Ask JW: Pet Turf Systems: Not All Are Created Equal

As fun and loving as pets are, our four-legged friends can often create dead spots throughout natural grass and, as a result, high maintenance and stress for pet owners. Consider replacing the natural grass lawn to synthetic turf. Not only will the grass always be greener, but it will also prevent unwanted insects, dirt and bacteria from entering the home.

This month “Ask J.W.” will show you how to use the proper pet turf system for either single pet or multiple use systems using SGW Pet Turf Products that will work for you.

Here are a few basic concepts:

Why Does Pet Urine Smell?

Dog urine is a concoction of ammonia, bacteria, hormones, and uric acid. As the urine breaks down, the ammonia concentration increases and then mercaptans (extreme odors) are produced. This is the same chemical compound that gives skunks their ability to keep away predators. Uric acid contains crystals that are left behind even after the urine has dried. These crystals are reactivated anytime new moisture reaches the area, including humidity or after a heavy rainfall. A dog’s urine also acts as a scent marker designed to let other animals know this territory is taken. This potent combination gives dog urine its staying power long after the spot has dried and is the reason specialized dog urine cleaners are so indispensable.


It is very important to fully grasp the sub surface conditions below the area where your animal usually does their “business.” In order to have a successful pet installation, proper drainage is very important and necessary.

In reference to my June 2015 column, please consider these important factors.

These types of subgrade soils should be recognized prior to installing SGW Pet turf to allow the best drainage possible:

  • Caliche -(ka-lee’-chee) is a sedimentary rock, a hardened natural cement of calcium carbonate that binds other materials—such as gravel, sand, clay, and silt.
  • Rockbound– is bouldered, inflexible, hard, stone like
  • Clay- is a type of heavy soil when becomes wet and hardens when it dries
  • Loam– is soil composed of a mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter.
  • Sand– is a loose pale brown substance that you find at a beach or in the desert, formed from very small pieces of rock
  • Silt-is sand, dirt, and very small rocks that are carried from one place to another by moving water
  • Subsurface groundwater flow– is when the soils become saturated due to water intrusion.

***Let’s Begin!***

ask-jw-01GROUND PREPARATION FOR SINGLE OR MULTIPLE PET USE

If you have a pet turf installation dedicated to single or smaller animals, I recommend a clean drainage material which consists of a mixture of sand and aggregate (rock). This sub base material that is placed under your pet turf should allow good compaction and great permeability. You should place a minimum of 4 inches.

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For pet turf areas with multiple pet use as in hotels, resorts, pet kennels and commercial applications, proper ground preparation is required and necessary. I recommend over-excavating the sub-base materials underneath the pet turf and place a minimum 6 inches of ¾ inch clean crushed aggregate. Compact with a plate compactor to flatten. This will allow for proper drainage and water runoff below the pet turf when cleaning the pet turf area.

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Place 2 inches of either decomposed granite, chat or a clean sand on top of the aggregate. This will serve as a sand cushion below the pet turf system. Compact this material with a plate compactor to prepare for the next process of the placement of SGW Drain Core.

 

 

 

ask-jw-06When the sand cushion is compacted, place the SGW Drain Core on top using SGW Nails or SGW Staples. Be sure that you do not drive the nails or staples too hard or they will leave divots in the drain core system. On larger projects, join the sections of Drain Core together as close as possible.

 

 

 

Remember to carefully drive the nails or staples into the Drain Core, otherwise your installation will experience a dimpled appearance once it is complete.

ask-jw-09 ask-jw-10After the installation of your SGW Pet Turf System, place a mixture of small Envirofill and Zeolite Max into the fibers for ballast. This will also give your pet turf system the maximum protection for your pet. For commercial use I recommend that additional Zeolite Max be placed within the fibers when the granules either get removed by foot traffic, run off or cleaning of the system over time. Take a broom and work the Envirofill and Zeolite Max into the pet turf evenly and prevent from over filling which traps the pet turf fibers.

ask-jw-11Envirofill is the leader of infill products on the market today. It will not allow animal urine, blood and vomit to absorb in its granule. Envirofill eliminates the adhering and absorbing of bacteria spores.

 

 

 

 

 

SGW Drain Core

SGW Commercial Pet Turf System is designed for multiple animals that use the area daily and utilizes a five step process to drastically curtail odor issues by focusing on aeration, drainage, neutralization and, of course, beauty.

 

ask-jw-13NON-PERFORATED DRAIN CORE

 

 

 

 

ask-jw-12PERFORATED DRAIN CORE

 

 

 

 

 

Designed and designated for areas where maximum drainage and all-weather use is imperative, the perforated drain core system can collect and transport as much as 16 gallons of fluid per minute.

ask-jw-14Perforated Drain Core is the most aggressive drainage system for pet turf installations. Non-Perforated Drain Core is developed for indoors over concrete where it provides the ultimate in odor control and drainage. It is a great solution for commercial kennels/pet day care centers and for residences where there is kennels that need to be installed over concrete flooring.

To adhere the Non-Perforated drain core over concrete, make sure the concretes surface is clean of dirt and debris and place SGW Superseam Pro Glue with a 1/8” notched trowel. Roll the Non-Perforated Drain Core with a water roller or weight for compression. This will allow for the Drain Core to adhere and lay flat. This will allow years of longevity and prevent uplifting of the drain core. Place your chosen SGW Pet Turf on top. Non-perforated Drain Core separates the artificial grass from the concrete and directs the waste to a predetermined drainage to allow the urine and waste to reduce odors and prevents buildup of possible bacterial. Additionally, the Drain core system has the capacity to drain over 4 inches of rain water per hour. When installing each section place SGW Drain core sections as close as possible prior to gluing with Superseam Pro Glue.

ask-jw-15For maintaining and cleaning of your new pet-friendly lawn, I recommended to use SGW Turf Fresh as needed. The more pets that use this area, the more you will want to keep the area clean and smelling good for years to come.

“Your pet will love his newly placed SGW Pet Turf system and will never want to leave.”

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Stay tuned for next month’s ‘Ask J.W.’ installment!

For more information, contact J.W.: askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598