heat sink in lawn from underground concrete detention tank

A builder installed an engineered underground detention tank within the rear yard. it was not installed at the correct elevation leaving only 3" of soil and sod. To prevent the sod from browning and dying every year is there something to install, some sort of insulation that can be placed on top of the concrete to dissipate the heat?

Question by:
Stephanie Skrobach's picture
Stephanie Skrobach

Hi Stephanie,

Thanks for your question.

Concrete has a high thermal mass so it will absorb the radiant heat from the sun but once ‘full’ of heat it will re-radiate the heat (often this process can continue for hours after the sun has gone down). The problem is therefore probably not one of heat dissipation but rather stopping the concrete heating up in the first place. Without more details (such as photo’s) it’s a bit hard to be precise but perhaps placing vegetation on the tank may be a solution (such as green roofs).

Also, Darryl O'brien, who is Head of Built Environment Program Engineering and Technology at CQ University, said CQ University has been doing some work on optimising grass types to minimise soil erosion. Interestingly they have found that often there is a chemical imbalance between the soil and water used to irrigate the grass (for example the soil/water combination may be to acidic) and adding small amounts of chemical to water corrects the imbalance and lets the grass thrive. So Darryl said the problem may not just be related to radiant heat but other less obvious factors.

Hope this helps!

The BUILD team.