28 Jan 5 Vital Questions Dog Owners Must Ask Artificial Grass Installers
If you’re NOT a dog owner, installing artificial grass is fairly straightforward and you could choose any one of the hundreds of artificial grass companies in the UK.
However, if you DO you have dogs there are a few things you need to know and 5 vital questions you MUST to ask your artificial grass installers before you buy.
The problem with artificial grass and dogs is the potential build-up of URINE underneath the turf carpet.
Dog wee will pool and coagulate underneath your artificial turf and cause an almighty stink.
If you have dogs, artificial grass is NOT maintenance free.
You’re going to have to clean your garden regularly.
If you have multiple dogs on a small area, you may even have to clean your lawn daily. Find out more here
When we say clean, we mean removing solid waste but also using either an enzyme cleaner or a biocidal cleaner to break down any uric acid build-up from the dog wee.
Are you prepared to do this?
If you’re not, you will end up with a urine odour problem and maybe artificial grass is not the best option for you.
There are 3 things your installer can do to help prevent a build-up of urine odour
- Fast drainage sub-base that allows wee and cleaning fluids to flow quickly away from the surface.
- Latex free synthetic turf with a polyurethane backing that doesn’t absorb urine over time.
- Odour reducing infills that reduce a build-up of ammonia, nitrates and bacteria and help prevent the pong.
Sadly, many artificial grass installers aren’t aware of these 3 methods of preventing the dog pee problem.
Artificial grass installers spend their time installing artificial grass. They adopt the standard method that’s cost effective, easy to complete and perfect if you don’t have pets!
The products used in a specialist Top Dog lawn are more expensive and less readily available than those used in a standard installation, and the work takes longer to complete.
Most artificial grass installers don’t have time to research all the new-fangled ways to stop pee smelling or work out how ammonia behaves on damp grass.
You don’t find many landscapers driving around the home counties sniffing grass through specialist scientific equipment or on their hands and knees investigating pissy patches on lawns!
No, That’s our job! We Sniff grass!
Ok – maybe that makes us boring… and people run away from us in the street…
BUT, we know that’s there’s nothing more frustrating and upsetting than investing thousands of ££’s on a lovely new lawn that smells like mouldy fish and old nappies in 6 months.
So, how do you find the right company to lay a new lawn for you and your dog?
The best way is to ask these 5 vital questions to artificial grass installers… Then listen to their answers!
As a reader of the Top Dog Turf website you’ll already have an understanding of how dog urine behaves on artificial grass.
You only want to choose an installer who understands the problem with dog pee.
It’s vital that your installer understands how to fit artificial grass for dogs.
How easy is it to clean dog urine from artificial grass?
If an installer says the rain will just wash it away, there’s no need to clean it, he’s not the right installer for you. If the installer says it’s maintenance free then he doesn’t understand the science behind the smell and you’ll be left with a stink.
If he says you to need to regularly use a cleaner on your grass, then he’s a person who knows what he’s talking about.
Do they use sand in their installation?
At Top Dog Turf we know that sand will hold onto the uric acid crystals in the dog wee, and in time your grass will smell. For dogs you need a sand free fast draining sub-base and no sand added to the surface of the grass as an infill.
Oh, and NEVER EVER let an installer talk you into using a foam matting or shockpad base under your grass unless you hate your neighbours. This is smell worse than a dead whale on a tropical beach in about 3 weeks. Nasty.
Do they have a latex free / polyurethane grass?
Latex backed grass, the black rubbery backed grass you’ll find in DIY shops will degrade over time allowing the dog urine to seep into the latex rubber and start smelling. Ask an installer if they have a polyurethane backed grass option. Many of them won’t but they can get them from us!
Do they use a weed membrane?
Ask them if they’ll use weed membrane directly under the grass carpet. Weed membrane is another thing that will trap the dog urine and cause an odour problem. We never use a weed membrane on doggy installations.
Do they provide maintenance?
What will they do if the grass starts to smell? Ask what cleaners they would recommend and if they have a maintenance option.
In some ways this is a little unfair because it’s going to be up to you to maintain your grass.
The landscaper cannot be held accountable for you never cleaning your grass. But we know most dog owners are busy and often forget to deodorise their lawns until it’s too late and there’s a nasty niff.
A maintenance option is very helpful and should include powerbrushing your grass to remove dog hair and debris and deep cleaning with live enzymes on either a biannual or annual basis.
Do not be fobbed off by installers who tell you artificial grass is maintenance free. This is not true and you’ll live to regret it.
We provide specialist maintenance for pet odour elimination on artificial turf
Artificial grass installers are interested in fitting artificial grass. They’re interested in laying it as quickly as possible and of course doing a good job.
But they’re not experts in dog urine. In fact, you may well know more about dog urine on artificial grass than your installer.
Ask these 5 vital questions and you’ll soon know which installation company is the right one to fit your lovely new synthetic lawn.