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FAQ's and General information on Artificial Grass
Synthetic grass is NOT something that fell from heaven, and will definitely not solve your problems like dumping water, wet land areas, etc...
If you do have problems like that, then get that sorted out first, before putting your Artificial grass down.
It surely is NOT maintenance free.
Most people do not know what questions to ask, and most installers also do not reveal the complete truth about artificial grass and nor about their own products.
They will install the cheapest/shortest Synthetic grass product at any place just to make a sale.
You would not have been informed correctly as to what is the best product for your project i.e. Installing a 20mm grass on a playground????
Because of the fears competition in the market, some suppliers are forced to reduce the yarn density to bring down cost to compete with the rest of the market.
You will not notice the difference in density unless you take a good look at different samples from different suppliers.
Always remember, the pile height and tones determent the price of the grass per m², so when you compare two supplier's products, make sure it is the same pile height.
Artificial turf requires less maintenance and is much more durable and sustainable than chemically enhanced grass. BUT, you need to make the correct choice of Artificial grass product and installer.
Remember, if it says "ACCREDITED INSTALLER" think twice.
- - What is Artificial Grass made off?
- - Why and when should you consider Synthetic Grass?
- - How do I make sure I choose the correct Artificial grass product
- - Synthetic grass for Residential Areas (Home, Garden, Patio)
- - What are the Advantages / Benefits of Artificial grass
- - What are the Disadvantages of Artificial grass
- - How do I maintain my Synthetic Lawn
- - Is Synthetic Grass suitable for Balconies, Patios and Decks
- - How do Animals (Dogs) behave with Synthetic grass?
- - How do I choose the correct Artificial Grass for Playgrounds?
- - Benefits of Artificial Grass on Playgrounds
- - Installation Criteria
- - Subbase Preparation/Criteria
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There are more names for this product than any other product that I know off.
It's ridiculous all the names people have for Synthetic grass. Synthetic Grass, Synthetic Turf, Synthetic Lawn, Artificial Grass, Artificial Lawn, Artificial Turf, Fake Grass, Plastic Grass and probably a lot more that can be mentioned.
Synthetic grass or artificial grass is a machine-made surface manufactured from synthetic materials
e.g. Polypropylene or Polyethylene.
In previous years, it was mostly used in arenas for sports that were originally played on grass, however, since the late 1990s,
uses of synthetic grass has moved rapidly beyond Soccer to Cricket to Golf to Residential and Landscaping applications.
The most common type uses Polypropylene which is tufted to the applicable length, lubricated with silicone onto a rubberized base.
The grass once installed are then top dressed with silica sand which keeps the fibers upright and provides the right level of speed- and bounce height of the ball and prevent de-formability.
Latest additions to synthetic grass are longer fiber grasses which are in filled with combinations of sand and rubber granules.
The infill materials provide the right level of shock absorbency and is soft to the touch. It is especially manufactured for
sports i.e. Soccer, Playground areas, Garden and Driving Mats for golf purposes. There are now also longer fiber grass available which requires no infill.
Applications for these grasses are gardens, exhibitions, recreational areas etc. The quality and variety of synthetic grasses that are available have improved dramatically as the need for the grass expands daily.
Residential properties have becoming smaller and the tendency of cluster home-style suburbs, labor & machinery costs,
limited spending time on garden maintenance, all contribute to the increasing interest in synthetic grass as an alternative. Artificial grass of today looks very real!
Its a safe investment for many years, has many benefits and is easy to clean, requires little care and can be installed anywhere.
In problematic areas where grass just does not want to grow, i.e. shady areas,
general playgrounds where too many feet (intensive use) prevent the grass from growing, or perhaps in areas where maintenance is problematic.
Any other area where you have to incur the expense or hassles of period replanting natural grass.
At first, it is an expensive exercise, but artificial turf is a smarter investment then chemically enhanced grass.
Artificial turf requires less maintenance and is much more durable and sustainable then normal kikuyu grass. Artificial turf is also an excellent alternative to pavement (cobblestones, concrete, asphalt, etc.)
in terms of both functionality and price.
Nowadays, many complex's is just paving, paving and paving, with a little/non/very small piece of grass.
Remember, Artificial Grass can be installed on top of paving, to make an area more human friendly.
