Artificial Turf Frequently Asked Questions
Below are common questions asked of Synthetic Lawns of Florida regarding artificial turf, synthetic grass, environmental concerns, etc. Please review our synthetic grass facts and contact us today for more information.
1. Is our artificial lawns similar to indoor carpet?
Not at all. Our synthetic grass, synthetic lawns truly resembles the real thing. Our Thatched grass has two different types of fibers, a longer fiber that replicates blades of grass and a short, curly fiber that adds cushion and support to the longer fibers. Our infilled synthetic grass is actually combined with sand and recycled crumb rubber. The fibers are 1.5″ to 2.5″ long depending on the product. A unique blend of rubber crumb and sand is spread over the top of the synthetic grass. Both our Thatched Synthetic Grass and Infilled Artificial Grasses look and feel just like natural grass. Applications include fields, soccer fields, baseball fields, football fields and playgrounds all with our Synthetic Lawns.
2. Does the sun harm our artificial turf grass or cause it to fade?
No. Our fibers have a UV protection coating and can withstand the damaging affects of sun, heat, wind, snow and ice. We have synthetic putting greens that were installed in 1987 with no discernible signs of fading. Technically, the color will fade two Pantone® colors over a ten-year period, but it’s really not noticeable to the naked eye.
3. What is the life expectancy of our synthetic grass?
Our synthetic turf comes with a limited 8-15 year warranty, but with a little TLC, the actual life expectancy is 15-35 years (or more) depending on use.
4. What type of maintenance should I expect with our artificial grass?
An occasional (monthly) grooming and additional sand infill is recommended. This will help stand the fibers up. Debris like leaves and twigs can be easily removed with a leaf blower. Remember to not place the blower’s nozzle too close to the synthetic turf if you have one of our infilled grass products or the sand and rubber will be blown away along with the debris.
5. Can our artificial turf be installed over my existing lawn?
The existing sod must first be removed either by spraying a weed killer or be removed with a Sod-Cutter (available at a local rental store). Then the traditional aggregate material (a fine layer of crushed rock is laid down, smoothed over and compacted) before the artificial turf is installed. Another option is to have our Installers install a drainage grid system eliminating the aggregate material, ask us to explain the process.
6. How does our artificial lawn drain?
Drainage is very similar to natural grass. The artificial turf backing has many perforated holes (or a porous fabric backing) that allow water to drain vertically from our synthetic lawns into the ground below the artificial turf. Our synthetic grass drains 17 gallons per square foot per minutes, see this document to learn more about drainage.
7. Can pets harm our synthetic grass?
No. Many of our landscape synthetic grasses were designed with both residential and commercial dog runs in mind. Pet urine is not a problem as it absorbs into the ground or evaporates. Other messes clean up in the same manner as natural grass. You may also spray the soiled area with a hose then simply brush the turf back into place. We also recommend a commercial de-sanitizer / anti-microbial.
8. How does the cost of installing our artificial grass compare to installing a natural lawn?
To compare the costs of artificial grass and natural lawn, we will visit on site, review your project and provide a cost estimate for your approval, the installation is usually completed in seven work days.
9. Does synthetic grass get hot during peak daylight hours?
Yes, care should be used. Synthetic grass does get as hot as our beach sand so we recommend you use sandals in hot summer days when walking on the synthetic grass.
Beware of highly reflective windows on the south or west side of your home as these may act like a magnifying glass on your turf, and will get hot enough to melt it. A coating on the outside of the window will prevent this.
Turf does get hot in warmer parts of the country and in sunlight. This can easily be remedied by lightly spraying the turf with water (much less than watering grass) which will keep the turf cool for hours, and more so if you have infill.
Environmental & Industry Information from the STC
1. What is synthetic turf?
The latest generation of synthetic turf, synthetic lawns is a grass-like surface covering that replicates lush natural grass in appearance and function. When used on athletic fields, soccer field, baseball field, football field and daycare in general, it provides a consistent year-round, all-weather playing surface built to withstand extended use without downtime for recovery especially useful in a daycare. As a landscape cover, synthetic turf provides a low maintenance, weed-free ground cover that doesn’t need to be watered or fertilized.
