While artificial grass is a great alternative to real grass, there are some drawbacks you need to look out for. Some problems are obvious such as artificial grass becoming hotter than real grass, choosing non-reputed companies, choosing the wrong materials, etc.
This article discusses some of the most common problems with artificial grass and ways to solve them:
1. Weed Growth
You may be wondering if weeds can grow on artificial turf? The answer is yes, it is technically possible, but the weeds you will see on artificial turf are usually found near the edges and are called surface weeds.
Sometimes weeds germinate due to aerial seeds or leaves falling from surrounding trees onto the grass. These weeds grow very close to the surface; all you have to do is to gently pull them out.
If you have installed artificial grass and noticed that weeds are growing in this way, it means that the membrane may not have been installed.
This can cause many problems with weeds, bulbs and other seeds growing under artificial grass, and these weeds, bulbs and other seeds can cause lumps and bumps under the feet.
Prevent Weed Growth in Artificial Grass with a Deep Sub Base and Quality Membrane
While it depends on the usage, for home applications, we recommend a sub base with a minimum depth of 2 inches to prevent weed growth.
For commercial or public areas, such as artificial grass in schools and playgrounds, we recommend installing a base between 3 to 4 inches.
The bottom material is the foundation of the artificial turf installation; this will stabilize your artificial turf structure.
A strong, compact base is essential to provide enough strength to allow the flow of people and furniture to be placed on the artificial turf.
It is strongly recommended to place the weed film directly under the roadbed to prevent weed growth and separate the aggregate from the roadbed. If the base is placed without obstructions, the aggregate may mix with the soil, causing settling or sinking into the finished lawn.
2. Price and Installation Cost
The upfront cost of artificial grass is very high – $5 to $20 per square foot installed. Once it’s installed, it will be free for the next 15 to 25 years.
On the other hand, natural turf only costs 14 to 60 cents per square foot. But this is where the expenditure (and maintenance) begins. You must water, mow, fertilize-all of which cost money and time.
It takes about seven years for maintenance-free artificial grass to recover its initial cost. If you plan to keep it longer, then you will start to save money every year.
How to Reduce the Installation Cost of Artificial Grass – Research!
Research is important when you’re choosing artificial grass; you need a product that will last you for the next 10 to 25 years; so, you can recoup the cost of the initial investment. Plus, quality products will not get damaged or require repairs.
The upfront cost shouldn’t be taken as a flaw for artificial grass; in fact, it should be an investment for the future. Not only will synthetic grass increase the price of the property, it looks absolutely beautiful and doesn’t need maintenance.
3. Ecological Impact
While some may argue artificial grass is better for the environment than real grass, others still believe that artificial grass has a worse ecological impact.
While this isn’t the case anymore, with synthetic grass made up of recycled and bio-friendly materials, it is to be noted not all brands are eco-friendly and some brands may still have a negative ecological impact.
This impact is and probably always will be less than real grass due to the lack of insecticides, pesticides and fertilizers.
Reduce the Ecological Impact by Buying High Quality Faux Grass
Not all faux grass is the same; there are many differences from the material quality, to the installation and even the infill used.
High-quality faux grass will last you for up to 25 years; this means that you will not only recoup the initial investment of the grass over time, you will actually save money after one point because real lawn maintenance itself can get expensive.
Because it’s long-lasting, high quality artificial grass won’t end up in the landfill as quickly as compared to low quality products.
Plus, you will have a green lawn all year round, which is a huge feature as well.
4. Odors from Pet Urine
After your dog pees, there will be an emanating odor in the area; this odor is mainly due to the ammonia in the pee.
Some people who have installed their artificial grass have complained that the urine doesn’t wash away easily and the odor is persistent. However, this only happens when the area isn’t properly washed or has drainage issues.
If you are facing pet urine odor issues, you need to consider fixing drainage issues as well as keep a vinegar-soapy water mixture at hand.
Maintain Regularly for Fewer Odors
Regularly maintaining your lawn can mean the difference between a smelly lawn and a pristine lawn. While some think that artificial grass doesn’t need to be maintained at all, it actually does; but, not in the way you think.
After your dog does its business on the faux grass, you have to either hose the area off, let it drain and dry in the sun. You also need to have a deodorizer or make a soapy-vinegar solution in a spray bottle for a natural DIY remedy.
5. Poor Drainage
Is drainage important for artificial grass? Of course. It is very important that rainwater is drawn from the grass, otherwise, every time it rains or waters the plants, the grass may be full of water pools.
If you install artificial grass without considering drainage, then if you live in a rainy area, the life of the grass will be greatly shortened.
The pool will make the grass in some places look uneven. Of course, children and pets cannot play on the grass unless it stays wet.
Problems with Artificial Grass Drainage Holes
One of the issues with drainage holes is that they can be clogged up and pools of water can accumulate underneath them. This makes the grass look bubbly and bloated.
It can also cause an issue with the durability over the years, especially in areas with high amounts of rain.
Ensure Proper Drainage through Professional Installation
Most good installers will excavate the current old grass layer and remove debris before laying the aggregate base on the soil. It is this base that acts as drainage!
Generally, it is recommended to lay a type of limestone aggregate as a drainage layer before placing and compacting the sharp sand.
Proper drainage not fixes odor issues, it also causes durability issues, weed growth, bloated grass and more.
6. Bad Installation
Bad installation is a common issue with customers that install their faux grass themselves. A lot of people make the mistake of going the DIY route. However, it’s important to get a professional to do it for you.
Problems that can occur are:
- Wrong type of fake grass for your lawn
- Sinking spots and holes
- Weed growth and foul odor
- Moss buildup and drainage issues
- Visible joint lines
Hire Experienced Professionals to Avoid Bad Installation Problems
The basic fix to this issue is to consult professional installers. They will suggest you with the proper materials, installation techniques and more. They also have the proper tools for the installation, they also have years of experience and custom solutions.
If you have issues with the artificial grass, a professional will be able to fix it with relative ease.
7. Lead and Safety Concerns
In the past, artificial grass had lead runoff; this means, it was toxic for children, pets and adults alike. It caused a variety of other issues and older artificial grass should be checked for the lead levels.
Some safety concerns include that they can cause rampant spread of germs and bacteria, which has been falsified by many studies.
High Quality Artificial Turf is Guaranteed Lead-Free
High-quality fake grass does not use lead. It is important to choose a reputable company for your fake grass; there are a lot of health concerns otherwise.
Reputable companies will have a slightly more expensive product but the tradeoff will be well-worth the price.