Artificial grass can be a significant investment so it’s a great idea to workout how long it lasts and what makes the difference.
The type of artificial grass we use now is vastly different to what was available 5 years ago. Artificial turf seems to have improved in quality but the lifespan has not been tested and is mostly theoretical.
Manufacturers of artificial grass offer a range of opinions on how long it will last. They range from 8 years all the way to 20 years. With most saying we can expect between 10 and 15 years from an artificial lawn, depending on use.
A difference of 12 years in life span is very significant especially considering the large investment which properly installed artificial grass is. So how do we make sure we get the most for our money?
Factors which reduce the life span of artificial grass
All artificial grass is not equal. As with most products there are many different varieties which use different materials and processes. This all impacts the quality which in turn dictates part of the lifespan.
Equality right official grass depends on two things, the blade material and the backing material.
Artificial grass blades
Artificial grass blades or fibres are exposed to everything the outside world throws at them. what they’re made out of makes a big difference in how well they deal with the weather, wear and tear, waste and other things.
UV light is one of the main culprits in degrading artificial lawns. Most good quality artificial grass comes with built-in UV inhibitors which are supposed to protect against sun damage for 10 to 15 years.
When thinking about your artificial grass you need to balance durability with functionality.
Artificial turf is commonly made from 1 of 3 materials: Nylon, polypropylene or polyethylene.
Nylon is by far the strongest and most resistant to UV however it is less soft than the others and may look less natural.
Artificial grass backing and lifespan
Artificial grass is essentially a carpet. The fibres are woven into a base and held in place. how well they are woven and how they are held in place makes a big difference to how well the fibres will hold.
Cheap artificial grass will have poor single-layer backing which means that over time it will gradually come loose and the grass will lose its luscious thickness.
Quality artificial grass will be double layered on the back and will most likely mention it’s backing properties in the description.
Pro tip: It’s a good idea to notice what sellers don’t mention. If that part of the product was good it would be a selling point so if it’s not a selling point…. what does that make it?
How will the artificial grass be used?
After quality the next biggest factor for artificial grass lifespan is usage. As a man-made surface it does not regrow or heal itself so any damage done will be permanent. The main causes of artificial grass damage are:
- Wear from foot traffic
- Sharp objects penetrating the surface
- Heat (from bbq coals or fire)
- Pet waste
Next on the list is installation. The most common pitfalls with artificial grass installation are:
- Poor drainage
- Sinking spots from weak base
- Edges not held down properly
If you are installing artificial grass make sure you read through these points and take them into consideration or the wise he could end up with a loose or waterlogged fake lawn.
Make sure you choose the best type of artificial grass edging to support the sand base. Generally speaking, the harder the edge the better because it will keep the sand base compacted and contained.
It’s usually best to hire a professional artificial grass installer if you have any doubt about the installation process
Proper artificial grass maintenance
The final factor to make your fake grass last is maintenance. Many companies sell artificial grass as maintenance-free and it’s one of the main selling points. However it’s not strictly true, artificial grass does need proper care to make sure it lasts.
If artificial grass gets dirty it does need cleaning to avoid permanent damage. Any dog waste litter or or foliage which builds up will need to be removed. Spills may need to be cleaned up with soap and water or other cleaning solutions.
Anything that’s not cleaned up risks damaging the surface. If you do damage the artificial grass there are some ways which could restore it but these often don’t work well.
Manufacturers promise various lifespans however these are heavily dependent on factors that manufacturers can’t control such as usage maintenance and installation. It’s wise to think about how you would use the artificial grass and if this is likely to reduce the lifespan.
Treating the suggested lifespans as Ideal scenarios is best practice to avoid disappointment and make a sensible decision on whether or not to buy a fake lawn. See our artificial grass FAQs article for more information.
We hope you found this article useful. Please have a look at around our website for more helpful landscaping information and how-to articles.