The family and I just recently moved into our new home this past year. The home is great and the backyard is a decent size (for Vegas) and on the side there is a nice stretch of yard. When we moved in, there was natural grass installed and I was pretty happy with it at first. Then as time moved on I noticed more and more mud in the house. When I went to investigate why the amount of dirt and mud was increasing I looked to my security cameras.
It turns out our german shepherd was running back and forth along the side of the house and pulling up the grass every time she would change directions. It was at that point that I knew that I wanted to install artificial grass to alleviate the issue.
Having artificial grass at our last home I knew that it can get pretty hot, at least, hotter than natural grass, so I made sure to bug my artificial grass installer this time around to find out exactly how to keep it cool. Here is what he told me.
- Rinse With A Garden Hose
- Install A Sprinkler System
- Increase The Amount Of Shade
- Broom Your Turf
- Use Infill
As you can see I was given a pretty good amount of options from my installer, and I wanted to dive a little deeper, so I did my own digging into keeping artificial grass cool. Starting from perhaps the most obvious and ending with what I think are some really solid methods, here is what I found out.
Rinse With A Garden Hose
I know this one seems obvious, but it had to be said. One of the simplest ways to cool down artificial grass is to go over it with a garden house for a few minutes. Just a heads up, on a hot day, you may notice that the water from the hose is actually pretty warm. This is because the water that first comes out is the water that is leftover in the hose, which may have been exposed to the sun. Just wait for the water to work its way up from your water pipes.
My recommendation for this is to do it within an hour of use. The length of the cooling effect really depends on the type of products you are using. This includes your sub-base, type of grass, and any infill you may be using. However, you will still see benefits from soaking the grass in the morning. The evaporation that occurs throughout the day can make a few degrees difference!
Install A Sprinkler System
One of the benefits of artificial grass is that it’s fairly maintenance-free, but then I just said to water it prior to use to keep the temperature down, that kind of cancels out one of the main benefits. Another benefit-canceling idea for you is to use a sprinkler system for your artificial grass.
This is really a recommendation if you have really disliked the idea of manually watering your lawn, but may have a system in place from replacing natural grass. These systems many times have smartphone apps, where you could turn the sprinklers on for a few minutes, again, just before being used. This isn’t a bad idea for pets either because if they’re going in and out at all times during the day, it can be really annoying for you to run out for a hose down just for the doggo to go to the bathroom.
Increase The Amount Of Shade
Instead of lowering the temperature of your artificial grass, you could also block the suns rays from touching the grass as well. The would definitely help keep the grass cool, and makes the grass a little more usable as well because you don’t have to wait for the water from your hose to evaporate in order to use the grass without getting wet. There are a few methods to increase the amount of shade, and it really depends on how permanent you want this shaded area to be.
The most environmentally friendly solution to this would be to plant a tree in a patch of dirt adjacent to your artificial turf, we have our tree is a raised flower bed next to our grass. You could even plant a tree underneath your artificial grass to give your grass a more natural look.
Trees are a fantastic natural source of shade. Semi-grown or fully grown trees that are capable of providing adequate shade can be purchased at your local tree nursery and they often will plant your new trees for free or at a relatively low price. Just be sure to get a tree that fits well with your climate and soil type.
Canopy’s, Pergolas, and Gazebos would also be great as a more permanent solution, and these can make your backyard look really nice and swanky. These come in all sorts of sizes and have many other uses as well as providing a little shade.
If you want something a little less permanent, or do not have a place to plant a tree or install a gazebo, umbrellas are fantastic and are moveable, so you can reposition the umbrella to match the location of the sun, this makes sure your recreation area is always shaded.
Use A Broom Or Turf Rake
That’s right, sweep your turf. Artificial turf is basically a rug. Just like the carpet, you may have in your home, high traffic areas, or areas with furniture, will flatten over time and need some extra love. The reason why this helps with keeping temperatures down is that artificial turf really needs to breathe, the bottom of your artificial grass is porous and it keeps a little bit of airflow circulating through your artificial grass.
Using a thick-bristled broom, or a turf rake, you’re going to want to pull away from the direction of your artificial turf. This is going to pull the blades of grass up, which increases that breathability!
Tip: Using a broom or rake is also great to make sure your turf can drain properly, which helps mitigate flooding, pooling, and unwanted pet urine smells. Do this once a month for optimal drainage!
Speaking of upright artificial grass blades, and pet urine, using a good infill is a fantastic idea to keep your lawn cool. So, what is infill? Infill is a product that is placed between the blades of grass. If you’ve watched any NFL game where they play on artificial turf, you may have seen black pellets fly up into the air when the players slide across the ground. That is infill!
Infill has quite a few advantages. Primarily it is what’s used to keep the blades in an upright position so you don’t have to brush out your turf as much. Infill has the same advantages as using a broom or rake. It ensures the turf can properly breathe and drain. It also makes your turf a little bouncier, which makes it more enjoyable to use and keeps the aesthetics of your turf looking good because a flat turf is what gives it that fake look.
I did want to mention that they do make infill that is specifically engineered to keep artificial turf cool. Research shows that this infill is capable of keeping surface temperatures up to 50 degrees cooler than untreated turf. I didn’t use this infill personally, but, I can always add it later if I feel I need the extra cooling properties. Here is a cool YouTube video with a comparison between turf using TCool vs no infill.
I am definitely happy with our decision to install artificial turf, as I no longer have to deal with muddy couches, urine stains, or mowing the lawn. With a few of these recommendations, I am better equipped to deal with the sun’s rays, and my family, especially my doggos, are thankful that the grass isn’t quite as hot this year.
Can artificial grass melt?
Generally speaking, artificial grass has a melting point of about 175 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius). Temperatures of artificial grass varies greatly depending on factors including the type of turf, sub-base, and infill used. The melting of artificial grass is typically due to the reflection of window glare creating a “magnifying-glass” effect on the grass.
Is there an artificial grass that doesn’t get hot?
Artificial grass will always be hotter than natural grass because it is made of a combination of plastics, which does not defend against the heat as well. Using a lighter color grass reflects heat more efficiently which will allow the turf to stay cooler for longer.