Ask JW: Evolution Of Play Ground Surfaces

As a father of four, safety is a top priority when it comes to anything that involves my children. I get it – kids like to play and climb all over the playground – I actually encourage it! I was never afraid of them playing, it was the fall that had instilled fear in me. Almost every parent has heard news at one time or another of an innocent child falling from a playground structure, creating serious head trauma – sometimes death.
New standards have been put in place over the years to help reduce the risk of serious injury by fall. I am proud to have been able to travel from state to state to replace existing playground surfaces with artificial turf. Through extensive study of fall patterns, different surfaces, traffic wear and products to help make playgrounds safer for children everywhere. This month’s Ask JW will go over how to install safe, durable, and beautiful synthetic grass playground surfaces.

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

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Ask JW: Seam Rupture Repair

Sometimes it may feel like repairing your turf is like conducting a surgery. That’s because it is – repairs take skill, patience, and knowledge.
Seam ruptures can be mistaken for poor workmanship. Cutting the seam fibers can cause the seam to be visible and look like a seam rupture. Synthetic turf seams are only as strong as the products used to create them. Having good patience, proper tools and “know how” is the key to any synthetic grass repair.
This month’s Ask JW will teach you how to perform “synthetic grass surgery” for damaged and separated seams.

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

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Ask JW: Seam Rupture

Are you coming apart at the seams? Well you’re not alone.

What if I told you that your synthetic turf doesn’t need to be replaced when a seam separates or ruptures? I’m here to tell you that this is not true. As long as the seam rupture is minimal, you can repair it in no time – and have your synthetic turf back in service.

Learning how to repair ruptured seams is not only important, but it will make you better at installing seams. This month’s Ask JW is the second installment of my series on “Synthetic Turf Repairs.”

For more information regarding seam ruptures contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

To read more about seam ruptures


Making Repairs to Your Synthetic Turf

Synthetic grass has many benefits, including low maintenance. It’s easy to forget that your synthetic grass needs a little care from time to time to ensure it stays looking beautiful. But what if you’ve neglected your lawn for so long that you’re starting to see damaged spots? Lucky for you, autumn is here and the cooler weather makes it the perfect time to fix your damaged spots and do the preventative maintenance necessary to keep your lawn in tip-top shape! Click below to find out how.

For more information regarding to making repairs to you synthetic turf contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

To read more about making repairs to your synthetic turf, click below


Ask JW: The Importance of Power Brooms

The evolution of synthetic turf has evolved tremendously over the decades. Fiber structure and design have created turf that is denser than ever before. With these changes creates challenges for the installer to have the very best of tools and machinery to “brush up” the synthetic turf fibers. I call this “Defibrillation” or as some may call it “Power Brooming”.

This month’s column, I will teach what power brooms are, why defibrillation is important for the appearance of your project, and how defibrillation will assist in the turf fibers longevity.

For more information regarding the importance of power brooms contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

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Ask JW: Rooftop & Balcony Installations

Who would ever thought synthetic turf would ever be placed on rooftops or balconies?

This growing trend provides visual beauty to multi-level homes, high rise condominiums and balconies that want the “green look” and feel of natural grass. The only issue is that contractors turn away from offering this service due to not understanding how to properly install this system.

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing are among the fastest growing commercial roofing products. Most residential and commercial roofs are being constructed with TPO when Tile or Shake roofing materials are not specified. TPO allows 100% protection of water penetration and offers an inexpensive way to completing a roof system. Even though TPO is a great roofing solution, its white flat surface is not a pretty site, especially when viewing from above. Rooftop and balconies that are constructed with the TPO membrane gives the client the option to use synthetic turf other than standard tile, coatings or outdoor carpet. This month ASK JW will teach how to install synthetic turf on TPO.

For more information regarding the rooftop and balcony installations contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

To read more about rooftop and balcony installations



Ask JW: Glue Synthetic Turf on Concrete

Adhering synthetic turf to concrete can turn into an expensive and time consuming repair. This is due to poor installations and not understanding the process. This month Ask JW will teach you the proper way to lay out and adhere synthetic turf to a concrete surface.

For more information regarding the gluing of synthetic turf on concrete contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598

To read more about gluing synthetic turf on concrete


Ask JW: Installing Putting Green Cups

This month ASK JW will teach you the proper way to install putting green cups.

“How many synthetic turf contractors or their installers actually understands golf?” Over the years I have experienced synthetic turf contractors having to remove and replace


Ask JW: Installing Turf Ribbons

blog-2This month’s ASK JW, I will teach you the proper way to incorporate synthetic turf ribbons into your hardscape.