After all, a piece of lawn is also beautiful, emotional, like a pool, and it has an emotional value, both to human and pets.
It makes a garden look beautiful and serene.
We just can’t ignore the aesthetic value of synthetic turf.
It is now available in an array of blade lengths and textures (including variegated strands), the new generation of synthetic grass
can fool most, as it looks so natural real.
Nursery schools should definitely consider an Artificial grass product for their playgrounds.
Remember, 35mm pile height or more, BUT NOT LESS than 35mm for playgrounds with jungle gyms.
When deciding on installing Synthetic grass, the first thing to think about is long term investment.
The grass should last you a very long time.
It is an expensive exercise, even more so if you cannot DIY your project.
BUT... you don't have to pay extraordinary prices for Synthetic grass.
Do consider cheaper artificial grass options. Sales people will tell you to stay away from imported grass for many reasons.
There is no need to follow that advice.
Many importers will give you a better product for half the price and the same warrantee that anybody offers you.
Depending on the intended use, there are several options in various price ranges from which to choose.
If aesthetic value is of lesser importance, choose a budget-friendly alternative.
An important thing to look at when choosing Artificial grass is to have a look at the backing
(It should be a tuff, hard, robust backing, and not a soft rubbery backing).
Make sure to read Scams & CheapTricks
There are many varieties of synthetic grass types now available, and to choose the correct type, is becoming increasingly difficult.
The first step is to decide which type of artificial grass is most suitable for the specific situation or project.
You should base your decision on the nature of the usage, as well as your personal preferences in terms of color combinations and softness.
The best way to get a good feel of the product is to physically compare samples, touch, walk, feel, test backing, etc.
Whichever type of synthetic grass is most suitable depends on the location and intensity of expected use, i.e. high traffic volumes,
go for more robust, shorter pile height, just aesthetics purposes,
go for midrange pile height, garden, pool areas, go for a longer, softer pile height, etc.
The price of artificial grass can vary tremendously.
Inexpensive artificial turf does not necessarily have to be of poor quality, nor is expensive turf always of high quality.
Pay close attention to the quality characteristics of the various suppliers.
The quality of the synthetic materials used naturally determines the cost price and, as a result, the expected life span
Purpose of installation. What is the grass main purpose and what is it going to be used for.
Should it be an infill or a non-infill product. Some grass types need to have an infill to fully justify its looks.
It might also be that the infill is part of the warrantee process.
This will probably look very good, but, does the area you want to cover with synthetic grass be suitable for an infill type of grass,
i.e. grass around a pool or grass on a steep slope.
Guaranteed the infill will land in your pool, or will be washed away with heavy rains if installed on a too steep of a slope.
Don't take the first synthetic grass sample shown to you.
A good idea is to get samples of the grass types you're interested in, and then base your decision on what you see and feel.
Remember, this should be a long term investment decision, and there is a big difference between synthetic grass, and fake grass.
Always compare prices of Artificial grass products be the pile height of the grass.
If you were quoted on a 30mm or 35mm, make sure your comparison quotes is also based on the same pile height or better.
The newest generation of synthetic grass is soft, comfortable and appears naturally real.
Artificial grass can be the perfect cover for that boring concrete on your balcony or patio.
It's very easy to turn your balcony or patio into a beautiful, relaxed, attractive ambience with Turfscape's range of synthetic grass.
You can enjoy your garden every single day of the year with an artificial lawn because the newest ranges
of artificial grass has become a beautiful and practical alternative for gardens.
This durable, unique artificial grass carpet requires very little maintenance, and is a stylish solution for any garden
The most important thing to remember when installing Synthetic grass in your garden, is that artificial grass requires a
different sub base and ground preparation than natural grass.
You should NEVER lay Synthetic grass directly on top of your soil.
Prepare a proper drainage sub base before installation.
This will ensure you enjoy your Synthetic grass for many years to come.
Artificial Grass can be installed on top of paving, just remember, with a short pile height, the paving pattern will
start to show on the grass after a while.
Use a longer pile height, and do regular maintenance i.e. brushing it up, will prevent the pattern showing on your grass.
On rooftop, very important to remember that you should never use a solvent base glue, as it will damage your rubber waterproofing.
Always use a chemical base glue.
