Aug. 26 2019 05:55 PM

Houston-based National Greens provides a list of 20 misconceptions artificial turf companies can share with potential customers.

Today’s clients with their hectic schedules want landscaping that not only looks great but can be easily maintained. One product that many homeowners have not thought of installing is artificial grass. Many clients are unaware of the benefits of artificial grass that include no chemicals, no bugs, no maintenance, and no watering.

Not only is synthetic grass convenient and easy to maintain it is environmentally friendly, reducing pesticides and fertilizers as well as the need to use valuable water supplies. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about artificial grass that potential clients may have heard, so it is crucial to help educate them and dispel any rumors or untruths they may have regarding artificial grass. Here are 20 common misconceptions about artificial grass to help you inform clients about:

1. Too expensive

While the initial investment and installation of artificial grass are more expensive than have sod installed, the maintenance and upkeep are significantly lower. Natural grass needs to be watered, mowed, fertilized and treated for insects. Also, natural grass can become damaged through pet wastes or children playing so clients may have to have the sod replaced. Artificial grass, once it is installed, requires little to no maintenance and can last for 20 years or longer.

2. Bad for the environment

Unbelievably, many clients may think that artificial grass is bad for the environment; this could not be farther from the truth. Artificial grass is created using environmentally friendly materials, including recycled materials thus reducing the amount of material accumulating in landfills. Also, the average natural grass yard wastes as much as 400 gallons of water a day, and the pollution from gas-powered mowers can damage the environment.

3. Contains pests and germs

Clients may be concerned that artificial grass will become an incubator for germs and pests, while this, unfortunately, may have been true with older types of synthetic grass that used sand as a fill the artificial grass manufactured today has come a long way and does not have the same issues with germs and pests. Artificial grass that is produced today does not contain any soil, so there is no reason for insects or other pests to be attracted to the synthetic turf and the only germs that may be present on artificial turf come from homeowners not correctly disposing of their pet’s urine and feces. If homeowners properly clean up after pets’ artificial grass will be free from pests and germs that may be present in natural grass.

4. Must remove current landscaping

Clients may be concerned that their current landscaping must be removed to install artificial grass. Thankfully this is false; homeowners can relax knowing that artificial grass is completely customizable and can be cut to fit around any existing landscaping. Instead of damaging current landscaping, artificial grass will enhance the beauty of existing landscaping while reducing the amount of maintenance and upkeep needed with natural grass.

5. Contains harmful chemicals

Some clients may be concerned that artificial grass contains harmful chemicals, and they do not want their children or pets exposed to these chemicals and may be hesitant to install artificial grass. Artificial grass that is manufactured must pass stringent safety requirements before it can be sold to the public and does not contain any chemicals that homeowners should be concerned with. In fact, natural grass which requires fertilizer and pesticides may harbor more harmful chemicals than homeowners realize, and artificial grass is a safer alternative.

6. Bad for pets

A common misconception is that artificial grass is bad for pets and will make cleaning up their waste difficult. Contrary to popular belief, artificial grass is beneficial for pets as it is free from bugs and pest like ticks and fleas that not only carry disease but cause extreme discomfort for your pets. Also, artificial grass is equipped with a draining system that will keep it clean and free from odor. Liquid waste flows down through the artificial grasses drainage system, and solid waste can be easily picked up and hosed off.

7. No drainage

A common misconception among clients is that artificial grass does not drain and if you live in an area with heavy rain, it can accumulate on the artificial grass and cause flooding or damage to the home or other structures. This is simply untrue; artificial grass is installed with a drainage system that is composed of multiple layers of material that allows the water to drain correctly.

8. Unsafe for children

One concern of clients that have children is the myth that artificial grass is unsafe for children. It is unclear how or why this myth started, but parents can relax, artificial grass is safe for their children to play on. In fact, artificial turf has many benefits that make it safer than natural grass including no bugs, no dirt, no pesticides or fertilizers, and a shock pad can be installed to help protect children from injury. Parents can sit back and relax, knowing that their children are safe while playing on artificial grass.

9. Impossible to install myself

While installing artificial grass is not an easy task and is best left to the professionals, homeowners can install themselves. Homeowners can purchase artificial grass and install it themselves, but it is incredibly labor-intensive.

10. Too much like carpet

Clients may be wary of installing artificial grass because they are afraid it will be too much like carpet. This is simply untrue, synthetic grass does not mimic carpet and in fact, is high-quality material that adds value to a property. Unlike carpet, artificial grass is specifically designed to allow water and other liquids to drain and in addition to proper drainage, the infill adds cushion to the artificial grass, making it pleasant to walk on.

