Extreme Rain on Synthetic Grass – What Does it do to Artificial Turf

So you decided to install artificial grass in your yard. It looks amazing, feels realistic underfoot, and saves you time and money on lawn care. But then the skies open up and it starts to pour. Now what happens to your synthetic turf? Can it really withstand mother nature’s wrath?

Relax, it’s going to be okay. Artificial grass is durable stuff. But it is good to understand how heavy rain can affect it and what you can do to keep your lawn looking tip-top after the storm passes. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Also Read – Artificial Grass for Rooftop Gardens and Balconies

Overview of Artificial Turf in Wet Weather

Unlike living sod that soaks up rainwater through its roots and soil foundation, artificial grass rests on a permeable backing over either compacted gravel or sand. When it rains, water simply accumulates on the surface of the synthetic blades instead of being absorbed.

If the rain is light or stops fairly soon, your lawn will look normal again after a bit of drying time. But heavy extended downpours are a different beast.

Puddles can form if there are low spots. The blades flatten out from the weight of the water. If it rains hard for long enough, the flattened blades can actually matt together. And large amounts of water runoff can occur if your lawn’s drainage is overwhelmed. 

Detailed effects of rain on artificial turf

When raindrops first start falling on an artificial lawn, here is what happens:

  • Water pools on top of blades instead of passing through roots and soil like with living grass. The synthetic fibers don’t absorb water.
  • Puddling can occur depending on the drainage and grading of the yard beneath the turf. Low spots or compacted soil allow water to accumulate.
  • Blades become weighed down as water starts to accumulate across the surface. Synthetic fibers flatten out from the water resting on top.
  • Rain can initially mat blades together as the weight of water presses them down. This matted appearance typically corrects itself as the turf dries.

Once rain has stopped, the drying process begins:

  • Water evaporates fairly quickly from sun exposure and wind across the surface. Artificial grass dries faster than soggy natural grass.
  • Blades bounce back to upright position as water dissipates and the turf becomes lighter. This restores the natural-looking blade texture.
  • Any puddles soak in or dissipate through drainage and evaporation. Drainage depends on base preparation beneath the turf.
  • Debris from the storm can be left behind like leaves, branches, dirt accumulation, and granular infill displacement.

With just a passing short rain shower, artificial grass will often return to normal within hours of drying out. But extended heavy rain can create lasting effects:

  • Puddling may persist in spots with inadequate slope and drainage. Excess water has nowhere to drain.
  • Odor, mold and mildew can develop from excessive trapped moisture if puddles last for days.
  • Long term matting can occur if blades stay continually soaked and pressed down.
  • Runoff and overflow can occur if heavy rainfall exceeds the drainage capacity of the yard.
  • Increased drying time is required before regular foot traffic and use can resume. Complete drying prevents reopened matting.

The overall resilience of artificial turf to rain depends on the material quality, installation methods, maintenance routine, weather patterns, and prompt post-storm care.

Solutions for dealing with heavy rain on artificial turf

When faced with heavy downpours or prolonged wet weather, there are numerous solutions for preventing issues with artificial grass and correcting any post-storm damage that may occur:

Improve overall yard drainage

  • Grade and slope the ground beneath turf to encourage water runoff away from the lawn. Fill any low spots prone to puddling.
  • Install a French drain system around the perimeter to capture rainwater runoff before it pools on the turf.
  • Add a gravel or sand base under the artificial grass to encourage drainage.

Speed up the drying process

  • Use a fan or leaf blower to accelerate water evaporation after rains have ended. Direct air flows across the surface.
  • Brush synthetic blades upward with a broom or rake to restore their upright position once rain has stopped.
  • Sprinkle silicon sand crystals which help absorb moisture from the turf fibers.

Reduce potential for standing water

  • Choose perforated artificial grass that allows some water to pass through the backing.
  • Ensure the turf’s permeable backing faces down to allow drainage.
  • Use infill materials like rubber and sand that let water pass through quickly.
  • Install blades in alternating directions to facilitate water flow.

Protect from issues after storms

  • Regularly remove debris like leaves that block proper drainage during rains.
  • Rake, fluff and redistribute infill materials displaced by rainfall.
  • Treat any areas of mold/mildew growth with chemicals or a power washer.
  • Deodorize turf after rains using enzymes or solutions to prevent unpleasant smells.

Also Read – Hosting Events on Artificial Grass: Tips for using your synthetic lawn for gatherings and events

Key takeaways on synthetic grass and rain

  • Artificial grass is designed to withstand normal rainfall, but very wet conditions can impact its appearance and performance if proper care isn’t taken.
  • Preventing drainage issues, facilitating drying, and post-storm maintenance will help maintain the beauty of your artificial lawn despite the weather.
  • Allow turf to dry completely before resuming regular foot traffic and play after heavy rains to prevent matted blades and signs of use.
  • Well-installed and well-maintained synthetic grass bounces back quickly after common showers, retaining its lush, water-saving advantages rain or shine.

With proper preparation and care, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of attractive artificial grass despite the occasional passing storm or unseasonable downpour. Priority drainage, prompt drying, and post-rain restoration keeps an artificial lawn looking pristine while providing a resilient, green oasis for play and relaxation when the weather clears.