I have also NeVeR met a builder who's waterproofing does not give a problem sometime,
and then the grass needs to be cut loose.
SO!!! Just spot glue the grass, and use benches, flower pots or whatever to hold the grass down.
The main reasons why most people choose artificial turf include low maintenance, high functionality and aesthetic or decorative value
Other benefits or advantages are:-
- - No more mowing
- - Far fewer vermin
- - Minimum maintenance
- - No more spraying pesticides
- - Looks real and wonderfully soft
- - No more fertilizing or re seeding
- - Ideal for people with (grass) allergies
- - Can be used intensively and does not fade
- - Dries quick (Huge benefit for Kinder gardens)
- - Can be used on Paving(aesthetic/decorative value)
- - Always serene (decorative value depends on type of turf)
- - Most suitable for roof gardens and swimming pool surrounds
- - Can also be used in shops, outlets, trade shows and exhibitions
- - Ideal for holiday homes when maintenance of lawns is not practical
- - Easy to clean and will with stand all the South African's harsh climates
- - Best solution for elderly homeowners who find the upkeep of lawns too much hard work
- - Great solution when the environment is particularly hostile to natural grass where there is little natural light for instance the bare area under a large tree
Artificial grass is NOT something that fell from heaven, and will instantly solve all your problems.
Apart from the fact that Artificial grass is expensive, other disadvantages are that artificial grass is much warmer in the summer heat than natural grass.
Yes, it does get very hot!!! In the middle of Summer, it does get AFRIKAANS Hot
This is due to the fact that artificial grass do not Photosynthesis as normal kikuyu grass thus does not have an auto cooldown process
It's also bit darker than natural grass, which leads itself to attract the sun more.
A visual disadvantage of artificial grass is the fact that it does not change color along with the seasons.
This disadvantage is now 60% eliminated by choosing a grass with brown yarn in it, making it much more realistic looking.
Artificial grass may be low maintenance but certainly not entirely maintenance-free, as is often believed or proclaimed.
Long-term use also subjects the artificial grass to normal wear and tear which lead to the synthetic grass flattening
and therefore should be brushed up on a regular bases, evn much more so with flatbade yarn types.
The frequency of brushing depends on how intensely the turf is used. and could be part of your normal maintenance routines.
The biggest disadvantage and/or aspect that is often oversee or not talked about, is the fact that artificial grass requires a professional installation.
Very often an unprofessional installation (certainly when it comes to large surface areas) often leads to unsatisfying results.
Remember, In the long term, a professional installation pays for itself, also in terms of the pleasure derived from use and the durability of the synthetic grass.
It is possible to enjoy an attractive, luxurious artificial lawn for many years with the minimum of maintenance.
Some cleaning tips:
• Washing. Remove leaves, weeds and other debris immediately by means of a blower. It is important to keep artificial grass clean at all times. Plain water from hose to rinse your grass on a regular bases, if it is not raining, is perfect.
• Brushing. Synthetic grass fibers tend to lay flat after usage. Periodically brushing the fibers with a hard bristle broom will remedy this. Brushing should be done against the grain of the fibers.
• Blowing. Keep the artificial turf clean using a normal leaf blower or brush. If you did invest in a large area of artificial lawn, it's worth investing in a brush machine.
If your synthetic lawn is the "infill type" (sand and/or rubber), and you do use a blower, do not blow directly into the synthetic lawn fibers as all the infill will blow away. Blow with an angle on the artificial grass.
• Weed control. By keeping the artificial lawn clean will prevent weed growth between the fibers.
Weeds can be easily removed by plucking, brushing or raking the grass.
Make sure weeds are removed before they can take root, especially along the edges of the turf.
A number of environmentally friendly products can be purchased at home improvement centers and garden centers that kill algae, moss and weeds directly.
If the instructions are followed carefully, the artificial lawn will not suffer any damage.
• Chemicals. Do not use any chemicals directly on your artificial grass. Household dishwashing liquid can be used if needed.
Rarely should it be necessary to make use of soap, as water will be more than adequate to clean your synthetic lawn.
Damages to artificial grass can be repaired. The damaged piece of artificial turf is cut out and replaced by a new piece.
It is therefore advisable to save any remnants of your synthetic grass left over after the installation.
These can be used for any repairs.
