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Synthetic turf is a type of ground cover that is made to look and work just like real grass, but it needs a fraction of the maintenance of natural grass and stays looking lush and healthy all year round. Artificial grasses can be made to look just like any type of naturally occurring grass within an area, allowing those who install these types of grasses to customize the look of their property in a way that suits their natural landscape.
The majority of artificial grasses and synthetic turfs installed today are made up of 4 different components:
The drainage layer helps to keep the artificial grass dry in times of rain or moisture, the backing system holds the artificial grass together, the blades make up the grass itself, and the granular filler is used to create a natural and uniform look to the artificial turf.
Artificial grasses and synthetic turf are used in a variety of different ways, and residential home owners as well as commercial property owners are reaping the benefits of this very convenient ground covering alternative. Some common uses for artificial grasses or synthetic turf are:
Artificial grass and synthetic turf is actually a very environmentally sound alternative to natural grass , as it uses fewer resources in terms of upkeep and never requires harmful pesticides. Natural grass will often need fertilizers and frequent watering to be kept in optimal condition, and this leads to wasted water and harmful chemical runoff. Water that is used to nurture a natural grass lawn or field can be better used in the community or naturally in the environment, and artificial grasses never need to be watered. Also, the chemicals in fertilizers or pesticides can run off of natural grasses easily during rain or a watering session, leading to pollution in natural water sources. With artificial grass, these chemicals do not need to be used to keep up with the beauty and function of the grasses, thus saving nature from ever having to come into contact with them.
Some artificial grasses and synthetic turfs can even be made with organic and earth friendly materials, providing a truly green option in optimal lawn care.
Modern synthetic grasses and artificial turfs are made without lead. In the past, small amounts of lead were used to aid in the pigmentation of the grass, but no human illness or environmental impact due to exposure has ever been documented.
While temperatures are sometimes a small bit higher on synthetic turf fields when compared to natural grass fields, high quality synthetic turf is built to withstand the heat of the summer months. Because of this slight increase in heat, however, some athletic organizers may opt to have their teams practice during the cooler portions of the day to allow for optimal comfort should their field be covered with synthetic turf.
For sports fields , synthetic turf is very safe, and many athletic organizations are opting for the installation of synthetic turf over grass for a variety of reasons. First, artificial grass provides optimal traction that allows players to keep steady on their feet during a game, and the drainage offered with synthetic grass is second to none. Drainage systems installed under the turf allow for water to be wicked away quickly, causing surface areas to dry faster, and this helps players to avoid the problem of slick grass surfaces. Also, synthetic turf can be made very plush in its composition, which provides a much softer area for athletes to play on, so even if a fall or collision should occur, the players on the field are better protected.
The lifespan of a synthetic turf field will depend on its use. For athletic fields or other areas that see harder wear and tear, the lifespan of the turf can be expected to be shorter than what may be seen with a not often used lawn or patio space. However, the standard warranty time seen on many synthetic turf installations is around 8 years.
While the initial installation cost of a synthetic turf field made of artificial grass may be higher than that of a natural grass field, the synthetic turf will tend to pay for itself within a period of about 3 or 4 years due to lack of upkeep and maintenance costs. It is estimated that synthetic turf winds up being around 3 times more affordable than natural grass over the course of its lifetime.