When we think of artificial grass, we often conjure up images of picture-perfect golf courses or football fields. Generally, we don’t envision it for our own backyards.
Recently, artificial grass has become a viable option for homeowners who don’t want traditional grass. In the last several years, it has come a long way in the look and feel of the materials used to make it.
With everything, there is an upside and a downside. Here are the pros and cons of installing artificial grass for your yard.
How do you Maintain Artificial Grass?
One of the main reasons for installing artificial grass is the low maintenance involved in the upkeep.
There is no need for mowing or raking. The grass blades remain the same height indefinitely. There is no need for weekly watering. This not only saves you precious time but also saves you money on your water bill. You also don’t have to mess with purchasing or using chemicals, fertilizers or herbicides.
What do you have to do for maintenance?
If you have pets or other animals wandering on your artificial grass, you need to hose off anything left behind. If left on the grass, animal waste can become rancid. The materials of the grass can’t absorb or break it down like real grass can do.
Weeds are not altogether a thing of the past. They can grow in any dirt or dead leaves that get in between the grass blades. You will have to occasionally do some raking or use a leaf blower to get rid of any debris that may get embedded to reduce the chance that any weeds might grow.
Is Installing Artificial Grass Less Expensive than having Natural Grass?
Although the initial cost of having artificial grass installed can be high, the maintenance costs are low or non-existent. There can be significant costs of having real grass – not only your money but also your time.
Financially, if you have a pre-existing lawn, there is the cost of the lawn mower, rakes, and other tools needed for maintenance. Your water bill increases with weekly watering.
Chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides need to be bought and applied to the grass. Also, the purchase and use of PH kits are needed to determine what chemicals are required for a healthy lawn.
On the other hand, the upfront cost of installation of artificial grass can be extremely high. It includes not only the materials but also the labor. This can be in the thousands of dollars depending on the type of artificial grass you have installed.
Another cost consideration is old, worn-out artificial grass has to be removed and replaced. At this point in time, it can’t be recycled. The materials that the grasses are generally made of include Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), and Nylon, and the most common backing used is made from recycled rubber products. Currently, there appears to be no option to re-recycle the backing.
The Problem with heat and Artificial Grass
A unique concern about artificial grass – due to the nature of the material it’s made from – is that it heats up in direct sunlight. It radiates this heat to surrounding people and objects, kind of like the way concrete heats up.
Naturally, this isn’t as much of a problem if the artificial grass is installed in the shade, a place where natural grass generally doesn’t grow well anyway.
Natural grass often stays cool after it has been watered or it has rained. It rarely heats up or radiates heat. Although, in some places, especially in the northeastern United States, natural grass can feel extremely cool and damp in the early morning from the dew.
A Few Other Considerations
Another positive aspect of artificial grass is it works well in drought-ridden areas. There is little need for water. This helps with the conservation of precious resources, and at the same time, you can have a beautiful lawn.
Another consideration is that in some municipalities, artificial grass is banned. Also, some homeowner associations won’t allow its installation. Before having artificial grass installed in your yard, contact your government municipality, or if you live in a subdivision, contact your homeowner’s association to make sure it’s allowed.
A lawn made of artificial grass can give you a low maintenance option for a beautiful yard. There are pros and cons to consider before having this type of lawn installed. A professional landscape company, such as Le Perv Landscape in San Diego, can help you with the decision of what type of lawn would work best for you and your family.
If you’re in the Southern California area, contact Le Perv Landscape and let their trained professional landscapers guide you through the pros and cons of having artificial grass installed in your yard.