As with everything in life, all good things come to an end.
As the Summer passes us and Fall is upon us, the landscape season in most of the Country will be drawing to a close. Aside from the warmer and drier parts of the country, by the time November comes around the landscape season starts to slow down. Not to say that all TechniSoil projects grind to a halt, but with certainty, there will be weather conditions that must be addressed.
<EkoFlo and TrowelPave can be used in colder weather>
Since almost all of our products are water-based, evaporation is the KEY component to our curing process. In our installation guides, we point out ‘weather parameters’ for optimal conditions; temperature and rain are always the key factors at play. So, if you live in the Rockies, the Upper Midwest or in regions where ‘Winter can come early,’ there are a few things always to remember before you start a project using a TechniSoil product;
- Daily low temperatures during installation and the curing process-
By far this is the biggest challenge as the weather starts to turn colder. The TechniSoil products that requires the longest curing time G3, BarkBinder and lastly NanoPave JSS (for wider, DG joints). Unlike our sealants and stabilizers, EkoFlo and TrowelPave can cure rather quickly in most all weather conditions, however our water-based products need more curing time.
Why? Because we are having to allow time for absorption and evaporation. For example, NanoPave Hardscape Sealer will cover approx. 150 sf/ gallon (that’s less than 1oz./ sf.), whereas G3 Pathway Stabilizer requires 5-gallons to cover 75 sf. (which is 8.5oz./sf.) and that water component must evaporate from a 1.5-2” mass of DG. In colder conditions evaporation is slowed considerably. If nighttime low temperatures are below 55 degrees (F) there will be little or no evaporation during ½ the day- this will increase our cure times.
*It is common to have a high of 70 on one day and freezing temperatures the next day (I’m talking about you Colorado…HA!). Plan accordingly to assure to avoid any weather ‘pitfalls’.
**MOLECULE and NANOPAVE products, since they cure quicker, can often be applied in colder conditions
2) What points do we need to consider before installing in the later part of the landscape season?
-Colder temperatures will extend the curing process
-Daytime temperatures might meet our recommended ranges (i.e. 55-90 degrees for G3), night temperatures can fall well below that threshold.
-Avoid any freezing temperatures during the curing process at ALL COST! Freezing of uncured products (whether already installed or bottled material being stored) will greatly damage the product’s effectiveness or make the product unusable. You might install a G3 pathway on a 75-degree day, but if the forecast shows temperature lows in the following days dipping below our recommendations (especially if at or near freezing) you’re increasing the chance of a failed project.
-Ambient temperature vs surface temperature. In colder conditions, high pressure can make the ground temperature ‘colder’ than the air temperature. If the low temperature is forecast for 40 degrees, the ground temperature can still hit the freezing point. It also pushes moisture to ground level, which will further reduce evaporation and prolong curing.
-That brings us to frost conditions. Frost can occur in air temperatures above freezing, it creates ice crystals to form and can greatly damage uncured products. However, when the product is ‘fully cured,’ freezing temperatures will not have any damaging effect.
From a Technical Support perspective, as the weather gets colder we always err on the side of caution. We don’t like to play against the odds and would rather reschedule your install for a more optimal timeframe of weather or delay the project until the Spring.
As mentioned, these temperature parameters are mainly concerning our G3 series, BarkBinder and NanoPave JSS (with wider DG joints).
Our Molecule, NanoPave Hardscape Sealers, EkoFlo and TrowelPave cure quicker, have lower application and curing temperatures; offering a ‘longer’ season for usage- but still avoid freezing temperatures with ALL of our products.
We’d rather protect your investment and postpone your application than try to ‘beat’ the elements– Mother nature usually wins that battle. We want to assure your project turns out as perfect as possible and exceeds your expectations.
When is it too wet to use TechniSoil products?
Well, good question. With the change in seasons, the chance for inclement weather increases in most regions. Since most of our products are water-based (excluding EkoFlo and TrowelPave), wet materials and conditions can have a great effect on your project’s outcome. As well, with EkoFlo and TrowelPave, accounting for wet material and conditions during the installation process is also a key factor to consider.
