Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Ekoflo Pebble Binder

Ekoflo Pebble Binder

GENERAL INFORMATION

EkoFlo is a breakthrough in permeable, natural surfacing technology. Mixing EkoFlo with clean, dry pebbles creates a beautiful surface for patios, walkways, tree wells, and drainage conductors. Once cured, the finished product forges a strong and visually stunning surface with high permeability. EkoFlo is a VOC-free, non-hazardous binder that is completely inert once cured, and safe for use around people, pets, animals, fish, and waterways.

EkoFlo was designed as a water permeable solution for drainage, storm-water management, and on-site water retention. EkoFlo is UV stable and highly resistant to cracking, peeling, or yellowing. It is recommended for use on light to heavy foot traffic pathways, patios, and commons. EkoFlo is also a top architectural choice for high-aesthetic, unique landscape and xeriscape settings that often qualifies for water retention and drought tolerance programs.

EkoFlo is a 1-part liquid binder that installs quickly in just a few simple application steps with baseline preparation similar to traditional concrete or hardscape projects. EkoFlo is mixed with the clean, dry pebbles and poured into place. The blended mixture is easily manipulated by using a trowel or screed to create a smooth surface finish, and no mechanical compaction is required. EkoFlo creates a solid, long-lasting, permeable, natural surface which helps alleviate common problems such as weeds, insects, erosion, and tracking of loose materials.

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PROJECT PLANNING:

Before starting a project what should be done to ensure best results?

  1. Calculate the square footage of the project area to determine the required amount of EkoFlo and other material quantities needed.
  2. Use only dry, washed pebbles and aggregates that are free of dirt, dust and particulate matter.
  3. Check ambient and surface temperatures for application areas to ensure a suitable range for both installation and the curing process.
  4. Pause irrigation sprinklers and check weather forecast for any precipitation within 72 hours of mixing EkoFlo.
  5. Perform a small test section to determine suitability of materials.
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EXPECTATIONS:

What are the benefits of using EkoFlo?

As well as giving your project a durable and natural stone appearance, EkoFlo will help maintain on-site water retention and alleviate storm-water management issues. EkoFlo can be used in areas where there are drainage problems. When installed, EkoFlo requires very little maintenance and can be easily repaired. Once cured, EkoFlo binder is 100% inert and will not leach. Further, it is environmentally safe and will not harm people, animals, plants and aquatic life. Always use personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling liquid form EkoFlo.

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COMMON USES:

What are the most common project applications for EkoFlo?

EkoFlo is most commonly used with ?” pebbles to create stunning walkways and patios for both residential and commercial foot traffic application projects. The options are nearly endless regarding complementary pebbles and aggregates and EkoFlo can be used in any free form setting. It is often also used in tree well applications, drainage conductor areas, and as aesthetic trim for other hardscape installations.

Can EkoFlo be used for a driveway project?

Yes, but there are some variables to consider. EkoFlo is most commonly used in small, aesthetic areas of a driveway both for it’s visual and permeable benefits. EkoFlo is not recommended for a complete driveway application without the use of geogrid over an engineered subbase. Before planning a driveway application, it is strongly recommended to contact our Technical Support department at 877-356-2250.

Can I use forms to make dimensional shapes?

Yes. It is recommended to use vegetable oil on the inside of the forms to allow for easy removal once cured.

Can EkoFlo be used between flagstone, paver, or other hardscape joints?

It can be done, but only with proper care during installation. It is recommended to use a 2” - 3” masking tape to protect the edges of the hardscape stone. Apply EkoFlo blended material into the joints using a grout bag, funnel, or small bucket. Allow to fully cure, then remove masking tape. EkoFlo binder will stain the surface of most stones, so it is critically important to take extra precautions in this type of application.

Can EkoFlo be poured over pebbles that are already in place?

