Soil Erosion

Soil erosion caused by construction activities is becoming an increasingly critical issue affecting the health of our environment. According to a scholarly article published by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, the potential for significant erosion on heavily disturbed construction sites is up to 100 times greater than on agricultural land. The impacts on the environment from this level of soil erosion are profound. As the research article states, “Unless adequate measures are taken to prevent this abnormal, highly accelerated soil removal, it becomes the most visible and damaging factor in the deterioration of soil quality and the environmental quality of urban areas.”

A reading of this article yields the following synopsis:

When large tracts of land are eroded, massive amounts of sediment wreak havoc on the surrounding environment. This sediment builds up in crucial drainage areas. When this occurs, the flow capacity of the drainage system is reduced and flooding results. In urban areas, the loss of proper drainage means that excess water enters sewer systems, putting huge strain on the infrastructure of these systems. As water builds up in places that it was not designed to be, damage occurs to buildings and structures. Roads become swamped and traffic issues are exacerbated.

These sediment flows have an equally (if not worse) impact on the surrounding natural environment. Excess sediment causes natural waterways to become turbid. Turbidity blocks necessary sunlight from penetrating through the water to provide the energy needed for underwater vegetation to engage in photosynthesis. As plants get choked out, many marine species lose precious habitat. Oxygen levels are also reduced, making life more difficult for fish and marine life. Excess nutrients from top soil being washed into these areas results in eutrophication, a condition in which excess phosphorus and nitrogen create harmful blooms of unwanted biological growth.

At a financial level, excess soil erosion costs taxpayers millions, as costs of removing soil from roads, drainage systems, and culverts mound up. There are also large costs involved with damage from flooding.

The paper concludes with the following statement:

“The effects of erosion on construction sites continue to menace society both from on-site and off-site damages. Preventing soil-related problems before they occur is easier and more cost effective than correcting them later. Communities need to work with developers, contractors, and local governments to limit compaction and soil loss during construction operations.”

This article really hit home with us here at Global Environmental Solutions. We are deeply committed to help these environmental catastrophes through our work developing ground-breaking solutions to the issue of soil erosion. If you want to learn more about how our specifically engineered DirtGlue® polymer works to bond soil particles together to prevent soil erosion, please take a look at this article for more helpful information.

If we are to prevent more significant damage to our urban environments, our natural environments, and our municipal and federal budgets, we need to do more to control soil erosion. We are proud to say that we are working hard here at Global Environmental Solutions to inform and advocate on this important issue.

If you have questions on how our environmentally-sustaining products can work to help you protect the areas in which you live and/or work, feel free to reach out today.

Creating Pathways That Last

Creating Pathways That Last (Part One of Two)

So You Want or Need a Pathway.

First question: What are your goals?

There are likely multiple. We understand.

At the root level the three most common goals we hear about are:

  • Functionality – controlled terrain
  • Aesthetically appealing
  • Constructed to last

 

What makes up various pathway types and what are the common issues?

Natural pathways come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The first thing to consider is the traffic placed upon the pathway. A very crowded botanical garden path or a maintenance vehicle access road will require different support than a lightly used foot trail. A pathway – in engineering terms – must be designed to provide the correct amount of load bearing as well as shear strength to support the traffic placed upon the surface (be sure to consider the frequency of this traffic as well). This load bearing and shear strength requirement can be met naturally using the structure of the aggregate or with chemicals and geosynthetics. Soil particle structure, depth and slope of the pathway surface, natural makeup or man-made construction of the base layer, and strength of the soil’s natural binding can all increase load bearing and shear strength. When these elements are incorrect in a pathway the result can yield:

  • Reduced longevity
  • Rutting
  • Erosion from traffic
  • Dust
  • Reduced accessibility for users

Common questions:

What is or what will the pathway be made of? Examples:

  • Decomposed granite
  • Crushed stone
  • Gravel
  • Sand (easy now…)

How high is the load bearing and shear strength of the pathway?

This is an incredibly important aspect as it pertains to erosion and how to combat it before it becomes an issue.

Speaking of erosion…

 

What does weather do to the pathway?