Just be aware of the fact that used artificial grass will look differently than new grass, even when it is the same product. A repair usually remains visible for a while. Over time, this difference in color will be less and less visible.
Artificial grass is the perfect cover for that boring concrete on your balcony or patio.
It's very easy to turn your balcony or patio into a beautiful, relaxed, attractive ambience with Turfscape's Synscape range of synthetic grass.
Our synthetic grass is most suitable for decking too, and it will offer you a satisfaction for many years to come.
The surface of a balcony is mostly flat (concrete or other hard surfacing covered with water sealant material),
so installation of artificial grass is very simple.
On the concrete, it can just be glued down on the edges.
When you have a water sealant installed, the synthetic grass can still be glued down, but use a chemical based epoxy glue.
We prefer not to glue the grass down onto the waterproofing, as it will destroy your grass should you need repairs to the waterproof.
It is important that you consider the slope of your balcony or patio and the water drainage is good.
Most balconies are constructed in a way to allow water drainage to run-off.
It is not good for the synthetic grass when the bottom remains wet all the time.
Our synthetic grass is perfect for a wooden decking. Just make sure the joints between the boards is small enough,
if not it can be covered with wooden dowels in order to avoid visibility deck pattern on the top of the synthetic grass.
Also keep in mind that the wood deck under the artificial grass will take a lot longer to dry, so the water drainage and air ventilation must be perfect.
Potted plants and garden furniture are suitably enhanced these tranquil areas.
Artificial grass is pet proof and very pet friendly. Really?
That's what everybody will tell you? Seriously?
Do you have dogs? No problem at all. Pets just love artificial grass, and will not destroy or rip it apart.
In fact, they find it so cosey in wintertime, because of the heat and it will become their spot to relax in the winter sun.
So, if that is what is meant by pet friendly grass, then YES!!! it's true.
BUT, if you think of pet friendly grass as in the dog can pee/poo on it as on normal kikuyu grass, you in for a BIGGGG surprise.
The BIGGER the dog, the BIGGER the bladder, the BIGGER the problem.
The ONLY pet friendly grass in South Africa is our Petscape. Why? There is a huge difference in the type of backing that is used.
Have a look at our product range, and familiarize yourself with the difference of backing types.
You WILL regret laying normal artificial grass in your garden if you do have dogs, guaranteed, within a month.
So Don't believe that story again for one moment.
Dogs needs to eat real grass for their metabolism. So yes they will try to eat the synthetic grass, but they learn quick.
Dogs need a place to bury their personal belongings, ye, sometimes the owner's. So they need a place to dig.
If you cover all your yard with synthetic grass, you might have a problem, but then again, dogs learn quick.
Regular cleaning after your dog is a constant, never ending job. If you do have sprayers, keep them working
An Installer worth his money will be able to work around the sprayers, and keep them functional at all times.
Use the sprayers as normal, skip a day or two, and you will soon notice it. Visually and non-visually( through your nose).
Thats why a good, well constructed drainage base is imperitive underneath the Artificial Grass (Petscape) to absorb the continious watering/cleaning process.
If it does start to smell, then old story of vinegar and water does work to an extent, but it's going to be repeated for a couple of days.
A dilution of normal pinegel mixed with water, leave it for an hour, and then rinse it well, does do the trick.
Do not just trust all these so called "Artificial Grass Dog cleaning misteriously vaninsing products" that is becoming very popular on the market. We have tested several pruducts, and it DOES NOT WORK.
I do not say DON'T TRY IT, All I'm saying is it does not work for my dog!!!
It could work for your dog
Playgrounds at nursery schools and primary schools (Grade R's) are used intensively,
especially when the playgrounds are provided with ‘challenging’ playing equipment like jungle gyms, slides, swings, etc.
Natural grass won’t survive in these heavy traffic circumstances.
Besides being able to withstand intensive use and its long life span, another advantage of artificial grass for playgrounds is that children also stay reasonably clean when they play on it.
They can have fun rolling and crawling around without getting mud or grass stains.
Turfscape offers 4 excellent synthetic grass types as alternatives here.
First alternative :- Syn40/50/60
Syn40 is our soccer/football grass and is the primary choice for playgrounds.
The 40/50/60 refers to the length of the fibers. The grass is in filled with a layer of clean washed silica sand and layer of rubber granules.
