Municipalities, schools and homeowners are looking into the benefits of installing artificial turf for playgrounds and other types of recreational areas. It is ideal for areas that are prone to drought conditions and, once installed, can remain in place for several years. In addition to minimal maintenance, most brands of artificial turf are extremely durable and show very little wear and tear no matter how much foot traffic the playground receives.
No Bare Spots
One of the biggest problems with playgrounds that have a dirt surface is that paths are easily worn into the grass. Both grass and dirt wear away quickly under swings, at the base of the steps and at the bottom of the slide. Anywhere that children will run, connecting one place to another, will eventually show an excessive amount of wear and tear. When artificial turf is installed, no wear and tear will be present. Pathways won't appear and the grass will not wear away.
No Dips and Valleys
With natural grass, once a bare spot has been created, the bare earth quickly begins to erode away leaving deep grooves and valleys that can pose a tripping hazard. The longer the bare spots are left in place, the more pronounced and deeper they can become. As the dirt begins to disappear under swings and slides, it can make it harder for children to be able to play on them without falling and hurting themselves. If enough dirt is removed, the distance between the equipment and the ground may make it difficult for them to even get on.
No Harsh Chemicals
Because of the high levels of traffic, fertilizers may need to be added to the grass used on the playground. Weed killers may also be needed to eliminate weeds and prevent them from growing close to the playground equipment. With artificial turf, no harsh chemicals are needed. The only real maintenance that is required on a regular basis is to gently rake the turf to make sure the infill doesn't become too compacted.
While artificial turf may seem more expensive at first, its cost divided up over the years you plan to have it in place will make it a wise choice. When you consider the amount of money that will no longer be needed to maintain the natural grass, the price of the turf is even more appealing. No more time will have to be spent mowing, raking or trimming the lawn. There will be no financial investment in new lawn equipment or money needed to keep up existing lawnmowers and trimmers.
Safety is also a factor. When natural grass gets wet, it becomes slippery and may result in a slip and fall accident. Artificial turf is made from polyethylene and nylon fibers allowing it to have some give and a small amount of cushion that will protect children if they fall or land on the grass. In addition to these added benefits, artificial turf does not harbor bacteria like n natural grass lawn. Because there is nothing organic for the bacteria to thrive on, there is much less likely hood that bacteria will grow and spread in an artificial turf playground.
Artificial turf offers many benefits over and above what are commonly known. While the most common benefit people consider first is the price and lack of necessary maintenance, many people don't realize the value of stopping the erosion of the soil and keeping the children safe from unnecessary harm. The benefits for the environment are also substantial, especially when you consider the lack of harsh chemical fertilizers and weedkillers that are needed to help maintain the property. Add in water conservation and you have a win/win situation on almost every aspect of the argument.