Pros & Cons of Turf
Artificial Grass vs. Real Grass
Why Turf? It's a change in Lifestyle
Would you rather be breaking your back & polluting the air, mowing your lawn every weekend, after a full week of work? Or would you rather have a green & perfectly manicured lawn and spending time doing the things you enjoy? Who remembers the term YOLO (You Only Live Once)? Stop wasting precious hours on your weekends, and spend it with your loved ones. Whether that be your wife, your kids, your buddies, or your beer & TV remote.
If you hate yard work or live in a climate that has you watering a dry lawn all summer long, you may be considering switching to artificial grass. While artificial grass does have its advantages, including less maintenance, it also has a few drawbacks. Real grass and artificial turf both have positive and negative attributes you need to be aware of before making a decision.
At a minimum, grass lawns need to be mowed during the summer months and raked to remove fallen leaves in the fall. However, maintaining a healthy and attractive lawn often requires more than the just this minimum care. A lush lawn typically requires periodic fertilization as well as irrigation during dry weather. Some form of insecticide may also be required if grubs, fleas or other insect pests make themselves comfortable in your lawn. Artificial lawns are much easier to care for than real grass. Artificial grass lawns requires no mowing, fertilizing or irrigation and does not attract insect pests. Turf that gets dirty can simply be hosed off. Artificial grass may also make the inside of your home a bit easier to care for, with no dirt or mud tracked in by you, your kids, & pets. Artificial grass does still need to have the leaves raked off of it, however, and may need raking or sweeping with a broom (or a leaf blower) periodically to lift any flat spots where the plastic blades have become matted or tangled.
Artificial turf installation costs more than traditional sod. Synthetic turf requires that the old yard be dug up, a layer of base be placed and leveled, and the artificial turf laid on top of it all. When comparing the prices, it is important to remember that real grass also requires ongoing maintenance expenses for mowing, insect control and irrigation, while artificial turf does not incur these ongoing maintenance costs and lasts 15 to 25 years. Artificial Grass Lawns usually pay itself off in about 3-5 years, after that, you're actually saving money.
Check out our turf vs sod cost calculator and see for yourself.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT -
It is difficult to declare a winner when attempting to determine which type of grass is more environmentally friendly. Real grass acts as a filter for water runoff, but artificial grass requires no fertilizers or insecticides, making its runoff cleaner. Synthetic grass absorbs heat, especially when temperatures reach 90 degrees and above, while natural grass has a cooling effect. On the other hand, the mowers and automatic trimmers used to control real grass create emissions that contribute to air pollution and add to noise pollution.
What's fantastic is that turf manufacturers are constantly coming up with new technologies to eliminate the cons of turf like cooling technology, and superior drainage - more below.
THE PROS OF ARTIFICIAL GRASS
1. GAS CONSUMPTION – Each weekend, roughly 54 million Americans mow their lawns! This results in the use of over 800 million gallons of gas per year.
2. GAS SPILLED – According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 17 million gallons of gasoline are spilled all across America filling up lawn care equipment!
3. AIR POLLUTION – Lawn care engines, which have had unregulated emissions until very recently, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, producing 5% of the nation’s air pollution and 10% or more in metropolitan areas. The EPA also states: a single traditional gas powered lawn mower produces as much air pollution as 43 new cars each being driven 12,000 miles. That works out to be the equivalent of an additional 2,322 million pollution producing automobiles on the road every weekend.
4. GRASS CLIPPINGS CREATE METHANE GAS – Grass clippings contribute to global warming by creating methane gas. Here’s how: in a densely packed covered landfill, grass clippings don’t have access to the elements, especially oxygen, that help them break down. With the absence of air, sun and rain, grass clippings decompose and create methane, a potent greenhouse gas 21 times more effective at trapping radiant heat than carbon dioxide. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the number-one source of human-caused methane emissions to the atmosphere is buried waste. In fact, landfills contribute 10% of the gases that are warming the globe. This is the reason that over half of the landfills across America do not accept grass clippings.
5. PESTICIDES – Everyone knows that pesticides are bad for the environment. An estimated 70 million pounds of pesticides are applied to lawns in the U.S.A. every year – ten times more per acre than are applied to agricultural crops.
6. FERTILIZERS – Keeping the grass green is anything but ‘green’. 40%-60% of the nitrogen fertilizer applied to sod lawns end up in surface and groundwater, contaminating and compromising the ecological health of our rivers, lakes, ponds and coastal waters.
7. WATER USAGE – Did you know that landscaping accounts for almost 70% of the water Californians use at their homes? In fact, a small lawn of only 1,000 square feet uses an average of 55,000 gallons of water each year.
8. LABOR – US citizens will spend three billions hours working on their taxes, whether they like it or not. Coincidentally, that is roughly the same amount of time they will be voluntarily spending maintaining their lawns! The hidden cost to the environment is the impact that the lawn care industry has on the environment: trips to the store, trucks on the road delivering goods, gardeners on the road servicing homes, factories mass producing lawn care products, super-freighters carrying imports, the list is long.
9. HEALTH CARE – Sod grass contains microorganisms, pesticides, and herbicides which can harm pets and kids. Many people are allergic to grass as well. There are no such issues with artificial grass.
Misconceptions of Artificial Grass
1. Turf causes cancer - Some companies out there use recycled rubber as their infill for installations. WE DO NOT! Not because there were any actual studies to prove that rubber in turf actually has caused cancer, but if there's even that slightest chance, we are not taking it.
2. Turf is like concrete - Some claim that rain water does not penetrate turf and runs off into the
storm drains which contribute to climate change. Our turf has a rainfall capacity of up to 75 gallons
per hour per square yard! You won't have a problem with flooding and runoff from our turf, and most turfs out there, for that matter.
3. Turf contains lead - You can quote us when we say that our turf products carry zero lead and other heavy metals. Our manufacturers have run the tests and have provided us the data to prove it. Some turfs manufactured overseas do contain high levels of lead, so just be sure to do your homework. We carry
Over 10 different reputable brands of turf
other installation companies carry one. And we just don't pick our brands out
of a hat, we've carefully selected the safest and strongest ones out there on the market. Giving you the most options that fit your desired lifestyle.
Just the Facts Ma'am
1. Concerned about Turf getting Hot?
We here at Elite offer two different turf cooling products that can
lower surfact temperatures by up to 60 degrees! We've got you, your kids, and your pets covered.
cool turf technology
2. Enhances Curb Appeal.
Artificial grass enhances curb appeal and improves the appearance of the home. Artificial lawns remain constant in color, texture and height. The materials do not fade or discolor. Prospective buyers can view your home and lawn from the street and get an accurate view of what the property will look like at all times, no matter what season of the year. Your HOA will Never come knocking on your door with a citation to fix your lawn.
3. Will my Dog ruin my turf?
How do our dog run grass lawns hold up to a digging dog? Our dog runs are super tough! Dogs rarely dig into our artificial pet grass and it's almost impossible for them, even the largest of dogs, to dig through the turf.
read more about our pet turf
4. Turf is Expensive!
Yes, the initial investment for synthetic grass carries a high price tag, but over the long haul, it will cost you much less. By replacing your sod lawn with fake grass, you'll easily be saving thousands of dollars per year on watering and maintenance. If paying all of that upfront gives you pause, Elite offers
Same-as-Cash, 0% Interest Financing
, as well as, many other types of financing.
Still need convincing? Check out
Sales & Promotions page
and see how Elite can help save you money now and down the line. Most customers see a return on investment within 2-5 years.