2. How is synthetic turf made?
Most synthetic turf systems installed today include a drainage layer, a multi-layered backing system, and resilient “grass” blades that are infilled with a granular filler to resemble natural turf. “Infilled” means that the man-made grass blades are interspersed with a top soil created with sand and/or granulated recycled tire rubber or other infill materials that provide the necessary stability, uniformity, and resiliency. Each blade customarily stands above the infill material. The typical blade length and system characteristics are determined by the specific activity requirements. In some applications, the synthetic turf system includes a pad or elastic layer underneath the turf, often in combination with lower pile height and less infill.
3. Why has synthetic turf become so popular over the past few years?
Synthetic turf, synthetic grass is a smart solution for overused, unsafe playing fields and daycare centers or a shaded area where natural grass does not do as well as our synthetic grass products. A grass field simply cannot remain lush and resilient if it is used more than three to four days a week, or in the rain, or during the six months of the year when grass doesn’t grow – otherwise the surface will become an unsafe, rock-hard, dirt field. This fact, coupled with an escalating need for durable fields that accommodate multiple sports teams, increased maintenance costs, water conservation needs and climatic shifts, have prompted a rising number of schools and parks to turn to synthetic turf, synthetic lawns to balance their program needs. Today’s synthetic turf and synthetic lawns are designed to simulate the experience of practicing and playing on a grass-like surface year round.
Demand has grown to the point where more than 5,500 multi-use synthetic turf, synthetic lawns, sports fields, soccer field, football field, baseball field are now enjoyed in North American schools, colleges, parks and professional sports stadiums. About half of all NFL teams currently play their games on synthetic turf or Astro-turf, and it is approved for World Cup soccer matches.
4. Which sports can be played on synthetic turf?
Synthetic turf sports fields for football field, soccer field, field hockey, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and rugby has traditionally represented the greatest percentage of the synthetic turf, artificial lawns market. However, drought conditions and low water in many areas has prompted irrigation restrictions, which has dramatically increased the demand and regulation for synthetic grass in landscape and golf applications.
5. How is the new generation of synthetic turf different from that of the past?
Increasing demand for higher quality playing surfaces and intense competition for field accessibility has given rise to a new generation of synthetic turf, synthetic lawns systems that replicate the look and feel of lush, natural grass. While the first artificial turf, artificial grass systems used in the 1960’s and 1970’s were hard, significant advancements have been made during the past few decades. By the 1990’s, player comfort and performance became the top priority and the first synthetic grass, synthetic lawns, artificial lawns systems with sand and rubber infill were introduced. Today’s synthetic turf, artificial grass, synthetic lawns and synthetic grass are supported by many NFL franchises, UEFA, FIFA and other international sports federations, combines the playing characteristics, look and feel of natural turf, with the advantages of increased playability, safety, longer playing seasons and fewer canceled games.
6. Can synthetic turf be used outside of the playing fields?
Using synthetic grass, artificial grass, synthetic lawns for landscape and golf has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Thousands of homes, businesses, golf courses, municipalities, parks and tourist attractions like Disneyland and Steve Wynn’s Las Vegas resorts have turned to synthetic grass, artificial grass to provide a lush, attractive landscape solution that requires minimal resources and maintenance while saving millions of gallons of water each year. It is also a smart way to beautify public spaces such as highway medians and airport landing strips that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to maintain. Synthetic grass reduces city maintenance costs, freeing tax dollars for other purposes.
7. How does synthetic turf impact the environment?
West palm Beach and Ft Lauderdale Synthetic turf, Artificial grass and Synthetic Lawns have a measurable, positive impact on the environment. A typical grass sports field can use between 500,000 to a million gallons of water each year. Synthetic turf, Synthetic Lawns and Artificial Grass systems allows communities to conserve that water, which is particularly critical during times of drought. Annually, more than 2.2 billion gallons of water is saved in North American schools, parks and professional sports stadiums. At the same time, a typical lawn of 1800 square feet can require 56,000 gallons of water for maintenance each year. Synthetic grass, artificial grass and Synthetic lawns enables homeowners to conserve that water, which is particularly critical during times of drought. Tax credits and rebates are being offered to residential and corporate users by an increasing number of local governments in light of the tremendous impact on water conservation. Residential, business and sports field synthetic turf, Synthetic Lawns also eliminates the use of millions of pounds of potentially harmful pesticides and fertilizers each year while reducing emissions from gas lawnmowers. Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