Synthetic turf incorporated in and between hardscape has become a new trend. Placing synthetic turf in between concrete, pavers, travertine, or flagstone can magnify the beauty of the projects design. Placing synthetic turf ribbons in between these type of hardscapes can be challenging. If the project is not planned out prior to the installation, the end result can be a nightmare.

I have trained many companies to install “Turf Ribbons” but have also watched contractors remove the entire project due to not knowing the proper way to install synthetic turf ribbons. Before you take on such a project you must understand the process. You may lose thousands of dollars if this process is not planned and estimated properly.

“Don’t let the waste factor become your wallets enemy” Ask JW

For more information regarding the installation of synthetic turf ribbons contact J.W. askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598


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Ask JW: What’s In Your Tool Bag?

The Essentials for Every Synthetic Grass Installation

What’s in Your Tool Bag?

During my travels across the nation, I have noticed contractors using the incorrect tools and materials needed to be a productive and successful installer. I actually get the weird eye look and multiple questions when I break open my tool bag. Everyone has the right to use whatever tool that they desire when it comes to installing synthetic turf, but will the tools you use make you a successful installer with bigger profits?

This month Ask JW will provide you a list of tools you will need to do the job right.

Other than picks, shovels and wheelbarrows, below are tools and machinery that I recommend for the installation of synthetic turf projects.

Sod Cutter Machine– Productively faster than a pick a shovel, a sod cutter machine mechanically cuts natural grass from below the root level. When the sod cutter machine is put at the correct elevation it allows you to roll up the removed natural grass for easier removal from the project. The Sod cutter machine can also be used to loosen up the subgrade soils after the natural grass is removed.

Grade Rake– I recommend this type of grade rake for grading subgrade materials. The edge is approximately 1inch in height which allows the user to precisely level fine imported sand. This type of grade rake is great for installing subgrade materials for putting greens. It allows the installer to create undulations much easier that other rakes.

Water Hose – A must tool for installing subgrade materials below the synthetic turf. Water must be introduced into the soil to for proper compaction. Compaction prevents synthetic turf subgrade from settlement. I recommend wetting down the synthetic turf surface after your installation. This will settle all infill to an even consistency and rid all fine dust on the surface of the fibers to give your finished project a clean look.

Upside down marking paint– When marking lay out and exterior edge of putting greens it is advantageous to carry upside down marking paint. I prefer dark green just in case you drop the can or get overspray on the synthetic turf.

Plate compactor– This mechanical compactor is a must for all synthetic turf installations. If the subgrade is not properly compacted you will have settlement of the subgrade soils and will have to remove the turf and redo the grading. You can rent mechanical compactors for most rental facilities.

Hand Tamper– A hand tamper is a compaction tool. This tool is used for all edges that a mechanical plate compactor cannot reach. It also is useful for compacting sidewalls of slopes and sand traps for putting greens.

Hammers– Hammers are used to install staples and nails. I recommend using hammers with straight claws other than curled claws. Using a straight clawed hammer will allow you to use the claws to bury the nail heads mush faster and efficiently without the head of the hammer causing depressions in the turf and subgrade by over hammering. The straight claws of the hammer will also remove nails easily that have been bent during installation due to hard underlying surfaces and rocks.

Weed Barrier– If the installation requires grass removal it is important to either use SGW Weed barrier or a SGW pre-emergent. This will prevent weeds coming through the drainage holes. For more information please go to the “ASK JW Weed Prevention Column for more details and information.

Gofer Screen– In some parts of the country Gofers are digging up and through the synthetic turf. This is very costly to patch and many times the entire area must be removed, holes filled and new synthetic placed. Gofer screen is a wire mesh barrier that is laid on top of the compacted subgrade materials prior to placing the synthetic turf.

Tape measure – I recommend having a 35’ feet tape measure along with a 100’ feet tape measure. The 35 feet taper measure allows you to have enough length to lay out two sections of synthetic turf at 15’ feet for more accuracy.

Markers – When marking your measurements on the turf I recommend a grey metallic sharpie marker and a yellow paint marker. The grey metallic sharpie marker is very visible when marked on the backing of the synthetic turf. The Yellow paint marker is great for marking the scrim when snapping chalk lines for cutting sections of turf off the roll. It is very visible for fast paced production projects. Be careful not to get yellow paint on the fibers.

Large chalk Box – It is advantageous that you snap chalk lines when cutting sections for your layout of synthetic turf. It is a good habit to have and will lower your waste percentages. I prefer a large chalk box instead of a small one. The large chalk box will give you more visible lines to cut on and you rarely have to fill up when needed. I recommend using a “Lime Green” chalk that you can purchase at Home Depot or Lowes. The lime green is easier to clean up than other colors and it blends with the turf fibers if you have a spill.