Natural pathways can be appealing. Porosity of natural materials allow water to percolate down into the soil. This can allow the path to manage some storm water and also keeps the surface cooler, reducing the heat island effect. The type of aggregate and slope of the pathway’s surface layer, will affect how the path responds to water. When these elements are incorrect the result will be reduced longevity due to rain creating:

  • Rutting
  • Erosion
  • Mud
  • Washout

 

Plan on routine maintenance.

All natural materials will develop loose surface rock particles which is part of the natural look. It reminds users that the path is not concrete or asphalt. Many natural materials can appear to be very stable after the initial installation, but will continually produce greater amounts of loose rock ever more quickly due to weather/aging. If there is too much loose rock, this will create much more maintenance and result in a renovation too quickly. If clay the pathway will be muddy during wet seasons and dusty during dry seasons.

That brings us to what the pathway is constructed of from the aggregate particle structure and soil engineering standpoint.

Materials such as decomposed granite, crushed granite, or other types of crushed stone are considered “soils/aggregates.” These aggregates contain soil particles such as sand, silt, and clay, along with gravel or rock elements. Soil particles are like the DNA of the pathway. They decide how your pathway will perform. Soil structure is the composition and arrangement of particles and pores; the open voids that occur between and within soil particles. If base and slope conditions are constructed properly, then soil structure will determine the load bearing and shear strength, or traffic resistance, of the pathway.

Clay is the only soil particle that has cohesion without water. Clay particles give cohesion for load bearing and shear strength, but when the concentration of clay particles becomes too high, or the moisture content becomes too high it will destabilize and become muddy. Sand and rock particles provide a more sound structure. The amount and size of rock particles, angularity, and hardness will change the load bearing strength of the pathway.

Regardless of the challenges that a pathway will pose, there’s are ways to make the makeup of the path and the environment around it manageable and built to last. Global Environmental Solutions has a couple of products in its environmentally friendly arsenal that will make any job easier – at the outset, or from the maintenance vantage points. Learn more about our DirtGlue® polymer, our DGE Polymer Pavement System, and more. Stay tuned for our second installment of our pathway series which will dwell on evaluating your pathway construction and the substrate that makes it what it is, environmental challenges, and ADA compliance thoughts.

Until then, give us a shout to discuss any of your unique pathway projects and we’ll consult some solid ways to increase the performance, longevity, and quality of the area in question – from the planning phase, through existing pathways that are in need of a managerial “upgrade.” Reach out to GES today! We’re here to answer any and all of your questions and our products are for the earth, with the earth in mind!

Spring Forward with DirtGlue®

Dirtglue

Spring is around the corner. And, what’s better than thinking ahead? That’s what we do here at Global Environmental Solutions. We like to introduce products that provide longevity and purpose while not taking away from the integrity of the surrounding environment.

That said, what’s one thing that contractors, landscapers, and homeowners have in common with regard to thoughts on departing snowbanks? Vegetation. What a landscape looks like from an aesthetic and functional standpoint as it pertains to the plants that reside there.

For gardeners, they often start their seedlings in their basement and/or greenhouse to get a head start on germination of their crops. But how do you get a head start on your landscape, or, rather, ensure that the planting you’re doing will “stick,” and yield positive results? And further, how do you prepare the land your set to plant on to “stay in place,” and avoid washout, etc.?

The answer: tackifiers. The act/art of keeping soil managed and “in its place.”

That said, the biggest challenge for hydroseeders is finding the right solution for their tackifying needs. Spring brings with it a whole lot of rain, and if you’re subjecting yourself to potential failure from washouts and erosion that the spring rains will create. Without forethought about a good tackifier, you’re setting yourself to be way behind when fruitful vegetation is prime to set in and take hold.

DirtGlue®.

What’s that you say?

DirtGlue®. Global Environmental Solutions proprietary product that, quite simply, holds the earth in place.

That facts as they relate to hydroseeding and getting a jumpstart on your spring projects:

  • DirtGlue eliminates erosion and washouts in hydroseeding applications
  • Using DirtGlue polymer emulsion instead of your regular tackifier is a much more effective solution to prevent washouts from runoff and to accelerate germination.
  • The unique bonding capabilities of our polymer technology keep soil, seeds, nutrients, and cellulose mix in place during heavy rains and extreme run-off situations.

