Artificial grass, artificial turf, synthetic turf or fake grass, is a very convenient investment for your property, and if you maintain it properly, you'll get the most out of it. On our blog you will find all kind of relevant information and tips to maintain your artificial grass and keep it looking great for longer. We publish articles answering our client's frequent questions. Feel free to reach out to us if the answer to your question is not posted here. Articles are updated weekly and the pictures are from real installations done by Desert Turf.
Artificial grass installation for homes
Artificial grass installation for homes requires a process that takes many steps and materials. Oftentimes our clients approach us asking us about the process we use to do the artificial grass installation in their homes. The quick answer is that there are many materials and many ways of doing the installation. The one that is convenient for each client will vary from case to case.
Let’s start with the basics, the standard artificial grass or artificial turf installation. This is the type of artificial grass installation that we do most of the times. At Desert Turf we offer this installation as part of our starting cost for artificial grass. For the basic installation, we begin by removing all of the existing roots. This will take away at least two inches of dirt together with the roots. Keep in mind that we will only do the removal of dirt and roots where is needed, as some areas are already deep enough in comparison to the adjacent soil or concrete level.
After we remove the dirt and roots, we spread the road base all over the area. The road base is a composite of crushed concrete, cement and stones that gives a solid base to the installation. The basic installation includes two inches of road base. Next, we water the road base and start doing the compaction. For this part of the installation process we use a vibra-plate compactor to achieve maximum efficiency. In certain cases, we may need to do the compaction process twice, but this will depend on how deep the area is.
Then comes the weed barrier. The weed barrier is a thin cloth that prevents weed from coming out through the drainage wholes that are present in the artificial turf. We expand the weed barrier all over the installation area and attach it with staples. The staples are not visible, and will keep the weed barrier in place underneath the artificial grass.
After all this process comes the artificial grass. We lay the artificial grass over the area, and carefully cut it to the shape the client wishes to have. We stretch it and tight it up before we start putting nails to permanently fix it to the soil. We use six inches long steel nails. These nails once rusted become part of the soil, providing a long lasting installation.
Last, we brush the artificial grass. The idea behind brushing the artificial grass is to keep it straight up. To this end we also add silica sand or any infill the client may choose. This process is very important so the artificial turf stays upright longer.
This is the process of our basic artificial grass installation. There are many other ways of doing the installation and many more materials that we can use to satisfy our clients needs. For example, if you have dogs or another kind of pets, or if you have gophers, the installation process will vary in your case. We will be sharing those processes and material in future articles.
At Desert Turf we frequently hear our clients asking whether their artificial grass will be getting too hot, especially in summer days. We consider it important for our clients to be informed about the actual facts and situations that can make their turf get warm.
As many other manufactured materials, Desert Turf gets warmer when directly exposed to sunlight. However, this will not prevent you from enjoying time outside in your yard. There are many steps you can take to beat the heat!
When the temperature is so hot that it is uncomfortable being outside, that’s when probably your artificial grass will get the warmest. At this point, you will likely not be outside yourself neither allow your children to roll around the yard.
It is important to understand that in comparison to natural grass, artificial grass does not have water within it that would help it to keep cool in a natural way. Also know that, it is very unlikely for our artificial grass to burn your hands or feet. This is because the material that we use is polypropylene, which is a phase change material that performs well when it comes to thermal management.
This phase change material has the ability to absorb the heat, up to a certain level, without raising the temperature. So, when exposing the artificial grass directly to sunlight, it will get warm but not likely to a dangerous point.
Here are the steps you can take that will help your artificial grass stay cool or not getting warm at all.
Getting a shade for your artificial grass
As one of the many ways for you to prevent your artificial grass from warming up, getting a garden or outdoor shade, comes as a cost-effective solution.
Independent studies show that although artificial grass warms up, it also has the ability of cooling down very fast after it is under a shade. Having a shade permanently open on your artificial grass will prevent the yarns from warming up.
Watering your artificial grass
Another step you can take to keep your artificial grass cool is applying water on it by hosing it off. Generally, applying water with a hose will bring the temperature of the grass down rapidly.
Independent studies show that applying a minimal amount of water to the artificial grass when is hot, will cool it down immediately.
In conclusion, though your artificial grass will get hot in sunny summer days, you can help it to stay cool by taking simple steps as the ones mentioned above.
As anything that is permanently under the sun, artificial grass can become warm when in direct sunlight, mainly on high-temperature days.
This may lead you to be concerned about your artificial grass being burned or melted by the sun.
Actually, you got nothing to worry about in this regard. Desert Turf is designed to endure hot temperatures. So, merely the sunlight – as hot as it is- will likely not burn your artificial grass.
