How to Prevent Creases from Appearing in Artificial Grass
We are regularly asked by our clients, particularly during the summer months, why there are wrinkles or creases appearing in their artificial lawns.
If your artificial grass hasn’t been installed correctly, it’s quite common for ripples or wrinkles to appear.
Artificial grass is supplied in rolls, 2m and 4m wide.
These rolls can weigh up to a whopping 350kg, depending on how long the piece of grass on the roll is.
This makes artificial grass a difficult product to process and distribute – and to handle during an installation.
More often than not, if you have chosen a good quality turf, then it’s likely that there isn’t a problem with the artificial grass itself, but that the issue is that it hasn’t been installed correctly.
When installing artificial grass there are certain techniques and methods you can use to prevent creases.
And in this latest article, that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing. We’ll give you 5 simple installation tips to prevent creases or wrinkles from spoiling the look of your fake lawn.
But first, let’s take a look at why this is a problem.
What Causes Creases in Artificial Grass?
One of the great things about artificial grass is that the backing material moulds itself to any given shape.
For example, if you were to place a piece of fake grass over a brick, leave it out in the warm sunshine for a few hours and then remove the brick, the grass would pretty much hold its shape and the crease would likely become difficult to remove.
This happens because the warmth of the sun increases the temperature of the backing, making it more supple.
Once the backing material begins to cool, it will become less supple and will memorise its shape.
And this can both be a blessing and a curse.
Artificial grass is distributed by being wound tightly around a cardboard core and then wrapped in protective polythene packaging to prevent damage during transit.
After unrolling your artificial grass, it’s normal to see minor ripples and creases. They’re caused by the grass having been wrapped tightly around the core, and the backing then memorising its shape.
It’s the sign of a good quality, strong backing.
My Artificial Lawn Didn’t Used to Have Creases, But Now It Does. Why?
As we have learnt, the warmth of the sun causes the backing material to become more supple.
But as well as becoming supple, it also expands very slightly.
The expansion caused by the heat from the sun, followed by the cooling of the backing material later in the day, can cause creases to appear in your lawn.
Expansion and contraction cannot be avoided. It will happen regardless of the quality of your chosen artificial grass.
But it certainly needn’t be an issue – provided your turf is installed correctly in the first place.
Wrinkles or creases are easily avoided by following a few basic installation guidelines. Let’s take a look.
5 Installation Techniques to Prevent Creases
1. Ensure the Weed Membrane Is Laid Flat
In most circumstances, unless you own a pet, we recommend that you install a weed membrane directly underneath your artificial grass to prevent weed growth.
When you unroll your fake turf and put it in place it’s important to ensure that the membrane hasn’t bunched up or folded over on itself anywhere.
You can do this by securing the membrane to your timber edging material with galvanised nails and using U-pins to fix it in place in the middle of your lawn.
You might think the grass is thick enough for creases in a soft fabric like weed membrane not to show, but this is not the case.
If there are any folds or creases in the membrane, you will see them through your artificial turf because, as we have said already, the backing material will take on the shape of any lumps and bumps in the membrane.
2. Allow the Grass to Acclimatise Before Cutting
In an ideal world, you would be installing your artificial grass on a bright and sunny summer’s day.
This is because, as we mentioned earlier, the sun’s rays help to make the backing material more supple and easier to install.
Once all of your ground preparation is complete, unroll each piece of artificial grass and lay it flat across your lawn.
Now you’ll need to let the artificial grass acclimatise.
Doing this is easy – simply down tools and grab yourself a cup of tea!
We recommend you leave your artificial grass unrolled across your lawn for a minimum of 2 hours, although for best results, leave it for 24 hours.
And, ideally, this will be in nice warm sunshine.
Of course, that’s not always possible, especially in the UK.
So, just leave your grass for as long as you can to allow it to acclimatise. And remember, it will need to lie flat to the ground as otherwise you could be making the creases worse.
3. Stretch the Grass Tight & Push Out Any Creases
A tool that you’ll find extremely useful when installing artificial grass is a carpet kicker.
These can easily be obtained from your local DIY store.
Carpet kickers can be used to stretch out your artificial turf, if necessary.
Typically, a professional installer will have a deadline to get their installation complete, which often means that they can’t give the grass as much time to acclimatise as they would like.
This is where a carpet kicker becomes an invaluable tool in a professional installer’s armoury.
We also recommend it for DIYers, as you’ll find it makes it easy to stretch out the grass and remove creases, as necessary.
You may also use the cardboard core that your fake turf was wrapped around to help push out any air bubbles.
With the help of two or three people, spread out along the length of the cardboard core and, whilst applying downward pressure, push the cardboard across the entire length of your turf.
If you have any stubborn creases, you can install U-pins as you go. Follow along behind the cardboard tube and stick them directly into the turf, pinning it into position.
4. Use the Correct Amount of Sand Infill
For the purposes of preventing creases, it’s extremely important.
An evenly distributed silica sand infill will add ballast to your artificial grass. This ballast will pin the grass to the base material, preventing rippling.
It also helps to regulate the temperature of your lawn and prevent creases caused by the expansion and contraction of the latex backing.
It really is key to avoiding creases.
And it’s very important that you apply the recommended amount of infill material.
Always check this with your manufacturer, as some types of grass will require more than others.
5. Ensure the Perimeter is Sufficiently Well-Secured
Finally, you’ll need to secure the perimeter of your lawn correctly.
The method of fixation really depends upon the type of edging used.
In the majority of cases this will be a timber edging. Once your grass has been stretched and cut to shape, use galvanised nails, spaced around six inches apart, all around the perimeter of your lawn.
This will prevent the grass from moving.
Artificial grass installation is often best left to the professionals. That’s because there are certain techniques and knowledge that can only be learnt through experience.
But preventing ripples, wrinkles and creases in your artificial turf needn’t be difficult, as long as you follow the guidelines set out in this article.
You’ll see just how realistic and soft to touch our products really are.
If you would like to enlist the help of a professional installer, you can do so by entering your postcode on this page to find your nearest NeoGrass Approved Installer.
Do you have any questions regarding creases and artificial turf? Then why not leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you.