NO. EkoFlo is a high viscosity binder (too thick to pour) designed to coat to each individual pebble during the premix process, ensuring full adhesion at each contact point. EkoFlo will coat and stick to each pebble when mixed, making each contact point equally strong. If a liquid binder is topically poured over the material, it can, at best, congeal pebbles into clusters which that are more likely to destabilize and break from the surface. Pouring is inefficient, wasteful, and can result in the pooling of binder below the pebble surface.

Can EkoFlo treated pebbles be used as a concrete overlay?

EkoFlo was developed to be a permeable hardscape and landscape solution. If the EkoFlo blended material is applied over concrete it leaves nowhere for passing water to percolate or drain to.

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TOOLS:

What tools are needed other than a mixer?

For most projects, the following tools are needed; personal protective equipment (PPE); grade and/or bow rake; shovel; screed board; concrete or masonry trowel; 5-gallon buckets; vegetable oil or Pam® Cooking Spray; acetone; hand towels; tarps and masking materials. Other tools may be required for the installation of edge restraints or other decorative materials.

What mixing equipment is recommended when installing EkoFlo?

For most project the preferred mixing equipment to use is a paddle mortar mixer, especially on larger projects. A cement mixer can be used only if the mixing basin can be rotated to both sides to ensure through mixing. Most traditional cement mixers flop the material over compared to agitating it from the inside out. For smaller projects, a 5-gallon bucket or wheelbarrow can be used. Make sure all mixing equipment used is free of concrete residue or other sediments. These sediments can be mixed in with the washed pebbles and create a hazed finish or compromise the integrity of the EkoFlo bond.

Do I need to protect surrounding areas from potential spills?

EkoFlo is a viscous, industrial grade binder that can stain other solid surface materials such as brick, stone, and concrete. Use a tape and plastic to protect adjacent surfaces from spills, much in the same way as if you were painting inside the home. Tarp and protect areas where EkoFlo will be mixed with the pebbles. If a spill occurs, use acetone or paint thinner and a cloth or brush to remove. It is strongly recommended to clean any spills immediately after they occur. Binder that is not removed or is allowed to cure will require a grinding wheel or wire brush to remove.

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PEBBLE SELECTION:

What is the best pebble to use with EkoFlo?

It is strongly recommended to use a washed and dried pebbles (often referred to a triple washed). These pebbles are most often available in 50 lb bags and 2000 lb super-sacks. A washed pebble will be free of stone dust or other impediments that could affect the bond strength and surface aesthetic.

What sized pebbles are recommended?

For walking surfaces, such as patios and pathways, a ?” pebble or ¼” - ?” pebble mix is recommended and most commonly used. For landscaping and planter beds, a ½” diameter pebble is the largest size we recommend. Smaller pebbles will be more durable and easier to maintain. The industry standard for washed pebbles is ?”.

Is it important to use a washed pebble?

Using unwashed pebbles can create a cloudy finish, an uneven appearance, and it can affect the cross-linking bond. For best results, use triple washed ?” pebbles.

Is it recommended to use a rounded pebble or crushed rock?

A round or semi-round pebble is recommended. Most triple washed pebbles will be rounded or semi-rounded. Angular, crushed rocks are often more difficult to clean, and the leftover sediment can reduce bond strength. It is strongly recommended to perform a small test section using the desired pebbles to confirm suitability before starting a project.

Can EkoFlo be used with polished or recycled glass?

Any pebble (including glass) that is free of dust or fines is suitable in most situations.

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CLEANING PEBBLES, AGGREGATES, & OTHER MATERIALS:

I cannot find a triple washed pebble, what are my options?

Although washed pebbles are available in most areas, in certain instances you may be required to wash your own pebble. The most common bulk pebbles available are; pea gravel or stones, river rock, and beach pebbles. These materials are initially washed of finer particles, but usually remain stored in open environments allowing for dust, dirt, and moisture to settle in.

Is the process to wash difficult?

If you need to wash your own pebbles, the process is quite simple. It is imperative to thoroughly wash the pebbles however. Often one wash cycle will work, depending on the amount of dust, type of rock, or jobsite conditions. Some additional washing of the pebbles may be required.