What is DirtGlue®?

DirtGlue® polymer emulsion is a powerful, high-tech soil stabilization bonding agent specifically engineered to bond soil particles together. A non-hazardous product, DirtGlue® polymer contains no harmful chemicals, will not adversely affect people, animals or aquatic life.

By employing the power of DirtGlue®, you’re cutting out costly and overly time-consuming maintenance that comes with reapplications of whatever solution you’re utilizing right now. Touchups are relatively standard in the industry, but with DirtGlue® polymer on your side, you avoid these “costs” (monetary and time) and ensure stronger, manageable soil fit for any job you’re looking to perform. It also eliminates dust, which is often a byproduct of working in any environment.

DirtGlue® polymer combined with your hydroseeding mix holds water in the soil longer (greenhouse effect) and protects the soil and plants from rapid dehydration. Benefits proven through extensive testing include:

  • 2-5 days earlier germination
  • more than a 20% higher germination rate of grasses
  • Reduction in soil losses due to strong precipitation (sediment control)
  • Prevention of loss of fines due to wind erosion (dust control)
  • Elimination of washouts

DirtGlue® is also the key component in our CompoMulch™ product.

CompoMulch™ enables:

  • Even application
  • Faster coverage over larger areas
  • Faster, more complete germination and sustained nutrient release for long-term growth

Benefits of using CompoMulch™:

  • Reduces water usage and helps retain available moisture
  • Reduces erosion and the effects of erosion
  • Improved plant growth
  • Binds soil, seed and mulch mediums
  • Fully biodegradable (organic in fact)
  • Prevents washouts even in the severest weather

CompoMulch™ hydromulch is a custom blended hydromulch that contains 50% sterilized compost/humus mixed with special blend of vegetable fiber (no paper, no wood – which is common in most hydromulch solutions on the market).

At the root of it all is DirtGlue®. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. But don’t wait too long. Time is of the essence, and forward thinking leads to forward progress. Contact Global Environmental Solutions today and spring forward with DirtGlue®. Let’s work together to get better control over that project you’ve got percolating.

Our position with the many products we offer is simple. They’re: For the earth, with the earth in mind.

MasonProof™: For Building that Wall (and Beyond)

Masonry Waterproofing

The hot topic as of late seems to be the act of building a wall. When it comes to this type of structure, the first thing that comes to mind is concrete. A lot of concrete.

Are you in the process of planning the construction of a wall? Or how about one of the following:

  • Highway bridges
  • Buildings
  • Parking garages

When it comes to any of these, concrete will most likely be used in some capacity – often playing a major role. What you need to prepare for is how the integrity of your structure will stack up over time. The key opponent of concrete structures is moisture. Moisture is destructive and can cut the life of a structure exponentially if it’s allowed to penetrate whatever it is you’re looking to build.

When any type of masonry job comes into contact with water, it will absorb an amount which is entirely dependent on how porous the material is you’re building with. Water is the main cause of structural damage such as:

  • Cracking/fractures
  • Frost damage
  • Algal growth
  • Salt efflorescence
  • Warping
  • Spalling

So, how are you protecting your wall (or whatever it is you’re building)? You can’t just build it and expect to keep out damaging foreign entities such as water or worse yet water with corrosive chlorides indefinitely. If you don’t take preventative measures to prevent water/moisture ingress, the structure will be compromised right out of the gate…

The aforementioned potential threats can easily be prevented or significantly reduced by utilizing hydrophobic impregnation with a hydrophobizer like MasonProof.

“What?”

We’re glad you asked.

MasonProofis a blended compound that is a colorless, non-film-forming treatment for all types of mineral substrates (masonry).

The result: Extremely long term inhibition of capillary absorption of water while maintaining the substrate’s breathability, color, and texture. There also exists no skin to peel or damage.

“How do I achieve/maintain this?”

Short answer: Contact Global Environmental Solutions (GES).

Longer answer: As a technological pioneer in masonry impregnation, GES introduced its revolutionary product, MasonProof to the world. Like all GES products, MasonProofwas created for the earth, with the earth in mind – utilizing green practices (it’s constructed from solvent-free organo-silane/siloxane concentrates) while offering highly efficient and effective solutions for permanent building protection.

