11 Things To Know Before Your Artificial Grass Installation – We Love

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11 Things To Know Before Your Artificial Grass Installation

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Artificial grass has rapidly emerged as a leading option for homeowners seeking an attractive, low-maintenance alternative to traditional lawns. But before you jump on the synthetic turf bandwagon, you’ll want to explore the complete landscape of this unique outdoor solution. Let’s delve into everything you need to know to make an informed choice.

1. The Evolution of Artificial Grass Installation: From Toxic to Eco-friendly

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pet-friendly artificial turf

The Early Days: Toxic and Controversial

Artificial grass was introduced in the 1960s as a durable alternative to natural grass for sports fields. This early synthetic turf was made using materials that contained toxic substances, such as lead and other heavy metals. The infill, which provided cushioning, often contained rubber crumb made from shredded tires, which raised concerns about potential health and environmental impacts. During this time, artificial grass was widely criticized for its unnatural appearance and the adverse effects it could have on the surrounding environment, including contributing to the heat island effect in urban areas.

The Transformation: Towards Eco-Friendly Solutions

Over time, the artificial turf industry has significantly transformed, driven by growing consumer awareness of environmental sustainability and public health concerns. Today’s artificial grass products are designed to be more eco-friendly, utilizing sustainable infill materials such as coconut fibers, cork, and sand and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals.

Also, Manufacturers have improved the appearance and texture of synthetic grass, making it look more natural and feel softer underfoot. New cooling technologies help mitigate the heat-trapping properties of the turf, and permeable backings allow for better water drainage.

Developing recycling programs for artificial grass and increasing interest in utilizing recycled materials further highlight the industry’s shift toward environmental consciousness. These innovations reflect the industry’s commitment to creating a product that looks and feels like real grass and aligns with modern values of environmental stewardship and safety.

2. The Aesthetics: Lifelike Beauty with Choices

Artificial turf installation in Sacramento landscape

Upgrade your lawn with our artificial turf.

 

The remarkable evolution in the manufacturing process of artificial grass installation popularity has led to an impressive aesthetic enhancement. Gone are the days when artificial turf would instantly stand out for its unnatural green tint and plastic-like texture.

Nowadays, homeowners can choose from many lifelike options that mimic real grass types, from Bermuda to St. Augustine, providing a natural appearance that complements the existing landscape. Manufacturers are now utilizing various shades of green, different blade lengths, and even adding a touch of brown to replicate the thatch found in natural grass. This careful design ensures a more authentic look that can be tailored to individual preferences.

Beyond just mimicking real grass, the modern aesthetic choices available with artificial turf allow homeowners to get creative and customize their lawns in previously unimaginable ways. For instance, different types of artificial grass can be combined to create patterns or specific areas can be designed to suit particular needs, such as a more cushioned surface for children’s play areas.

For those with specific tastes or unique landscaping requirements, the vast array of textures, colors, and styles now available in artificial grass ensures a satisfying and visually appealing solution that harmonizes with the surrounding environment.

Whether seeking a pristine golf-course-like appearance or a rugged, natural-looking lawn, the options are endless, and the result is a long-lasting, beautiful landscape that requires minimal maintenance.

3. Water Conservation With Artificial Grass Installation

Artificial turf installation in Sacramento landscape

Upgrade your lawn with our artificial turf.

Artificial grass installation has surged in popularity, especially in regions prone to drought or where water conservation is a priority. Unlike traditional lawns, artificial turf doesn’t require watering, which can save a substantial amount of this valuable resource. In arid states, outdoor water usage can account for up to 60% of residential water consumption, and artificial grass can be a practical solution to this excessive need.

By replacing natural lawns with synthetic alternatives, homeowners can actively contribute to water conservation efforts, aligning with local regulations and broader environmental goals.

4. Pet-friendly Benefits

Artificial turf installation

Pet-Friendly Turf

Artificial grass is increasingly becoming popular for pet owners, and the reasons are manifold. Unlike natural grass, artificial turf installation doesn’t create mud puddles or harbor pests that can irritate your pet. The surface is usually smooth and consistent, so no unexpected bumps or holes could lead to injuries during play.

Furthermore, pet waste is easier to locate and clean on artificial grass, and there’s no worry about urine spots killing the grass, leading to ugly brown patches. For households with dogs or other outdoor pets, artificial turf can be designed with antimicrobial properties to minimize odors and germs. This is an especially appealing feature for pets who spend significant time playing or lounging on the lawn.

