What is a geotextile membrane ?
Geotextile membranes are usually a non-woven fabric or material which allow water to pass through freely but stops debris or organic material from penetrating. Non-woven membranes are generally very strong fabrics and are used for many applications where protection is needed.
The main use for membranes is stopping weeds on planters, driveways and patios. The membrane is situated underneath the surface and allows water to soak through freely but prevents weeds and organic growth coming from below. The membrane also has additional benefits on driveways and patios of reinforcing the area and stopping any ground movement and subsidence.
We find the second most common use for geotextiles to be reinforcing and protecting soakaway installations. The membrane is used to line a trench or pit prior to soakaway crates or gravel being added into the trench/pit. The membrane is completely wrapped around the soakaway and prevents silt and debris from entering the soakaway. A soakaway without membrane will quickly fill up with soil, silt and debris and in time become useless as there is no void for the water to soak into.
Soakaway crates give the best results as these have a much higher void. A crate for example in a metre cubed hold can give upto 970 litres of soakaway capacity versus a soakaway filled with gravel giving around 350 litres of soakaway.
Geotextile membranes have many other uses, basically any situation where the ground needs reinforcing a geotextile is a likely solution, applications include:
- Horse arenas and paddocks
- Slop and bank reinforcement
- Filter layers to clean water
- Wrap for land drains and perforated pipe