What non-washed pebbles would be recommended?

If a washed, bagged pebble is unavailable you can refer to your local landscape material supplier for available options. A ¼” or ?” diameter rounded pebble is the most commonly available material.

How do I wash the pebbles?

For smaller projects, it is recommend to use a 5-gallon bucket to clean the pebbles. Using a ¼” or smaller diameter drill bit, drill holes on ½” spacing along the bottom of the bucket. These holes will allow for dust, sediment and any other impediments to drain out when the pebble is washed. A disposable, plastic basin wheelbarrow can also be used in the same manner. Agitate the pebbles with a small spade or rake while washing with pressurized spray from a garden hose. If water is dirty or cloudy, continue washing until relatively clear. Pour washed pebbles out evenly on a tarp, preferably in the sun. Allow to dry completely before mixing with EkoFlo.

For larger projects, a poly or steel drum paddle mortar mixer can be used to agitate the pebbles in water. It may take 2-3 cycles to clean thoroughly. On average, a 2-person crew can wash 2000 - 2500 lbs. of pebble per hour.

Why is important to have a clean pebble?

Since EkoFlo is a high viscosity liquid (similar to a maple syrup in thickness), any dirt, debris or dust could end up suspended in the binder and can create a dirty or cloudy appearance once cured. It can also create bonding issues if there is too much sediment attached to the pebble. If the pebble is not properly cleaned it can greatly affect the beauty and strength of your project.

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EDGE RESTRAINTS:

Is edging required?

It is strongly recommended to install edge restraints when working with EkoFlo. Plastic, aluminum, concrete curb, or hardscape edging will all work well. If you are using a temporary edging to install a zero-edge EkoFlo surface, use vegetable oil spray on the inside of the edging, which will easily release the edging from the EkoFlo treated surface. Leave the temporary edging in place after installation until the EkoFlo blended material is completely cured.

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SUBGRADE & SUBBASE:

What is the best base material to use?

EkoFlo will work best when there is proper drainage for the subbase layer. It is recommended to use a #57 or a drainage base rock. Thickness of the subbase should follow traditional hardscape guidelines, but is also dependent of soil conditions and frequency of rain events. A standard base rock (i.e class II, crusher run, etc) can be used where more load bearing strength is needed, but it may not drain as well as a screened base rock. It is recommended to compact the base course in 3-4 passes for maximum stability.

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MIXING EKOFLO BINDER:

How much EkoFlo is mixed with the pebble?

For simple, baseline calculations, the amount of EkoFlo binder needed to mix is based on the diameter of the pebble, and the overall square footage and surface layer depth of a project. Please refer to the product bottle label or installation guide for the recommended mixing ratios. Another easy way to estimate the amount of EkoFlo binder needed is by using a 5-gallon bucket to measure the pebbles. A 5-gallon bucket filled with washed ?” pebbles is approximately 60 pounds. For every 5-gallon bucket of ???” pebbles, approximately 16 fluid ounces of EkoFlo binder is needed to mix thoroughly. If using a larger mixer, count the amount of 5-gallon bucket loads of pebble it can effectively mix, and add 16 oz. of EkoFlo binder for each 5-gallon bucket load. Example; (8) 5-gallon buckets of ?” pebbles (approximately 480 lbs) would require (8) 16oz bottles of EkoFlo (or, approximately 1 gallon).

How is the EkoFlo binder be added to the pebbles?

First, it is strongly recommended to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as impenetrable gloves, safety glasses, long sleeves and pants, and closed toe shoes before handling EkoFlo binder. Simply pour the binder over the pebbles and begin to agitate and mix. The binder should thoroughly coat each pebble. Mixing too little EkoFlo will result in a poor bond, and conversely, using too much EkoFlo can negatively affect the curing process and create surface blemishes. It is very important to accurately follow mixing guidelines.

How long does the EkoFlo binder need to be mixed with the pebbles?