8. Is synthetic turf safe?
Many studies have already validated synthetic turf’s safety, many of which can be found at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org. In the words of Davis Lee, Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry, “With all the objective evidence, there is little doubt that synthetic turf, Synthetic Lawns, Artificial Grass is safe. In many instances, it is a better environmental and health alternative to natural grass.” During the past decade, much independent, credible research about synthetic turf has been conducted worldwide, and is ongoing. In December 2009, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) scoping study of the health risks from inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact with synthetic turf and crumb rubber found a low level of concern. Several months earlier, the California EPA released a report dated July 2009 which indicated there is a negligible human health risk from inhaling the air above synthetic turf, Artificial Grass and Synthetic Lawns. In May 2009, independent tests conducted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Department of Health proved there were no significant health concerns at synthetic turf fields. In July 2008, a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff report approved the use of synthetic turf, Artificial Grass and Synthetic Lawns by children and people of all ages. For 40 years, under EPA oversight and OSHA-regulated manufacturing, not one person has ever reported ill effects related to any materials associated with synthetic turf in west palm beach, boca raton, ft lauderdale.
9. Should I be concerned about lead in my field?
Absolutely not. In April 2008, concerns about lead in synthetic turf, Artificial Grass and Synthetic Lawns arose when elevated levels were found in several New Jersey fields. However, those findings were factually inaccurate as the criteria for measuring lead levels in soil, which is very different than synthetic turf, were applied. The lead chromate used to promote colorfastness in synthetic turf, Artificial Grass and Synthetic Lawns is encapsulated to prevent it from being readily absorbed by the body or released into the environment. In over 40 years there has never been an instance of human illness or environmental damage caused by synthetic turf. On July 30, 2008, the issue was resolved when a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission staff report concluded that “young children are not at risk from exposure to lead in these fields.” Their full statement is accessible at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml08/08348.html.
Today, synthetic turf, Synthetic Lawns or artificial grass is made without lead as a pigment ingredient. This change in the pigment formulations was a voluntary and responsible response by the industry to the CPSC’s request to all industries that lead be removed from all products, if possible.
10. Is crumb rubber safe?
Crumb tire rubber is used in artificial lawn sports fiends and playgrounds only as mandated by Federal Safety Guidelines. There are alternative options we recommend on sports fiends, popular infill options for many synthetic turf and artificial grass fields which have been safely utilized since recently being introduced, and in playground and tracks as well.
The best source for further information and current data is the Synthetic Turf Council.
11.What impact does heat have on my synthetic turf field?
During the summer months in hot climates, some synthetic turf, artificial grass and synthetic lawns fields have reported surface temperatures significantly hotter than the surface temperature of a natural turf field. While some field managers might opt to water their fields, many industry professionals advocate misting the athletes and keeping them properly hydrated. A misting station normally needs only five gallons of water per hour based on full use. On a typical day, when the heat is at its peak for four to six hours, that equals 20 to 30 gallons of water. Many coaches will schedule practices and games for the cooler times of day, and limit the number and duration of practices.
12. Does synthetic turf impact the spread of MRSA/staph?
MRSA and other staph infections strike due to inadequate hygiene practices, regardless of synthetic turf or natural grass usage. That’s because it is spread by people in close contact with each other, like athletic team members, healthcare providers and patients, children in day care centers, military recruits, firefighters, and many other groups. Recent studies are in agreement. A California EPA report dated July 2009 stated “it is unlikely that the new generation of artificial turf is itself a source of MRSA.”
A Penn State University study released in January 2009 found there was no difference in survival rates of staph on natural grass and synthetic turf, synthetic lawns and artificial grass surfaces. In addition, it stated that synthetic turf, synthetic lawns and artificial grass is not a hospitable environment for microbial activity such as staph. The issue goes beyond abrasions, since athletes can get cuts on any playing field – from the most well-manicured or dirt-compacted natural grass to state-of-the-art synthetic turf fields that are regularly irrigated and cleaned throughout the fields. We can also recommend the use of a commercial de-sanitizer or anti-microbial to ward off spreadable bacteria which in most cases will not harm the synthetic grass in any way.
13. How can I learn more about scientific studies that have been conducted on the health and environmental impact of synthetic turf?
Individuals need to weigh the facts themselves to determine if synthetic turf best meets their needs. Visit Research and Latest Thinking on our web site to view unfiltered international studies, links to industry resources and new position statements as materials are developed.
