Artificial turf is extremely durable and will hold up under a wide variety of circumstances. It can be damaged, however, when exposed to extreme heat, caustic chemicals, sharp objects and other elements that are known to cause damage to plastics and polyethylene materials. For a homeowner, installing artificial turf is a major investment. For the investment to hold value, it is important to protect it from the things that can damage it. While artificial turf is able to withstand high levels of foot traffic and the effects of ultraviolet rays, there are other things that can cause irreparable damage.
Exposure to Heat
One of the biggest hazards when dealing with artificial turf is setting a gas or charcoal grill directly on the surface. Installing the artificial turf too close to a built-in, brick or stone barbecue or fire pit. Hot embers can pop and crackle, sending them outside the confines of the grill or stone surround. If they land on the artificial grass, polyethylene materials used in the turf's construction can melt or start to burn. If the turf melts, it normally only damages the turf in the area where the ember lands. If it begins to burn, the damage can be widespread, causing the threads to melt in several directions.
Chemicals that are caustic in nature can also burn or “wilt” the blades of artificial grass. Many petroleum based products are caustic when exposed to plastics and certain types of polyester or polyethylene fibers. This means they can break down the materials' composition, causing to melt away or degrade almost completely.
Paint is another substance that can permanently damage artificial grass. Oil and acrylic based paints will soak deep into the bottom layers of the turf making it almost impossible to remove. Acrylic and water-based paints may be able to be rinsed away before they dry. Once they are allowed to set, however, they are almost impossible to remove. Pouring paint should be performed over cement. If you are painting a fence near the artificial turf, make sure to lay a drop cloth just as you would inside the home to protect the carpeting.
Oils, including those found in oil-based paints, can soak into the polyethylene fibers causing them to become discolored. Even if a strong soap is used, it will be extremely difficult to remove any oil-based substance from the artificial grass. Oils that are used in tiki torches are flammable and can pose a fire hazard if spilled onto artificial turf. If you are filling a torch or using an oil-based paint on a section of the home, always make sure to do the pouring a good distance away from the artificial grass.
Misusing Sharp Objects
Sharp objects like knives and garden tools can cut through the materials used in the construction of artificial grass. Making sure to put these types of tools away when they are no longer in use is the key to protecting your artificial turf from damage. Many times the turf is damaged when a sharp object is dropped. Always make sure to carry shop objects in such a way as to not drop them or poke them into the turf. This type of damage is difficult and costly to repair.
No matter how durable a material is, there will always be something that can damage it. If you have artificial turf installed in your back yard or as part of a recreational area, always be mindful about the substances and tools you are using. If it can damage the artificial grass, you will have to be extra vigilant to ensure that you do not do anything that would lead to the fabric being damaged or destroyed.