Sun Reflection Burning Grass
So Your Artificial Turf Is Melting?
If you have experienced synthetic grass melting issues at your home or business, you are far from alone. Melted artificial grass is a newer issue, but it is one that is growing more and more common as more and more properties make two modern upgrades: These are the switch to turf instead of natural grass and the upgrade to energy efficient windows installed in a bid to conserve energy.
As it happens, though both turf grass and low-e windows (shorthand for low emissivity, the technical term for windows that reject a maximum amount of the sun's thermal energy, or heat e.g.) are usually chosen as enhancements that will make a home or business more affordable and more eco-friendly, together these two improvements can create one mess of a problem. At many properties low-e window sun reflections burn grass, ruining that lovely turf you installed as a permanent, green solution to your landscaping.
The Melting Point of Turf Grass
The melting point of artificial grass varies based on the type of turf you have installed; some turf grass experiences thermal distortion (a technical term for irreparable damage that most of us would just call melting) at temperatures as low as 160 degrees Fahrenheit, while most turf grass melts at temperatures closer to 200 degrees.
Hours of direct sunlight pouring down onto synthetic grass can cause turf melting issues if your fake grass uses a dark infill that draws in and holds solar heat, but most artificial grass can withstand even the warm ambient temperatures paired with direct sunshine without melting. (Though it may become too hot to walk on or for animals to run around on; figuring out how to keep turf cool is a related but distinct issue to artificial grass melting, though.)
So if direct sunlight beaming down on turf grass on a hot summer day does not create enough heat to melt the turf, what does? The focused glare of sunlight bouncing off those low-e windows.
Low-e Window Glare Can Cause Melting
Energy efficient windows are designed to be highly reflective, rejecting as much solar energy as possible. When the sun's rays hit panes of this reflective glass, much more light is deflected off than would be bounced back by a normal glass window. And all of this solar energy is often deflected in a focused beam. If you have ever used a magnifying glass to create a hotspot of focused light, you will understand the power of channeled solar energy. Just as light focused by a magnifying glass can char and even burn paper, the light reflected by windows melts turf grass when the conditions are right.
Sunlight bounced off windows can reach temperatures as high as 220 degrees Fahrenheit, which is more than enough heat to distort, damage, and even destroy huge patches of synthetic grass. And often the grass is not only ruined in patches, but in long, unsightly stripes; as the earth turns, the super heated area of reflected sunlight moves slowly across the turf, damaging a long path of the grass and leaving the property looking untidy and leaving the fake grass feeling rough and clumped under foot or paw.
Window Film Stops Window Glare Melting Grass
Fortunately, the best way to stop window reflections melting artificial turf is also the simplest. Rather than changing all the infill of your turf, or replacing the existing turf with a different variety of synthetic grass or even switching to a high-maintenance natural lawn, and instead of ripping out and replacing those low-e windows, you can simply apply anti reflective window film to the exterior of your property's windows and stop the problem of damaging window reflections immediately.
Anti glare window film consists of thin almost entirely translucent sheets of material that feature thousands of tiny perforations. You can see through anti reflective window film as easily as you can look through an insect screen, but when this specialty coating deflects sunlight, the light is scattered in myriad directions. Instead of being able to form a concentrated beam, the sunlight deflected by anti glare window tint is harmlessly dispersed, protecting your synthetic grass against melting caused by solar hotspots.
Anti Reflective Window Film Won't Impede the Function or Change the Look of Windows
Many people who want to stop window reflections melting turf grass are also justifiably concerned with changing the way their property looks in the process, and worry that anti glare window film will damage the appearance of their home or business. In fact the most commonly used anti reflective window coating is clear and is almost imperceptible. It does not markedly change the view out through the windows and is almost impossible to detect from outside the property.
That said, there are also shades and a few colors of anti glare window tint that can improve the look of a property and/or that can add some extra privacy. White, gray, and black tinted anti glare window films can still be seen through from the outside but add some architectural interest to the property's exterior while also making it harder to see into the home from the outside, enhancing privacy and adding a better sense of security.And of course clear, white, gray, and black anti glare window films all preform their primary task with the same level of efficacy: all of these variations will stop damaging sunshine from reflecting off the windows and down onto your synthetic grass.