What About Soil Quality?

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.

Controlling Dust is Crucial

When dust gets out of control, it can have serious impacts on human health. Numerous health studies have shown a significant relationship between exposure to particulate matter in the air and health risks, including: coughing, sneezing, increased difficulty in breathing, sore eyes, throat inflammation, and for those with asthma, substantial particulate matter can trigger full-blown attacks. Some research is even showing a potential link between airborne contaminants and heart-related issues such as angina and heart attack.

Worse yet, particulate matter from mining operations, coal plants, quarries, and other areas that contain carcinogenic contaminants has been linked to severe long-term health effects, including lung cancer and death.

Other impacts of dust are: decreased visibility, deposits and stains on houses and nearby vehicles, clogging of filters on home and vehicle air intakes, and harmful deposits and runoff that make it into sensitive environmental areas, impacting plant and animal life.

Controlling dust is an important issue.

Thankfully, Global Environmental Solutions has a means for doing just that.

Our DustLess® organic fluid can be used in areas such as mining operations, quarries, construction sites, and anywhere else that traffic moves on unpaved surfaces. It is an environmentally safe dust suppressant that eliminates the need to water, and does not dry out. Clear and odorless, DustLess® is highly refined, and proven to be non-toxic to humans, animals, marine life and plants. DustLess® comes ready to use (no water or mixing required), making it an easy-to-use solution for reducing contaminant laden dust. This protects the health of workers, nearby inhabitants, and the entire environment of the surrounding area.

To help stabilize the fine dust particles in the soil surface that creates harmful dust, we offer DirtGlue®, a liquid concentrate that when diluted with water and applied to the soil surface, bonds the individual soil particles together and dries to form a “crust” that strengthens the surface of the soil enabling it to prevent dust, sediment, and erosion for extended periods of time.

DirtGlue® Industrial polymer applied as part of the Polymer Pavement System helps eliminate “track out” – the carrying of contaminant laden particles on the tires of construction vehicles which hitch a ride on exiting vehicles then get deposited on nearby roads and highways as these vehicles fling the contaminants off of tire treads when they come up to road speed on paved surfaces.

By reducing both dust and track-out, these products provide a true Global Environmental Solution to the spread of contaminant laden particles.

Dust pollution is a real thing. It is a harmful, potentially deadly airborne risk. To minimize that risk, Global Environmental Solutions is here to help.

Have further questions on how to best manage contaminant laden dust in your area?

Contact Global Environmental Solutions today.

For the earth, with the earth in mind™

Hi-tech Joint Infill Material for Patios

Projects around the home are seemingly a daily occurrence and that “honey do” list never wanes. Once you’ve completed one project, two more are taking its place on that ever-growing list. That said, it’s a good goal to have to do a job right the first time so it doesn’t find its way back onto that list in the near future. With that in mind, let’s talk about what you’re doing (and using) for infill materials when you’re constructing (or repairing) your home’s patio.

So, there it is. The question has been asked… What are you using for infill material?

Sand? Gravel? Clay? Cement? Mortar? Stone dust?

If you answered with any of the above materials, chances are you’re doing touchup or replacement work fairly frequently. It may not be an annual activity, but, it’s probably not far off from being that common of an occurrence. DirtGlue® powdered polymer is a long-term solution to your joint infill needs…

Consider our DirtGlueDry® powdered polymer solution if you appreciate the notion of “working smarter, not harder” when it comes to this application.

When mixed with appropriate infill material like the proper type of sand or a sand / stone dust blend and then wetted, DirtGlueDry® powdered polymer cures to form a hardened infill material that is resistant to insect and weed infestation. The product is also proven to tolerate pressure washers and leaf blowers allowing periodic cleaning of the patio without necessitating new infill be put back in after cleaning. It’s strength is unrivaled by other solution sets on the market. A nice feature is that rather than buying and paying a premium for polymerized sand, you only by the polymer. You source the sand locally and mix our DirtGlueDry powdered polymer into it and then apply it as you would nay polymerized sand. There is a second advantage too. You can control how much polymer is added thereby controlling the strength and increasing the application lifespan if you want to. With ready-mixed polymerized sand you only have the percentage of polymer binder that the manufacturer provides – it is not adjustable and you pay considerably more because you are paying to have sand packaged and shipped when you can easily and much more cheaply source it yourself.

