Put another tally in the win column for natural lawns.
“I’m currently renting, and this is the first summer I’ve had with a fake lawn,” the poster wrote in a subreddit for Perth and Western Australia. “My backyard/courtyard really stinks, and I’m wondering if the lawn reacts to heat in any bad way like this. Anyone have any similar issues in summer? Really hoping it’s not a dead animal in the roof but at least that’d go away.”
Commenters pointed out the culprit could be man’s best (or worst?) friend.
“Dog pee would be my guess,” one wrote. “Hose the lawn thoroughly every couple of days — at least!”
The funk factor and other potential problems are so damaging that artificial turf can lower property values by as much as 5%.
What’s more, it’s almost certainly worse for the environment. It can also be a major inconvenience, as turf has to be cleared of debris and may even become overgrown with weeds. And then there’s that aroma.
Stinky smells might be the least of concerns with artificial turf, however.
Made of petroleum-based plastics that contribute to overheating temperatures, turf breaks down in the sun and ultimately becomes trash. It also wreaks havoc on the soil underneath it and can bleed forever chemicals into surrounding waters.
Aside from direct health hazards to humans, the turf can also get so hot that it creates the dreaded urban heat island effect, and it displaces native plants and other flora that support pollinators and other wildlife.
One commenter’s response showed just how much work can be involved with having a turf lawn.
“It’s terrible, but you have to maintain it,” one commenter wrote. “Go to a cleaning shop (a proper one that sells industrial cleaning supplies), it’s a lot cheaper than Bunnings and get a carpet cleaner. Get something strong that breaks down enzymes, spray it with a spray bottle (you can buy it form Bunnings or big W), and then water it to make sure it goes through. Do it at least fortnightly.”
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