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SYNLawn Synthetic Grass / Hot and horrible

2 United States Review updated:

After two years of having SYNLawn install their synthetic grass ($3153 for 465 sq feet), we are yanking this stuff out. We were convinced by their sales associate that this was the best thing in our backyard for dogs who burned grass with their urine. Indeed that may be the case but now our yard smells like pee and despite the numerous efforts to neutralize the odor (per SYNLawn's own instructions), it's more than we can tolerate. Even after all the rain this winter in central California, the urine odor is completely trapped.

The lawn has begun to fade and lay over to the point it can't be brought up with a brush or broom whatsoever. SYNLawn does not sell or offer a power brush nor will they come out to try to fix this even though this purchase came with a warranty.

The blades are no longer upright but turned every direction and it's impossible to brush up since some blades get turned down further. It looks awful and has had hardly any traffic on it at all.

Our dogs walk out on it, go potty and come back in the house and that's it. We don't have kids playing on it. It's so hard to believe it looks like this after only 2 years.

The biggest issue with this lawn is heat. We were told it gets "warm" in the summer. WHAT AN UNDERSTATEMENT! This synthetic lawn in direct sunlight in the summer can injure your pet's paw pads because of its high heat. I cannot even walk on it with bare feet. It is significantly hotter than asphalt when receiving the same direct sunlight.

If you have pets and expect them to be on it in the summer, I implore you to think twice about this investment because you will be VERY surprised by the dangerous heat it will capture and hold. We have had to buy market umbrellas and big awnings to place over our lawn in the summer because of the intense heat.

The following is information from the Internet about synthetic lawn heat:

Brigham Young University officials in 2002 investigated overheating complaints at its football practice field, part of which is covered with synthetic grass. According to an investigation report presented by Frank Williams, a BYU professor of plant science, the surface temperature of the field's synthetic turf was 37 degrees higher than nearby asphalt and 86.5 degrees higher than natural grass on the other half of the field. Investigators, who used infrared and soil thermometers to measure the field in 98-degree weather, recorded temperatures as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit on the synthetic surface, according to the report.


More SYNLawn Synthetic Grass Complaints & Reviews

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  • Sy
      1st of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    If SYNLawn would have received a phone call this issue would have been taken care of 2 years ago. After reading this I believe that this area was not properly taken care of. You can not wait for the winter rain to clean your grass. Per your instructions in the Care and Maintenance packet that we give to all of our customers and can be found, the first two bold instructions are KEEP CLEAN, BRUSH PERIODICALLY. I believe if you had done this properly and periodically you would not be in this situation that you are now. SYNLawn and any other synthetic lawn product are not 100% maintenance free, there is some upkeep. With dogs you do have to spray it down more often. There are products that will help reduce or remove the smell of urine, which are getting better and better each year. If the product was brushed properly and with the low traffic to your grass your turf should still be looking great. SYNLawn, as a service, will come out and powerbroom any past clients turf for a small fee. You can also find powerbrooms at any local power equipment store.

    In regards to your turf getting hot. The turf will only get hot in direct sunlight just like any other synthetic product. With a quick squirt of your hose it will cool down.

    The BYU study is regarding an infill product which retains more heat because of the rubber crumb infill. The products that SYNLawn sells are a non-infill product.

    SYNLawn stands behind all of our products. If you do have problem with your grass we would expect a call, so that we could find a solution.

    SYNLawn of Central California

  • Sk
      14th of Jul, 2010
    +5 Votes

    I agree with you Erlen, we also had Synlawn installed in our backyard. Trying to save use money has cost us greatly. We spent thousands of dollars on what we were told was the best solution to our backyard needs. No watering, minimal maintenance, and would save us money in the long run, ya right! Our project cost us over $4000.00, at a flat rate of $45/month it would have taken us just under 8 years to recoup that investment. Poor product, poor customer service. More consumers need to hear about this prior to making a bad decision.