Moreover, the pet-friendly nature of artificial grass installation extends to considerations about what the pet is playing on. High-quality artificial grass is non-toxic and doesn’t contain any chemicals that could be harmful to pets. The absence of the need for fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, commonly used on natural grass, means pets are not exposed to potentially harmful substances.

Many artificial grass providers offer specific pet-friendly options designed to be exceptionally durable, resisting the wear and tear caused by running paws and exuberant play. This durability ensures that the lawn remains a safe and attractive space for pets and humans for many years, adding another layer of convenience for pet owners.

In sum, the pet-friendly benefits of artificial grass contribute to a healthier and happier environment for our furry friends. They can be an essential factor in decision-making for those considering the switch from natural grass.

5. Long-term Investment Analysis

Artificial turf installation

Turf Is An Investment

 

When considering artificial grass installation as a replacement for natural turf, it’s imperative to analyze it as a long-term investment. The upfront cost of artificial grass can be substantial, often far exceeding the initial expenditure for natural grass. Depending on the materials’ quality and the area’s size, installation can cost thousands of dollars.

However, this should be weighed against the ongoing maintenance costs for natural grass, including watering, mowing, fertilizing, and pest control. Over time, these expenses can add up, and in some cases, the break-even point where artificial grass becomes more economical can be reached in just a few years. Moreover, with a life expectancy of 10 to 20 years, artificial grass can be a financially sound decision in the long run, depending on the quality and care.

In addition to monetary considerations, the long-term environmental impact should also be part of the investment analysis. Artificial grass eliminates the need for water, fertilizer, and pesticides, which can negatively affect the local ecosystem.

However, it’s worth noting that artificial grass is not without environmental concerns, such as the potential for toxic substances in the materials and challenges with recycling at the end of its lifespan. The selection of eco-friendly options, such as turf made with sustainable infill materials, can mitigate some of these concerns. Careful consideration of artificial grass’s financial and environmental aspects will provide a more comprehensive understanding of its viability as a long-term investment for your home or property.

6. Maintenance Considerations

Sod requires maintenance but artificial grass installation minimizes this

Less Maintenance

When contemplating the installation of artificial grass, the assumption often is that maintenance will be nearly nonexistent. While it’s true that synthetic turf requires significantly less care than natural grass, it’s not entirely maintenance-free. Regular upkeep is essential to keep your artificial lawn looking vibrant and attractive.

For example, debris such as leaves and twigs must be removed promptly to prevent them from getting ground into the turf. Regular brushing with a stiff-bristle broom helps the blades retain their upright appearance and prevents matting. Stains from spills must be addressed quickly with the appropriate cleaning solution, depending on the type of stain. Regular rinsing will be needed if pets use the turf to eliminate odors and potential bacterial growth.

Another aspect to consider in maintenance is the infill, the material placed between the blades of grass, which can settle or shift over time. Depending on the amount of traffic on the lawn, this may require occasional replenishment or redistribution. More regular attention to the infill will be necessary if the turf is installed in an area with heavy usage, such as a sports field or a frequently used backyard.

Also, cheaper or lower-quality artificial grass might be more prone to wear and tear, leading to additional maintenance or even early replacement. If you invest in a higher quality turf, it will typically come with better resistance to staining and wear, reducing the long-term maintenance needs. While the day-to-day upkeep is undoubtedly less demanding than natural grass, understanding and planning for these maintenance requirements will ensure that your artificial lawn remains a beautiful and functional part of your property for years.

7. Resale Value and Community Integration

artificial turf installation can raise your home's value

Raise Your Home’s Value

When considering artificial grass installation, resale value and how the turf integrates with your community should be considered. A well-maintained artificial lawn may enhance the curb appeal of a property, potentially boosting its resale value, especially in regions where traditional lawn care is costly or challenging due to water restrictions. On the other hand, a poorly chosen or maintained artificial turf may stick out in a neighborhood filled with lush natural lawns, detracting from the home’s value.

Community integration also plays a vital role. Local homeowners’ association (HOA) rules might have regulations against artificial lawns. On the other hand, in more arid regions, where artificial turf is common due to water scarcity, fitting in with the local landscape could be more accessible. Ensuring that your choice of artificial grass complements the community’s overall appearance and values is a thoughtful way to make the transition, balancing personal preferences with communal harmony.