Carpet/Turf Dolly– If you want to prevent back injuries, and be a more productive installer then I would suggest purchasing a Turf Dolly. This Turf Dolly makes transporting your heavy rolls with ease. It takes the place of several men depending on how big and heavy the rolls are. One man can transport the entire roll to a backyard with ease. You may purchase a Dolly/Transport form any carpet wholesale supply company.

Push cutter – The push cutter is one of the most important tools that should be in your tool bag. When cutting sections to be placed on your project, snap a chalk line first then follow with the push cutter. This will also eliminate mistakes of cutting too much turf off the roll. This tool allows you to cut excess waste off the perimeter of the turf with speed and accuracy. The push cutter blade cuts from the bottom of the turf (the backing) without cutting the top fibers. The push cutter is great for cutting circles around trees. Make sure you change out the blade every 30’ feet for fast smooth cutting.

Edge Push cutter– This is a specialty tool for low pile height turfs. I recommend using this on long runs that are up against vertical walls. It takes practice to use but when perfected it is awesome!

Knives– I know every installer has their preference on the knives that they use, but I strongly recommend the “Personna” knife shown at the picture to the left. I have used all types of knives over my 20 years installing synthetic turf and the “Personna” proves to be the best. Its design allows it to last for decades. Its blades are the sharpest on the market. Most knives break down and fall apart due to its mechanical mechanisms. The “Personna” design carries extra blades inside itself and can be changed out within seconds. I recommend a “Four sided round blade”. The four sides allow you to change the blade out four times using the same blade. The round blades cut through thick backings without dragging which slows down production.

Nail bucket– I highly recommend using a nail bucket when installing turf. It keeps your nails organized and not all over the place. It prevents nails and staples getting hot while spread out on the lawn. The bucket filled with nails is lighter than a 50lb box to carry around plus it doesn’t leave a depression in the turf when you move around. The nail bucket also provides safety so that nails and staples are not left behind. Be productive and go to your nearest hardware store and purchase a few they are only a couple of dollars.

Carpet/Turf kicker– a carpet/Turf kicker is a must to have for every install. It allows the installer to stretch and remove wrinkles while installing nail or staples. If a mistake is made while cutting an edge the kicker can stretch the turf to close the gaps. When the turf is stretched it prevents “heat wrinkles” in the hot summer days.

Superseam Tools– the Superseam Tools are available for regular turf grass and putting greens. This tool eliminates the dreaded “Mohawk” and hides seams in all turf and putting greens.

Superseam Adhesives– The strongest glue on the market today for seaming synthetic turf. This glue will outlast the life of your turf. It comes in 5 gallon, 1 gallon and 29 oz. tubes. SGW carries a Superseam 1/8” trowel to make sure the glue is applied evenly.

Roll Core– When you are installing large runs of synthetic turf, use the inside core of the synthetic turf roll to push out the wrinkles and follow nailing behind. This is very fast and productive.

Sidewalk Chalk– I recommend using sidewalk chalk when marking the radius of putting greens. After you mark the putting green use the push cutter and cut on the inside of the chalk line. It rubs off easy after installation.

Power Broom– Every successful installer should always carry a power broom. This machine not only saves time and money but fibrillates the fibers prior to placement of infill.

Curled rake– I recommend a curled rake for brushing up synthetic turf. The curled ends pull up interior thatch better than regular flat ended rakes.

Drop Spreader– The drop spreader is needed to place the infill into the fibers of the synthetic turf. The drop spreader places the infill evenly and prevents excessive infill from trapping the fibers. I recommend an industrial drop spreader for larger projects.

Push Broom– I recommend carrying a soft bristle push broom and a stiff (asphalt broom) for all installations of synthetic turf. The stiff bristle is used for infill placement and the soft bristle for clean up after the installation is finished.

Leaf Blower – a leaf blower will clean up your project and will also be useful blowing excessive infill that is piled up.

Magnetic Sweeper– when installing Sports fields, Playgrounds and larger installations, I recommend using a magnet sweeper after the installation is complete. This will pick up any blades, nails and staples that cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Scissors – I recommend carrying at least two pairs of scissors in your tool bag. They are very useful in trimming elevated fibers and great for blending in seams.

Wire Brush– A wire brush is great for manipulating and hiding seams in regular turf and putting greens.

Torpedo Level– This tool is a must when installing putting green cups. If the cups are not installed level the flags will all be tilted and will make a golfer unhappy.

Strapping Tape– When the projects are completed and you have turf left over I recommend using strapping tape(1” wide) to secure all synthetic turf. Roll up the left over turf remnants and use this tape to keep the remnant tight. Unlike duct tape the glue will not fade and get sticky in hot summer months. It is the strongest tape on the market.

Stay tuned for next month’s ‘Ask J.W.’ installment!
For more information, contact J.W.: askjw@sgwcorp.com or call 888.846.3598