Until each pebble is thoroughly coated with EkoFlo, often 2-3 minutes. Make sure that each pebble is coated, especially when using a cement mixer or mixing in a bucket. Similar to mixing bagged concrete with water in a wheelbarrow, it’s important to turn the material over an agitate thoroughly for optimal results.

After mixing the EkoFlo binder with the pebbles how long do I have to install?

EkoFlo was designed to cure quickly. On average the blended material will need to be installed 15 - 20 minutes after mixing. The material will begin to thicken and become more difficult to screed and trowel into place after 20 - 30 minutes. Warmer temperatures may reduce the amount of time from mixing to install, conversely, cooler temperatures may increase the time. In either scenario, it is recommended to install immediately after mixing.

Can I add EkoFlo to wet or damp pebbles? Or can I install the blended material onto a wet sub-base?

No. It is imperative that EkoFlo binder is mixed and allowed to cure without coming into contact with water. Water trapped within EkoFlo binder will begin to evaporate during the curing process which can lead to foaming, discoloration, or destabilization upon cure. It is recommended to avoid mixing or installing EkoFlo within 72 hours before or after a rain event. When it doubt, let the materials dry. Once the EkoFlo has fully cured it will not be affected by rain or water.

Can EkoFlo be sprayed or poured from a watering can?

No. EkoFlo is designed to be mixed to assure each individual pebble is evenly coated. EkoFlo is higher in viscosity in order to cling to each pebble and remain consistently blended during installation.

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SURFACE LAYER:

How do I install the EkoFlo blended pebble mixture?

After EkoFlo has been thoroughly mixed with the pebbles, the material can be directly installed on top of the subbase layer. The installation process does not require significant compaction. Use a steel toothed rake to distribute the material evenly into place and then use a screed board and masonry or concrete trowel to smooth the material to the finish grade. Make sure all pebbles are flush and smooth at the surface level.

How long does it take for the EkoFlo treated pebbles to fully cure?

Once the EkoFlo mixture has been installed, allow it to fully cure before use. Curing times are dependent on temperature and atmospheric conditions. It is recommended to install EkoFlo in temperatures between 55º - 90º F. EkoFlo will cure quicker in warmer temperatures, sometimes as little as 12 - 24 hours. In cooler conditions the curing process can take longer, up to 48 - 72 hours. If the material is still tacky, the EkoFlo mixture is not fully cured. Make sure the surface is dried and firm before opening the area for use. It is not recommended for EkoFlo to be installed if the daily low temperature is below 55º F during the curing process.

What is the best way to finish EkoFlo blended material once raked over the subbase?

Much like finishing concrete, it is recommended to use a screed board to level the blended material. Then a concrete or masonry finishing trowel can be used to finish the surface layer. For added ease, use vegetable oil or Pam® Cooking Spray on finishing tools. This will prevent the binder from sticking to the tools and dramatically help reduce clean up.

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COMPACTION OF MATERIALS:

Is it recommended to compact EkoFlo treated pebbles?

Since it is recommended to use EkoFlo with rounded and semi-rounded pebbles, mechanical compaction is not required. Simply use a screed board and clean masonry trowel to smooth and compact the blended material on the surface layer.

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NEW PROJECTS:

What is the best way to ensure success on a EkoFlo project?

When planning a project from the beginning, all installation variables can be taken into consideration and recommended construction methods can be followed. Skipping steps or relying on components from an older installation can often times lead to problems or undesired results. The most important aspects to consider when using EkoFlo are; using a suitable pebble, proper mixing ratios, dry and warm weather conditions during cure.

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EXISTING PROJECTS:

Can EkoFlo be used on existing hardscape installations (flagstone, pavers, bricks)?

In most instances it is recommended to use new pebbles or thoroughly clean and dry any existing pebbles. Since each project has its own set of variables it is recommended to contact our Technical Support department directly at 877-356-2250.

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FINISHING TOUCHES & CLEANING:

What is the best method for cleaning tools and equipment?

