Before people install synthetic turf they typically have a great deal of questions they need answered. This article covers the most frequently asked questions about residential synthetic turf installations and answers those questions in detail.
Perhaps the number one question people ask is how long turf lasts. There are a number of different manufacturers of artificial turf and each have varying warranty lengths. Modern synthetic turf can last 20 years without having to replace it. However, how you maintain your turf can have a major impact on its real lifespan. We recommend at minimum monthly maintenance including, but not limited to, inspecting seams and edges for lifting, using an air blower to remove debris, washing the turf down with a hose and using a non-abrasive, non-toxic cleanser.
Another major question asked by consumers is how well turf drains. Synthetic turf is made of plastic and plastic is not permeable to water. Many people think that when it rains, synthetic lawns can turn in to a flooded disaster. We recommend using turf that has drain holes about the with of a sharpie pen every 3 inches to insure proper drainage. We also prefer a turf backing that is not made of a felt-like material, especially if your turf will be exposed to a lot of water for fear of molding. If you properly excavate the area below the turf at least 3″ to 4″ and use class II road base or decomposed granite as a substrate along with turf with drain holes your synthetic lawn should drain perfectly. Do not use an impermeable weed barrier if you want your turf to drain well. Solid plastic sheeting will inhibit drainage.
How pets affect turf is another important question. There are a wide variety of products available to keep the odor of pet urine and feces down. Ask your synthetic turf installer if they carry a product referred to as ATD (artificial turf deodorizer). ATD acts like baking soda in your refrigerator: it captures smell. However, like baking soda, it must be replaced occasionally. There are products at major pet supply stores like Nature’s Miracle, that you can add to a fertilizer bottle, attach to a garden hose and spray over the lawn. One thing you definitely don’t want to do is install weed barrier underneath synthetic turf if you have large animals. Semipermeable or permeable weed barrier is made of a cloth-like material that retains the smell of urine.
The last main question people ask regards the cost of synthetic turf. There are hundreds of varieties of synthetic turf available. for residential applications, not including putting greens, turf alone can cost anywhere between $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot just for the turf alone. Labor and other materials like infill, sod staples, galvanized nails, gopher wire (if required), weed barrier and road base or decomposed granite add to the cost of synthetic turf installations. You can reduce the cost by doing the labor yourself, however, many installers offer an installation warrantee that can help you repair install problems in the future for no cost at all. Our recommendation is to get multiple estimates before you make a final decision, inspect the quality of the turf first and get detailed instructions from your sales representative regarding their company’s installation procedure.