While artificial turf is better than natural grass for many reasons: cost of natural grass maintenance, conservation of water, easy maintenance, etc., one of the few potential issues you have to watch out for is heat retention.
That’s not to say that artificial turf is uncomfortable to walk on. There’s no mud, spiky dead blades of grass, and you can even add a little extra padding. But, if it’s summertime, you want to be able to walk through your lawn barefoot, and artificial turf can get a little uncomfortable during the summer months depending on your local climate. So, how do you keep turf cool?
How do you cool turf down?
When you’re trying to keep your turf cool, there’s no solution that’s one-size-fits-all. There are numerous things you can do to help keep the turf cool, depending on the environment you live in and the equipment you have on hand.
Cool Turf Solution 1. Spray Turf with Water
Spraying turf with water is one of the easiest ways to keep turf cool. Artificial turf has the advantage over natural grass that it doesn’t need to be watered. But, a quick spritzing with water during the hot summer months can keep your turf lawn cool for a pretty good period of time. It also takes way less water than watering natural grass in the hot summer months, let alone year round.
Cool Turf Solution 2. Put Turf in the Shade
Don’t let turf get hot in the first place and put turf in shade. This is one of the best advantages of turf to begin with — by putting in areas where normal grass can’t grow well, like the shade. By placing turf near trees or structures and away from direct sunlight, you’ll be using turf to its advantage and end up with a pretty surface that mimics grass and stays cool.
If you have a turf lawn that’s getting a ton of sunlight, use awnings, parasols, shade sails, or whatever sunshade you desire to help you keep the turf and everyone else cool. Take advantage of your new shady turf and feel free to use the mini oasis to go on a mini vacation without even stepping off your lawn.
Cool Turf Solution 3. Plant more Plants
Plants are a great way to help cool down turf in hot environments. Research from NASA shows that plants’ natural processes of photosynthesis and transpiration (a process similar to how people perspire to cool their bodies) has a natural cooling effect on the surrounding area, and the climate as a whole.
Turf’s low maintenance quality allows you to spend less time on a lawn. If you want to cool down your turf lawn, you might as well take advantage of that extra time to plant a garden.
Keeping plants around the edge of your artificial turf will keep the turf and surrounding area cool, as well as visually pleasing. You can have landscaping features that complement each other, stay cool, and help the environment at the same time.
Cool Turf Solution 4. Artificial Turf Cooling Systems
If you want to take the artificial turf cooling to the next level, there are liquid cooling systems that are designed specifically to keep turf cool in hotter climates, though they need to be installed before installing turf. They can be a big investment, so keep that in mind before adding one.
Cool Turf Solution 5. Window Treatments
If you’ve got artificial turf near windows, they can reflect a ton of light, and the glare from the glass can make surfaces, like turf, incredibly hot. (There are certainly types of turf that are more ideal depending on your local climate, so be sure to consult with our experts before buying.) Cover your windows in film, use shades, and set up awnings to keep sunlight from reflecting off the glass and heating up your turf, and any other surfaces that can potentially heat up.
Cool Turf Solution 6. Choose a Cooling Turf Infill
Infill is important to turf for a number of reasons:
- keeps turf standing upright and in place
- helps with liquid drainage
- provides traction and cushion underfoot
Infill can also add to turf’s heat retention, due to adding to its density. A couple things to keep in mind when selecting infill for turf in hot environments:
- Silica turf infills typically stay cool, especially in hot climates, but this variety of infill can get expensive.
- Avoid crumb rubber turf infill. Though it’s a common infill for sports fields and playgrounds, it absorbs and retains a ton of heat.
Additionally, there are varieties of infills specifically designed to help keep turf cool in hot environments. For turf that will be in hot climates and direct sunlight, a cooling infill is usually recommended to keep turf cool.
Cool Turf Solution 7. Choose a Turf for Hot Climates
Some turfs are made out of materials that are specifically designed to keep cool in direct sunlight and hot climates. Making sure you browse for one that’s designed or noted specifically for its heat-management properties is an excellent plan. When you’re looking for turf for hot environments, there are two things to keep in mind:
- Color – Dark colors heat up faster than lighter ones, so turf that utilizes lighter colors and pigments will reflect more light and heat than darker ones.
- Face weight/density – Turf with a heavier face weight will retain more heat than one with lighter face weight.
If you live in a hotter climate or plan on putting turf in a place that will usually be in direct sunlight or glare, select a turf that is a lighter color and weight.
Stay Cool with Turf
Some of these solutions alone may not make a noticeable difference, but a combination of them means your turf will stay cool and comfortable to bare feet even when it’s hot out.
At Turf Factory Direct, we have a massive collection of different types of turf for all climates, as well as a knowledgeable staff that’s on-hand to answer any questions you might have. We’re here to help, ask our turf experts anything, and start browsing our inventory today.