14. What impact does synthetic turf have on playing time?
Synthetic Turf, Synthetic Lawns and Artificial Grass playing fields exponentially increase playing and practice time because they can be used daily and in all types of weather, without worry of damage. Playability is enhanced since the fields remain uniform and consistent, season after season. They can also be used within hours of installation. In addition, while turf grass managers recommend against using a natural field for more than 20 – 24 hours per week or 680 – 816 hours per year for a three-season window, synthetic turf can be utilized around 3,000 hours per year with no “rest” required.
15. How does synthetic turf compare to natural turf when it comes to player injury rates?
Because synthetic turf, artificial lawns or artificial grass is infilled with resilient materials that provide a level of impact attenuation that is difficult to sustain on worn down, over-used natural turf fields, its usage can enhance player safety and reduce the amount of injuries. Traction, rotation and slip resistance, surface abrasion and stability meet the rigorous requirements of the most respected sports leagues and federations. In fact, the NCAA published the results of a study among schools nationwide comparing injury rates between natural and synthetic turf and the injury rate during practice was 4.4% on natural turf, and 3.5% on synthetic turf, artificial grass and synthetic lawns. During games, the injury rates were 11.5% and 11.4%, respectively.
More recently, FIFA’s Medical Assessment and Research Centre conducted a comprehensive study of the incidence of injuries sustained on grass and synthetic turf during two FIFA U-17 World Championships. FIFA reported, “The research showed that there was very little difference in the incidence, nature and causes of injuries observed during games played on artificial turf compared with those played on grass.
16. How long can a synthetic turf field be used?
With regular maintenance, synthetic turf, artificial grass and Synthetic Lawn fields usually last up to 35 years with proper maintenance, and are typically warranted for eight to fifteen years in areas such as Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, depending on the backing materials you choose.
17. How does the cost of a synthetic turf field compare to a natural turf field?
Purchasing a synthetic turf, artificial grass and synthetic lawn field may seem expensive initially, but the field pays for itself over time, proving to be a highly cost-effective investment. Synthetic turf fields are typically utilized for about 3,000 hours of play per year, with no “rest” required, the equivalent of three to four well-maintained natural turf fields. In addition, synthetic turf maintenance costs are two to three times less than natural turf, since no mowing, irrigation or chemicals are needed. Because of its consistent availability, a synthetic turf field is also a reliable source of rental revenue for schools and communities.
18. Are all synthetic turf products the same?
No, there are a variety of different types of synthetic turf products that range in feel as well as infill materials. You can find out more about these products at www.syntheticturfcouncil.org, which features a list of certified synthetic turf manufacturers and systems builders.
19. Can synthetic turf hold up under heavy use?
Yes, synthetic turf can hold up under very heavy use. While natural turf can’t be played on in pouring rain or during the months of dormancy, synthetic turf allows for more playing time and has a durability that outlasts that of natural turf. Regular maintenance is important to enable synthetic turf to withstand the heavy use that it is often subjected to.
20. Does synthetic turf fade?
Synthetic turf is U.V. stabilized to provide colorfastness and longevity.
21. How do I install synthetic turf?
Installation guidelines are available from turf manufacturers. However, it is recommended that the synthetic turf is installed by a team of professional contractors that you select with the help of a landscape architect and engineer or independent consultant.
22. What goes underneath the synthetic turf?
The turf must be laid on a suitable base, depending on its application. For sport usage, this may include a shock pad, while in landscape applications the turf can just be laid on a flat hard base. In children’s playgrounds and sporting fields, a shock pad is recommended to meet Critical Fall Height legislation. The laid turf can be ‘infilled’ with a combination of sand and/or granular rubber, or other available materials, to stabilize and create specific playing characteristics. It is important to consult a professional about this process.
23. Which type of synthetic turf do I need?
If you have determined that synthetic turf or artificial lawns is the way to go for your organization, determine the type of field needed based upon its desired usage. STC has prepared an information sheet online called Advice for Selecting Synthetic Turf to help you evaluate this decision and select the best provider for your needs.
24. Is maintenance of synthetic turf required?
While much less work is required than with a natural grass field or artificial lawns, synthetic turf needs to be maintained as well to maximize playability and life of the product. Minimal maintenance would include brushing the fiber up, clearing the area of leaves and litter on a weekly basis. Depending upon the type of surface and the amount of use, more vigorous work could be required, normally from specialists in maintenance, to remove contamination and de-compact the infill on a regular basis. Details on maintenance are available from manufacturers, field builders, and professional maintenance services companies.