This ball of nuclear energy heats our planet
What happens when it’s hot?
Spring has sprung and Summer is about to be in full force. Our customers in the desert southwest, SoCal and Texas aren’t the only ones that feel the effects of the heat, heck it was 90+ in Anchorage, AK last Summer!
The surface temperatures can be 40+ degrees hotter than the air temperature
Well, most of us during the Winter months can’t wait until the snows melt and the sun heats up the place, so we can finally get to our landscape and hardscape projects. We look forward to this time of year as well, Winter can be boring- now it’s ‘All hands on deck’. But, before we get ahead of ourselves and rush into our next project it’s important to take into consideration day-to-day weather, but also the climate conditions as well…. we’re talking temperatures, humidity, cloud cover, wind, etc. Why do we need to take these variables into consideration?
- In the Summer apply our water-based products in the morning hours
Since the majority of our products are water-based, there are several factors that we need to take into account before you start your project this Summer.
Variables to always consider in the warmer months-
- The most important variable in the Summer is high daytime temperatures and direct sunlight. Most of our products have a recommended temperature range between 55-90 degrees during not just installation, but through the curing process. Now, we’re not just talking about the air temp, we’re also referring to surface temperatures. I saw a warning the other day regarding walking your dog when it’s hot outside. The graph showed that on an 80-degree day the pavement can heat up to 110+ degrees. That will ‘sizzle’ a dog’s paw…….and it will sizzle our products as well. This time of year, it is recommended to use our water-based products (all but EkoFlo and TrowelPave) between sunrise and 10:30am. The morning hours are the coolest and the sun has yet to rise and ‘heat up’ your pavers, stone, DG, etc. It also gives the remainder of the day for the products to evenly cure.
What Happens if you apply our water-based products when the surface temperatures are too high? It simply ‘sizzles’/evaporates off the water quicker than it can absorb. The industry term is referred to as ‘flashing’. How is this bad? Take the case of sealing a paver patio (with a product like Molecule JSS. NanoPave Hardscape Sealer, etc). If the temperatures are too hot the sealer cannot absorb into the pavers fully because the water component will quickly evaporate- this can cause numerous issues including; a seal that won’t be durable, a residue can be left on the surface that can lead to blemishing, and in the worst case scenario you’ll have to use a sealant remover- which is a terrible job……and you’ll be starting from scratch, having to do your project twice. It will take time, money and will stress you out. Same goes with a product like G3, it will evaporate before it can fully absorb and disperse, leaving only a thin stabilized surface. It can also start curing before you can fully compact, which can greatly compromise durability. Patience is a virtue. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.
- 2. Rainfall and Humidity……is a critical condition to calculate into your project. Even in the arid desert southwest, where 7-10” of rain per year occur, Summer brings the monsoon season where the majority of it’s yearly rainfall happens, so this is a variable that’s in play everywhere. In places like Florida, the Pacific NW where humidity is high this is a year-long challenge, but in any region, rainfall and humidity need to be accounted for.
Why is this important? High humidity decreases evaporation and prolongs curing. The upside to the summer months is warmer temps, which will cure our products on the lower side of our ‘estimations- even a large DG surface treated with G3 will often be rock-hard in hours. But humidity is something to consider, especially when using a product like G3. Humidity can add 24 hours or more to achieve full curing. Our products range of curing can be as soon as a few hours up to a few days, so take precautions, especially if you’re trying to install before rain is forecast. Most of our products recommend a minimum of 24-72 hours between application and any forecast rainfall. If your surface isn’t fully cured, a rain event can ‘washout’, dilute or greatly damage your hard work– in some instances it means you need to start your project from scratch…..nobody likes to do the same job twice! My advice would be to wait for a ‘longer window’ of good weather to assure these variables are out of play. Now sometimes weather happens, you know what I’m talking about Colorado?! You can have 4-season in a day. If you have started a project or if your surface isn’t fully cured before you get a rainfall, keep an inexpensive painter’s plastic or tarp(s) handy and cover the surface. This will help avoid any major issues. Simply remove any covering after the rain passes and let the surface continue to cure. Problem avoided!
- 3. Wind………there are 3 components that will affect (for good or bad) evaporation and therefore curing, of a water-based product; temperature, direct sunlight and wind. But like with Cheesecake, there can be too much of a good thing. Wind is on the lower scale of our ‘climate worries’, but still needs to be considered before you start your application. As with surface temperature, a heavy/strong wind will evaporate ANY water-based product too quickly– think of using your leaf blower to ‘dry off’ your flagstone after a rain. Wind is an effective mode of evaporation. Also, especially when using a pressurized sprayer, the wind can reduce coverage accuracy and therefore can affect the durability or aesthetic.
- 4. Cloud cover/Shade………….This is more important to consider in colder months/conditions or if you’re expecting the product to cure within our ‘estimated’ timeframe. Warmer weather and a light breeze are always helpful, but direct sunlight will really speed up the evaporation process (refer back to #1 when we talked about the caveats of surface temperature). North and east sides of a house/structure, heavily treed areas and cloudy conditions can prolong evaporation and affect the time between application and fully curing- this is most important to consider when using a product like G3, where you’ll have 2” mass on compacted and treated DG- it just takes longer to cure when direct sunlight isn’t on your side.
- Heat– With G3 you can create structural and aesthetic issues (lack of absorption, cracking, etc). Sealants, such as MOLECULE and NanoPave need time to absorb into the pavement to be effective. If it’s too hot it will create problems more times than not. Pre-dawn to 11am are recommended installation times during very hot conditions (above 85 by 11am). Remember that surface temperatures will remain too hot (to install our products) for several hours after sunset
- Humidity– In optimal conditions our products usually cure within 48 hours (usually quite less), but humidity will slow the evaporation, therefore prolonging the curing process. Marine layer, low clouds and morning dew will often slow-down the curing process (excl. EkoFlo). Always consider prolonged curing in humid conditions and give yourself more of a buffer between installation and any forecast rain- always keep a painter’s plastic/tarp handy to cover the surface isn’t fully cured.
- Wind– Wind is great at aiding in the evaporation process, but too much wind can affect curing. Too much wind during application can affect the ‘accuracy’ of coverage, it also can ‘evaporate the surface moisture too quickly’, before a stabilizer/sealant can fully absorb. In the case of a G3 product, rapid evaporation can cause surface cracking and insufficient surface bonding. With sealants (MOLECULE and NanoPave), the liquid can evaporate before it can fully absorb which can create a residue or insufficient ‘sealing’ of the pavement.
- Cloud cover and Shade– Whether it’s an overcast day or the project are is shaded by trees or a structure, the curing process will be longer than a project that’s exposed to the Sun. To aid to the evaporation process you can use a ‘floor fan’, the wind will help. This works especially well in smaller areas.
Have it made in the SHADE
WORDS TO REMEMBER…………………….
- Always err on the side of caution. If it seems too hot, that the chance of rain is high or any other variable regarding weather is at play, your project could be compromised
- Sealants will cure much quicker and usually are ready to use in less than a day
- G3 products require the longest curing time of all our products (the larger the area, the longer the cure time)
- When using our water-based products simply rinse/clean any tools/equipment with water (a light detergent might be needed in certain instances)
- Our water-based products have a long shelf life, even after having been opened. But can be damaged if they are stored in direct sunlight or in temperatures below freezing
Sealed vs Unsealed
NOW……..GO OUT THERE WITH YOUR NEWLY ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE AND USE OUR PRODUCTS WITH CONFIDENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CATEGORIES: DIY / HOMEOWNER