The sand acts as a protection for the grass and keep the fibers upright, while the rubber granules provide the shock absorbency effect to the synthetic grass.
The grass is specially made to have a slide effect, thus no grass burn will occur if a child falls and slide on the grass.
A proper playground surface is one of the most important factors in reducing injuries - and the severity of injuries - that occur when kids fall from climbing equipment.
You want a playground surface where parents can put their minds at ease about letting your children play on the climbing equipment. The Syn40/50/60 grass should be used if the playing equipment (jungle gyms) are very high like the types build with wooden poles.
Its recommended to have a Syn50/60 installed directly underneath the equipment, and the outer areas can be covered with Syn40. After a rain shower, artificial grass also quickly dries up again.
Second alternative:- Synscape 35(Lux)
Our Synscape Lux synthetic grass is primarily used for gardens, but is an excellent choice when your jungle gym equipment is of the painted pole type.
Its fibers is long, have a curly double stitched yarn that act as the infill.
Because of the curly infill yarn, it does not require sand and rubber infill material.
The grass is very soft to touch, and really feels and look very natural like real kikuyu grass.
One very important thing to remember, NEVER install synthetic playground grass on a concrete slap, cement or paving.
It completely defeat its purpose. Make sure your synthetic grass is installed on a well designed drainage base system.
• A soft, safe and clean playing surface for children
• User-friendly playground: no puddles, quick-drying
• Safe playground: breaking falls, no slippery conditions
• Minimum of maintenance
• Economic investment compared to other alternatives, such as rubber tiles
• Environmentally safe solution
• Long life span
The most important element of constructing a synthetic grass facility is the sub base preparation. Inadequate backfill materials-, compaction and insufficient drainage is a recipe for failure to any installation and/or construction project.
Depending on the size of the facility and type of sport, it is important to consult with professionals in the civil- and geo engineering fields for their professional advice and support.
Although expensive, geotechnical tests are recommended for all proposed large sport field facilities i.e. soccer fields.
Drainage considerations for large sport fields are very important.
The biggest cause in the deterioration of synthetic pitches is the presence of standing water around- or beneath the pitch. Generally, in the case of a non water permeable pitch, the surface water and the water that drain through the perforated backing of the artificial grass will follow the slope to the lowest areas of a the base.
This water needs to be let into an outlet and carried away from the pitch area. Drainage requirements for a water permeable base needs additional sub surface drains to collect the water that seeps through to the sub base.
The base is usually leveled with a slope between 0.8 - 1%.
The location and surroundings of the proposed site and the water outlet locations are important factors in the design of a drainage system.
There exists a close relationship between soil permeability, spacing and depth of drains.
The capacity of water that drainage pipes can carry depends on the pipe's inside diameter, the slope at which it will be installed and the material the pipes are made of.
The installation method is just as important for a successful system. Therefore, we strongly recommend to include consultations with drainage professionals in the design phase of the proposed pitch.
Synthetic grass may be installed on a well engineered asphalt base, unbounded base (compacted aggregates) or concrete.
A compacted aggregate foundation is finished off with asphalt which result in the most durable and stable base to date.
The synthetic grass is then installed over the asphalt wearing course.
Some sport regulations requires the installation of shock pads to provide shock absorbency.
The shock pad will be installed over the asphalt wearing course followed by the installation of the synthetic turf.
Most asphalt bases are non water permeable.
Unbounded, free draining base:
The base foundation consists of compacted course and fine aggregates.
A shock pad, if required, are then installed over the compacted base.
If a shock pad is not required, we recommend installation of a geo synthetic material between the base aggregates and artificial turf.
The benefit of an unbounded base is that it is water permeable, less costly than an asphalt base but it is not as durable than asphalt and might need replacement or repairs within a few years.
Reinforcement Cement Pitches:
Smaller size sport pitches can be constructed by means of reinforced concrete slabs minimum 150mm thickness.
The synthetic grass is then installed on top of the concrete surface.
One very important thing to remember, NEVER install synthetic playground grass on a concrete slap, cement or paving.
It completely defeat its purpose. Make sure your synthetic grass is installed on a well designed drainage base system.
Contact Us for more information regarding drainage and sub base construction for Synthetic grass installations