Garden AdviceWhich is Better: Real Turf or Artificial Grass?
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So, you got a new artificial lawn installed. Awesome, now you can enjoy a well-maintained and always green garden all year round. But wait… What is that water puddle in the middle of your garden?
Fake grass drainage problems are quite a common issue for many homeowners. The problem can lead to numerous unpleasant consequences like a wonky looking turf and the development of mould and mildew.
“How come I have drainage problems when I got my turf professionally installed?”
Good question. In this article, we are going to break down for you the following: how to install artificial grass correctly, so you don’t have a huge puddle, “sitting” in your backyard and the reason for the occurrence of the whole problem.
So, if you:
Then read on! This article is for you.
Have you ever wondered why sports fields always look so green and well-maintained? Two words – fake grass. An artificial lawn is a turf made from green plastic strands, devised in a way which imitates the real thing. These plastic strands are created from synthetic fibres or yarn (polypropylene or polyethylene). A high-quality fake grass lawn is made from several layers, which comprise a backing, a cushioning, a couple of drainage layers and an infill. Throughout the years, artificial lawns have had a bad reputation because many people found them a bit tacky.
However, this isn’t the case anymore. Nowadays, more homeowners opt for installing fake grass instead of real one. Why? Well, artificial turfs require almost no kind of maintenance and look nice and green throughout the whole year.
Installing artificial grass is a tricky business. If you are looking to do the job yourself, follow these basic rules:
You can find more information on how to lay artificial grass in our detailed article.
High-quality artificial lawn rolls allow water to drain through them. Artificial grass comes with a backing, which has numerous drainage holes. Don’t worry, these aren’t visible after the grass has been installed. And if the grass has been placed properly, it would be unlikely for you to face any drainage problems. Still, if it happens that your fake grass gets soaked in rainwater one day, here are the possible reasons for why this might be:
The first reason can be summed up in four words – badly installed aggregate base. If the soil under the fake turf has a low absorption capacity and this wasn’t acknowledged before the fake grass was laid.
Many professional companies offer low prices for their artificial turf installation services, but remember that the quality of the actual job goes down, as well. A lot of the times, budget companies don’t pay enough attention to certain important process steps, such as the installation of an aggregate base.
In contrast, reputable service providers will do a full excavation of the existing surface. Only then, the installers will place a porous sub-base system on top of the soil. Based on how bad the soil drainage is, the technicians will determine what type of permeable sub-base they’ll need to install. Cheaper or unprofessional installers tend to apply 1-2 inches of sand onto a clay surface and lay the fake grass over that. But this way, it’s just not possible to achieve proper drainage, as clay is not as pervious as other types of soil.
Often, these basic steps are ignored, due to budget or time-saving reasons. So, at the end, the results are always the same – an unwanted pool of water in your back garden.
Another way for you to end up with a waterlogged synthetic turf is when the latter has been installed over a hard surface, such as concrete. This sort of artificial grass project requires a completely different drainage system to be fitted prior to laying the grass.
Whether the installers decide to drill holes in the concrete or they apply some other method so that rainwater gets syphoned away from the lawn and drained into a ditch or through a permeable surface nearby – failure to do so will result in an annoyingly overwet artificial turf sooner or later.
Last but not least, using the wrong type of infill (especially sand) may clog up the drainage holes over time. So, it’s always best to choose a specialist, who knows what they’re doing, if you want to avoid drainage mishaps with your green investment in the future.
If you are wondering how to fix the problem, we have some bad news – there is nothing you can do about it after the grass has been installed. Of course, you can always try to install a drainage system, which involves a lot of digging. Your other option is to buy brand new grass and get it placed correctly this time, which isn’t very budget-friendly now, is it?
If you don’t want any drainage problems, make sure to think ahead of time. Invest in a good professional company that will do the job the right way, so you spare yourself the hassle of trying to figure out how to fix the issue one rainy day.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you have had any sort of experience with artificial grass drainage problems, feel free to share it below in the comment section.