By Kwik Turf – www.kwikturf.co.za
Artificial grass, as an option in your outdoor (or indoor) space, has risen hugely in popularity. Driven by the recent drought and busier lifestyles, home owners want to keep their spaces looking good and functional all year around with less maintenance. While nothing really beats a soft, beautifully lush green lawn underfoot, artificial turf makes a great alternative to paving or sandy patches and can be a worthwhile investment. There are three things you can do to help ensure that the money you spend on your artificial lawn will pay off.
The first is to choose the right turf for your specific needs. While artificial turf is essentially all manufactured in the same way using a tufting method similar to how carpets are manufactured, the materials used can be very different resulting in many different types or ranging quality. The top of the turf is made up of yarns or fibres. These come in different shapes, lengths (called pile height), density, and tones, and all affect the look, feel and durability of the turf. Equally important is the bottom, or backing, of the turf. It is made up of either woven or non-woven material through which the yarns are tufted. It is then coated with latex or polyurethane to ensure the yarns do not pull out. Do your research online to ensure that you are getting the best possible turf for your money.
The next step is the installation process. As with most things, the foundation you build is essential in determining your satisfaction with the end result. A strong solid sub-base will need to be built to ensure that your lawn does not sag and dip over time. Good drainage through the sub-base is critical, especially if you have pets that will use the lawn, and a good installer will also consider water run off to prevent flooding or water accumulation during heavier rains. A solid frame needs to be built around the perimeter onto which the turf can be glued. Try to hire a knowledgeable and experienced installer who will not cut corners.
Finally, the way in which you care for, maintain, and use your lawn will affect how long it looks good. Artificial turf is LOW maintenance not NO maintenance and monthly brushing, cleaning, and inspection of the turf will keep it in top shape and help you spot any potential issues! If you have pets who use the lawn you will need to be especially diligent with keeping it clear of pet messes and a good enzymatic or ionic cleaner is a must for keeping on top of those smelly pet odours.
Guarantees and warrantees are all important but only in as much as the companies are able to honour them. A lifetime guarantee on any turf or installation sounds amazing but is not very practical. Most artificial lawns will realistically last for seven to ten years but with the right product, installation, and maintenance, you can most definitely extend the life of your investment.