8. Alternatives and Creative Landscaping Options

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Alternative Elements

Artificial grass might be an appealing option for many homeowners, but it’s not the only solution for creating a beautiful outdoor space. In areas where water conservation is a concern or maintenance is challenging, creative landscaping offers an array of choices that can be just as eye-catching and environmentally friendly.

From utilizing native plants and drought-resistant vegetation to designing rock gardens and water features, homeowners have the opportunity to create a landscape that reflects their aesthetic while being aware of the local environment. Using permeable paving materials can further contribute to water conservation by allowing rainwater to seep into the ground rather than running off and being wasted.

Consideration should be given to the specific climate and ecosystem of the area when exploring alternatives. For example, in arid regions, xeriscaping—an approach that uses native and low-water-use plants—can be a wise choice. This landscaping method emphasizes efficient watering, soil improvements, and the use of mulch to retain moisture. It often involves a blend of textures and colors that can make the yard visually appealing without the constant maintenance that grass requires.

On the other hand, in areas with abundant rainfall, rain gardens or bioswales can help manage stormwater and provide a habitat for local wildlife. The potential for creative landscaping is vast, offering homeowners the chance to enjoy a unique, low-maintenance yard that harmonizes with the surrounding environment without resorting to artificial means.

9. Expert Installation and Warranties

Expert artificial grass installation team

Expert artificial grass installation team

 

Artificial grass installation is more than just rolling out a green carpet; it requires meticulous planning, precise measurements, and expert execution. Choosing a professional to install your artificial turf is crucial, as a poorly installed lawn can lead to drainage issues, uneven surfaces, and premature wear and tear. Experts in the field will ensure that the base is prepared correctly, seams are secured, and the turf is adequately anchored, allowing optimal performance and appearance. They’ll also be familiar with the unique needs of your local climate and soil, ensuring the installation is tailored to your specific environment.

When investing in artificial grass, warranties are another critical consideration. These provide a safety net against potential problems down the line. Most reputable companies offer warranties that cover both the material and installation. Material warranties usually range from 8 to 15 years, depending on the quality of the turf, and cover aspects like color fading, UV resistance, and durability. On the other hand, installation warranties ensure that if any problems arise from the installation process, they will be taken care of at no additional cost.

Carefully reviewing the warranties and understanding what they include can save you future headaches. Choosing a company with a solid track record and positive customer reviews is also wise, as this usually indicates that they stand behind their products and services. When investing in something as significant as a new lawn, expert artificial grass installation, and solid warranties are essential components to consider, protecting your investment and ensuring a lush and lasting appearance.

10. Local Regulations and Rebates

When considering artificial grass installation, one essential aspect to investigate is the local regulations and potential rebates in your area. Different municipalities may have specific rules and guidelines governing the installation and use of artificial turf. This is especially true in regions where water conservation is a priority, and local governments have taken measures to encourage or even incentivize residents to reduce water consumption.

Before deciding to install artificial grass, it’s crucial to consult with local authorities or review local ordinances to understand any restrictions or requirements that may apply to your property. Failure to comply with local regulations can lead to fines or other legal consequences, turning what was supposed to be a home improvement into an expensive headache.

In some areas, local governments offer rebates or financial incentives for homeowners who install artificial turf to promote water conservation. For example, replacing natural grass with artificial turf in drought-prone regions can qualify for a rebate program, offsetting some of the initial costs. These incentives can make artificial grass an even more attractive option financially, but they often come with specific criteria that must be met. It’s advisable to consult with local water authorities or government agencies to understand the available rebates and their requirements.

Working with a reputable artificial turf installer familiar with local regulations and rebates can also be a wise choice, as they can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance and helping you take advantage of any available financial incentives.

California Rebates

SACRAMENTO – California, particularly in the northern regions, is intensifying its efforts to conserve water in response to the ongoing drought and anticipated future water shortages. Governor Gavin Newsom signed new legislation exempting local rebates for turf replacement from state income tax to promote the transformation of grass lawns into drought-resistant landscapes in Northern California.

Governor Newsom emphasized the urgency of water conservation, stating, “Our state is on track to lose 10% of its water supply by 2040.” The new law is expected to strengthen consumer rebates for those who switch to water-wise yards, helping them save water and money.

Additional measures to encourage water efficiency were enacted, including a statewide prohibition on watering non-functional turf in commercial and industrial settings and adopting the California Water Supply Strategy. In collaboration with local agencies, the strategy targets the conversion of 500 million square feet of ornamental turf by 2030.

