You may have found yourself admiring the artificial lawn at a home or business nearby. After all, it’s beautiful, always looks well-groomed, and needs very little maintenance.
But before you decide to install artificial grass in your own yard, you might want to know what is involved and how long it lasts…
You see, there’s quite a bit of work that goes into the installation. Plus, once it’s installed, it’s very hard to reverse.
That’s why it’s worth finding out how much time and usage you can expect beforehand.
Our team has installed artificial lawns all around the world. In today’s article, we will cover everything you need to know: The typical lifespan you can expect, the various factors that affect it, and how you can increase the longevity of your artificial lawn.
In This Article:
How Long Does Artificial Grass Last?
Artificial grass can last anywhere between 10 – 20 years. That is why more and more homeowners are switching to it over natural grass.
While it looks as beautiful and feels as soft as its natural alternative, it doesn’t need nearly as much care.
That means no mowing, fertilizing, replanting, weeding, and trimming for a very, very long time.
On the other hand, if you opt for a natural lawn, be prepared to do a lot of maintenance and upkeep work in the next couple of years!
Besides the time, cost, and labor savings from its low maintenance requirements, artificial grass also offers a long list of other benefits. It is non-slip, offers good drainage, and is completely family friendly and pet-safe.
And when it comes to looks, artificial grass is very attractive and can brighten up a concrete yard and make a great pool surround.
Without the need for any chemical pesticides and fertilizers, it also works out better for the environment.
Factors That Can Affect The Lifespan Of Artificial Grass
Not every synthetic grass installation lasts as long as the next, but they can all last for many years under the right conditions.
There are several factors that contribute to how long your artificial grass is going to last. These include the quality of the grass, the installation, how the lawn is used, weather conditions, and the care and maintenance level.
1. Build Quality
While an artificial lawn might look simple, there are actually a couple of materials that go into its production.
The quality of these materials and their specific properties are both factors that affect the lifespan of the lawn.
Modern synthetic grass is composed of various polymers that give it its structure and durability. The grass blades, for example, can be made from nylon, polypropylene, and polyethylene.
All of these materials are strong, but they react differently under foot traffic and usage. Nylon, for example, returns to its original shape the fastest, whereas polypropylene feels softer and mroe realistic.
These blades can come in various lengths, known as pile heights. You should select the pile height according to how you intend to use the lawn and how much foot traffic you expect.
Longer blades are better for areas that do not receive much foot traffic because they are less resilient. They feel better, and look more realistic too.
On the other hand, you might also want to avoid long blade turf if you have pets or kids that will be playing on it, or you expect heavy daily usage. For these situations, short pile alternatives are more suitable.
The mesh backing that holds the synthetic grass blades together must also be strong. At the same time, it has to allow for water to drain through easily.
Another important factor in an artificial lawn’s lifespan is the infill used. This is a sand-like materials sprinkled across the lawn, and placed between the artificial blades or fibers.
Infill serves a number of purposes. It helps the blades stay up and retain its original shape, while promoting good drainage. Some types of organic infill are design to absorb pet urine smells too.
That being said, it is crucial to choose the right infill for your purpose. Infill can be made from silica sand, crumb rubber, zeolite, or even acrylic coated sand.
When it comes time for you to select which type of artificial grass for your yard, be sure to talk to a representative or expert at your local home improvement store. They can guide you through the decision process and help you pick the right grass for your specific situation.
2. Quality Of Installation
The typical artificial turf installation involves a few stages. For the most part, the stages in a typical installation involve excavating the existing ground, preparing and compacting the base, fitting and tucking the turf, and then adding the infill.
All of the installation steps are important, and each step builds upon the last. A quality installation and a well-compacted base will ensure that the final result is going to be structurally sound over the years.
Depending on the ground’s current state, the amount of work needed and the installation process can vary. For example, laying artificial grass on concrete usually means you have to find an additional solution for drainage.
When it comes to ensuring your lawn’s longevity, a good installation should aim to provide both long-term stability and proper drainage.
It is important to get the installation right at the very start. This will prevent problems from cropping up down the road.
3. Usage of the Grass
Some households are going to experience a lot more foot traffic, pressure, debris, and pet messes than others. As with most things, the greater the usage is, the lower the lifespan.
When you are thinking of how long your artificial lawn will last, you should definitely consider the lawn’s purpose.
If you plan to build a play area in your yard for your children, you can expect it to experience more usage. The same goes for dogs playing on your lawn. With more usage comes more wear and tear over time.
