Why Does Artificial Grass Need a Drainage System?

Artificial grass has a number of benefits over a natural lawn. It won’t turn brown in sunlight or patches of shade. It doesn’t cause allergies for people allergic to grass, and it can be easily cleaned. And perhaps most importantly, artificial grass doesn’t require a lot of water. Avoiding the need to water a lawn is a great benefit. Regular watering can become expensive and have a negative environmental effect, especially in drought-prone areas.

You may be surprised to discover, then, that there is such a thing as an artificial grass drainage system. Drainage for artificial grass is a must for several reasons, which we’ll discuss here. We’ll also explain how to maintain and care for this important element of your synthetic turf.

Parts of an Artificial Lawn

Far more than just a layer of synthetic grass set over a gravel backing, an artificial lawn is made from several basic components, comprising many different materials.


Layers of artificial grass with artificial grass drainage system.It begins with a sub-base, which is usually comprised of a mixture of sand and gravel. It’s necessary to use this sand and gravel as the support system for the entire artificial lawn. Regular dirt will not do, as it tends to expand and contract when the weather changes (or when it gets wet), which can cause your artificial grass to form buckles and wrinkles and ruin its carefully groomed appearance.

The artificial grass is installed on top of the sub-base, but once again, not directly. It’s attached to a backing material, which can be made from polyurethane or latex. This backing provides the main support for your artificial grass, as it is tough and extremely long-lasting. This means that your synthetic turf can withstand a great deal of punishment.


Above the backing material, there is an element known as infill. This is the material placed in between the “blades” of the synthetic grass. This material helps to keep the blades standing. Just as when you step on natural grass, it springs back up, good-quality artificial grass should do the same thing. The infill also adds a bit of weight to the whole setup, preventing it from warping and buckling as people move across it.


The final part of your artificial lawn is called the yarn. This is the material that comprises the blades, turning it from an expertly installed padding into a proper lawn. This element can be made up of many different materials, depending on the lawn owner’s wishes. It can be made to imitate many different types of grass and in many different colors, which is what renders artificial lawns so versatile.

How the Drainage Works

An artificial grass drainage system is an element of the backing. In many cases, the backing is perforated— scores of holes in the backing allow water to drain through the grass and into the sub-base. This, of course, is why the sub-base must be made from an element that is resistant to expanding and contracting as a result of water absorption.

Some areas require more drainage than others. If they do, it may not be enough to simply punch holes throughout the backing. Instead, it will need to be constructed from a more porous material, something that is extremely permeable so that large amounts of water can easily pass through it.

Why the Lawn Needs Drainage

Every outdoor lawn is going to experience some amount of water throughout the year. Rain, snow, and other weather occurrences will obviously provide the majority of this. But lawns must also be able to handle pet urine and other liquids that may end up there. You do not want these elements pooling on your lawn, as it can be difficult to clean and hamper your enjoyment of this essential element of your home.

Certain areas, of course, are extremely rainy and even prone to flash flooding. There are many tricks that landscapers use to prevent water from pooling on and around the lawn. A slight slope to the yard will help. Native plants often help with erosion, and an excellent drainage system in the lawn itself will prevent dangerous puddles from forming.

Because they’re draining more than just pure water, a good drainage system will also have an odor-absorption element as well. They’ll contain anti-microbial agents such as Zeolite in order to absorb and neutralize odor-causing compounds, which exist in pet urine and even in rain.

Getting a Lawn Installed That Drains Perfectly

If your artificial grass drainage system isn’t up to snuff, it can prove to be costly for you, the owner. That’s why it’s important to look for an artificial grass installation company that can do the job efficiently, effectively, and safely. A business should be experienced, capable of a variety of services, and well-established in the area.

Don’t be afraid to shop around when looking for a company to perform the work for you. If you are in an area of high rainfall or snowfall, ask how they ensure the drainage in their synthetic turf is effective enough to protect your landscape during inclement weather.

Check references as well. Ask other customers who have used the services if they are satisfied. Once you’ve spoken to a few happy customers, read a few reviews, and asked your questions, you can then make a decision on moving forward with an artificial turf company.

If you live in the Oregon area, Sportech Construction is one of the best options you have for the installation of artificial turf with a strong drainage system. With a highly trained team of professionals, we can offer services both big and small at competitive prices.