How Well Does Artificial Grass Drain?


If you want to buy artificial grass or already own some on your property, you may be wondering if they drain. Artificial turfs provide the perfect lawns that can withstand any weather conditions or season. And since it’s essential to keep excess moisture out of your lawn, you’ll need to know if you have to install another drainage system.

Unlike real grass that can puddle due to clay, a sub-base layer of varying sized aggregate is laid during the installation of artificial grass. This provides excellent drainage taking all water that the elements can throw at it and allowing it to pass through the grass and drain below the aggregate. This keeps the surface of the grass dry and puddle-free.

Does Artificial Grass Drain?

Whether the artificial grass will drain depends on how it’s installed. It will depend on the installers; while some do a perfect job, others do a substandard job that doesn’t involve proper preparation and putting the suitable sub-base in your garden. This can make the grass to be non-porous.

Some companies also install this type of grass above the regular grass, and the results are disastrous. The drainage problems will worsen, and you may need another installation to correct the errors. You can only install the artificial.

Though the best artificial grass has a porous surface, the way it’s installed determines the quality of drainage. However, modern installers usually excavate the surface to create a porous layer before installing the artificial grass. This will help even when the area has bad drainage.

It is not advisable to install a separate drainage system on the artificial grass when the area has very bad drainage or the grass is installed wrongly. Professional companies will assess your residential or commercial property to ascertain whether you will need a separate drainage system.

Ten Best Artificial Grass for good drainage

  • Ottomanson Evergreen Collection Indoor/ Outdoor 
  • Pet Zen Garden Premium Artificial Grass 
  • LITA Premium Artificial Grass
  • Golden Moon
  • MTB Artificial Grass 
  • Zen Garden ZPG Premium
  • RoundLove Artificial Turf Lawn
  • Forest grass
  • ZPG Premium Deluxe
  • Juvale Synthetic Grass

Tips for Artificial Grass Drainage on Concrete

After installing artificial grass directly on the pavements or concrete slabs, you will need to level it and keep it in optimum condition before installing the artificial grass. Other times, the installer can put a shock layer between the concrete and grass to make the surface soft. Though this won’t improve the drainage, it will make it better when you step on the artificial grass. You should also install a separate drainage system above the concrete or drill holes on it to allow water to pass through.

How to Create a Soakaway under artificial grass for better drainage

Before you dig your soakaway, you will need to find an ideal location far away from buildings and good drainage. After picking the area, you’ll dig out 4 inches of soil from the ground. A 6 inches deep and 2 square meters will do the work though it can vary depending on the artificial lawn’s size.

After digging the soakaway:

  1.  Fill it with rubble and put a fabric covering on the top.
  2. Put topsoil until it overflows the hole slightly to settle.
  3. After 2-3 weeks, grow the artificial lawn on this soakaway.
  4. It will have good drainage, and you’ll rarely experience issues.

Typical Grass Drainage Problems

Drainage is the top challenge affecting artificial grass since it’s a crucial component. You will not want cascades of water pools at the end of your artificial grass, and you will also not want to flood every time it rains. Without adhering to the proper drainage during installation, the artificial grass won’t last. This is because excess water will make the grass appear unlevel in some areas, and it will wet your kids and pet while they are playing.

Professionally installed artificial grass usually allows water to pass through the top layer to the sub-base. If the installers don’t put this layer in place, then the grass’s life expectancy will lower. Therefore, it’s crucial to install the sub-base layer. Modern installers usually remove the initial grass and debris from the soil’s top layer before laying another subbase atop the soil.

However, most installers do a substandard job, making it hard to safely and efficiently install the artificial lawn. For instance, if they use wrong drainage aggregates, fail to dig the proper soil depth and other factors, it will be hard to prevent flooding in the artificial grass. The high-quality artificial grass allows water to pass through them. They have a backing below the artificial grass which is invisible and has drainage holes to allow water to flow down below. Provided there is the modern and proper installation of the artificial grass, you won’t experience problems.

The way the artificial grass is installed determines its life expectancy. In areas where the installation is not correct, there is regular flooding, and the grass may look tired or even flatten. Some companies offer you a guarantee of the best quality services, and you’ll need to ask about the projects they have done before to ascertain their quality.

But if they occur, it could be due to the following:

Badly-Installed Aggregate Base

If the soil below the artificial grass has poor drainage and the installers did not consider it, it would result in drainage problems. The issue is common with companies that charge lower prices and poor-quality services. They don’t adhere to important processes, and this will lead to challenges later on. You can solve this issue by hiring a reputable service provider who will excavate the existing soil layers and install a porous sub-base system above the soil.

Installing the Artificial Grass over Concrete

This type of installation results in drainage problems in artificial lawns. Before you put the artificial lawn on concrete, you should create an alternative drainage system on top of the concrete. Alternatively, the installers can drill holes or use other methods on the concrete to make it permeable to water. Otherwise, you will be left with pools of water in your turf sooner.

Using a Wrong Fill Layer When Laying Artificial Grass

If the installers use the wrong filler material, such as sand, then the drainage holes may eventually worsen. Hire a professional and specialized company to avoid the common drainage problems in your home.

Conclusion on how well does artificial grass drain

As we conclude, note that your artificial grass won’t be your drainage system but help you deal with drainage problems. You should check your artificial lawn regularly and ensure it drains well. Also, pick the artificial grass suited to your area and one that will last for longer. The best company will install the artificial lawn correctly to prevent repairs and maintenance in the future.

Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter and long term gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 45. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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