  • Tp
      14th of Jul, 2010
    +4 Votes

    I could not disagree more. We have had Synlawn in our front yard for 4 years. It looks like it did the day we put it in. The product is warm in the sun but the lack or upkeep and the savings on water out weighs that. We have paid for the grass in savings of time and money over and over again. The savings in time alone is well worth it. Also we were told from the beginning that it would be warm. Synlawn gave us great customer service. Some people are just never happy.

  • De
      16th of Dec, 2010
    +5 Votes

    We had Synlawn installed about a year ago for our 2 dogs.They said it was pet friendly and that with proper maintenance there would be no smell. After 2 months, it started to smell awful...and that is with me cleaning it all the time. I called Synlawn several times and someone would always try to pass me off to someone else, and then that person would tell me they would have to have the manager call me. And, of course I could not get anyone to call me back. I have tried Simple Green (per Synlawn) products from Petco that claim to get rid of the urine smell, Pinesol, Baing Soda, and have even resorted to Bleach. Nothing gets rid of the smell. We will also probably have to have it ripped out. So, for anyone who has dogs, and is considering Synlawn...don't WASTE your money! Very poor customer service!

  • Br
      16th of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    So, I've just read through this thread, and am now torn. My wife and I are trying to decide if we should go with Synlawn or not. We are looking at 345 sq feet, and with the type we are interested in, along with the powder chemical they put below the turf, and just at the base of the blades, it will run us $4000. We have two large dogs, and the urine odor is going to be the prime concern now. Synlawn rep says the powder (zeo-lite? )chemical is a new development that really helps lower the odor issue, but also advises on rinsing the lawn as well. I have no problem with maintaining the lawn...those of you who made a $4K investment and thought that was the end of it must be crazy. But I am going to press further on the service issue. I live in the southwest, and high temps on my pet's paw's are a concern. What have been your customer service experiences with Synlawn? Please be we are trying to make a big decision.

  • Ci
      3rd of Mar, 2011
    +3 Votes

    We have almost 400 square feet of synlawn and we love it. that was for their highest grade product and all the install it was only $2600, so I don't know why others are paying so much more. Anyway, we have a cocker spaniel and she uses it to go to the bathroom. We walk on it all the time too. We spray with cool water and rake and it has been great. No urine smell ever, and it's been over 3 years. We live in Las Vegas, pretty much no place hotter in the summer. It does get hot, but if you're stupid enough to walk on any surface when it's 114 degrees (or let your pet), you deserve what you get. Spraying water in the hottest summer months cools it, but not enough to spend a lot of time on it. Our customer service is great, but we haven't had to use it much because we haven't had any problems with it.

  • 2i
      11th of Apr, 2011
    +2 Votes

    We have two small dogs and live in the Northeast and are looking into this product. The urine small now concerns me, but after reading cityparks review I feel a little better. Anyone else out there have this product and any other feedback for us getting this product. Please help I have read that you shouldn't have an infill product if it is going to be used with pets, while others say it dosen't matter? 2IG's

  • St
      13th of Apr, 2011
    +4 Votes

    We have had Synlawn for nearly 3 years and have had a problem w/ urine smell as well. We were told 'it was our dog and what we were feeding him'. We were told to try Simple Green, then Liquid Alive. That dog passed away in April 2010, we went for 6 months w/out a dog and the lawn still smelt like urine. No matter how much we sprayed it down. I even bought a small sprinkler to set up in my lawn. We got a new dog in Aug 2010, different dog, different diet...still smells. I get the run around. I am told no one has ever had this complaint before; which tells me there is an issue. That the urine is just sitting there and not washing away. I am very disappointed in this investment and have always told friends, neighbors and whomever to steer clear of this.

