Orange County Area: Pros and cons of artificial grass
Artificial lawns can give your front or back yard an attractive year-round always green appearance without needing a lot of water or maintenance. There are many positives to having a living lawn, however if you are not interested in the time it takes to keep a living lawn than you may want to consider artificial grass.
Q. I have a few questions about artificial grass lawns. I’m considering putting one in. I love the clean look of a green lawn in front of my home, but I’m looking for ways to cut down on my water use as well which leads me to consider artificial grass as an option.
I’ve heard good and bad things about artificial grass lawns. From an environmental stand point, are they a good choice?
A.: There are both pros and cons to migrating to artificial turf, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons and decide. At the end of the day, you can talk yourself out of going with a synthetic grass lawn, or not. It’s up to what you really want, there are always going to be opinions for either or so be prepared.
On the positive side, synthetic lawns look really nice and clean, sharp might be a better word as the hedges are always inline. You don’t have to water them and because they don’t grow, you don’t have to mow them, which means you aren’t adding to both the air and noise pollution that often comes with standard lawn maintenance equipment.
Hold on there. That doesn’t really mean that they are maintenance free as many would have you believe. You need to work to keep them clean, usually by simply hosing them down, yes water. They absorb heat more than live grass, so they become quite hot during the summer time and can raise the temperature outside your home. If absolutely necessary, to cool them off, you’ll again need to use the hose.
It also depends on the manufacturer, but some artificial lawns are made with toxic chemicals like lead, which can run off into storm drains during raining season or when you’re hosing them down. Fortunately, at Always Green we use only the best artificial grass available and it comes certified free from dangerous chemicals. Also, the manufacturing processes have changed over the years so the risk is muck lower than it once was. People who are endorsing faux lawns point out that a lot of people are using poisonous weed killers and fertilizers on their natural grass lawns that raise just as many health concerns, if not more, than fake lawns do.
An advantage to having a real grass lawn is that it’s a living plant that takes in carbon dioxide and releases oxygen great for the environment while lowering your carbon foot print.
Once a concern about the artificial lawns is that they don’t last forever, and when they are torn out, they end up in the landfill where they degrade very slowly. THIS IS MOSTLY A MYTH as there are many artificial grass recyclers around in Orange County and throughout California. Faux lawns are not wildlife friendly as they provide no habitat for microbial life in the soil and no home for earth worms, which are a food source for birds and other creatures, not so much in busy urban areas. There are many other ways, however, to compensate by providing rich habitats located in other areas on your property.
They’re also concerns that the rubber “crumb,” filler used to give the illusion of soil and a more life like, realistic appearance and feel, is made from recycled rubber tires, which include a lot of harmful chemicals. Always Green does not use this type of infill and sticks to using only the best grade of artificial grass products. Some cancer diagnoses among soccer players set off alarm bells and spurred an investigation by the EPA and the Centers for Disease Control to see if there was a link between the condition and artificial turf, but the study of coarse came back inconclusive.
Then there is the root of the matter, the matter of cost. While you usually purchase sod for less than $1 a square foot, synthetic turf can run anywhere from $5 to $20 per square foot. BUT, The higher quality/priced lawns that are in use by Always Green can last up to 20 years and come with a 15-year warranty. Longest warranty in the business.
Concerned about wildfires? Worried about protecting your home? it’s good to know that artificial lawns are not a fire hazard nor do they increase the risk of fire reaching your home. They are, however, plastic and will melt at high temperatures, which could help to slow down the flames.
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