Belgotex Floorcoverings is the largest carpet mill in the Southern Hemisphere manufacturing carpets to suit all your needs, including DuraTurf, an artificial lawn product. We chatted to DuraTurf manager Ayden Shrives about the benefits of synthetic grass. With such a great variety of natural-looking synthetic grasses, what are the most important factors to take into account when determining which style best suits your needs and environment? Colour, pile height, texture and traffic all play a role in performance and DuraTurf is the only locally produced artificial turf specially designed for South African conditions. It is imperative that the right products are installed in the correct areas. High traffic, low traffic, absorption and use are all part of your selection process. Basically, the fibre densities and pile heights differ between each range, as well as the infill or non-infill systems. The shorter ones are hardier and tougher while the longer, more luxurious ranges look more authentic but are more susceptible to flattening. Can synthetic grass be used on soil with drainage problems? No. DuraTurf should be installed on a flat, even surface such as concrete, stone or tar or a prepared crusher base to ensure that the base remains stable and the carpet retains it perfect look. The substrate should be flat, stable, well-condensed and preferably porous to allow for drainage. If the sub-soil is not sufficiently condensed it may shift and settle later, causing irregularities in the artificial lawn. A DuraTurf carpet will follow the surface it is laid on and thus it is imperative not to take shortcuts on this part of the project. What is necessary to maintain the lushness of synthetic grass? Just like any garden surface, DuraTurf will collect dirt from environmental exposure and from being walked upon. Simply scoop up any mess or dirt as you would with normal grass. Sweep with a soft-bristled garden broom to restore flattened blades to their upright position. A plastic rake and/or outdoor broom are ideal to get rid of leaves and unwanted dirt. A weekly brush is sufficient. Is synthetic grass suitable for young children and animals? Yes. DuraTurf is safe for children and pets. It’s made from anti-allergenic, non-slip polyethylene. You can also say goodbye to grass burns as DuraTurf is made from the same material used for artificial soccer pitches. What is the best way to keep your synthetic grass hygienic? Remove foreign matter using a spade, rake or broom. Spills and dirt can be washed away with normal water, as it is a hydrophobic yarn and specifically designed for outdoor applications, with drainage holes and UV protection. Never use solvents (rather refer harsh chemical stains to the manufacturers). Burns from cigarettes or hot coals from a braai should be removed as soon as possible, as they may discolour the grass. These can be professionally repaired but should be referred to your installer. Will weeds grow through synthetic grass? Weeds will not grow though the carpet as long as the necessary base preparation has taken place: a weed barrier and or round up. One can however get airborne weeds germinating on the surface, but this should not happen if regular maintenance is being done. For more information about DuraTurf, visit duraturf.co.za.