Treating tools and mixing equipment with a light coating of vegetable oil or Pam® Cooking Spray before contact with EkoFlo binder will significantly reduce cleaning time at the end of a project. It is recommended to clean any tools or equipment immediately after use. Use acetone or paint thinner to remove any residue from hand tools by allowing them to soak for 2 - 3 minutes and then wiping clean with a towel. EkoFlo binder will not harm the interior of mixing equipment. If removing any residual binder from the interior of the mixing equipment you can use the same products mentioned to clean hand tools. After cleaning, properly dispose of the remaining liquids based on your local city, county, or state regulations.

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MAINTENANCE:

What maintenance is required for an EkoFlo surface or treated pebbles?

EkoFlo is very durable, and after curing it is UV stable and will not be affected by water. The usage or wear and tear of the surface will dictate how often a maintenance coat is needed. If the treated pebbles become dull or a few pebbles become loose, simply apply a light roll coat with a tight-nap paint roller over the surface. The average coverage rate is 50 - 100 square feet per gallon. This process will re-strengthen the surface layer. Additional maintenance coats may be required every 3 - 5 years.

Is is easy to fix areas where EkoFlo was under-applied?

Small mistakes can be fixed, but it is difficult once the material has been mixed and installed. It is strongly recommended to follow the application ratios and ensure each pebble is fully coated for the most durable bond.

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LIFE CYCLE:

What should I expect from a EkoFlo treated surface?

EkoFlo is a durable and UV stable product, but still requires occasional care and maintenance. In average conditions a maintenance coat is recommended every 36 - 60 months.The maintenance process is dependent upon two factors; the amount of usage the treated surface and weather conditions. Heavier usage may require the need for some minor repairs on occasion, and it is recommended to repair these areas promptly. -


 

STORAGE:

How should opened and unopened material be stored?

In either instance EkoFlo should be stored in an area that meets two vital conditions; no direct exposure to sunlight and within the product’s temperature ranges. The shelf-life of unopened EkoFlo is 18 months, if stored in optimal conditions. For opened EkoFlo storage it requires that the product is vacuum sealed, after which the product should be used within 6 months. Improper storage can result in the polymer being compromised.

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WARRANTY:

What is the warranty for EkoFlo?

TechniSoil Global, Inc. warrants this product to be free from defects. Where permitted by law, TechniSoil makes no other warranties with respect to this product, express or implied, including without limitation the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose. The purchaser shall be responsible to orchestrate their own tests to determine the suitability of this product for their particular purpose. TechniSoil’s liability shall be limited in all events to supplying sufficient product to re-treat the specific areas to which product proven to be defective has been applied. Acceptance and use of this product absolves TechniSoil from any other liability, from any and all sources, including liability for incidental, consequential or resultant damages whether due to breach of warranty, negligence or strict liability. This warranty may not be modified or extended by representatives of TechniSoil, its distributors or dealers, independent contractors, clients or end-users of any kind.

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ADDITIONAL INFO:

Where can I buy EkoFlo?

All TechniSoil Global, Inc. products are sold exclusively by Authorized TechniSoil Dealers. Searching for a local Dealer is easy with our online Dealer Locator.

If I have any other questions, how do I contact TechniSoil Global, Inc. directly?

For any other questions about the TechniSoil Global, Inc. product line, please visit us online at http://www.technisoil.com or contact us by phone at 877-356-2250.

Does EkoFlo contain any isocyanates?

Isocyanates are common in many over-the-counter home construction coating and binder products. EkoFlo does contain a trace volume of isocyanates, and although rare, they may produce an allergic reaction in some people. Persons allergic to isocyanates, and particularly those suffering from asthma or other respiratory conditions, should not work with isocyanates. When working with EkoFlo, always use personal protective equipment (PPE) such as safety glasses, impenetrable gloves, long sleeves and pants, and closed toe shoes or boots (avoid direct contact to skin).

What size packaging is EkoFlo available in?

EkoFlo is available for sale in the following packages;

  • 16-ounce bottle
  • 1-gallon bottle
  • 5-gallon bottle

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