ways to maintain cooler temperatures for synthetic grass.
In order to greatly reduce the high temperature of synthetic grass, it is as simple as dousing the surface with water for a few minutes. Other studies have shown that entire football fields with synthetic grass surfaces can reduced as much as fifty percent in temperature when sprinklers or hoses were used. This can total up to 60 degrees cooler in temperature. When the temperature is decreased and the surface is cooled, it can maintain a cooler temperature for a few hours after coming in contact with cool water. If possible, keeping synthetic grass in the shade can also help to keep it cool because as mentioned before, direct sun is a strong factor in increasing surface temperature. Though there have been past concerns about heat hazards and synthetic grass, many of the modern products on the market today have been designed to deflect heat and are much better than their older counterparts that absorb heat and increase temperatures dramatically. These newer synthetic grass options are easily cooled down and are both pet and family friendly, even on warmer days.
The History of Commercial Artificial Grass
With each passing year, commercial artificial grass becomes more and more established as a credible and highly-regarded material within western society. Gone are the days in which ‘fake grass’ was regarded as being tacky and not at all up to standard with ‘the real thing’; if anything, this opinion has been reversed, with artificial turf currently being the covering of choice for not only domestic lawns, but also sports surfaces.
One of the most underrated factors contributing to give commercial artificial grass this widespread popularity and approval was its high suitability for use in households with pets. Despite claims to the contrary having emerged over the years, the vast majority of artificial turf rolls available on the market nowadays are especially designed to be suitable for use by animals and small children. One sub-section of the market is even specifically geared towards this purpose, having earned the moniker of ‘pet grass’ as a result.
In fact, there are a number of ways in which commercial artificial grass trumps natural grass when it comes to its use by pets. Listed below are arguably the main three.
Allergies are one of the main concerns any pet owner faces. Animals, especially those allowed outside, such as dogs or cats, are just as prone to allergies as humans, and the very things which can trigger sneezing fits, fevers or rashes in humans can have the same effect on a pet. This is especially troublesome since nature tends to be full of substances and materials which can cause allergies or rashes, such as poison ivy or pollen. Natural grass, in and of itself, can often cause animals to itch or be otherwise allergic to them.
Commercial artificial grass does away with such an issue. Most artificial turf rolls are completely hypo-allergenic, meaning pets (and small children) run no risk of contracting allergies while romping about on them. In addition, replacing a natural lawn with an artificial one does away with most of the elements traditionally associated with allergies, further contributing to ensure pets remain allergy-free both during and after their outside expeditions.
As mentioned above, natural grass can often cause skin irritation in pets. While every pet likes to roll around in a grassy lawn, these moments of delight often result in itchy skin or rashes. With commercial artificial grass, such an issue is done away with, as most rolls of this material available on the market are non-irritant. As such, pets living in homes where natural grass is replaced by this material are likely to enjoy a much more pleasant, comfortable outdoor experience than they would have otherwise.
As also noted above, replacing a natural lawn with a commercial artificial grass carpet will do away with most of the elements likely to cause discomfort to animals while enjoying the outdoors. Two such elements are bugs and insects, which can cause irritation to pets, be it through bites or segregated substances. Once again, the installation of commercial artificial grass goes a long way towards solving this problem, as the synthetic nature of this material is not appealing to insects or bugs in the same way a natural lawn is. As such, these and other pests tend to stay away from commercial artificial grass carpets, which in turn can benefit the health and overall comfort levels of household pets.
It is clear, then, that when it comes to benefits for household pets, commercial artificial grass boasts a far larger number than its natural counterpart. It is, therefore, not at all surprising that more and more pet owners have been taking to replacing their natural lawns with artificial turf carpets, a tendency which is expected to continue and expand in years to come!