The Importance of Installing Good Drainage
When constructing your new arena, it’s crucial to build a solid and free-draining base using the correct construction methods and recommended materials. Most of the common arena problems that we see are a direct result of either the drainage layer or membrane not performing as it should.
The drainage stone in your riding arena serves three primary purposes:
- To provide a firm and stable base for your manège surface
- To allow excess water to pass freely from the arena
- To provide a reservoir away from the surface that will hold any excess water until it can be dispersed into the ground or purpose-built drains
What stone should be used?
We recommend a clean, preferably washed hardstone such as carboniferous limestone or granite for a riding arena base layer; rounded gravel, road planings or demolition hardcore should NEVER be used.
The drainage stone should be angular in shape as this provides enough space for water to drain efficiently whilst still allowing the stone to interlock, providing a firm foundation.
Using hardstone, such as carboniferous limestone, will prevent the drainage stone from breaking down during use, which can cause blockages and prevent the arena from draining adequately. This material is available in various sizes, although 20mm to 40mm works best when using a geotextile membrane to separate your arena surface from the drainage layer.
blinding versus membranes
We highly recommend using a blinded stone system to separate your riding arena surface from the drainage stone. This system uses a 4/20mm hardstone for the drainage, with a smaller stone, such as a 2/6mm, laid on top. The blinding layer is compacted to provide a level base for your chosen surface. The advantage of a stone blinding system is that it will not block or hinder the drainage of your riding arena.
Many contractors recommend geotextile membranes as they are quick and easy to install. However, they can become blocked by leaves and droppings, which will prevent the arena surface from draining correctly. If you decide to install a membrane instead of a stone blinding layer, make sure it is of suitable quality.
If you would like any further information about our range of aggregates, please complete our contact form or call 0800 044 8101.