  • Za
      1st of Jun, 2011
    -2 Votes

    I have had SYNLawn for over 7 years. I have never had a problem with the product. It does get warm in the summer however we are able to walk on it without burning our feet. It is much cooler than the surrounding walkways. Obviously everything has to be maintained even if it is preventative maintenance. I am so glad I made the decision to by SYNLawn. I no longer have to mow my grass, water my grass, pull weeds, overseed my grass and my grass is ALWAYS green. People driving by have actually gotten out of their vehicles and walked up to my lawn to feel it because they couldn't believe it was artificial.

  • Lo
      12th of Jun, 2011
    -4 Votes

    This is a silly thread! There are 10's of thousands of SYNLawn installations nationwide and a large majority have dogs involved! Of course it is great for dogs! It's even installed at Disneyland's dog day care facility in Anaheim! It's installed in all kinds of dog parks, dog adoption facilities, and people love it! It is even used in the popular portable pet potty devices! In a small percentage of applications, either due to poor drainage or poor maintenance or both, there can be odor issues. The heat issue is also irrelevant. Most dogs can handle the heat and if it's too hot, they shouldn't be there, it cools off instantly in the shade and when the sun igoes down. There are tens of thousands of happy SYNLawn customers all over North America!

  • Re
      24th of Jun, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Synlawn is an amazing product's granted the salesman telling you about it doesn't leave out any important facts. As far as the heat goes that is common sense the turf gets hot. But you can opt to buy the 100 percent nylon like the sr-250 which has heat block in it and stays about 20 degrees cooler then the other turfs. The smell is very easily solved. First off if you have dogs i would of hoped they laid zeolite in with the gravel. Zeolite eliminates about 80 percent of the smells. you can also spray biozyme down which cost about 20 dollars a bottle and it kills smells right away or you can use simple green. although in my opinion simple green doesn't work very good. Other then those two obvious downsides synlawn is still a great option for anybody that doesnt want to put tons of time into there lawn. I myself love it. and recommend to everybody if you dont get the lawn try the putting greens they look beautiful and are very well installed.

  • Jw
      21st of Jul, 2011
    +2 Votes

    You people all need to check out What you dont have answers for now, you will have after reading this website. Pass it on its useful information that will keep you from spending way to much money and effort to have turf installed or do it yourself. ONLY USE THE COMPANYS THAT THIS SITE RECOMMENDS!! (Located at the bottom of the page)

  • Ch
      6th of Mar, 2012
    +3 Votes

    I'm a contractor that installs these synthetic lawns. We have not had any complaints about pet oders yet. The one very important key is proper drainage beneath the lawn itself. The base product we use is a CalTrans spec "Permeable Class 2 base rock.". Installed at a 6" depth with the soil subgrade draining away from the center of the lawn allows for proper drainage thus keeping a clean lawn area. We also install an irrigation sprinkler pop up system that allows you to not only rinse your lawn but to cool it down as well as needed. Clever trick. It indeed can get hot in direct sunlight. In shaded areas, these lawns can not be beat unlike natural grass that commonly get soggy and die off. Beware of cleaners or chemicals such as pool acid (if you have a pool). If you spill it on the lawn, it will turn bright blue in that area. I hope that this info is useful. Chris @ Douglas Landscape Construction, San Jose, Ca.

  • St
      6th of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    Thank you for your comment. I even had a rep come out and they agreed it smelt, but the advice given to me was to pay to have it removed and reinstalled. I am confident it is a drainage problem.

  • Sp
      16th of May, 2012
    Best Best Advice +5 Votes

    Is it just me or do most of the positive comments sound like they were written by someone who works for Synlawn? I think I will just go with Brick pavers over the entire back lawn and get nice outdoor rugs.

  • Tc
      9th of Aug, 2012
    +3 Votes

    We have had Synlawn for about 8 years now. I do not recommend it for anyone who has dogs. As most of the positive comments above have not had a dog. We noticed the smell within the first months of installation. I admit we did not do the watering as much as required but it should not smell to the point that you do not want to be out near the lawn because it stinks so bad. I have called synlawn over the years about the problem and have also gotten the run around. We did apply the Zeolite that was recommended and it has not helped. I am on the verge of taking it out. I am calling the company tomorrow to see about getting the base replaced and how much that would cost. I would definitely tell people with dogs DO NOT buy this product!!! We live in northern Ca.

