Learn how to remove the existing ground cover and prepare the base of artificial grass to ensure your new synthetic lawn will be long-lasting. Hear prep recommendations for DIYers, and manufacturer's guidelines to understand the process of installing the base layer for turf.
In order to create a long-lasting and durable synthetic lawn, it is crucial to properly remove the existing ground cover and prepare the base for artificial grass installation. Whether you are a DIYer or following manufacturer's guidelines, understanding the process of installing the base layer for turf is essential.
For DIYers, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure a successful installation. Begin by removing the existing grass and soil from the surface, making sure to dry up the dead grass before removing it. This will make the removal process easier and help save on dumping costs. Additionally, applying a weed killer to the area can help accelerate the process of killing the natural grass and existing plants.
Once the existing grass has been removed, it is time to prepare the turf base according to manufacturer recommendations. Manufacturers suggest using a class II road base as the best and most effective base layer for artificial turf. This involves removing 2 inches of soil and applying weed killer to the surface. A weed barrier cloth can also be used, although it is not highly effective against weeds and may trap bacteria. For pet-friendly lawns, it is recommended to use a strong weed preventer instead.
After preparing the base, it is important to evenly spread a layer of class II road base material, about 2-3 inches thick, and heavily compact it using a stamp compactor. Compacting the base in circular motions, both clockwise and counterclockwise, ensures thorough compaction and prevents soil settling bumps in the future. It is crucial to also compact the borders securely, especially near concrete edging.
For DIY installers who may not have access to heavy machinery, there are alternative options for preparing the turf base. Instead of using a class II road base, decomposed granite (DG) can be used as an underlay. Evenly disperse about 2 inches of DG along the surface and compact it with a heavy-duty roller. To prevent the base from washing away with rainfall, apply a stabilizer on the DG after compaction. This will provide a sturdy base for securing the artificial turf down.
When installing artificial grass over concrete, it is important to ensure proper drainage underneath the turf. Any sharp edges of the concrete should be trimmed to create a smooth surface for gluing. Although heavy professional adhesives may leave stains on the concrete, securing the turf with glue is recommended to prevent wrinkles and movement.
For pet-friendly lawns, the base preparation is similar to regular synthetic lawns. However, it is recommended to lay a 1/4-inch layer of Zeofill along the compacted base before installing the pet-friendly artificial grass. Zeofill acts as a deodorizer and traps ammonia smells from urine until the area can be flushed and sanitized. A weed barrier is not recommended for pet turf systems.
When installing artificial turf on slopes or hills, additional steps may be required to ensure stability. For slopes up to 15 degrees, laying wire mesh, such as chicken wire, before adding the road base can provide added security. For steeper slopes, a stabilization membrane cell should be used.
By following these guidelines and recommendations, you can properly prepare the base for artificial grass installation, ensuring a long-lasting and beautiful synthetic lawn.