Here’s Why Pet Owners Should Use Zeolite on Their Artificial Grass
Zeolite is an infill material that has been used on artificial lawns around the world for several years, now.
Using an infill material on your artificial lawn has many benefits. It helps to support the fibres of your turf, adds ballast to prevent ripples and creases, and can also aid drainage.
But why is zeolite such a popular infill? What benefits does it have, and is it really necessary? If that is what you have been wondering then you’ve come to the right place, as today we’re looking at why pet owners should use zeolite on their artificial grass.
We always recommend that you use an infill material on your artificial turf. Typically, this means applying kiln-dried silica sand to the surface of your lawn and brushing it into the pile to allow it to rest at the bottom of your artificial turf.
However, if you have a dog, you may wish to consider using zeolite rather than silica sand as your chosen infill material. Before we look at why, we need to first take a closer look at what exactly zeolite is.
What is zeolite?
There are two different types of zeolite. It can be either a natural or a synthetic material.
The type used on artificial grass is the natural variety. Natural zeolite is a 100% natural, volcanic mineral. It is mined in quarries predominantly in Asia, but also in the United States.
How does zeolite help to prevent nasty odours?
The most interesting aspect of zeolite is its ability regarding ion exchange and reversible dehydration.
This is due to the structure of zeolite, which is a three-dimensional tetrahedral framework. The ease of movement of ions and water within the framework allows reversible dehydration and cation exchange.
Zeolite forms strong bonds with heavy metals and, interestingly, ammonia. Clinoptilolite zeolite will absorb and bind ammonia in its negatively charged honeycomb structure. During rainfall, the sodium ion found within rain droplets releases the bacteria and flushes the ammonia through the turf, recharging the zeolite when dry.
One of the main reasons dog pee smells so bad is the ammonia it contains.
Because zeolite has a natural ability to absorb ammonia, it’s the perfect infill for preventing nasty odours caused by dog urine.
Are there any other benefits of using zeolite?
Zeolite shares many of the same benefits gained from using a standard kiln-dried silica sand infill on your artificial lawn.
It will help to protect the backing material and supports the fibres to assist them in remaining in a vertical position.
It can help to aid drainage as it will draw in moisture and help to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Zeolite can also help to keep your lawn cool during hot summer days.
Zeolite is non-toxic so it will not harm your pets in any way. It will not cause a reaction if it comes into contact with skin, either.
What else can be done to prevent the smell of dog pee?
We only recommend using zeolite on your artificial grass if it persistently holds nasty odours.
In addition to using zeolite, there are a few other things you can do to help reduce the chances of your artificial grass smelling of urine.
All these options would really need to be carried out during the installation process; if you already have artificial grass installed it’s probably too late for them, and therefore using zeolite may be your only option.
The first thing we recommend when installing artificial grass for pets use is to ensure you install a permeable sub-base. This will allow liquids, including urine, to drain through the backing of your turf, through the sub-base and away to the sub-grade below.
To install a permeable sub-base, we recommend using 20mm granite or limestone chippings, rather than the standard sub-base material MOT Type 1. Once the sub-base is compacted, tiny holes will allow liquids to quickly drain through.
We would also advise not using a layer of weed membrane directly beneath your turf, as this can sometimes absorb urine as it passes through.
You can still install a layer of weed membrane, but only as a layer between the earth (or sub-grade) and the sub-base.
Should I use zeolite on my artificial grass?
Of course, using zeolite will only be necessary if you have dog(s) that regularly urinate on your turf; otherwise, you’ll only need to use kiln-dried silica sand.
Typically, if you follow our recommendations when installing artificial grass (i.e. permeable sub-base and no weed membrane beneath your turf) and it’s properly maintained, it’s highly unlikely that your artificial grass will smell.
However, if your lawn was not installed following the above recommendations or if you have multiple dogs, then the ideal solution would be to use zeolite.
If your lawn is holding nasty odours, then using zeolite is a great way to get things back under control.
As always, if you have any questions regarding the use of zeolite, then please leave us a comment below, or you can call us on 01245 931200 and speak directly to our team.