  • St
      9th of Sep, 2012
    +2 Votes

    Came to this by searching for "disinfecting artificial turf". We installed SynLawn 2 years ago. We have 2 medium sized dogs and they were tearing up our regular real grass. We thought the turf would be the better solution. Well, it really does look great. And, it really is great for the dogs, too (we live in No. Cal. where summers get to 110-degrees). All that said, the urine odor is overwhelming and vomit-inducing. Like some of the posters here, it came to the point that we could not even use our back yard because of the ghastly odor. Worse, we couldn't even have the windows in the back of our house open, as the smell would permeate the entire inside of the house! So, obsessed with fixing this, I tried all sorts of various solutions and finally came up with a process that seems to work. But, it must be done at least once per week. By the way, my SynLawn is small, about 270sqft, with two good drains and good draining system.

    First, I use an electric-powered pressure washer to "mow" my lawn. I use the fan setting on the wand and spray the whole service. I'm careful not to concentrate on a spot; don't want damage the dirt and support system underneath. Pressure washing both brightens the lawn and agitates any concentrated urine on the surface and preps the lawn for the next step. I next apply an enzyme solution that feeds off the the urine on the surface and in the gravel/dirt below. The best product I found for the urine smell is OdorMute (see: odormute dot com). It is a powdered concentrate that is dissolved in water and applied with any sort of sprayer applicator. OdorMute is an enzyme that adheres to and consumes the concentrated urine or any organic odor. The byproduct is inert gas that just goes away. I use an Ortho Dial N garden sprayer dispense the solution. I use 5 tablespoons and put my sprayer setting to 2.5 oz. This has the effect, after water dilution, of about 1 Tbs per gallon; about the recommendation. I spray the lawn until the solution is gone.

    It takes about a day before the smell is nearly entirely gone, as the process is a "saturation-dry-consumption" process. During that time, there is a period when the smell gets pretty intense. This is the period when the water has just since dried and the solution has adhered to the lawn and concentrated urine. I believe the brief intense smell is the proof the solution is doing something. After about 24-hours, the back yard is livable and the smell is mostly gone. Every once in a while you think you get a hint; but it's very faint if it's really even there. Kind of a phantom whiff.

    Also, I intend to use a disinfectant, such as "Clorox Pro Quaternary All-Purpose Disinfecting Cleaner", just to deal with any sort of other bio-hazard that the lawn may be containing.

    As I said, this a weekly process that takes about 40-mins. Not unlike the burden of mowing a real lawn. But this does work. And, when the smell is controlled, my backyard is quite enjoyable. Your mileage may differ, due to any number of reasons. But, experiment to see