On the other hand, your artificial lawn could also be located where people do not frequent, or where there are concrete footpaths. In such cases, less wear and tear is expected, which will contribute to a longer lifespan.
4. Maintenance Routine
One of the major perks of an artificial lawn over a natural lawn is that you don’t have to give it much care and attention.
That being said, this doesn’t mean no maintenance required at all! There are a few simple steps you should incorporate into your maintenance routine to keep the grass looking fresh and healthy.
Over time, the grass fibers can start to flatten and become matted. A simple garden brush will fluff them up again, helping them return to their original shape.
You should also keep the surface of your lawn free of debris, pet waste and food stains. These can all attract bacteria, and encourage the growth of weeds, moss and mold. The better the lawn is cared for, the longer it is sure to last.
5. Climate and Weather
Nowadays, artificial grass is designed to withstand harsh weather: From heavy rains to scorching heat.
That being said, harsh weather conditions can still take a toll on your lawn’s lifespan over time.
Heavy and consistent rainfall can compromise the stability of the sub-base underneath your artificial grass, and even cause small pools and puddles to form. Sunlight can be magnified when reflected off double-paned windows, burning patches in your lawn.
Fortunately, most of these situations can be prevented with proper installation and care. Read on to find out more…
How To Make Artificial Grass Last Longer: 5 Simple Tips
If you are wondering what you can do to make your artificial lawn last as long as possible, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are five simple tips that will help you maximize the lifespan of your artificial grass:
1. Adopt A Maintenance Routine
As we’ve mentioned above, regular maintenance can keep your grass looking great for longer.
All it takes is to stick to a simple, easy maintenance routine. This only needs to be done once or twice a week, and will keep your lawn healthy and good looking for years to come.
The main steps include brushing to remove debris and get the blades upright. After that, you can use a garden hose to rinse down the lawn, focusing especially on the areas where pets relieve themselves.
2. Avoid Or Rotate Heavy Furniture And Equipment
While artificial lawn is very resilient and durable, it does have its limits. Under heavy pressure, artificial grass can slowly lose its shape over time.
Heavy equipment and furniture put on the grass must be rotated periodically to reduce pressure on one particular spot on the grass.
In other words, rearrange your lawn furniture occassionally to prevent permanent damage on your lawn.
Driving or parking a car on synthetic grass is not recommended. The sheer weight of the car can hurt your lawn, and the twisting action of the wheels can pull fibers off the backing.
3. Remove Stains and Pet Waste
Let’s face it – Accidents happen. No matter how clean you try to be, you simply cannot avoid pet waste or the occasional drink spill on your lawn. The important thing is to clean these up as soon as possible.
Quick cleanups prevent odors and discoloration. For this, you can either use a homemade cleaning solution made from diluted vinegar, or a commercial artificial grass cleaner. Simply apply this to your lawn with a soft cloth or sponge.
4. Prevent Burns
Your synthetic turf is largely made of plastic materials. It goes without saying that if these are exposed to fire, they are going to melt.
Replacing patches of artificial grass is a tedious process. And as the adage goes – Prevention is always better than the cure.
The best way to prevent this is simply to refrain from using a barbeque on top of, or near the artificial lawn. The same goes for lighters and candles.
Your grass can also be burned by window magnification. This occurs when intense sunlight is reflected and magnified by double paned, or “E-glare” windows. To prevent this from occuring, consider treating any windows facing your yard with a tinted film.
5. Use The Right Infill
As we’ve mentioned above, choosing the right infill is important. Different infill materials are designed with different uses in mind.
The crumb rubber infill, for example, is intended for sports fields and public playgrounds. It is cheap, and offers a high level of cushioning and resists compression. However, they can get hot and unpleasant to touch.
For most households, we recommend silica sand as an all-round infill. This will cool down your lawn, keep your grass blades standing, and promote proper drainage too.
On the other hand, an organic infill is more suitable for homes with pets. These will absorb and neutralize any odors left over from pet waste, preventing smells and stains on your lawn.
After all is said and done, artificial grass gives you a great return on your investment. The installation requires some work at first, but that is the most you are going to have to do over its lifespan, which can be as long as 20 years.
Artificial grass is durable, effective in its aesthetic and functional purposes, and also environmentally-friendly. With a good installation, a basic routine maintenance, and proper use, you can enjoy your artificial lawn for years and years to come!