Installing artificial grass in your garden provides a hard-wearing, low-maintenance solution for the whole family for a wide range of activities. The success of an installation will depend largely on making sure correct and thorough preparation of the area takes place, the artificial grass is laid correctly and it is looked after properly, particularly during the first few years of use.
Regardless of the location, you will find that artificial grass does require some maintenance and care to ensure its longevity in the same way that you look after any other investment that you've made, but this will be far less than you would expect for a natural turf surface.
Installation of artificial grass
To ensure that the aftercare will be minimised, the installation must be done correctly. Although installation is not complicated, and can be considered by homeowners themselves, it nevertheless needs to be done properly to give an even finish that looks as natural as possible and to ensure it will be drained adequately following a period of heavy rain.
Before installing the grass, a suitable substrate needs to be prepared. Unless there have been specific directions otherwise such as laying the grass on a solid substrate, the following procedure should be followed to lay artificial turf in your garden.
Remove existing turf
Firstly, using a turf cutter, all existing natural grass should be removed. This is important as you will not want to run the risk of it seeding and pushing through the edges, making maintenance more difficult. It can be done without a turf cutter, but it will take longer.
Prepare the edging
In some installations, to prevent fraying, tears and ripping, an edging may be required. Log rolls, mini picket fencing, and timber effect edging are easily inserted and usually the preferred edging. This serves both to protect the edges of the grass as well as for aesthetic effect. Using high-quality artificial grass, or laying against a slabbed path or patio may negate the need for edging.
Apply the substrate
Having removed the turf, you will most likely already have created a recess in the ground. Your substrate will need to be around 50mm deep, so this will come in handy. Top up the recess partly with grade 1 kiln dried sand and use a compactor to flatten and even out the surface. This will ensure that the surface is firm and even. You can hire a compactor from your local DIY or equipment hire store.
Lay out and install the protective membrane
Once you have finished laying the sand, you will then need to lay a weed-suppressing membrane to prevent any weeds from breaking through. Provided that the sand has been adequately compacted you should be able to use galvanised nails to keep this in place.
Roll out the artificial grass
Roll out the artificial grass and leave it to acclimatise to the environment for a couple of hours. Be sure that you will have enough to cover the entire area that you want the artificial grass to cover.
Joining the grass fabric on larger lawns
Depending on the size of your lawn, you may need to join two pieces of artificial grass. This can be done by cutting even edge four stiches in from the edge of the fabric on the side of each piece that will be joined together.
Then lay a strip of adhesive tape with the shiny side down along the length of the join where the two sides will meet. Ensure that there is a small 1 to 2mm gap between the two pieces that is not visible once the pieces are laid side by side.
Roll the grass back again and gently apply the adhesive along the length of the join. Roll the grass back to hits position and gently ensure that it lines up evenly. Secure the adhesive by walking gently up and down over the seam.
Brushing in an additional layer of sand
It is recommended to apply a layer of kiln dried sand over the artificial grass by brushing it in. This can be done using an automatic brush that can be hired from your local equipment hire company. A stiff garden broom is also suitable for the job but will take a little longer. This will help to weight down the grass and embed it in the substrate.
Maintenance and cleaning
Once properly applied your artificial lawn will require some care to keep it in tip top shape. A proprietary artificial grass cleaner will help to maintain the lawn especially if you have had to clean up after pets. Try not to let animals use the artificial lawn as a toileting area, but if they have, simply clean up the mess and apply the grass cleaner or wash the area down with soapy water. In some situations, stubborn stains may remain. A little dishwashing detergent will go a long way to deal with it.
Because the turf is usually laid outside you will inevitably notice that the wind has blown contaminants onto and slightly below the surface. To deal with this you can use a stiff broom and if the pieces are stubborn try a vacuum cleaner or a blower.
Brush the pile with a stiff broom from time to time, so that the appearance remains consistent. The pile may flatten in high traffic areas and the occasional brushing will keep it looking new and fresh.
To find out more about how PermaLawn can help you with your plans for artificial grass, please contact us on 01773 441 950 today.