Advantages of MasonProof:

  • Drastic reduction in water uptake (>95%)
  • Retention of high water-vapor permeability
  • Permanent or extremely long-lasting effects thanks to good penetration power and very high UV resistance
  • Adequate resistance to alkalis
  • No gloss and no tack
  • Low environmental impact

Main Applications

  • Clay Brick
  • Concrete Block
  • Sand-lime Brick
  • Mortar
  • Sandstone
  • Granite
  • Mineral plaster
  • Marble
  • Stucco
  • Concrete
  • Clay tile
  • Primer for exterior paints and plasters (resin coatings, emulsion coatings)

Engineers, construction contractors and builders alike have had to deal with the destructive chemical reactions cement-based building materials suffer. Water acts as the reaction medium or solvent in this destruction. By utilizing MasonProofas a working piece of your construction plans, you can nip this problem in the bud, maintain structural integrity and aesthetics and avoid some of the shortcomings of other solutions on the market such as film former / barrier type technologies (coatings), which have been widely used, but due to weathering and ultra violet exposure these coatings have a limited lifespan – from a year to five years – leaving you with the serious repeat maintenance down the road.

FYI (More about MasonProof):

MasonProofis a non-solvent based organo-silane product that represents nano technology water proofing. MasonProofworks at the microscopic level preventing the water molecules from being able to enter whatever substrate is being protected. The penetrants in the MasonProofchemically react with the substrate and provide molecular level hydrophobicity.

MasonProofcan be easily applied by spray, brush or roller to new or existing masonry structures to protect them from mildew, fungus, efflorescence, leaching, staining, scaling, and spalling Corrosion of steel within reinforced concrete is reduced or eliminated. Nano sized MasonProofpenetrates up to 5mm deep into the substrate and provides repellency into the pores of cementitious structures where other film formers like silicone resins, acrylic resins and epoxy resins cannot penetrate. Because it functions at the microscopic level it does not eliminate the breathability of the treated structure.

So, when you set out to build your wall (or whatever project you’re stirring up that concrete for), keep MasonProofin mind as the additive you take advantage of to assure longevity, integrity, and all the resounding good looks you want your structure to have, today, tomorrow, and well on into the future. While water is imperative to sustain life, it’s not an element you want lingering around (or within) your structure. Tackle it at the outset and avoid calling a state of emergency address in a year or two.

MasonProof: Powerful waterproofing solution from the inside out.

To learn more, contact GES today!

What About Soil Quality?

Soil Stabilization Products

Despite being a fundamental resource that supports life on our planet, soil is often overlooked in our national discussions on environmental health. We hear about water quality or air quality, but rarely about soil quality. Yet, soil affects our everyday lives, from the food we eat and where we live, to the natural and ecological functions that soil provides. The largest threat to soil—and therefore to us—is the loss of, or damage to, the productive topsoil, often caused by erosion and/or poor land use practices.

Although erosion is a natural process caused by wind, water and ice that slowly, but steadily wears away the material on the land surface, by some estimates human activity has accelerated this process by nearly 40%. As more and more of our precious topsoil gets displaced, a chain of negative reactions continues to threaten our natural environment. Soil carried from runoff makes its way into various channels and waterways, significantly reducing the quality of water in streams, ponds, and rivers. This chokes out aquatic life and negatively impacts the health of numerous species. As more and moil soil piles up in riverbeds, the overall volume of water that the river can hold beneath its banks is decreased. This causes flooding when big storms hit as the water pushes over the banks and begins its destructive path barging into homes, roads, walkways, and fragile environmental areas. Loss of topsoil in areas where plants and vegetation grow leads to a reduction in valuable plant life. In some areas where erosion has been severe, lush, green areas have been reduced to barren deserts.

Clearly, a closer look at this topic reveals that protecting our nation’s soil needs to become a paramount objective.

As our 32nd president Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”

A question that has been with us since Global Environmental Solutions’ inception has been: “What can we do to be part of the solution to this all-important issue?” The result of that inquiry has been the development of a suite of products that help stabilize soil, reduce erosion, and create a healthier environment for us all.

