Have you found yourself spending more and more time maintaining your natural grass lawn than in years prior?
If so, it is not your imagination, rather, it is a trend being felt across the United States as weather patterns change/adapt.
Environmentally conscious homeowners have begun transitioning to artificial grass in recent years to reduce water water use, air-pollution, and their overall carbon foot-print with the added benefit of decreasing their time spent on lawn maintenance.
Not everyone though is convinced of the benefits of artificial grass.
At Ideal Turf, we believe in the power of knowledge through transparency and thus offer our customers an in-depth look at the positives and negatives of switching to artificial turf in your home.
We recognize that with anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages, and artificial grass is no different.
Our aim with this post is to provide customers with a comprehensive list of artificial grass pros & cons.
- What are the Pros & Cons of Artificial Grass?
- Artificial Grass Pros: Advantages of Fake Grass Lawns
- Artificial Grass Cons: Disadvantages of Synthetic Grass Lawns
- Final Thoughts on Artificial Grass Pros & Cons
What are the Pros & Cons of Artificial Grass?
Over the past decade, artificial grass has seen several improvements in quality due to advances in technology.
When making the decision to invest in artificial grass for your lawn, it is critical to obtain as much information as possible.
Throughout the years misconceptions and myths about artificial turf have floated around giving consumers a mirky understanding of the overall product.
The advancements in artificial grass throughout the years have made it an ideal choice for homeowners with kids, pets, pools, and anyone looking to reduce the time they spend maintaining a natural grass lawn.
Often, consumers hesitate about turf because of their pets, however, pet safe artificial grass products are specifically designed to provide the best outdoor experience for your four-legged friends.
Some companies promote inferior or imitation pet turf that leaves behind urine odor, stains, and other residues, luckily our pet-friendly line of artificial grass has advanced to a level that smells, stains, and other pet-related issues are a thing of the past.
Artificial Grass Pros: Advantages of Fake Grass Lawns
Often when people hear about artificial turf they think of one of two things; grandma’s backyard in the 1960’s or sports fields.
Artificial turf however has evolved since the 60’s so that you can still get the look and feel of a real, natural grass lawn without the hassles and hindrances associated with it.
With growing concerns about water conservation and health related issues surrounding fertilizers and pesticides, artificial grass is becoming more and more the first choice for homeowners.
Check out what a recent client, Joe Crumpton of North East Texas had to say about his artificial grass lawn:
Durable & Long-Lasting
Investing in artificial grass is a big decision.
One of the key advantages of artificial turf is the longevity and durability of modern turf products.
Artificial turf manufacturers have worked hard over the last decade to find a formula for manufacturing turf products that are not only durable, but that last.
Until recently, the warranty offered on most turf products only covered a few years.
However, with the recent developments in technology and manufacturing in the artificial grass industry, the warranty for the life of your grass can reach up to 25 years.
Synthetic turf is also great at preventing even the most persistent pups from digging and is exceptionally stain and fade resistant.
Edges stay crisp and look sharp over the years with little to no fraying.
Overall the investment into artificial grass will leave you with a long lasting, durable lawn.
Low-Maintenance [Saves Time & Money]
Artificial grass maintenance can save you both time and money.
Reduction in time spent watering, weed-eating, mowing, and/or fertilizing not only saves you the time, but money as well.
Statistics show that the average natural grass lawn owner will spend 70 hours a year on lawn maintenance.
Have you ever sat down and calculated how much maintaining real grass costs?
Well, luckily we have.
Consider these statistics:
- Overall, Americans in total spend close to $600 Billion a year to maintain their natural grass lawns.
- Americans use roughly 80 million pounds of pesticides and fertilizers on their lawns each year, many of which are a major source of toxic, carcinogenic air pollution.
- On average, the cost of hiring someone to maintain your natural grass lawn is about $1,755 dollars a year. This is just for the basics. Need extra aeration, seeding, grub treatment, topdressings, fertilizer, weed control, etc.? That is going to cost you even more!
