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Winter Artificial Grass FAQ

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In Oregon, our winters can range from very mild to very cold (for us at least).  We all know that ice and snow can do some serious damage to natural turf.  There are many perks to choosing artificial grass, including but not limited to the lack of damage ice and snow can have on your lawn.  This time of year we are frequented with some specific winter artificial grass questions, so we have answered some of the more common ones for you here.  As always, if you have a question that is not answered here we are always available to answer them for you, just call or email!!

Does Artificial Grass Freeze in Winter?

The first thing to know is that you can rest assured that synthetic turf can withstand extreme fluctuations in weather, including freezing temperatures and heat waves. The second thing to know is that your fake grass is not going to freeze to the point of becoming brittle and breaking if stepped on like natural grass will, due to the water content in the blades of natural grass.

It is important to note that this does not mean that your artificial grass will not have ice on it.  When this occurs, you will need to exercise the same caution you would use when walking on other icy surfaces.  It is best to allow the snow or ice to melt naturally and allow the water to dissipate through your lawn’s drainage system. If you need to remove snow from your lawn, be sure to use a plastic snow shovel to avoid damaging your grass.

It is best to avoid using salt to melt snow or ice if at all possible. While this will speed up the melting process and your fake grass can withstand the use of salt, the resulting residue can inhibit drainage.

Can artificial grass be laid on sloping ground?

Yes. Synthetic grass can be securely fitted to sloping ground. It follows the contours and undulations of any normal yard. We secure the grass along the edges and the infill keeps the center of the grass from displacing.

Does artificial grass drain like real grass?

It actually drains better! Artificial grass is fully porous and rainwater drains through it. We also install 3-4″ of open gravel below the artificial grass to allow drainage.  We guarantee no pooling water in your yard.

Will Turf stand up against various climate changes, such as rain or snow?

Absolutely! Turf is made to withstand rain, snow, and all other elements it may be up against. Its permeable surface allows it to drain well. No more standing water when it rains and no more muddy footprints to mop up in your home. When it comes to snow and ice, the best option is to let it melt naturally!

Can I walk on my artificial lawn during winter? Does the cold, snow and frost damage my lawn?

Winter cold is not a problem for artificial grass. The lawn will not be damaged by a long frost, or break when walked on. However, pay attention with snow or black ice. If snow is allowed to be tread into the artificial lawn and forms a layer of ice, this should not be removed by hand in order to prevent damage to the grass fibers. Snow should be allowed to melt naturally. If you are in a hurry to make your artificial lawn snow-free, use a plastic snow shovel. Do not use a metal one. (Metal snow shovels can damage the synthetic fibers more easily.)

Does the grass mold or mildew?

Due to the non-absorbing nature of the materials used and the drainage base designed to migrate water away from the grass, mold and mildew is not an issue. We offer artificial grass that has backing made of an anti-microbial polyurethane foam that is always an option if there is concern of mold or mildew. We have no reports of mold or mildew growth in any of our installations.

How do I get rid of moss in my grass?

When yards are installed in shady areas there is always a chance of moss growing on the artificial turf.  Just a few minutes of a home ready can prevent and treat this issue.  Cascade Greens recommends a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar sprayed on the trouble area.  This can be used as both preventative as well as currently growing moss.  If sprayed on established moss, allow a few days for the vinegar to kill moss and then use your granny groomer to rake it off.  We recommend spraying every few weeks during the wet season to prevent moss growth.

Zeofill Is A Great Pet Odor Eliminator

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Zeofill is our top choice for a pet odor eliminator .  We use Zeofill as one of our infills that gives the best results in eliminating odors. We can also use it in combination with other infill options.  Other benefits of Zeofill are seen when used on playgrounds and sports fields.

Pet Odor Eliminator Infill

Our residential synthetic turf is most often infilled with silica sand.  But when you have pets that are using the grass for waste, we have better options to help keep out odors.  Zeofill is our newest addition to selection of infills that helps prevent and eliminate pet odors from your pets waste.  Our intention is to offer the best pet odor eliminator infill options  so that synthetic grass is an option for every yard. The one thing to remember is there are no guarantees or sure fired remedies. Dog urine stinks.

Zeofill is a new technology that requires little to no maintenance because it uses the rain to activate the granules. Watering in between rain showers can be beneficial also.   Zeofill is made up of microporous, aluminosilicate minerals commonly used as commercial absorbents.  This means that the granules absorb cations such as calcium, sodium, ammonium, and potassium; and also water.  In other words, it acts like a magnet which holds liquids, such as ammonia, for long periods of time.  Zeofill will help prevent odors from pet urine and solid waste because it is absorbed into the granules and its odor is eliminated.

