A lawn of artificial grass can often be an expensive proposition for many people, at least up-front.
So it is not surprising that many people wonder just how long these artificial turfs last. While there’s some nuance to this topic, there are a few easy ways to predict an artificial turf’s lifespan.
How Long Does an Artificial Turf Last?
A typical range between which artificial turf can last is around 10 to 20 years.
The exact length of an artificial turf lawn that you purchase will depend on a number of factors that range from the quality of the turf you’ve purchased to how well you maintain it.
Provided of course that it is of a reasonable degree of quality and is maintained relatively well.
10 to 20 years is a fairly wide range.
This is because it isn’t possible to judge the longevity of artificial turf without taking some other factors into consideration.
Some turf is designed to be extremely resistant to heat and dust but is vulnerable to drainage problems or pet waste.
Another lawn of turf could have the exact opposite strengths and weaknesses. So, really it depends entirely on the individual turf in question.
Factors Affecting Artificial Turf Lifespan
If you want to determine the precise longevity of the individual lawn of turf that you have, consider the factors highlighted below.
These are just a few of the many factors that influence the longevity of your artificial turf.
But they are some of the most influential.
1. Exposure to Sunlight
Most varieties of artificial turf are designed to be extremely resistant to weather exposure.
However it is still possible for their durability to be adversely affected if left to constant exposure to sunlight. And this can be a particular problem in hot and dry areas.
Most types of artificial grass tend to be extremely effective in absorbing heat, so constant exposure to heat can cause the individual fibers in the synthetic grass to become worn out.
This degradation will occur over time if a turf is chronically exposed to sunlight, so the damage will be visible after a few years.
2. Rainfall in Your Area
Excessive rainfall can have a very detrimental effect on artificial turf overtime.
This is especially true if your turf does not have proper drainage or infill.
Typical artificial turf is designed to be extremely resistant to rainfall, and the average turf can withstand several inches of rainfall in fact.
However, if artificial turf is constantly exposed to rainfall and does not have adequate drainage or infill material, there will be some visible damage to it.
Over time the material will begin to deteriorate, decreasing the life of the turf.
3. Foot Traffic
Although it is completely alright to walk regularly over artificial turf, if the turf is constantly being stomped on by a hail of footsteps, that could potentially be a problem.
Individual fibers of the turf can get torn from excessive traffic.
For the most part, though, excessive traffic will only result in harm to your turf in the long run, after several years.
A turf with heavy traffic will definitely not last nearly as long as one with much lighter foot traffic though.
So be sure to buy turf that has been designed to withstand heavy foot traffic.
4. Sports Activity
Similar to foot traffic, excessive sporting activities on artificial turf can contribute to the tearing up of the individual fibers of the turf.
Heavy sporting activity can especially lead to a lot of damage to your turf since the rough nature of most sports will cause a lot more damage to turf than regular foot traffic.
For this reason, sports turfs tend to last for much less time than residential turfs since the former involves a lot heavier traffic than the latter.
If your artificial turf is not properly maintained i.e., occasionally watered and regularly cleaned for spills, pet waste and other damage, then the turf will not last particularly long.
How to Prevent Premature Degradation of Turf
Now that we’ve covered some of the most common causes of reductions in the longevity of artificial turf, we’ll address how to prevent that from happening.
1. Choose High-Quality Turf
Choosing a higher quality of artificial turf will ensure that your lawn will not deteriorate nearly as much as it would if you were to choose a low-quality material with low durability.
The difference in durability between higher and lower qualities of turf can be quite significant, contributing to as much as an 8-year difference in longevity.
2. Use High-Quality Turf Infill
Infill is the material used to populate the space between individual artificial grass fibers. You will want to choose a very high-quality infill material since it will ensure that the individual turf blades will last as long as possible.
Choosing a low-quality infill could potentially result in your artificial turf lasting as much as half a decade less than it could have lasted if higher quality infill had been used.
Infill has a very strong effect on the overall longevity of artificial turf, so it is extremely important to make sure that you opt for the highest quality infill.
3. Get Professional Installation
Often one of the biggest issues that people have with their turf is due to inappropriate installation, and that is inadequate drainage.
The best way to avoid installation-related problems is to have your turf installed by professionals who actually know what they’re doing instead of installing the turf yourself.
Professional installation can eliminate many of the most common issues that most people experience with the long-term durability of their artificial turf such as:
- Improperly seamed joints (injury hazard)
- Improper drainage which can lead to water pooling
- Insecure turf that moves around under heavy foot traffic
4. Perform Routine Maintenance
Regularly cleaning and maintaining your turf is a very important investment when it comes to preventing premature degradation.
Clean your turf regularly and make sure that no spills go uncleaned.
Also, check your turf for the quality of its infill and make sure that no areas have reduced infill concentrations.
If you begin to notice any problems with your turf’s drainage, they should also be corrected immediately.
Preferably by contacting a professional repair service to diagnose and repair the drainage of your turf.
Improving Your Artificial Turf’s Longevity
Along with preventing the most common reasons why artificial turfs suffer from degradation, it is also important to do the following things to make sure that your turf is properly maintained for longevity.
1. Keep It Cool
Preventing the excess buildup of heat in your artificial turf will prevent damage inflicted due to exposure to the sun.
You can achieve this by simply rinsing your turf on occasion. This will also help to keep the turf as clean and shiny-looking as possible.
Hence it is very beneficial to keep your turf cool even if you don’t feel that your turf is exposed to excessive sunlight.
2. Install a Canopy
Installing a canopy over your artificial lawn is a great way to prevent it from being exposed unnecessarily to both the sun as well as excessive rainfall.
A canopy will act as a direct shade to your lawn and prevent excessive rain from seeping into the turf.
Installing a canopy is a relatively cost-effective solution to preventing sun and rainfall degradation to your lawn, and you do not need to keep it up all of the time either.
3. Washing and Cleaning
Regularly washing and cleaning your artificial turf is a vital part of making sure that your turf is properly maintained.
You don’t need to wash it every single day, but it is desirable to wash it at least once a week to keep it cool and clean.
Artificial turfs are relatively easy to clean, and you can wash them effectively with just some water.
Also, make sure that any spills on your artificial turf are cleaned away immediately.
If you have any pets and they leave their waste on the artificial turf, it is very important to immediately clean the turf and remove the waste matter as quickly as possible.
If you have pets that shed a lot then you might notice that there are a lot of pet hairs left on the grass.
To get rid of these hairs and keep your lawn looking nice and tidy, use a vacuum cleaner once per week!
4. Maintaining Infill Levels
High-quality infill is an absolute necessity when it comes to maintaining your artificial turf.
So in addition to making sure that you purchase a high-quality infill, also make sure that your turf maintains appropriate infill levels.
This will keep the turf properly maintained with the drainage functions of the turf remaining efficient.
Make sure that the infill is appropriately replaced over time and is at its proper level.
Any areas where the infill seems to be less concentrated should be corrected immediately with more infill being installed to balance it.
5. Cleaning up after pets
If you have pets that go outside frequently then they may track in mud or other debris from outside which can cause stains on your fake grass which is bad for both the grass and the environment!
Make sure to clean up after them as often as possible so that they don’t ruin their turf!
Artificial grass turf is a relatively long-lasting product, but in order to maintain its longevity, it is necessary to recognize the sources of damage such as excessive exposure to the sun, rainfall, and excessive traffic.
You can prevent degradation to your turf by cleaning it regularly and properly installing it (for starters).