Pros and Cons of Artificial Grass in Backyard

Having the perfect lawn is a dream for many homeowners. To come home to a well-manicured lawn is relaxing and is a sense of pride for your home. Having that flawless lawn, however, is easier said than done because of the many factors that come into play. And many even out of your control, such as a year of drought or not enough sunlight.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder many homeowners are finding artificial grass so appealing. No longer is the ideal lawn unattainable. In fact, not only is the lawn every homeowner dreams of achievable, but there are many benefits to switching to artificial grass.

What Is Artificial Grass?

Artificial grass is a man-made material created to mimic real grass. It’s made up of synthetic fibers that come in different shades as well as different heights. It’s constructed in a similar way to carpet, where the backing is solid but the blades of grass are stitched on by a machine.

Artificial grass was first used in 1966 in a sports dome. Most uses originally were for sports applications, but as artificial grass has improved tremendously over the years, it’s becoming a very popular option in place of real grass, even outside homes. With the new, improved technology to make the artificial grass feel better and look more realistic, it can be hard to tell the difference between real and fake. Most artificial grass produced today includes different shades of green as well as brown to imitate the dead strands of grass that can be seen in real grass lawns.

Where Can Artificial Grass Be Used?

Artificial grass doesn’t require water and is virtually maintenance-free. It’s safe for both children and pets to play on, and because of this can be used for both functional purposes as well as purely aesthetic areas.

Here are some popular places homeowners have been putting their artificial grass:

For Fun

  • Play areas. This provides a level, even surface for children running around. Not only does this mean it’s safer, as it provides fewer tripping hazards, but it’s cleaner than real grass. There are no puddles of mud to track inside and no longer will you have grass tracked throughout the house.
  • Dog runs. Similar to wanting artificial grass for a play area, dog runs with artificial grass don’t get muddy or make a mess on rainy or snowy days. It’s easy to clean your dog’s restroom area and there’s no need to mow anymore. It also reduces the danger of ticks in your yard, which means your pets are less likely to be exposed to tick-borne diseases. More on this later.

The only thing to consider is installing in shade or a covered area to keep the heat down during the hot months. Another option is a quick spray down with water to cool the grass, which takes much less water than actually watering your lawn.

  • At-home sports. From putting greens to miniature versions of soccer fields, artificial grass is a great option to meet any need you have, as the artificial grass can be assembled at various lengths.

For Landscaping

  • Front yard. This is one of the most popular uses for artificial grass, as the front lawn is less commonly used for playing. It saves on water usage and cuts down on the time and money it takes to fertilize, mow, aerate, seed, and edge, and it will always look its best.
  • Artificial grass is often used either alone or along with paving stones for walking paths. Because of the durability of the manufactured grass, it makes for an ideal option for high-traffic areas that provide an attractive, long-lasting cover. Many homeowners use artificial grass on pathways and around swimming pools, gardens, and even outdoor living areas.
  • Another area that is ideal for artificial grass is hillsides. While it may not be an obvious choice to use artificial grass in this area, it makes lawn care much easier. Many homeowners want to cut back on the maintenance caused by having a hilly landscape. No more trudging up and down hills to mow or pull weeds. On top of these benefits, artificial grass helps control erosion.

Pros

  • Always looks nice. It doesn’t take constant attention to have a lawn that’s aesthetically pleasing. On top of looking nice, this also means that there’s no longer the need to worry about your lawn being susceptible to diseases.
  • Deters weeds and pests. During installation, a weed-proof foundation is laid so weeds will be unable to grow. Because the synthetic grass doesn’t have the natural foundation real grass has, pests don’t have the ecosystem they thrive in and will not call your artificial grass “home.”
  • No need for pesticides or fertilizer. Not only is this better for the environment by minimizing ground pollution and safer for everyone, but it is better for your pocketbook.
  • Less water. Water usage goes down significantly with even a small area of artificial grass. This is great for droughts and ensures you will never receive a fine during times of water restriction.
  • Less maintenance. Time is arguably the most valuable thing we have. If you enjoy having a well-manicured lawn, you know it takes a lot of time. Artificial grass is virtually maintenance-free, meaning you have a lot more free time on your hands.
  • Better life expectancy. Natural lawns can die and definitely need to be at least reseeded every couple of years. Artificial grass has a life expectancy of about 15 to 25 years.
  • Eliminate air pollution. If you have a gas-powered lawnmower and are not mowing your grass, you’re doing a big part to keep the air clean. A Swedish study found that an hour behind a lawn mower produces the same amount of oily pollution as a 100-mile car trip.

Cons

  • Up-front cost. Artificial grass will pay for itself in a few years, but it is initially an investment.
  • Needs to be installed properly. Synthetic grass can be installed on your own, but then it can have a shorter life span and issues might arise that require fixing or reinstalling. Professional installation is highly recommended.
  • Fear of health hazards.If poor quality materials are chosen, there is the potential for health risk involved, unlike with high-quality artificial grass.
  • Gets hotter than natural grass. Artificial grass does get hotter than natural grass but should not cause burns. Plus, a quick spray down with water can help cool it off to a more comfortable temperature without using much water.

There are many benefits to installing artificial grass in your yard, but it may not be right for every homeowner. If there are any questions you still have about artificial grass, our expert team here at Sportech would be happy to have a conversation with you.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.