What Do You Put Under Artificial Grass?

In recent years, artificial grass has gained a great deal of popularity for both home and commercial uses. From homeowners wishing to conserve water to commercial businesses attempting to avoid big brown patches occurring under every shady spot, the demand for an alternative type of lawn has never been higher.

This is especially true in areas where the climate runs through a wide gamut, such as Portland, Oregon. The artificial grass installation Portland residents have been demanding prevents their lawns from being scorched by the summer sun or frozen solid by the winter snows.

Some people, however, continue to hold off on artificial grass installation simply because they don’t fully understand the process or how available it is to them. They imagine it’s simply a sheet of artificial grass placed directly over the dirt and cannot imagine how this artificial turf can absorb the impact of play or drain water in the way that a traditional lawn does. The reality, however, is that artificial grass is more complex—and much more beneficial—than they realize.

What Are the Benefits of Artificial Grass?

Artificial grass has many benefits that render it more desirable than traditional lawns. The first and most obvious of these is that it does not require water. In the Portland, Oregon, area, lawns usually need to be watered about twice a week for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. That’s a lot of water, which over the years can easily add up to thousands of dollars. There isn’t just the financial impact to consider either: the environmental impact of natural grass lawns and sports fields is absolutely staggering.

Plus, your utility bill isn’t the only place you’ll save money when using artificial grass. Natural lawns require fertilizer, which is another expense that can easily add up to hundreds of dollars over the life of the lawn. The time spent mowing the lawn should be taken into consideration as well. A natural lawn needs to be mowed once a week during its growing season, which means hours spent devoted to the chore as the months go by. Even if you’re not spending money paying someone to perform the task, that time is valuable.

Besides the time and money savings, there are also aesthetic considerations. With natural grass, too little sunlight can cause it to die, leaving unsightly brown patches where once there was beautiful, bright green grass. Too much sunlight can have a similar effect, bleaching the grass and killing it in places, leaving ugly patches of dirt instead of the attractive lawn you spent your hard-earned money on.

Health benefits should be taken into account as well: many people are allergic to grass. Playing in it, and often simply walking through it, can lead to a reaction. This can manifest itself as painful, itchy skin, red and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, and sweating. Both humans and animals, such as dogs, can be susceptible to these allergies, but an artificial lawn circumvents them entirely.

What Is It Made Of?

Artificial grass can be made from any one of several different compounds, all of which are in the plastic family: the most popular are polypropylene, polyethylene, and nylon. These are the same materials used to create plastic bags and soda bottles. They’re sold in the form of granules which on their own are fairly colorless.

The material is heated and then mixed with various other compounds, including a UV stabilizer to protect the final product from the damaging rays of the sun. The color is also added artificially, and the material is pushed through an extruder and transformed into thousands of individual blades of synthetic grass.

These artificial grasses are then reinforced, wound around plastic bobbins, and shipped off to synthetic turf manufacturers all over the world. These manufacturers turn these grass blades into large sheets of turf material.

Not all artificial grasses are created equal, however. The exact ratio of materials makes a huge difference when it comes to the quality of the final product. Make sure that, before committing to an artificial lawn, you’ve done your research into the manufacturer to ensure you’re not receiving a lower-quality, cheap lawn.

How Is Artificial Grass Installed?

The artificial grass installation Portland residents are now clamoring for isn’t simply done directly on top of a layer of dirt. This would cause it to buckle and bunch up like a rug, which ultimately would defeat the purpose of having a lawn in the first place.

There needs to be a solid foundation for artificial grass to sit on top of, to which it can be affixed firmly. To install the synthetic turf, a layer of the dirt must be dug away, and any potential hazards, such as wiring and pipes, need to be moved or removed. On top of the dirt, a thin layer of crushed rock is then added. It’s at this point that a drainage area of some kind is created (it is important, with synthetic turf, to have an area for water to drain away).

Above the gravel base, a barrier is sometimes added to prevent the growth of weeds through the turf. With or without this layer, the artificial grass itself is stretched out over the base next. This is then nailed down with five-inch-long, non-galvanized nails. Any seams between the patches of grass are connected to each other using seam glue.

The final step is adding infill, which is usually made from crumb rubber or silica sand. This material serves as a type of ballast, weighing the artificial grass down so that it doesn’t buckle or bunch up. It also eliminates odors and renders the artificial grass a little bit springier so that people and pets can play on the grass without risk of injury.

Who Can Do the Installation?

As we’ve mentioned, you don’t want to opt for a cheap lawn, as this can ultimately deteriorate much more quickly than higher-quality options. You also don’t want a poor installation: it’s critical that the contractor who places your synthetic turf in place is a highly trained professional with a history of satisfied customers.

In the Portland area, Sportech Construction is your best bet. Offering synthetic turf for homes, schools, parks, and businesses, we can install a top-quality artificial lawn of any size, for any need.