We have found a couple situations where Zeofill has not resolved the odor issue. One is when there are one or more large dogs using the area for waste that is just too much for the area.  Another situation is the chemical make up of the dogs urine itself.  Depending on breed and diet, the dogs urine can have a stronger odor than others.  Even with these situations, products such as Zeofill and other infill options can still deter odor more than silica sand, even if not completely.

Why We Choose Zeofill With Durafill

When installing artificial turf for any yard with pets, Cascade Greens always recommends a combination of Zeofill and Durafill as an infill alternative.  Though it is a small additional price to the installation, it is well worth its money in the long run.  The combination of Zeofill and Durafill eliminate and deter odor as well as bacteria growth.  Along with different infill options, we also offer an antimicrobial synthetic turf to make a complete pet solution package for your yard.

 

Best Practices With Pet Odor Eliminator

Cascade Greens always suggest regular maintenance on your turf yard, including daily maintenance with pets.  The best remedy we have found is to pick up solid waste daily and heavily water the area to flush the urine and allow the Zeofill to work.  No synthetic yard is totally without maintenance. But with our best options of synthetic turf and pet odor options, maintenance is minimal.

 

Call Cascade Greens today for a FREE consultation.  We will give you are best options to fit exactly what you are looking for!

Dog Eats Everything But….Dog Friendly Artificial Grass

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Mrs.P was a special case.  Her beautiful, loving dog eats EVERYTHING!  And by everything we mean everything…..grass, dirt, gravel, tree bark, etc.  That can make it very difficult to enjoy your yard when it is getting chewed to pieces.  Mrs.P’s solution was to cover the entire yard with dog friendly artificial grass.  And we obliged, gladly.

Before and After Pictures

synthetic turf turf installation fake lawn synthetic turfVancouver, Washington fake lawn

Mrs.P started with a very nice landscaped but soggy yard.  Therefore, synthetic turf was definitely the best solution in Mrs.P situation. Even if it was just to replace the existing grass.  As you can see in the pictures, there was plenty of opportunities for the dog to find food.  Cascade Greens was able to eliminate that by filing every inch of yard with artificial turf.  The turf itself is nailed down to the gravel or edging around the fence line to deter and digging or pulling up of the grass.

Dog Friendly Artificial Grass Infill Options

Cascade Greens offers multiple types of infill for all different types of applications.  In the case of Mrs.P, she needed our best pet friendly option for not only her dog but for herself also.  Although it is not required, we highly recommend that a yard that has a dog on it be infilled with a combination of Durafill and Zeofill.  Durafill is our antimicrobial infill that helps deter the growth of germs and bad stuff in your turf from the dogs urine.  Zeofill is our newest addition of infills and is used to help absorb odor and is activated by rain water. Both infills require no extra maintenance.  The infills do cost a little extra, but are worth the money!

Call Cascade Greens today for a FREE consultation.  We have the solution for your yard problems!

Article on Artificial Turf New Designs for Improved Safety

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This a great article on artificial turf that talks about improved safety and color options when it comes to artificial turf.  Key points to focus on are the availability of specific shades of color and texture that are specific to what type of grass grows in your area as well as padding that is available for safety under playgrounds and sports fields.

It does provide some information on crumb rubber.  We only use crumb rubber on our sports fields, we do not use crumb rubber in our residential installations. Cascade Greens also offers antimicrobial infills for added cleanliness and odor elimination in residential installations.

 

New Artificial Turf Designs Improve Safety

Artificial turf was developed by chemists at Monsanto in the mid-1960s. It was first known as AstroTurf after it was installed as the sports surface at the Houston Astrodome in 1966. Now, 50 years later, more than 11,000 synthetic turf athletic fields are used at schools, colleges, parks, and professional stadiums across the U.S., according to the Synthetic Turf Council.

Synthetic playing fields are often preferred over natural grass because they are easier to maintain, longer-lasting, and can be used in a variety of weather conditions. The padded surface also helps reduce the likelihood of impact injuries. One of the most popular artificial turf fields today is called an “infill” system, where the top layer of artificial fibers overlies a sequence of shock-absorbing pad, leveling layer, drainage layer, and natural compacted subgrade. The fiber layer on top is partially infilled with tiny granules of rubber, sand, or other materials (“crumb”) that settle at the base of the turf fibers. The particles help support the turf pile, keeping the fibers upright. The infill and the underlying shock-absorbing pad also reduce the possibility of injury when players fall.

Improved Fiber Design

Thanks to advances in fiber design, advanced materials, and manufacturing techniques, the newest generation of synthetic blades can be made to match the color, texture, and bounce of the grass that grows naturally in the area.  Not only does the artificial turf look natural, it looks and feels like it was “grown” locally. As a result, “artificial turf is rapidly replacing grass as the surface of choice for many sports facilities due to the many advantages that they bring—both from artificial turfs and hybrid versions, where a hybrid grass pitch features 100 percent natural sport grass reinforced by artificial turf fibers,” writes Randy B. Hecht in a recent blog for Oerlikon, a Swiss-based global technology group.

