The glorious British summer is the perfect time to bring out the BBQ, throw on the sausages and burgers, invite a few friends around and enjoy the warm evenings. However, if you’ve got an artificial grass garden, you may be wondering about safety hazards. Is it safe to use a BBQ on my artificial grass? Is using a BBQ on artificial turf a fire hazard? Can artificial grass melt? Is artificial grass flammable or heat-resistant?
These are all frequently asked questions by homeowners who are looking to have artificial grass installed or have already had their garden refreshed with artificial turf. We’ve put together the below guide to help your artificial garden look the best it can and prevent unsightly melted patches.
Is Artificial Grass Flammable or Fireproof?
Artificial grass is made of a high-quality polypropylene plastic that will burn, and you should never expose artificial grass to an open flame. Very few artificial grass products will have a fire-rated certification. Summarised, all artificial grass is heat resistant but only some have the certification to be considered inflammable or fireproof.
Artificial grass will melt when it has been exposed to very hot objects and fire. Sand-filled artificial grass can be rated as fire resistant as the sand in-fill can act as an extinguishing agent, preventing any heat or flame spread (if something ablaze has landed on your artificial grass).
Avoid placing objects, such as barbeques or anything else that is likely to become extremely hot, on your artificial lawn to avoid melting your synthetic lawn.
What Else Causes Artificial Grass to Melt?
Hot or flaming objects placed on your artificial grass are not the only way to damage the synthetic materials. Ensure that there are no mirrors or reflective objects in and around the garden that may point in the direction of your lawn, as this will magnify high-intensity sunbeams which, in turn, can cause melting, so be aware of hanging reflective garden decorations and avoid hanging mirrored decorations entirely.
The recent trend of energy saving in the home has seen many householders install energy-efficient windows in a bid to reduce their energy bills. These windows work by reflecting much of the incoming light and heat away from the building, however, this can have adverse effects on your artificial grass, causing it to melt from the increased temperatures of reflected light. If you notice the light is reflected from your windows onto your artificial grass, it’s advised to install windows shades or awnings to prevent reflection and reduce the risk of melting.
Smokers or smoking guests should refrain from smoking on your artificial garden to prevent hot ash or embers coming into contact with the artificial grass. If you do smoke on your artificial lawn, make sure to use an ashtray or cigarette-butt bin/receptacle to prevent damage to your lovely artificial turf.
Artificial Grass and BBQs
Barbecues and grills should never be placed directly onto artificial gardens and, instead, should be set up on a fireproof surface such as paving slabs or brick patio to ensure it is level and stable. Make sure your garden BBQ or grill is set up well away from artificial grass to reduce the risk of hot embers landing on and damaging artificial turf.
Staying safe around the BBQ is important and should always be a top priority, keep small children and pets well away and ensure anyone using the barbecue is competent to do so and not under the influence of substances. Paying attention to barbecue safety, particularly if you are holding a party or special event and guests are merry and in high spirits, reduces the risk of accidents and injury.
Most summer BBQs will involve numerous refreshments from drinks to desserts, if your artificial grass gets a bit messy with crumbs or sauce, do not despair. Artificial turf is easy to wash down with the garden hose and any problem stains can be removed with an artificial garden soapy cleaner.
Don’t forget to clean your BBQ after use, which is best done before it has fully cooled to prevent fats and oils sticking to the surface. This also reduces the risk of hot oils and fats getting spilt onto your patio or artificial grass.
Repairing Melted Artificial Grass
Unfortunately, due to the material properties of artificial grass, once melted, there are relatively few cost-effective means of returning the artificial grass to its original lush and green state. Affected areas of artificial gardens will need to be replaced by new artificial turf to return the area to its previous appearance.
If you’ve noticed an area or patch of melted artificial grass in your garden, before replacing the section try to locate what has caused the increase in temperatures. Whether it’s from reflective surfaces in your garden that can be removed or covered, or if your garden has come into contact with hot or flaming materials that can be protected against going forward.
Should you notice that it is your neighbour’s windows affecting your artificial garden, you could approach them and ask if they would be willing to install shades or awning. However, if this is not a viable solution, consider adding further shade to your garden or replacing the affected areas with a garden feature such as pebbles, a small water feature or planter so to prevent continuous damage and replacement.
There is no big secret to keeping your artificial grass looking fresh and new, as it all comes down to regular maintenance and careful garden use. Being safe when using hot appliances such as BBQs, grills and fire pits and refraining from putting these on or near to your artificial garden.
Keeping these tips in mind and maintaining regular brushing, removal of leaf-litter and washing down dusty or dirty artificial grass will contribute to your garden looking good as new, year after year. For further information on maintaining your new artificial grass garden, check out our guide on how to keep your artificial grass looking great.