Soil compaction in a new construction, after the construction of swimming pools or renovation and its effect on gardens with artificial or natural grass.

On the techniques of soil compaction and the incidences of not carrying them out before building a garden.

This post is generated from our statistics related to soil compaction in gardens and incidents in private garden plots.

After more than 10 years of ALLGrass's history, we see how the statistics of this type of incident are concentrated in the gardens of newly built villas.

We also see them after the construction of swimming pools or after exterior renovations.

In this article, we have decided to provide somewhat more technical information. A contribution for our clients and professionals of the sector to take into account when making the installation of artificial grass in your gardens.

The soil compaction is a key and very sensitive factor in the construction of any type of work. Many variables are involved in its process and there are many techniques to carry them out.

It seems that this is a process that during the execution of a work of new home or poolis not specified in the specifications or description of works. Nor does it appear to be certified by any of the parties involved in the work, be it the builder, contractor, subcontractor or even the owner.

It's common to see how the land they give and go down in level up to 20cm after a building site is finished when the first rains come. We have also observed that this happens in both cases, by placing a green surface (artificial or natural grass) or without having placed it.

Surface Compaction Variables

Preparing the ground for the laying of artificial turf or natural grass requires in most cases, a handling, action or surface management. On average, the prepared soil is no more than 10 cm thick and a vibratory compaction method and wetting is sufficient to compact this layer.

The weight of this layer (sub-base + artificial turf + rainfall) does not in any case exert any added pressure that would cause the level of the existing ground in a garden to give way or lower after it has been prepared. In other words, if the existing soil has not been previously compacted, specifically in layers, following the appropriate compaction techniques indicated for each case, it is very likely to see the level of the soil give way and drop regardless of whether or not artificial turf has been laid on this surface.

As we can see in the following table. The maximum thicknesses per layer and the compaction methods to be used in a soil are indicated.

To this box, we must add the other fundamental variables involved in the compaction of a soil:

  • The humidity of the same
  • The type of soil or fill that is compacted.

Here are 2 links with relevant information about soil compaction. They can help you to prevent or solve this type of incidents.

What solutions or preventions can be chosen for this type of incident?

  • Wait a couple of years for the ground to give way with the passing of several rains. This is usually not an option, as it limits the enjoyment of the space.
  • Make a concrete floor with a thickness of at least 10cm and if possible "tied" to adjacent walls.
  • The right thing is for those who carry out a work to do this activity. Owners should require proof or certification that proper compaction of the soil has been performed.

It will be of little use to use heavy machinery and wet the ground once a job is done. This should be done during the construction of the site. If the compaction of layers has not been done previously, and your garden is more than 20cm thick, possibly the appropriate machines for compacting will be too big to enter and handle your land.

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