Better designs enhance grass fibers. Image: Global Syn-Turf

Field safety is also enhanced by better designs of the grass fibers. Different material chemistries and blade shapes can impact temperature, color, bounce, and other performance characteristics. For example, S-shaped blades reflect sunlight evenly, so the turf maintains a uniform color on a sunny day. Temperature of the playing surface is a concern for athletes. In hot weather, artificial turf can reach temperatures as high as 180 degrees F. W-shaped blades diffuse sunlight and heat through the curves of its blades, lowering the overall temperature of the turf up to 15 degrees. Hollow blades can further reduce temperature levels on the field.

“Our [blade] is designed to make turf stand up straighter and taller than other grasses, making it look realistically tall,” states Global Syn-Turf, a major provider of artificial turf, on its website. “As with naturally growing grass, M-shaped blades reflect light at various angles preventing water, or mirror effects, from flat even surfaces.”

Recent concerns have been raised about the health risks of crumb rubber infill, the most common infill material used in artificial turf fields. Some reports indicate the pulverized rubber contains carcinogenic compounds and can be ingested or inhaled into the body. “More healthy” options for crumb rubber include:

  • Particles made from the recycled rubber outsoles of athletic shoes, which purportedly contain fewer hazardous chemicals.
  • Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) pellets that feel like rubber and can be easily recycled.
  • Ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), a synthetic rubber used in roofing and sealing.
  • Acrylic polymer-coated sand particles.
  • Organic infill composed of coconut fibers, cork, or processed nutshells Softer Landings.

The top priority for artificial surfaces is player safety, especially reducing injuries from falling. Synthetic turf systems have been modified to include higher pile heights and deeper granular infill materials in an effort to create a softer surface. Other factors that can improve softness and field performance include type of plastic, blade design, density, and pattern, design parameters that impact bounce and roll resistance, and shock-layer systems.

Impact protective underlayment system. Image: Viconics

Perhaps the most intriguing development in shock absorption technology for artificial fields is coming from the automotive industry. Viconic Sporting, Dearborn, MI, is experimenting with a material that is used by the automotive industry to reduce the impact of crashes. Viconic’s promising new impact-absorbing layer, which looks like sturdy bubble wrap, is made from resilient thermoplastic urethane material that buckles on impact. However, the energy absorbers (“bubbles”) do not pop upon impact. “Instead, they crush down to about 90 percent of their height, absorbing the energy of the player’s fall, and then recover to their natural shape and are ready for the next impact,” says Joel Cormier, Viconic’s director of development engineering. “A low-level impact on a playing surface will likely not engage the energy absorbers. With a high-energy impact, these structures collapse and buckle in a very efficient manner to absorb the impact energy.”

The shock pad is installed underneath the artificial turf and snaps together for easy assembly. “The goal is to reduce the forces that a player experiences from impact with the playing surface,” says Cormier. “If we can reduce injury in the automotive field, hopefully we can do the same thing for synthetic turf. We see potential for the product to be used everywhere, from youth soccer to the NFL.”

Mark Crawford is an independent writer.

Artificial Turf Installation by Cascade Greens

Call now for a FREE consultation by Cascade Greens today!

Spruce Up! on Mr. Johnson’s Putting Green

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Mr. Johnson called Cascade Greens in 2004 for a site visit.  He was looking to put a large putting green in the front section of his property.  We installed a 5000 square feet putting green with fringe and sand bunkers.  We also installed three tee boxes to chip from.

Through out the years we have returned to perform maintenance on the green and tee boxes.  Keeping the green free from debris is a simple task that the homeowner can do themselves, but the rest should be left for Cascade Greens.  In a normal maintenance visit we can (as needed) add or level out infill, compact the green, repair seams, and clean the cups and sand bumnkers.  Depending on location or length between Spruce Up!s, sometimes the green will need a little more in depth cleaning.

Putting Green Before

maintenance synthetic turf maintenanceputting green

In Mr. Johnson’s case, we hadn’t been by in a while and his green needed a good scrubbing.  We used an eco-friendly cleaner, a scrub brush and a power broom to remove some surface debris and moss.  It is amazing what a little elbow grease can do.  It took about a day and a half to get the green upto par and the sand bunkers looking fresh again.

Putting Green After

maintenancesynthetic putting greenartificial turf

This job is a good reminder that yearly or even bi-annually or quarterly maintenance may be what’s best to keep your putting green up to par.  Putting greens that are in shady areas or have many trees and shrubs near by may need a little more attention than others.  Any questions you may have about if and when you should schedule a Spruce Up! Feel free to email or call anytime.