Wet material concerns for water-based products:
- Wet DG or mulch can be a challenge. I use the analogy of a sponge. If the sponge has a little moisture, it actually helps aid in absorption. If the sponge has too much moisture, there is no place for water to absorb into.
- The same applies with our water-based products. If you are using a G3 or NanoPave JSS product, take into account the moisture content of the DG/sand. The same applies to mulches with BarkBinder; if the material ‘looks’ very wet, then it’s better to wait a few hours or even a few days.
- If your DG/Mulch has too much moisture, a few things can occur that we want to avoid.
- If there is too much moisture, the TechniSoil products will be unable to absorb and disperse into the material fully. For instance, with G3 the binding particles will be unable to absorb much past the surface, leaving only a thin layer of stabilization and therefore not an exceptionally durable application.
- Too much moisture will significantly prolong the evaporation/curing process.
- In the case of G3, excessive moisture will delay the ability to mechanically compact by several hours and can create inconsistencies in compaction density and quality.
As the days get shorter, the sun is lower on the horizon, and areas that are shaded by trees or structures will cure much slower than areas exposed to direct sunlight. This is prevalent on the North or Eastern sides of a house/structure, which will receive little or no sun exposure, especially in the winter months.
Heaters and surface fans in these areas can be used to help aid with evaporation/curing, but once more, we’re playing a game of chance with the weather and adding variables that can affect your project’s results. We highly recommend waiting for a more optimal time window to start any project.
- Wet material with EkoFlo- WATER and OIL don’t get along!
EKOFLO WILL HOLD UP TO RAIN, SNOW AND FREEZING TEMPERATURES ONCE CURED. BUT, ALWAYS MAKE SURE TO INSTALL IN DRY CONDITIONS!
- One of the major variables when using EkoFlo is using a washed and ‘Dry’ pebble. A wet pebble will try to evaporate that moisture. If these pebbles are coated/mixed with EkoFlo, it can cause cracking, foaming and other ‘bad’ reactions. Patience is a virtue!
- If you can feel and see the moisture on the pebbles, it’s too wet; give it time to fully dry before you proceed to add EkoFlo.
- Wet conditions are also not recommended for the use of EkoFlo. If there has been rain the night before or if rain is forecast within 24 hours, it is best to delay until the site conditions are suitable (do not install EkoFlo or TrowelPave in standing water, but with TrowelPave damp conditions are allowable.
BONUS INFO- PROPER STORAGE
1) How to store TechniSoil product inventory in cold/Freezing climates?
*Store in a climate-controlled environment
*Freezing temperatures (especially if the TechniSoil product is frozen) will often cause damage to the product quality
2) How long do TECHNISOIL products last? I get these questions a lot, and in most instances, some of these questions are specifically addressed in our installation guides, brochures, labels, FAQs, etc. But a lot of the questions I receive are either from dealers or customers/contractors.
A main question from our dealers is ‘what’s the shelf-life’ for unused products?
Customers often will ask, ‘I have a few gallons of product left after my project, how long will it last?
*With our water-based products (all but EkoFlo and TrowelPave), an unopened container is still usable after 5+ years. An opened container, as long as it was properly re-capped, will last a minimum of two years, usually longer.
*For EkoFlo and TrowelPave binding liquid, an unopened bottle will last a minimum of 2-years, however, once the container has been opened, it will still be good for up to 30 days, so it’s important when using EkoFlo to purchase the right amount of binder. You don’t want to waste the product or the customer’s money; that’s why EkoFlo is offered in 16 oz, 1-gallon, and 5-gallon sizes, so you don’t over-buy.
*All of our products are required to be stored out of direct sunlight and to avoid freezing temperatures. If the products are exposed to these conditions it can significantly compromise their effectiveness and usually cross-links. If the liquid has ‘chunks’ and solid bits, this is a sign the product has been compromised and should not be sold/used.
Storing unused product for a few years is usually no problem. Having a ‘few’ gallons of leftover product isn’t a bad thing, it can be used in a few month…..or a few years, when the need arises for a repair or ‘re-seal’.
When in doubt, always contact our Technical Support Department @ 877.356.2250 x 2 to discuss potential challenges. We will always offer our advice and point you in the right direction; it is our goal to help ensure your project is successful!