So you want artificial grass rather than natural grass? Deciding to go for artificial grass does have many benefits but is a sizeable investment nonetheless.
Subsequently, you want to avoid common mistakes people make when they are installing artificial grass. Partnering with a reliable company that designs, supplies and installs astroturf is a good start.
When artificial grass goes wrong it can become overgrown with moss and damaged by standing water. Artificial grass is a long-term investment with lower upkeep costs than natural grass, but if you don’t get the installation right, the cost savings become null and void.
Below we have listed how to avoid costly mistakes and make artificial grass a worthwhile investment for many years to come.
How to Choose the Right Artificial Grass
Before making any purchasing decisions, ask artificial grass suppliers for a free sample. Any reputable supplier will offer samples as standard. Once you receive the sample of astroturf, you can examine it for quality.
There are generally four metrics to test the quality of artificial grass. These are realism, texture, quality of the latex, and blade density. A realistic finish on the grass and a high blade density will make your artificial grass look like the real thing.
The texture and latex quality are all about making sure the grass is kind to your bare skin, ensuring the turf remains stable and helps with water drainage.
You can test whether a piece of astroturf has a sufficient amount of latex yourself. This is important because latex is the component that ensures the grass fibres remain upright and natural-looking.
Astroturf has two layers of latex; one which has the fibres stitched into it and a bottom layer which gives the astroturf its stability. If you can peel these two layers apart it means an insufficient amount of latex has been used in the manufacturing process. This is not a good quality piece of astroturf.
Choosing where to sacrifice quality is a matter of what you want to use the grass for. Before picking the best astroturf to suit your needs, think hard about what characteristics are important to you.
The softness of the grass is important for making it child and pet-friendly while ensuring excellent drainage is paramount if you live in a rainy area.
There are some really important things to look for when inspecting the work. The grass rolls should run tight to the boundaries of the area and should be glued down individually.
Visible seams look terrible on artificial grass and will be noticeable. A professional artificial grass installer will be able to provide you with examples of their work and you should look for these qualities in them.
Do Your Research
When you’re looking into artificial grass, you’ll find it to be a crowded and confusing industry. There are hundreds of products and artificial grass installers available to choose from.
Doing your research makes sure you don’t fall foul of low-quality grass or installation. It’s easy to make artificial grass look good for a few weeks but only good quality artificial grass that has been installed correctly will look great for years.
Suppliers and installers who promise artificial grass at low prices can be deceiving. The old adage, ‘if it's too-good-to-be-true is applicable in this artificial grass industry so be wary of the cowboys; unfortunately, they do exist and give the rest of us a bad reputation.
Cheap artificial grass - typically from China and other parts of Asia - is poorly manufactured and only survives for two r three years before the colour starts fading.
You should expect artificial grass to last for 15-20 years. Do your research and you can easily root out suppliers you can’t trust.
When doing your research, use a trustworthy and reputable source of information. Checkatrade.com is an excellent place to start your search. They list thousands of artificial grass suppliers and installers, all of which have customer reviews.
Prevent Moss Build Up
Artificial grass requires way less upkeep than natural grass. But you still need to look after it. If you don’t, moss can act like mould and spread rapidly.
The base-level regular tasks needed to prevent moss build-up are easy and will reduce the risk of moss overtaking your artificial grass, such as using a leaf blower to clear organic material.
If moss does find its way onto your artificial grass, you need to react quickly. Clean the moss from your artificial grass before it can spread any further. Do this at least twice a year even if your artificial grass does not have moss.
The cleaning process begins with a power washer. They can be hired or a low-level domestic power washer will cost around £40. A power washer will effectively clear the worst of the moss from your grass. Having detached the worst of it, you can easily rake up the remaining moss.
Artificial grass cleaners can easily be bought online or in garden centres. They come in diluted or undiluted forms and they are easiest to use in a spray bottle.
If you can use this cleaner and a gentle brush to properly clean your grass it will be very difficult for moss to return. We recommend using a biodegradable product and non-acidic artificial grass cleaner which is environmentally friendly and will not harm the treasured wildlife that lives in your garden.
The final stage is to get your power washer back out to rinse off the artificial grass cleaner. Make sure you leave plenty of time for your artificial grass to dry out.
Use Fixings Around the Perimeter
Can you remember trying to glue pictures onto paper at school? Were you ever frustrated that the corners and edges lifted off the surface no matter how well you glued it down?
The same thing can happen with artificial grass. Lifting edges occur unless fixings are used. Fixings are possibly the most basic part of artificial grass installation but one the most important parts - yet surprisingly overlooked by some artificial grass installers.
Artificial grass fixing pins resolve this problem. These are nails that are inserted into the edge of the grass to keep it properly secured for years. To make sure your grass does not lift, make sure that your fake grass installer uses the pins roughly every half metre around the edge of your artificial grass.
Look at Your Drainage
Artificial grass that does not drain properly will be littered with standing water that will give it an unsightly washed-out appearance. Standing water can also damage your artificial grass and make it last much less time.
There are two important things to remember about artificial grass drainage. Many drainage issues can be avoided by choosing the right grass, and many drainage issues are avoidable through proper installation.
High-quality artificial grass that has been installed with an effective drainage system does not get clogged up with water and will seamlessly flow through into the lower layer and the earth below.
However, artificial grass that has not been installed correctly with an adequate drainage system will develop drainage issues very quickly.
But investing in quality artificial grass is a waste of money unless the layer below it can drain properly. All artificial grass is mounted upon a sand base layer that acts as a leveller and below that there should be a drainage base.
This crushed limestone layer is highly permeable and allows water to run through it. Yet it can also hold a great deal of moisture so it can hold any water that the ground below cannot take.
Without the limestone drainage layer, water will quickly build up and your garden will soon be flooded. The previous grass layer and its debris should be removed properly before the crushed limestone layer is added. A contaminated limestone layer will not drain as well.
Make Sure Your Grass is Joined Properly
No two gardens are the same, and for that reason, it will be impossible for your artificial grass installation to be covered by a single roll of artificial grass.
Making sure they are seamlessly joined will make your lawn look its best for many years to come. Reliable fake grass installers will be able to disguise the joins so well it defies belief. However, there are some basics that you should know beforehand.
Every roll of artificial grass have a consistent pile direction, and the grass will blend together so long as you make sure the pile runs in the same direction.
They should then be lined up perfectly before running the jointing tape perfectly and straightly through the middle of the join. Making sure everything is straight will produce a neat and near-invisible straight line, rather than a messy wiggly line.
Brushing a thin layer of sand throughout your grass will help the artificial grass to stand upright and disguise any flattening during the jointing process.
Quality Grass Installation
If you follow these tips, then your artificial grass will achieve a professional finish. On the other hand, if you want to avoid the risks involved when installing artificial grass, give us a call and our professional fake grass installers will make sure the job is completed properly for you.