- When you do not have the time to maintain your lawn, it goes by the wayside and ends up dead and overrun with weeds. Once that happens, you are looking at an additional $2,000 to correct the issues that arose from lack of maintenance.
Eliminates Lawn Mowers & Lawn Care Equipment
If you have ever been mid-mow and your lawnmower dies, you understand first-hand the frustrations that can arise when maintaining lawn care equipment.
A dying mower is certainly frustrating but, that’s child’s play compared to getting the string in your weed-eater threaded correctly.
Frustration and loss of time is only part of the issue.
Lawn care equipment is expensive and as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for.
If you go cheap, you are bound to be back next summer to buy more equipment.
It can feel like a never-ending cycle to keep up with the cost of maintaining a real grass lawn.
Artificial Grass Maintenance & Cleaning
While the differences between maintaining a natural grass lawn and an artificial grass lawn are significant, some maintenance is required to keep your artificial turf looking great year round.
Here are some tips we have for artificial turf maintenance:
- Remove sitting debris and dirt/dust using a rake and/or leaf blower
- Rinse down your grass with a hose twice a month
- If you have dogs, remove debris and animal waste as needed and rise with a hose weekly using a 50/50 mix of water and vinegar
Recommended Reading: Artificial Turf Maintenance: How-To Clean Synthetic Grass
More and more homeowners each year are becoming aware of the harmful impact that various lawn agents can have on the environment.
A synthetic grass lawn does not require a gas-powered lawn mower to maintain, or potentially harmful chemicals like fertilizer or pesticides for maintenance.
The EPA also found that grass clippings are the third largest component of Municipal Solid Waste.
Switching to an artificial grass lawn is a great way to help save the environment.
Check out what the Synthetic Turf Council has to say about the matter in their FAQs
Lowers Carbon Emissions
People often assume that natural grass is better for emissions than turf.
After all, the grass is taking carbon dioxide out of the air and converting it to nice breathable oxygen.
Unfortunately, natural grass is always growing, which requires maintaining with gas-powered lawn care equipment like mowers and edgers.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that a push mower emits as much pollution in 1 hour as 11 cars and a riding mower emits as much as 34 cars.
For the majority of natural grass lawns, the emissions released maintaining the grass is greater than the emissions pulled out of the air by the grass.
As for turf, there are emissions released in the production and transportation of the turf, but those totals are much less than the emissions of perpetual lawn care.
In fact, turf is so much better for emissions that it even beats rock yards.
It takes more CO2 to break rocks for a lawn than it does to make artificial turf.
Water conservation is not just great for the planet, it’s great for your wallet too.
Outdoor water use accounts for almost one third of water used in the average American home and this figure rises in hotter, drier regions, like Texas, where it can be as high as 70%.
Residential outdoor water use accounts for nearly 9 billion gallons of water daily, most of this being used to water gardens and lawns.
Around 50% of this water is wasted due to over-watering, largely due to inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
This effectively means that every day in the US alone, 4.5 billion gallons of water is lost to evaporation, wind, and runoff due to inefficient watering methods.
That’s 1.65 Trillion, with a “T,” gallons of drinking water wasted each year.
Artificial grass however eliminates the need for watering, saving you money and the environment in the process.
No Pesticides or Fertilizers Needed
Apart from ample water, proper garden maintenance requires the use of fertilizers and pesticides – these are packed with powerful chemicals that can contaminate the ocean and groundwater.
On the other hand, artificial grass does not need fertilizers, pesticides, and other weed killers to maintain its beauty.
Americans spread roughly 80 million pounds of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides on their lawns each year.
Inevitably, some of that makes it’s way into our water system.
Switching to artificial grass can help reduce these numbers ensuring that our water is clean and safe to drink for decades to come.
Aesthetics [Improves Curb Appeal]
If first impressions last a lifetime, then you want to be sure that the first impression your home gives is a good one.
Artificial grass can help instantly boost overall curb appeal by adding a perfectly manicured natural grass lawn look with minimal effort on your part.
Artificial grass has come a long way in recent years and now has a variety of colors, lengths, densities and finishes.