When we created our pioneering product, DirtGlue® we wanted to make something that was versatile enough to help tackle the issue of soil erosion across all of the most common problem areas. From our research we knew that the biggest threats to the health of our nation’s soil were found in modern agriculture, urban development, deforestation, road building, and mining.

If we zoom in on just one of these for a moment, let’s say mining, we can see that there are great opportunities for lessening the impact on our soil. If you were a bird flying over most any mining operation, you would see that there is a whole lot more activity happening at this site than merely what happens inside the mine. You would see hundreds of large, industrial vehicles moving around many acres of land surrounding the mine. You would see large transport vehicles coming in and out of the area each day. You would see stockpiles of material and tailings dams holding back mine waste. You would also probably notice huge plumes of dust kicked-up by all this vehicular activity. It doesn’t take long at all for the soil within a very large radius in all directions of the mine to get utterly destroyed. All of this displaced soil then makes its way into surrounding areas, both as stormwater runoff when it rains, and along the tire treads of all those trucks coming in and out of the site – a term called “track out.” Depending on where the mine or quarry is located, this could mean a lot of soil washing its way into places where it will pose a serious threat. What is worse, is that often the soil in mining areas has been embedded with numerous harmful substances, from heavy metals, to acids and other chemicals used to leach the particles of ore from the mine tailings to oil and hydraulic fluids leaked from machines. When this soil runs off into surrounding areas, it carries with it all of these various pollutants.

When we looked at this issue, one of the ideas we had was this: “What if we could stabilize the soil throughout the mining area?” Our thoughts were that if we could find a way to protect and solidify the surface of the ground, then we could make it impermeable to the damaging effects of all of this industrial traffic.

We went to work. What we came up with was a powerful acrylic polymer emulsion specifically engineered to bond soil particles together. We named this product DirtGlue®, for that is literally what it does – it “glues” dirt particles together to form a tough, durable crust that prevents soil erosion.

If we go back to our example of the mining operation, we can see the impact that DirtGlue® can have. Applied to the soil area surrounding the mine, DirtGlue® can prevent the destructive impact of all those machines. Instead of tearing up the ground beneath them, the vehicles can now safely travel on a stabilized, hardened surface. No more erosion. No more run off. No more destruction. The stockpiles and tailings dams also can be stabilized so as not to erode or move and so as not to give of dust.

Like we said, we wanted to offer the world a solution to soil erosion that could be applied virtually anywhere that a potential situation could arise. When we formulated DirtGlue®, we did so in a way to make it very easy to apply and with particular synthetic properties to make it highly water, wind, and UV resistant. If we were to quickly look at another one of the leading causes of soil erosion – construction and development – we can see how powerful this soil treatment can be. Let’s imagine for a moment that a new shopping center is being built. This center is being constructed only a couple miles from an important river. As soon as all of those heavy construction machines start moving around in that plot of land, clearing space for the new buildings, we have a major disruption in the soil. Service roads going in and out of the construction site quickly become massive conduits of erosion. Soil is tracked out of the area, deposited on nearby roadways, then washes into the river during every rain storm. Luckily, these access roads, and much of the construction site itself, can be protected. A quick and easy application of DirtGlue® using conventional hydroseeding equipment can lock those soil particles together and prevent degradation.

As you can see, DirtGlue® can be applied to help address soil erosion in a variety of areas. We did this with a purpose in mind: to help be a part of a solution to our nation’s soil erosion issues. Let’s face it, it’s not realistic to think that we will stop building. We live in an ever-expanding world. Development is a part of our evolution. Neither we will stop mining, stop building roads, or depart from agriculture. But we can take steps to do these things safer, with the environment and the health of our soil in mind. Global Environmental Solutions is committed to being part of the solution. DirtGlue®, along with our other products, has arisen with this intention: to help make positive change in the world.

We hope that you will join us in the movement to bring increased awareness to the health of one of our most precious resources – our soil. If FDR was right, and we believe he was, then it is our collective duty to take action.

Have questions about soil protection, DirtGlue®, or any of the other products and services Global Environmental Solutions provides? Feel free to contact us today. It is our mission, and our pleasure to help you.