Understanding exactly how hot artificial grass can get on a warm summer day is a common concern for those who are considering installing it in their yard. It’s important to be informed about the actual facts behind how hot artificial grass actually gets, as well as the potential harm (if any) and the different ways you can manage your lawn on a hot summer day.
In fairness to artificial grass to answer the question how hot does it get, is complex. That is because you have to measure the heat in different ways.
The grass blades themselves
Using a simple touch method if you compare natural grass to artificial grass that have both been out under the hot sun artificial grass will feel hotter than the natural grass. That is because natural grass has water within it that gives it natural cooling properties. The artificial grass will not burn your hand though because it is manufactured using polypropylene which is a Phase Change Material.
Phase Change Materials absorb heat without dramatically raising their temperature. Whereas Sensible Heat Materials get noticeably hotter as they absorb heat. Here is a simple example: Stone, concrete and iron are sensible heat materials. If they are left out in the sun they get really hot to the touch. I am sure you know that by now! Polypropylene, however, doesn’t absorb heat the same way. As a test, take an empty bottle of water and leave it out in the sun for a long time and when you go to grab it you will recognize that it is hot but it won’t burn your hand. This is the same type of heat absorption property of artificial grass.
So it is true that the artificial grass itself will feel hotter than natural grass but its touch will not burn you.
The temperature on the artificial grass lawn
Another way to measure how hot artificial grass gets is by measuring the temperature above the grass. As you would expect the temperature on an artificial grass lawn will feel warmer than on a natural lawn. This is caused by two elements. The grass itself and the infill that is deposited between the blades to weight down the grass to help the blades stand up.
The type of product that is used as the infill can have a significant effect on the temperature on the grass. We will not go into the various types of infill in this article but suffice it to say that if you use black crumb rubber or silica sand as the infill the temperature of the lawn will increase because these products are sensible heat materials.
There has been a lot of research on the topic of heat on artificial grass surfaces. One of these studies was done by an independent environmental science firm Milone & MacBroom, Inc. Their research was part of a year-long series of heat studies of artificial grass installed on athletic fields in Connecticut. The study found that although synthetic grass blades do heat up, they also cool down very rapidly when the lawn is covered, put under shade or watered even a little.
Further findings from this firm even state that the fibers of artificial grass rapidly cooled even if the sunlight was interrupted or filtered by clouds. Additionally, significant cooling was also noted if water was applied to the synthetic fibers in quantities as low as one ounce per square foot.
So your artificial grass lawn can get warmer but only if it is exposed to the hot sun for an extended period of time and if it is there are ways you can manage that heat.
The NewGrass Difference Pledge
With NewGrass we recognize that heat is a concern for the families with children and pets that will be on our lawns all summer long. That is why we have taken the extra steps to own the entire process from manufacturing to installation to warranty. This allows us to manufacture our NewGrass using state of the art technology. It also allows us to dictate what type of infill is used in the installations. We have NewGrass product lines that use a technology and design that results in grass blades that are cooler to the touch than conventional blades. We also use eco-friendly infill materials that are not sensible heat materials and can reduce the temperature of our lawns significantly over our competitors!
With the NewGrass difference pledge we guarantee that a NewGrass lawn will be much cooler than a lawn installed by our competitors who use the industry standards. Talk to us today!