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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INQUIRY & MORE INFO

HOW DO I BECOME AN ORGANIC-LOCK DEALER?

Please contact us if you are interested in potentially becoming an Organic-Lock™ dealer. We will set up an initial conference call with our sales team to provide you with more information, determine whether you are a good fit for the product and answer any questions you may have.  Please fill out this form and we will contact you.

ARE YOU ABLE TO DO A LUNCH AND LEARN AT OUR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT’S OFFICE?

We are happy to host what we call a Virtual Lunch and Learn via a webinar over lunch to educate your team about the benefits of Organic-Lock™ and best practices for pathway installation.  Please contact us to set this up.

WHERE CAN I FIND SPECIFICATIONS AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ORGANIC-LOCK?

We have details and specifications for various types of projects available for download through our CADdetails Microsite to help with your project design and installation.

Please view the videos and article listed below to get the full understanding of our product:

Landscape Architect Magazine (LAM) Article on Aggregate Binders (recommending Organic-Lock)

Profile Projects

General Explainer Video (1:34):

How It Works Video (3:57):

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE ORGANIC-LOCK?

Organic-Lock™ blended aggregates can be purchased from your local licensed distributor. 

Please fill out the form to get contact information for your closest dealer.

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HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR YOUR WEBINAR?

Click here to sign up for our webinar.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET A TRIAL BAG OF ORGANIC-LOCK TO MY LOCATION?

Once we learn more details about the potential project you are interested in, we can offer to send you a trial-sized bag of Organic-Lock at no charge. This trial-sized bag will contain sufficient Organic-Lock to construct a 4’ x 4′ test plot when blended with your own aggregate. 

Please provide us with the following information:

FAQ Page Contact Form

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PROJECT TECHNICAL SUPPORT

WHY IS THE ORGANIC-LOCK MATERIAL WASHING OUT?

In our experience, washout is often the result of a weakness in the watershed management plan. It would be best to pinpoint the source of excessive water and divert it accordingly. Examples would be dripping water from a man-made surface above or a heavy water concentration coming from an impermeable surface above the damaged area.  

Another common issue can be when the Organic-lock blended aggregate is placed adjacent to, or near an irrigation system that creates additional, ongoing stress in the form of continual centralized wetting- this can often be fixed by adjusting the spout of the sprinkler to broadcast the spray away from the travelled surface.

In order for us to best help you further, please provide us with as much specific information possible 

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY LOOSE PARTICLES ON THE SURFACE OF THE ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE?

It is completely normal for loose particles to become exposed on the surface of an Organic-Lock™ application. This is part of what provides the natural aesthetic of aggregate surfaces that is so sought-after today

While Organic-Lock™ blended aggregate has the strength and load-bearing capability of concrete or asphalt, it looks and feels more like a crushed stone surface without a binder. Our product is not designed to be a smooth monolithic surface like asphalt or concrete, but rather a flexible natural paving surface that can settle into its surroundings. The natural flexibility of the Organic-Lock™ will allow the aggregate material to consolidate, which will actually increase the overall strength and integrity of the stabilized surface over time.

WHY IS THERE A “SKIN” AND CRACKS ON THE SURFACE OF THE ORGANIC-LOCK PATHWAY?

When there is a thin layer on the surface that appears to be like a “skin”, separating from the rest of the material and cracking, it suggests that the material was either pre-blended with:

  1. too much Organic-Lock™ or
  2. too much water

Depending on the severity of the situation, the material can either be:

  1. if too much Organic-Lock- carefully excavate, re-blend with additional aggregate to reach proper percentage ratio of Organic-lock to aggregate, then spread back into place, and compact 
  2. if too much water was applied, the material should be scarified and spread out to allow it to dry, before it is spread back into place and compacted.

WHY AM I NOTICING AN ODOUR WHEN USING ORGANIC-LOCK?

The odor issue is related to moisture that doesn’t have a chance to release. Over-watering the material before installation is often the cause. The over-watered material that is installed and compacted on a hot or sunny day will form a crust on the surface which prevents the excess moisture and oxygen from escaping, which is the fastest means for the material to dry. The water inside the material essentially bakes the binder to exacerbate biodegradation, creating a gas which releases in the form of an odor.

The best way to avoid this situation is to prevent oversaturated material as well as preventing it from forming a crust on its surface (whether in an installed setting or in a pile). When the material is oversaturated and does create the gas causing the odor, surface scarification and time will eventually allow that excess water to percolate down and evaporate out, with the odor remaining until that build-up of moisture has been released (usually 1- 7days)

HOW DO I PREVENT/FIX SITTING WATER ON THE SURFACE?

