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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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Here is a great article by Kate Wood from This Old House magazine. Cascade Greens offers different products than noted in the article. But it is a good source of some additional information about artificial turf. Enjoy!
The 411 on Artificial Turf
Drought restrictions may have put the squeeze on traditional turf, but the good news is it’s easier than ever to fake a lush lawn. Here’s the lowdown
IT LOOKS AND FEELS MORE NATURAL
Early turfs were made from densely woven tufted nylon, but today’s synthetic lawns use soft strands of polyethylene or polypropylene. One maker, SYNLawn, has upped its environmental cred with polyethylene derived from sustainably grown sugarcane. And while you can opt for a putting-green look, the best new turfs rely on a mix of blade lengths and shades of green—and even brown—to mimic specific varieties like fescue or Kentucky bluegrass.
IT’S A WHOLE SYSTEM
Older turfs were basically carpet: slow to drain and with zero cushioning. Now there’s more to it. For stability, the first layer is durable, porous landscape fabric, then the drainage material, such as gravel. Next comes the turf itself, which is woven onto a permeable synthetic backing. Last comes a layer of infill—silica sand or the like—to help anchor the turf and make it feel more natural underfoot.
IT’S NOT TOTALLY MAINTENANCE FREE
While there’s no mowing, you’ll still have to clear out leaves and other debris using a plastic rake. To prevent odors, pet owners must pick up waste and clean vigilantly with a no-rinse disinfectant that attaches to your garden hose. ForeverLawn’s K9Grass, designed to be pet-friendly, skips the infill to improve drainage and make digging less inviting. To decrease heat absorption, ProGreen reduced the surface area of the blades in some of its turf grasses so they stay cooler.
IT PAYS FOR ITSELF
After the initial outlay of around $10–$20 per square foot for installed turf, you’re essentially done: no buying seed, fertilizer, or mower gas, and your landscaping water usage should plummet. With these savings, you should recoup the cost of synthetic turf in five to eight years—and it can last twice that long, staying green the whole time.
Artificial grass is a great alternative to natural grass and a great addition to any home or business. Artificial turf can be used in many different application. Here are a few more options to keep in mind when looking for a new surface or ground cover.
Artificial Grass for Vehicle Floor Mats
We use cuts of turf in our company vehicles to protect our floor mats from dirt and stains. When working in the winter, our crew is known to get their boots muddy. Our vehicles stay cleaner and have less stains when we use turf as a floor mat. It is a cheap and good looking alternative. And is a great conversation starter!
Rooftop Artificial Turf
Don’t have a yard? Have a rooftop yard! Soft turf to play on, relax on, or just make your roof look better for parties. These types of installations can sometimes take extra materials to help with drainage and nailing of edges, but we sure love a challenge. We pride ourselves in doing all the work ourselves. Our crew has many talents and many years of experience with out of the norm installations.
Artificial Grass Around a Pool
Do you get dirt in your pool? Artificial turf eliminates dirt in your yard. No more dirty feet in the pool and the sand infill doesn’t track. You could even swim in the winter with no worry about getting muddy. Artificial grass is also soft to walk on, therefore requiring no shoes! And it looks good!
Artificial Grass Sports Fields
Cascade Greens has installed multiple indoor and outdoor sports fields of all types. Artificial grass is a great addition to your home or business, what better way than to make it playable? We install private residential and commercial sports fields of all types including, but not limited to, indoor/outdoor soccer fields and football fields.
Cascade Greens is always open to new and different types of applications for our turf. We are happy to work with our customers to find just what they are looking for to complete their home or project. Call TODAY for a FREE consultation.