The Benefits and Drawbacks of Artificial Turf

Artificial turf has become popular for home lawns, sports fields and golf courses due to its durability and low maintenance costs. However, it can raise concerns about human health and environmental damage. The traditional infill used with synthetic turf is crumb rubber made from recycled tires which poses health risks. The EPA has determined that the chemicals in these rubber particles can leach into water bodies and may affect fish, birds and other wildlife. The alternative infill for synthetic grass is sand, which does not pose any known health risks. However, the sand infill may cause some heat and odor issues during warmer weather, especially in direct sunlight.

Artificial grass does not need the watering that live grass needs, so it saves homeowners money on water bills. It also does not require the weeding or fertilizing that is often needed with a real lawn, which can add up quickly. Additionally, the lack of a living root system means that there is no need for pesticides or herbicides which can be toxic to humans and animals.

Synthetic turf also allows for the use of more water-efficient irrigation systems, which can further reduce a homeowner’s utility bill. It is important to note, however, that a homeowner will still need to maintain the soil beneath their yard in order for the turf to perform properly. This soil must be compacted and level, with a layer of sand, decomposed granite or gravel added before the artificial turf is laid down.

In addition to the cost savings, there are several other benefits of installing artificial turf at a home or business. For example, it is easier to install than natural grass and it looks just like the real thing in most cases. It is also great for kids and pets, since it does not attract insects, does not need to be mowed and can withstand a lot of wear and tear.

One major drawback of artificial turf is that it can be extremely hot to the touch during warm weather, which can cause burns if people are not careful. Spraying the surface with cool water or applying sand infill can help to mitigate this problem.

Although there are many benefits to using artificial turf, the newest generation of products have been designed with safety in mind. Specifically, newer materials are engineered to be more shock absorbent than the older styles of turf. This helps to minimize injuries during play, particularly head injuries. Research has found that high school football players suffer fewer and less severe head injuries on artificial turf than on natural grass. This is largely due to the fact that the ball bounces higher and travels faster on artificial turf than it does on natural grass. As a result, the line of sight for the quarterback and receiver is better on fake turf than on natural grass. In addition, the ball stays cooler on artificial turf than on natural grass, which can further decrease the incidence of injuries.