Once you’ve got the infill set, it’s time to focus on the piece of the patio that you actually see, which of course, is the surface…

Engineers, construction contractors, builders, and you, the common DIY home owner deal with the destructive chemical reactions cement-based building materials suffer due mainly to the exposure to water, which acts as a reaction medium or solvent in this destruction. You work tirelessly to make repairs, and patch compromised spots within the infrastructure of your patio. Why not consider a solution that, quite simply, lasts?

Film formers/barrier type technologies (coatings) have been widely used, but due to weathering and ultra violet exposure these coatings have limited lifespan and thus periodic reparative applications are required. This issue has been revolutionarily remediated with the all-inclusive protective properties of MasonProof™.

MasonProof™ is used as a waterproofing agent on any masonry surface including but not limited to patios. It can be used for:

  • Concrete
  • Brick
  • Clay tiles
  • Rock
  • Mortar
  • Stonework
  • and more…

MasonProof™ permanently waterproofs the treated  masonry preventing scaling spalling, staining etc.

In reinforced concrete MasonProof™ also prevents corrosion expansion which is water, or worse, salt water, which seeps into untreated concrete far enough to reach the reinforcing steel (rebar, re-rod, reinforcing wire, etc.) and causes the steel to corrode.  As steel corrodes the rust that is created during the process expands the size of the corroding piece and stresses the concrete from the inside out, eventually causing the concrete to crack as corrosion and the inherent expansion continues.  Left long enough the concrete will crack to the point of failure.

Global Environmental Solutions MasonProof, the Masonry Waterproofing solution:

  • Is not a film-former like other products on the market
  • Is not a surface sealer like other products on the market
  • It penetrates deeply into the masonry substrate, working from the inside out
  • It is, for all intents and purposes, permanent waterproofing protection

Our MasonProof™ product is simple to use and can be easily applied by spray, brush or roller to new or existing masonry structures to protect them from:

  • Mildew
  • Fungus
  • Efflorescence
  • Leaching
  • Staining
  • Scaling
  • Spalling corrosion of steel within reinforced concrete

How does MasonProof™ help strengthen the overall infill footprint of your patio and similar outdoor living spaces?

MasonProof™ penetrates 5mm (or more depending on density of the treated substrate) 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, basically, MasonProof™ is good for penetrative, strong supportive use on any general material you’ve used to build out your existing patio, or the patio you’re about to construct (in which case, as we’ve already mentioned, let’s get it right the first time for peace-of-mind moving forward…)

From patios to walkways, driveways and other outdoor hardscaping projects, trust MasonProof™ to be the bond that locks in longevity to the life of your project.

Contact us today to learn more!

Soil Stabilization

At GES we strive to make products that help protect the environment and ensure a healthy world for today and the future. One area that we have been focusing a lot on lately is soil stabilization.

Soil erosion occurs naturally in almost every ecosystem. However, erosion is greatly exacerbated in areas where the soil has been disturbed by human intervention. There are numerous examples of this, a few of which are: the construction of roadways, new housing developments, installation of power lines, agricultural activities, and timber harvesting.

By some estimates, human activities have increased the rate of soil erosion by nearly 30 times the amount that it would naturally occur. Without proper soil erosion control, the impacts of this erosion are profound. Soil erosion causes:

 

  • Siltation of watercourses and water storages.
  • Reduction in water quality of creeks, rivers and coastal areas.
  • Contamination in ponds, estuaries, and watersheds as fertilizers, pesticides, and other pollutants runoff into waterways.
  • Disturbance or uprooting of plants and vegetation.
  • Road damage from erosion destabilizing the roadbase
  • Housing damage as silt and runoff can enter basements of homes following large storms.
  • Weakened soil structure and removal of water-holding hydrophilic layers, making areas more vulnerable during drought conditions.
  • Damage to water ecosystems affecting numerous species of wildlife.
  • Damage to municipal infrastructure from clogged water drains, choked spillways, etc.