This isn’t the artificial grass of the 1960’s your grandmother had or that you saw on The Brady Bunch, this is a league of its own looking and feeling exactly like the real thing in most cases.
Safety & Cleanliness
Kids and pets are an important attribute to any family.
Ensuring both have a safe and secure place to play is vital.
Luckily, artificial grass can help alleviate some of the concerns associated with natural grass lawns.
Is Artificial Grass Safe for Children & Pets?
In fact, one of the most common misconceptions surrounding artificial turf is safety.
The traditional infill for turf was Crumb Rubber made from recycled tires, which may pose some health concerns, but that is NOT what is used in residential turf installations.
The benefits of artificial turf in terms of improving playground safety are significant and add an added layer of peace of mind when your kids are playing outdoors.
- Injury prevention and mitigation caused by falls
- Mud and Dirt free! Leaving your kids much cleaner than a traditional lawn
- Antimicrobial fibers/backing prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria
Dogs & Pets
Your pets are part of your family!
As a pet owner, you want to ensure that you are providing your four-legged friends with a safe and comfortable outdoor space for play and leisure.
Artificial grass benefits dogs and pet owners in a variety of ways.
- 100% Permeable turf backing options allow for urine to flow through with no barriers to reach the soil for optimal drainage
- Eliminates dead grass patches that can be caused by dog urine spots
- Prevents digging (with minimal supervision of course)
- Antimicrobial backing/fibers prevents the build-up of bacteria & odors
- Keeps dogs & pets clean from mud, dirt, etc.
Synthetic Grass Eliminates Muddy Foot & Paw Prints
One of the biggest complaints by pet owners is rain and dirt that leaves behind dirty paw prints on your freshly cleaned floors.
Luckily, artificial grass can eliminate this headache by providing your kids and pets a clean, safe surface to use even during and after the rain.
Artificial Grass Cons: Disadvantages of Synthetic Grass Lawns
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, we want to provide you with the full picture of artificial grass so that you can make an informed decision.
In order to do that, we have to discuss the artificial grass cons, or the disadvantages of artificial grass.
Artificial grass is a long-term investment for your home and thus has a larger cost than traditional landscaping projects.
For a better understanding about your projects projected costs visit our cost calculator.
On average, a homeowner can expect the price to be between $6.00 – $12.00 per square feet versus $.40 cents per square foot for traditional sod.
The high initial cost of artificial grass should be thought of as an investment because it pays for itself over time.
Heats Up in Direct Sunlight
Artificial grass can heat up in the summer when it is exposed to sun for the majority of the day.
It can become quite hot over time especially in climates that get more direct sun exposure.
One solution to this problem is to use a product such as T°Cool® infill, which is designed to keep artificial grass cool through the process of “evaporative cooling.”
Some artificial grass manufacturers incorporate cooling technology into the manufacturing process, but it increases the cost.
As with any product, artificial grass does require some level of maintenance.
We recommend a few ways to keep your artificial grass investment 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.
This can easily be prevented though by rinsing the turf after pets use the bathroom.
Infill is used to help weigh the turf down and keep it in place while helping the turf fibers to maintain their natural look and feel.
While infill is a great way to keep your turf looking its best, it needs to be replaced a few times throughout the life of the turf.
Infill can cost between $8 – $12 dollars per bag and 1 bag typically covers about 30 square feet.
Replacing your infill can be done yourself or reach out to an Ideal Turf Team Member for an estimate and time for one of our pros to come out and refresh your infill.
Final Thoughts on Artificial Grass Pros & Cons
All things considered, artificial grass is a great investment for homeowners who want to boost curb appeal, decrease maintenance time and costs, want to keep kids and pets safe, and are looking to do their part to decrease their carbon footprint.
Though the initial cost and limited maintenance are potential drawbacks, the Pros definitely outweigh the few Cons.
If you are ready to make the investment or just want to learn more from one of our professionals, schedule a free consultation today by clicking GET A QUOTE or feel free to give us a call at 800-204-4650.