  • Mr
      15th of Mar, 2013
    +4 Votes

    Ok, so with so many back and forth, I decided to do my own, study/survey on this syn lawn, I got a approximatly $300.00 dollar roll of syn lawn, suck it in my backyard like a rug and waited, I have six rescue dogs of all sizes and breeds, I need to explain that there were no "care" instructions that came with my roll either, about pet urine, needing to water it or maintain it either, just how to install it, my husband actually hunted down the website and e-mailed me the care instructions, so the companys fault that is they truly know that it absorbs dog urine, or that it needs to be maintained, then i would thing with how exspensive this product is that would be something they would put in with the instalation instructions, small story shot, it sat in my backyard for 4 days before it did actually start smelling like dog urine, I walked out there, the smell was so overwhelming my pregnant daughter in law couldn't stay out there while I hosed this small area rug section off, it did come off, so it sat and I watered it, it say and I watered it and did this on a regular occasion probably every four days, not even waiting week in between watering, it smelled and it smelled and I could not imagine having this all over my backyard, if the smell was that bad for a small area, i could not imagine my whole yard, I was not willing to throw thousands of dollars down the drain, I got sod and have actually watered my sod less that I have the syn lawn, for about a quarter of the price of one roll, the roll $300 the sod to cover more than the syn roll would cover about $90 bucks, the syn lawn so did not sell me, why on earth would I pay thousands of dollars to A=put syn lawn in and then B=cost more in water watering it than my sod, no win for me, we are putting it in the front yard where there are no dogs!That would be great, but not for a backyard with dogs, mine didn't get hot in my backyard and the dogs loved laying and rolling on it, yeah yuck, I have to bath them now too so they don't smell like pee! To the person that said they even have it at Disney, well Disney has the money to redo or pull it up every other week if need be! Also the dog parks, well most dog parks are pretty big and open, so the smell probably won't be that bad over a big area, plus it could be fixed with a sprinkler system to rinse it, I don't know, but I can say for thousands of dollars I really am not that much of a gambler with my money, even asked the garden lady at Lowes if she knew anything about it and she said no, really don't have many people buying it here!Syn lawn really needs to come down on their prices, just couldn't see paying that for an iffy product!Hope this helps people that were going back and forth with the idea like I was.

  • Oa
      13th of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    I have bought my fake lawn from a local distributor..and while it's not synlawn, the advice about maintenance above (using pressure washer once a week and spraying it with odormate) works great!!! we have had our grass now for 4 months and it's totally fine! I was so worried that the urine smell would get bad...we smell a little bit, but as soon as i pressure wash it and spray on it odormate...thats smell is totally gone...i do this every other week and so far it's working great. I hope this help ease some of your concerns about the smell

  • Ch
      18th of Aug, 2013
    +3 Votes

    we purchased an approxximate 20'x21' area (for $6, 000+) of synthetic sod from System Paver in Northern California. The ONLY reason we made this purchase was so that our 4 year old son, who is severely handicapped and cannot walk (he scoots on his butt or crawls), could move about the backyard and child play structure. He does not tolerate real grass, and we needed to be able to sanitize the area as much as possible because he always has his hands in his mouth. I specifically asked the saleman about the surface temperature of the turf, because my son would have to crawl on it using his bare hands and knees. He assured me that it would not get hot, but would get "warm" from direct sunlight.

    The installation was a bit shakey as far as the crew and schedule in which they kept. The first summer we had, we didnt use the backyard much because we were gone so much, but in the winter I noticed hundreds of small weeds sprouting from the turf, and had to pick them all by hand, as I wasnt going to treat the area with weed killer chemicals because my kids play on the surface. Also, a corner of the area was constantly under an inch of standing water when it rined because of the sloping up against the concrete patio, which is how they installed it.

    When this summer came we found that the turf was extreamly hot!!! Not only cold I not tolerate the intense heat with my bare feet, but my son could in no way access that area of the yard what-so-ever because it would burn his hands when he tried to crawl on it. I had finally had enough! I felt I was lied to about the "no maintanace" since I was having to pull hundreds of weeds, and the heat in the summer was so bad the whole area was useless to us! I called and complained and they came out to "assess" the issues. I was told that since my neighbors had tall trees, it was unreasonable for me to think that droppings from their trees and plants would'nt result in weeds. I was also told that since the area receives direct sunlight it would hold some heat in the summer months. He suggested I hose the area down frequently to cool the turf down so my kids could play on it. Seriously?!? This would have been fine and dandy except for I specifically questioned the saesman about those issues and was assured they would NOT be issues.
    For the outrageous price I paid, and the fact that the saleman flat out lied to me about the product, I was really hoping for some better customer service from System Pavers. But no luck. Shame on them! I would NOT recommend this product to anyone who will have children or pets accessing the area, and live in an area that gets hot in the summer, nor would I receommend doing business with System Pavers.

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