“The grass is always greener on the other side.. of the fence”, but only when your neighbour has installed artificial turf. Well, if you want to be ‘the neighbours’ whose lawn looks spectacular, regardless of the season, fake turf is the way to go for a number of reasons including the fact that it is virtually maintenance free and when properly installed, it makes your outdoors picturesque. However, not all artificial turf is created equally, and it is important to choose the type that among other qualities, stays as cool as possible regardless of the heat in the environment.
How hot does artificial turf get?
It is important to understand that most types of artificial turf do get hot when exposed to direct extended sunlight. This is because as the sun heats the lawn, a lot of that heat will stay in the pile and is not absorbed into the soil below. The turf will therefore be warmer than natural grass when the temperature is hot. However, the heat in the grass is not retained, so when shadows appear it rapidly cools down and should rarely become as hot as surfaces such as asphalt or some concrete and tiles in similar circumstances. The correct types and levels of in-fill can also greatly reduce the amount of heat absorbed by the grass.
This issue does not necessarily mean that an artificial turf installation is a not a good option. Adversely, the truth of the matter is that natural grass is not drought friendly, it will eat up a lot of your water bill in the summer, there will be weeds and it is not fully tolerant to wet weather and wetness in general, all conditions to which artificial turf is well suited. Therefore, the fact that artificial grass does get a little hot is a bit of a trade-off, because of its many advantages.
There are a couple of tips for keeping your artificial grass cooler, even on those really hot days.
Grass colour: Choose a lighter grass colour and infill to reduce the amount of heat that will be absorbed into the lawn from the sun. Another step that you may take to keep the grass cool during the installation is avoiding the older rubber in-fill products as they do tend to absorb a lot of heat.
Providing shade for the grass: Another other step that you can take to make sure that the grass stays cool regardless of the season is planting shrubs or trees. Trees will take a while to grow to the height and volume where they can be of substantial help, however, shrubs will grow fast and provide patches that are cool, making some areas of the lawn easier on bear feet even in the hot afternoons. The added advantage of getting trees for the lawn is that your kids and pets will have a shaded outdoor space where they can play and relax outdoors during the day.
Shade sails: Another way that you can keep the lawn cool when the weather is hot is covering parts of the lawn that do not have shrubbery with shade sails. You can actually have the sails organized in a manner that they create shaded paths that one can follow to the pool and to the back of the house or other parts of the compound which you need to access throughout the day. This idea stems from child care centres, most of which have artificial grass playgrounds and most cover these grass areas with shade sails.
Retractable awnings: Comparable to shade sails are retractable awnings to shade the grass around your home. These are temporary with an option to only open them up when it is extremely hot and there is a need to use the grass in the heat of the day and retract later in the afternoon.
Other tips include wearing shoes if the heat is unbearable and a hose will always provide temporary relief!
Artificial turf that does not easily heat up
The technology involved in artificial grass construction has been evolving a lot over the years. Some of the most recent synthetic turf is created with heat block technology which reflects the sun and as a result moderates the amount of heat absorbed into the yarn, however this can add to the cost of your purchase.
If you are still planning your garden or your backyard makeover then be sure to include shady areas which will result in less exposure to the sun and lower temperatures.