Before having artificial turf installed make sure that you’re fully educated on what turf melting is and how can you prevent it. Turf melting is not covered by any manufacturer warrany and it is entirely up to the homeowner to safeguard their investment before it occurs.
If you notice your turf changing color and curling at the ends then it is most likely melting from the glare of the sun. The intense heat from an energy efficient glass window reflection has the ability to melt and damage artificial turf. These reflections have the potential to amplify the sun’s radiation and create hot spots on your lawn, which has a melting point around 175 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Besides energy-efficient windows, other surfaces and objects that can cause turf melting include: white vinyl fences, shiny or mirrored surfaces from décor, lawn equipment and toys.
Even though an experienced turf installer comes through to give you an estimate, he most likely will not know if you will have a future melting issue, as they are not there long enough to identify a potential hazard. You will need to do a bit of surveying yourself to see if there are areas that windows, or other reflective objects, reflect sunlight onto the areas that you want to turf.
After you identify glare spots, you can record the temperature with a thermometer to ensure that it doesn’t exceed 150 degrees. You can also place a turf sample/strip there, for a week, to determine if reflective damage will occur. Why do these tests? Because not all glare gets hot enough to melt turf.
There are a number of things one can do to eliminate reflective glare. For windows, you can purchase a window film, tint, or a window covering. For fences, you can purchase a fence roll covering, like bamboo, or have artificial wall ivy installed. Patio covers, Sail covers, Planters or potted plants are also great glare deterrents and further beautify the outdoor space by bringing in additional color.
A good rule of thumb is to ask the installer to let you keep some of the remnants post installation. This way, if you ever need to do a repair, you will have the exact same turf. Please do note that all rolls of turf have different dye lots, so even if it is the same product, it may not be a perfect match. Another thing to keep in mind is if the spare turf is stored in the garage while the installed turf sits out in the sun for 2+ years, then the installed turf will be slightly lighter in color.
If you already have melted turf, then a repair is relatively easy, but it shouldn’t be done unless you have addressed the glare. If you do not remove the glare, then your turf will regrettably melt again.
Here are the steps you should take to repair melted grass:
1. Vacuum up the infill: This will reveal the backing layer, so you can cut around the damaged area with more precision.
2. Cut the turf: Use a sharp utility knife to cut through the backing. Be sure not to cut the turf fibers themselves during this process.
3. Determine the direction of backing rows: Turf backing is structured in woven rows. Make sure the backing of your replacement piece is oriented with the rest of the turf. Also, ensure the fibers are facing the same direction as the rest of the lawn.
4. Cut a replacement patch: Use the removed section as a template to cut a replacement piece of the same size.
5. Insert seaming tape: Place adhesive-backed seaming tape under the opening in the turf, making sure the whole opening is covered with tape, adhesive side up. The tape on its own should stick to the underside of the turf, but you have the option to fasten it down with small nails for extra security.
6. Place the turf patch: Align the patch over the opening and firmly press it into the tape to ensure it’s completely secured.
7. Make the final touches: Trim the new fibers to even the surface if necessary. Add infill to the area and evenly distribute it across the surface.