How to Care For Artificial Turf in the Winter
"Winter IS coming." - Ned Stark, and every other Northerner in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Winter in New England is renowned for its frigid temperatures and excessive snowfall.
If you are a homeowner in Massachusetts, your artificial turf landscape may require additional preparation. This is to ensure the artificial turf is protected during the winter storms that inevitably arrive once the weather turns cold.
The good news? It doesn’t take too much effort to care for artificial turf at any time of the year, including cold weather and winter snowstorms! In fact, the way you care for artificial turf is similar to how you would care for grass landscaping, and is often based on how the turf was installed.
When installing artificial turf, the ground is excavated 8-10 inches. Next, your install team will lay a geotextile fabric over the sub-base. Then a 3/4 gravel base is added, compacted in layers.
This base allows water to still drain through. Because of the drainage, freezing, and thawing is of no concern, which can cause the ground to heave. The gravel allows water to drain and will ensure the turf will stay level.
What Supplies Do I Need to Care for Artificial Turf in the Winter?
To care for artificial turf in the months leading up to winter, homeowners will need just a few winter supplies, many of which Massachusetts homeowners likely already have.
Snow shovel (Plastic is best)
Snowblower (or a leaf blower)
Spare towels and blankets
Before the first blanket of snow falls, make sure to remove any debris covering your artificial turf. Items leaves are in abundance during New England autumn. Grab your rake and get raking!
Once all debris has been removed from your artificial turf, the bulk of the winter preparation is done. Some homeowners then like to lay a tarp over artificial turf for extra protection, but this is not necessary to maintain the integrity of your artificial turf landscape design.
Many homeowners go into the winter months committed to clearing snow from the artificial turf. This is a great way to protect the turf if covering a small portion of your landscape, but for those with entire yards with artificial turf installed, this will not be a reasonable way to care for artificial turf. The good news is that this is not a necessary step to ensure the longevity of artificial turf.
How to Protect Artificial Turf From Ice and Snow
Protecting your artificial turf from ice can be done in many ways. Since temperatures that fall below 32 degrees can lead to artificial turf freezing and stiffening, homeowners must protect their landscape design from its effects by:
Letting the ice and snow melt on its own
Remove snow manually and be gentle to avoid damaging the artificial turf.
Perhaps the best thing about artificial turf installation is that you really do not have to treat it differently than you would a grass lawn. Removing twigs, leaves, and other debris is the most important step when caring for artificial turf before and during the winter months. Maintenance is simple and does not require any steep investments beyond how you would invest in your landscaping before artificial grass was installed.
Is Artificial Turf Worth the Cost?
Artificial turf, to be transparent, is not cheap.
To install artificial grass on an average to large front or backyard, homeowners can expect to pay upward of $50,000. However, for smaller yard space, the price tag is much more reasonable!
Best of all, artificial turf allows for savings in many other areas.
With artificial grass, homeowners need not worry about watering during the spring and summer months, leading to thousands of dollars in water usage costs. Homeowners will also reduce their carbon footprint in the process as artificial turf is an eco-friendly and sustainable option for those who wish to put the environment first!
Massachusetts and the other New England states have been in a severe drought for the last several months, leading to many lawns looking dried up, patchy, and overall lacking curb-appeal. With artificial turf, this will not be a concern. Homeowners will also have the benefit of a landscape that looks lush and healthy for the entire year.
Artificial grass can also increase the value of your home. If you plan to put your house on the market at some point, the initial investment of artificial grass could pay itself off when it comes time to list your home.
Artificial Turf, in Closing
Artificial turf is perfectly safe for Massachusetts homeowners or anyone who lives in a harsh winter environment and can be cared for similarly to a regular grass lawn. Once the snow melts away, your artificial turf lawn will look as lush as it did before the New England snow began to fall.