However, depending on the areas surrounding your artificial grass installation, there is a possibility that sun magnification or strong reflections from adjacent windows and sliding glass doors could damage your artificial grass.
Generally, any double-pane window or door has the potential to cause a magnifying effect. This is because of energy-efficient windows and doors are made from low emissivity glass. This is usually called low-E glass.
In the glazing surface of these kinds of double-pane glass windows and doors, there is a metallic oxide or metal layer. This layer controls the heat transfer, and makes the glass to be energy-efficient.
Low-E glass helps in preventing the heat from entering your home during hot days in summer. At the same time, low-E glass prevents the heat from leaving the house in cold days in winter.
To make this possible, low-E glass reflects sunlight, and this may result in a constant and intense heat on your artificial grass. The effect is similar to the one as if we were using a magnifying glass.
These types of intense reflections can melt plastic trashcans, plastic pieces on vehicles, and vinyl siding. With the artificial grass, the effect that this sunlight magnifying has may vary on the intensity of the light reflected on the grass.
As a consequence of the light reflection, the artificial grass may change to a lighter color than the rest of the area. Also, if the reflection is too intense, the artificial grass may curl as if it had been burned. Keep in mind that this would happen only in the area where the artificial grass is experiencing reflection; the rest of the areas should not be affected.
The magnified sunlight may come from your own window or door, or those of a neighbor. Any type of sunlight reflection can burn your artificial turf if left unchecked. The fastest and easiest way to prevent your artificial grass from burning by window magnification is to find ways to block the window glare. There are many ways to do this.
If the windows reflecting light on your artificial grass are in your home, you can install a protective film. This is a window protective film that comes in transparent or tinted color, and it is one of the easiest ways to prevent window magnification.
Moreover, installing awnings, shutters, or shades to minimize reflections are also cost-effective ways to prevent the magnification.
In case the sunlight reflection comes from a neighbor’s window, you may want to consider putting some plants, planting trees or bushes that will block the focused window reflections.
If your artificial grass becomes burnt or melted from window magnification, there is still a solution. You can call our office at Desert turf, and we will replace the burnt area with the same type of artificial grass.
Most importantly, if you know of windows or glass doors that could potentially damage your artificial grass through sunlight reflection, you should take measures as soon as the installation is done. There is always a solution for this problem; however, preventing it will save you time and money.
The key to keep your synthetic grass looking its best is doing regular cleanings.
The frequency of the cleaning varies with the type of activities you do on the synthetic grass. For example, having pets playing or passing by the area where there is synthetic grass, using the synthetic grass area as kids’ playground or getting lots of dust and tree debris may require a weekly cleaning. Instead, if your synthetic grass is used solely for landscaping, a monthly cleaning may be enough.
These different factors may help you figure when and how often you want to perform a cleaning.
Artificial grass weekly cleaning
If you decide to perform a weekly cleaning of your grass, you may want to rinse the grass fibers with a hose, this will remove any accumulated dust, debris or wastes. If after you clean your grass, you find there are odors in the area, you can use a turf deodorizer.
Artificial grass monthly cleaning
The monthly cleaning may need to be more thorough. We recommend starting by using a flexible lawn rake, a broom with stiff bristles or a stiff brush –make sure it’s not one with steel bristles-. Grooming your grass will help remove any debris or wastes. You may want to rinse it with a hose afterwards. This is to make sure that no dust or any other debris remains on the synthetic grass surface. You can use a turf deodorizer if odors are present in the area.
Artificial grass or synthetic turf requires little to no maintenance in contrast to natural grass. Some of the advantages of having synthetic grass are no mowing the lawn anymore, no more fertilizers or watering the grass.
We receive calls from our clients about their interest in learning how to maintain and extend the durability of their synthetic turf. So for them and for anybody eager to keep their turf looking great and last longer, here is the basic information about synthetic turf maintenance.
Desert Turf is ideal for pets, however additional little maintenance may be required for the safety of your pet and to keep your grass looking great. When you want to remove solid droppings just use the same method you use in any other surface -such as a plastic bag- then hose down the area to make sure it all goes away.
Sometimes pets find a preferred spot to release themselves, this makes it easier for you to clean just that area. A weekly cleaning is recommended when you have pets, specially to remove any hidden droppings and urine. It is ok if you decide to hose down your synthetic grass more frequently. It is recommended that you use a turf deodorizer to keep your turf free from odors.
Also, though not really necessary, you may want to know that some pets can be trained to use a separate spot for their droppings. If this is your case you may want to consider creating a separate space for their droppings such as a space with dirt or gravel patch. This way you may not need to clean your grass that often.
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