Is it necessary to install a drainage system even if the artificial turf has drain holes?
Some artificial turf comes with drainage holes and those are recommended for garden and playground areas, or for pet use or sports.
Other types of turf do not have holes. Those are designed for decorative indoor installations or for placement on vertical walls, so they do not require a special drainage system.
Some customers or non-professional installers think that if the turf will be installed on a concrete floor, it is enough to install synthetic grass with drainage holes. But that's not right, and the customer may lose the investment. Let's see why:
1-Artificial turf drain holes are just a part of the whole drainage system and alone do not prevent waterlogging.
2-No matter how many drainage holes the synthetic turf has in the trellis, they will only do their job properly if the base of the ground is well prepared for drainage.
Interesting facts about drainage
1- On soil: all the preparation that is done at the base of the synthetic turf project is called drain field and it will improve any type of drainage that already exists and works well, but if there is a previous problem, this process will worsen it.
Therefore, you have to be very transparent with the client and ask him: what happens when it rains? Does the water drain easily? Or does it remain stagnant for several hours or days? If the client answers that it drains well, then you do the normal preparation that will make it work better than before.
How do you do the soil preparation? Read the blog post "Everything you need to install artificial grass correctly (Part 1)"
But if the answer is that water stagnates, you need to fix that problem before preparing the base. This can be done by French drainage, which consists of making ditches through which the water will flow down to the soil or be directed elsewhere. These ditches can be filled with a few inches of stones so that the water remains between them and drains little by little without affecting the top layer of soil, therefore the excess water that will accumulate in the ditches will not be felt.
2- On concrete, brick or other hard surface: for this type of impermeable soil, it is recommended to place drain tiles under the artificial turf so that when water falls, it accumulates organically in the empty spaces of the drain tile, and the grass surface does not remain wet. Then, by evaporation, the water will dry out.
These drain tiles made of polypropylene are very resistant, light and shock absorbing. They are available at all Diamond Artificial Grass stores. They measure 10 1/4" x 10 1/4 x 7/16" Drain Tiles
On the other hand, when the surface is sloped, as it can be the case of driveways, or when the ground is higher than the concrete area, the water will drain down and to the sides. In these cases it is best to install a drainage grate in that area.
What happens if the drain tile is not placed under the grass?
It will stay wet much longer.
The evaporation process will be further hindered.
The water will start to decompose due to accumulated bacteria.
Bad odor will be created, the grass will be covered with fungus and damaged.
What not to do
Never replace the drain tiles with holes made on the concrete for drainage and then glue the artificial grass with glue, because this system does not guarantee drainage since the holes are covered with the grass or glue.
For more interesting tips on drainage systems on concrete, go to the following blog post: "Top tips for a professional installation of artificial grass in driveways"
Aren't drain tiles used on dirt surfaces?
Yes, it is recommended to install them on land that will have high traffic. For this, the normal preparation of the ground should be done and then the drainage tiles should be installed on top of them and the synthetic turf. In this way it will always remain beautiful, the surface will be flat, and the base will be in good condition for much longer. It will also prevent the grass from beginning to undulate or deform in the area of greatest circulation.
If you want to install synthetic grass and you're looking for information, you've come to the right place, because in Diamond Artificial Grass we offer you the best personalized advice and we recommend the best installers in South Florida for your dream project. You just have to visit us at any of our stores or contact us by phone.
Dear Synthetic Turf Contractor-Installer
If you want to learn a lot more or reinforce your knowledge, just sign up for the classes we offer at Diamond University. Contact us to give you the next dates and costs. You can choose the location of your preference and the language of the course (in English or Spanish). Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to become a true professional. You will receive a certificate at the end of the course.
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