Do Bounce Houses Ruin Grass? Four Tips to Protect Your Lawn

Do Bounce Houses Ruin Grass? Four Tips to Protect Your Lawn

Do Bounce Houses Ruin Grass, or is That Just an Urban Legend?

You’ve got a big commercial bounce house or inflatable water slide ready to go up on a lawn. You know the kids are going to absolutely adore it, as will their friends. This is going to be a memorable birthday party for sure. But what will your lawn have to say about these festivities? Do bounce houses ruin grass, or is that just an old wives’ tale?

The two popular misconceptions about bounce houses ruining lawns is that they kill grass by smothering it, and that they kill grass by smashing it. However, neither of these are actually true. Lots of pressure might flatten grass, but it won’t usually kill it, and despite how heavy bounce houses are, they aren’t heavy enough to damage grass. And while grass can be suffocated by temporary structures, it takes longer than a few hours—or even a few days—to typically see that happen.

So just how much damage can a bounce house cause on a lawn? Can that damage be prevented, or do bounce houses kill grass no matter what? And what steps can you take to ensure your lawn stays healthy after having a bounce house set up on it?

What Really Causes Grass Damage?

The number one killer of lawns is a combination of high heat and low moisture, which are typical conditions in most of the United States during the summer months. A bounce house or other commercial inflatable unit, which is usually set up in the summer more than any other season, can compound those issues if set up for too long. 

Before you worry whether or not a bounce house can damage your lawn, first consider the health of your lawn going in.

The good news is that bounce houses rarely cause lawn damage, and any small amount of harm they do cause is very easily reversed. More often than not, a healthy lawn will heal itself in a matter of days without any intervention, and if it's been particularly hot or dry, a little watering will help your lawn maintain its course toward being beautifully green again.

The average commercial bounce house rental lasts approximately six to eight hours, while some might last for a full 24 hours. That’s not usually enough time to cause any significant damage to your lawn. And if it does cause damage, you may want to contact professional lawn care specialists to see if there are any underlying problems with your lawn’s health.

If there is any damage, your lawn should be able to repair itself naturally within a few days. Watering your lawn will help as well. But there are a few steps you can take to ensure you don’t see any damage at all, too. So let’s discuss a few of these options, shall we?

Tip #1: Select the Right Tarp

Bounce houses and inflatable water slides should always be set up on top of heavy duty commercial tarps. These not only protect the bounce house, but they can help protect the lawn as well … or damage the lawn, if you choose the wrong kind of tarp.

Always avoid using black tarps with bounce houses. The color of the tarp you’re using plays a significant role in how that tarp manages heat. White and brightly colored tarps will reflect heat, whereas black tarps absorb heat. And that heat absorption, coupled with the high heat and low moisture of summer, will usually result in your bounce house leaving yellow or brown grass where it was set up.

Tip #2: Choose the Site of Your Bounce House Carefully

The location of your bounce house on a lawn matters greatly, too. You should try to avoid setting up your bounce house in “high heat areas”—areas with little or no shade that are frequently bombarded by heat. Those areas are already duressed by summer conditions and may not be suitable for bounce houses. 

This rule is conditional, though. Has that area of the lawn received water recently? Has it been particularly rainy lately, or is it watered regularly? The healthier the grass at the site is, the more resilient it will be to potential short term damage from a bounce house.

When in doubt, try for shade. Of course, your shaded areas may already be in use by other aspects of your event or party. So if you can’t help the location, try to utilize other tips from this list to minimize lawn damage.

Tip #3: Post-Bounce Lawn Watering

After the bounce house has been deflated and rolled up, it doesn’t hurt to water the portion of the lawn where it was set up. You’ll of course want to use some common sense here, though. If the lawn looks fine, or if it’s been raining pretty regularly recently, don’t bother wasting water unnecessarily. Only do this if the grass is especially dry or if you notice discoloring.

Tip #4: Using the Bounce House Long-Term? Move It Around a Little

If you plan to keep the bounce house operational for longer than one day, it’s a good idea to move it to a different location, if possible, to help protect the lawn. It’s also strongly recommended you clean the bounce house thoroughly and regularly to help prevent germs from getting spread around, and to protect the bounce house itself, too.

Bounce Houses Don’t Need to Ruin Grass .. and They Shouldn’t

Your commercial bounce house shouldn’t have any adverse effects on grass. If the lawn is well maintained, the bounce house is used only temporarily, and a non-black tarp is used beneath it, your bounce house or inflatable water slide should have no real impact on the grass. And if it does, your lawn should be able to heal itself naturally, given ample time.

If you’re an event rental or party rental professional like most of our customers, chances are you’re going to frequently hear customers asking “Hey, do bounce houses ruin grass? Will my lawn be safe during this event?” And we hope that with these tips in hand, you can confidently tell those customers that there’s nothing at all to worry about.

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[…] don’t want to just toss your heavy duty commercial grade bounce house down on grass, either. You’ll want to place a tarp on the ground first to reduce how dirty the bounce house […]