11. Unhealthy

Many clients are under the impression that artificial grass is unhealthy and contains toxins or dangerous chemicals, and this is simply untrue. Artificial grass is specifically designed to be environmentally safe and is created using nontoxic and heavy-metal-free materials. In addition to using environmentally friendly materials, synthetic grass does not require the fertilizers and pesticides that are needed to keep natural grass growing properly and insect free.

12. Catches fire easily

For many client's safety is one of their most significant concerns and the myth that artificial grass catches fire easily may have them thinking twice about having it installed. This myth is not valid; artificial grass is manufactured using materials that will not catch fire. Artificial turf will melt at a high enough temperature so it is essential for homeowners to take care when using outdoor grills on artificial grass as hot coals or sparks that land on the artificial grass may damage it, but it will not set the entire area on fire. Natural grass is more likely to catch on fire, and it does not have to be dry to do so, artificial grass is made from nonflammable materials, making it the safer choice.

13. Can’t plant trees

Unfortunately, some clients may be under the impression that if they have artificial grass installed, they cannot have trees or other landscaping. Many homeowners who choose to install artificial grass also have other landscaping like trees and shrubs, when the artificial grass is installed the areas where trees or shrubs will be planted will be cut out and adequately dug to allow for these features to be planted.

14. Only used for sports

One of the most common misconceptions is that artificial grass is only used for sports, and this is fortunately untrue. While many professional sports teams use artificial grass for indoor arenas, the artificial turf designed for homeowners is customizable and will only resemble that of a sports arena if that is what the organization/business chooses. Artificial grass comes in many different styles, colors, materials, and pile height so homeowners can choose what best suits their needs.

15. Too Hot

Clients are often under the impression that artificial grass becomes too hot for humans or animals to walk on. While it is true that artificial grass does absorb more heat than natural grass, steps are taken in the installation process to keep the synthetic grass from becoming too hot. If the artificial grass is installed in an area that gets direct sunlight clients can choose a light color grass that will absorb less heat and a subsurface cooling system can be installed to keep the temperature of the artificial grass from becoming too hot.

16. Looks fake

Clients are often unsure about having artificial grass installed because they are afraid it will look cheap or fake. While old artificial grass may have looked bad, the artificial grass that is manufactured today is high quality that is specifically designed to mimic natural grass.

17. Difficult to maintain

Some clients may be under the impression that artificial grass requires extensive maintenance because they are only aware of artificial grass that is used on athletic fields that do require more maintenance. Artificial grass that is installed for residential use is relatively maintenance-free. Artificial grass is designed and installed with a drainage layer so the most common maintenance is to use a water hose to wash away any dirt or debris that may be on the artificial grass.

18. Lower property value

Many homeowners are wary of installing artificial grass because they think it will lower the value of their home and property. This is also untrue; artificial grass is becoming popular because it not only looks great, it is also environmentally friendly. Artificial grass does not need to be watered saving precious resources in areas where droughts are prevalent as well as eliminating chemicals and pesticides used to treat real grass making it an eco-friendly option that many clients are looking for.

9. Helps global warming

One of the oldest myths regarding artificial grass that your clients may have is that it aids in global warming. The basis for this myth comes from the misconception that artificial grass cannot "breathe" or soak up carbon dioxide as well as natural grass does. There is no scientific evidence to support that claim that artificial grass aids in global warming and in fact the emissions used by lawnmowers and edger's to properly maintain natural grass does contribute to greenhouse gases that are contributing to global warming.

20. It changes colors and texture

Clients may be afraid to have artificial grass installed because they are afraid it will fade and look bad, becoming a waste of money. Many artificial grass products are manufactured with UV inhibitors to reduce fading and comes with a 10-plus year warranty so if fading does occur, the artificial grass can be replaced, and the homeowner can rest assured that their monetary investment is safe.

Conclusion

With the abundance of myths and rumors circulating about artificial grass, it is essential to take the time to educate potential clients and answer any questions they may have regarding artificial grass. Prospective clients may have had bad experiences with artificial grass when it was first available to the public, so it is crucial to make sure they understand that the materials and manufacturing process has changed and must comply with strict safety standards to help reassure them that artificial grass is a safe and popular alternative to natural grass.

The author is marketing manager of National Greens, Houston, and can be reached at steve@nationalgreens.com.