 

To help combat this pervasive issue, Global Environmental Solutions has developed DirtGlue® polymer, an environmentally safe, powerful acrylic polymer emulsion specifically engineered to bond soil particles together, thereby stabilizing soil to provide a highly effective solution for soil erosion.

Traditional soil erosion control methods have been things like turf reinforcement mats, silt fencing, staked turbidity barriers, and rip rap (otherwise known as shot rock or rock armor).  These methods are reactive –put in place to catch the erosion after the soil is already on the move. Using DirtGlue® polymer properly means applying immediately after the soil has been disturbed and stopping it from moving before any erosion occurs. Thus using DirtGlue® polymer is proactive rather than reactive.

Silt fencing

Staked turbidity barrier

Turf mat

Rip rap

Each of these methods involve the installation of costly, unsightly man-made materials, that are not only a pain in the neck to put into place, but quite detrimental to the aesthetics of the natural area they serve to protect.

Unlike these methods, DirtGlue® polymer is an easy to apply acrylic polymer that leaves the natural landscape intact. With DirtGlue® polymer there are no fences, no rock piles, no obvious signs of human interference. The application of DirtGlue® is quick and easy. Using conventional hydroseeding equipment, preventing soil erosion with DirtGlue® is a snap. Just spray on and DirtGlue® acrylic polymer will go to work filling the microscopic spaces between soil particles as it penetrates into the affected area forming a tough, durable crust that keeps soil erosion at bay.

With superior bonding strength, high UV resistance for increased longevity, and superior hydrophobicity, DirtGlue® protects disturbed soil from turning into damaging runoff, providing a superior, cost effective, easy-to-use soil erosion control solution.

 

 

TerraDry Waterproofing Technology

Moisture: In so many facets of life, it can be a wonderful thing. In our natural environment it sustains plant and animal life and keeps things looking lush and green. In our homes, the right level of moisture keeps the air pleasant. Even in our bodies, the right level of moisture is required for proper functioning. Too little, and our skin gets dry and cracks and lack of correct percentage of moisture internally can create havoc. Our eyes become red and itchy. But there’s one area where moisture (especially too much of it) can cause some serious problems: roads and pathways or any hard surface that will receive traffic.

When it comes to building proper roads and pathways, moisture must be at a fairly precise level. While a range of 7-14% is acceptable in the base aggregate, around 12% is ideal. At this level, the aggregate is just damp, which is perfect for making a road. The issue that so often arises is that it is nearly impossible to maintain this percentage of moisture. Changes in the weather bring along wind, rain, elevated humidity levels, and temperature, which all impact moisture levels. When soil becomes wet, water molecules separate soil particle bonds, thus becoming destabilized, eroded, and muddy. When this occurs, load bearing strength is diminished and the roadway loses its solid foundation.

To combat this problem, we developed TerraDry®. TerraDry® waterproofing technology hydrophobizes soil and aggregate particles making them completely waterproof so there is no moisture penetration. With no moisture penetration there is no mud, no erosion, and no loss of structural integrity.

Up until now, fixing moisture problems in aggregate was a costly and time-consuming endeavor. Once a road or pathway became damaged, the only way to fix it was to dig it up, haul out the inferior aggregate, and replace it with proper materials. TerraDry® allows for the existing aggregate to be treated in place. As TD permeates into the capillary network of the inferior aggregate, it fills this network of moisture channels with resin, thereby transforming the poor-quality road base into strong, stable material. No need for digging and hauling, and no need for purchasing expensive, new material. Lowered environmental impact also results. It’s a win-win.

TerraDry® waterproofing technology is also an excellent choice in areas that go through a lot of freeze/thaw cycles in the wintertime. Equally (if not more) damaging than erosion is freezing. As thawing temperatures allow moisture to penetrate beneath the surface of a road or pathway during the day, this moisture then freezes and expands at night, cracking and heaving the road, and creating a serious issue for its stability and function. TerraDry® prevents capillary water uptake, eliminating the destructive force of freezing water.

With TerraDry® you can not only prevent costly damage from happening in the first place, but save time and money on any repair projects that may come your way.

Have questions about what TerraDry® can do for you? Give us a call. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff is here to help so that you can complete your next project with less worry, less time, and less expense. Contact GES today.