Over the last three years, more than $8.8 billion has been allocated to modernize water infrastructure and respond to the drought in the state. This includes significant investments in drought resilience and response, such as $75 million to bolster the Save Our Water campaign, which provides actionable information to residents of Northern California and beyond on how to conserve water, including lawn transformation tips.

With the signing of these measures, California’s government is making bold strides to adapt to a hotter, drier future and urging all Californians, especially those in the northern part of the state, to adopt water conservation as a way of life.

 

11. Be Mindful of Reflection and Heat

One factor often unnoticed when considering artificial grass is the possibility of melting due to reflections and heat. This could be a serious concern, especially if you have reflective surfaces nearby, like windows, solar panels, or metallic garden furniture. Here’s how you can understand and mitigate this risk:

Reflective Surfaces Can Melt Artificial Turf

Windows, particularly energy-efficient ones, can reflect sunlight onto artificial grass, concentrating the heat in a specific area. This can result in temperatures that are high enough to cause the synthetic fibers to melt, leading to unsightly patches of discolored or deformed grass.

Similarly, solar panels and metallic objects can create hotspots on the turf, causing similar issues. Even though artificial grass is designed to withstand various weather conditions, concentrated reflections can still be a concern.

Solutions and Precautions

If you have windows or other reflective surfaces near your planned artificial lawn, there are several steps you can take to avoid melting:

  1. Window Films: Applying window films that reduce reflection can minimize the risk of concentrated heat. Anti-reflective window films are available that not only prevent this problem but can also enhance your home’s energy efficiency.
  2. Strategic Planting: Planting trees or shrubs between the reflective surfaces and the artificial grass installation can act as a buffer, reducing the risk of reflection onto the turf.
  3. Proper Turf Selection: Some artificial grass products are designed with heat resistance in mind. Discuss with your installer or supplier to find an option that suits your specific needs, especially if you have identified potential reflection problems.
  4. Periodic Inspection: Regular checks for signs of melting or deformation can help you spot a problem early, possibly allowing for repair before an entire replacement is needed.
  5. Consult with a Professional: If you are concerned about potential melting due to nearby reflective surfaces, consult a landscaping professional familiar with artificial grass installation. Their expertise can help you plan the installation to minimize risks.

Conclusion

While artificial grass provides many benefits, including water conservation and low maintenance, understanding all potential drawbacks is critical to making an informed decision. Awareness of how reflective surfaces can affect artificial turf and taking appropriate precautions will ensure that your synthetic lawn remains beautiful and functional for years.

Artificial Grass Installation FAQs

  1. What Are the Benefits of Installing Artificial Grass Instead of Natural Grass
    • Answer: An artificial grass installation is eco-friendly, especially in drought-prone regions like Northern California. It doesn’t require watering, mowing, or fertilizers, saving water and money. The recent legislation exempting turf replacement from state income tax makes the switch to artificial turf even more appealing, as it helps combat drought and conserve water.
  2. Is Artificial Turf Safe for Pets and Children?
    • Answer: Yes, most modern artificial turfs are designed to be safe for both pets and children. When considering artificial turf installation, ensure the product is free from harmful chemicals and complies with safety standards. Many families in Northern California choose artificial turf as a low-maintenance and water-wise alternative to traditional lawns.
  3. How Much Does Artificial Turf Installation Cost, and Are Any Rebates Available?
    • Answer: The cost of artificial turf installation varies based on the size of the area, type of turf, and installation process. In Northern California, the new law exempting turf replacement from state income tax may lead to increased rebates and incentives, making it a more affordable option. It’s best to check your local regulations for an accurate estimate and information about available rebates.
  4. What Kind of Maintenance Does Artificial Turf Require?
    • Answer: Artificial turf requires minimal maintenance compared to natural grass. Regular brushing to keep the fibers upright, occasional rinsing to remove dust, and prompt debris removal are usually sufficient. Artificial grass installation offers a long-lasting, low-care alternative aligning well with California’s water conservation goals.
  5. Can Artificial Turf Help Me Contribute to Water Conservation Efforts in California?
    • Answer: Absolutely! Artificial grass installation significantly contributes to water conservation, particularly in Northern California, where drought conditions persist. You can save thousands of gallons of water annually by replacing natural grass with artificial turf. The state’s focus on water-wise landscaping and the recent legislation on turf replacement make artificial turf an attractive option for environmentally-conscious homeowners.

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