Good movement of water off and away from any surface material is essential.  It is even more important on the Organic-Lock stabilized aggregate surface.  Ensure that cross slopes of 1.5% – 2% are used. 

Avoid low spots where water gathers near the blended aggregate and ensure lawn edges are micro-graded so they are lower than the pathway to prevent water being trapped at the edge of the pathway.

If adjusting the Organic-Lock blended aggregate surface is potentially just fixing the symptom and not the cause, then it is recommended to look at the surrounding watershed to see if there is a way to limit the amount of excess water that is arriving in the trouble area.  Swales, culverts and drains can be very helpful in assisting on limiting the stress.

SPECIFIC PRODUCT QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF THE ORGANIC-LOCK?

As long as the Organic-Lock™ is properly covered and stored in a dry location (free from moisture and humidity), the Organic-Lock™ will remain usable for 1 year.

HOW DO I GET AN MSDS FOR ORGANIC-LOCK?

Please contact us here to request an MSDS.

WHAT IS THE PH OF ORGANIC-LOCK?

The pH of Organic-Lock™ is approximately 11, providing a level of weed deterrence and also increasing the longevity of the plant material in the binder. This high pH slows down the microbial degradation (i.e. increases longevity), and it also makes it an unfavorable growing medium for new seeds (i.e. weeds) to germinate.

WHAT TYPE OF AGGREGATE DO I NEED?

  • Crushed material
  • Angular to Sub-angular particles (not rounded)
  • Well Graded (even portion of different particle sizes)
  • Minimum 5% passing the 75 micron sieve. Ex. ¼”minus crushed stone

IS YOUR PRODUCT THE SAME AS STABILIZER?

Although the active bonding agent is a similar type of plant material, Organic-Lock™ is a patented blend that includes this renewable plant resource combined with specialty designed additives that both increase longevity and enhance bonding strength, leading to superior stability and longevity compared to the Stabilizer product.

See the test report here.

DOES THE AGGREGATE HAVE TO BE DECOMPOSED GRANITE, OR CAN IT BE ANOTHER TYPE?

No, the aggregate mixed with Organic-Lockdoes not have to be a granite material. Generally, limestone and decomposed granites tend to perform the most reliably, however other materials can also work as long as the particle size distribution fits our Optimal Gradation Specifications (click here) The surface texture and angularity of the crushed stone particles are also important factors.

SUSTAINABILITY/LEED® COMPLIANCE

In addition to creating a quiet, natural aesthetic, Organic-Lock pathways can also potentially qualify for credits towards LEED® certification.

  • Rapidly Renewable: Organic-Lock is made primarily from a rapidly renewable plant material and its additional additives are all 100% naturally-occurring materials (LEED Code- MR 6 Rapidly Renewable)
  • Water Permeable: Organic-Lock pathways are water permeable. Permeability can reduce storm water runoff that collects pollutants into our natural bodies of water (LEED Code- SS 6.1 Stormwater Quantity and SS 6.2 Stormwater Quality)
  • Recycled Content: Organic-Lock pathways contain aggregate that is normally considered recycled content (LEED Code- MR 4 Recycled Content).
  • Heat Island Effect: Unlike asphalt and concrete, which have a tendency to retain heat in urban environments, lighter colored stabilized decomposed granite and crushed stone aggregates reflect solar radiation and reduce the heat retained in the pathway surface. (LEED Code- SS 7.1 Heat Island Non-Roof)
  • Regional Materials: Aggregates can earn points towards a reduced carbon footprint if they are sourced within 500 miles of the construction project. With our rapidly expanding team of dealers, we do our utmost to help our customers source aggregates that are geographically close to them (LEED Code- MR 5 Regional Materials).

WHAT ARE MY COLOUR OPTIONS?

The colour options for the Organic-Lock blended aggregate are directly connected to the colour of the aggregate chosen.  The Organic-Lock binder colour is mostly irrelevant to the overall colour of the finished product surface.  There will be a very, very slight lightening of dark aggregate, that will only be noticeable when compared directly to the unmixed equivalent.

It is not recommended to chose a white aggregate, as the binder will show up as a slight yellowing of the aggregate.

WHAT ARE MY EDGING OPTIONS?

Installing Organic-lock blended aggregate can be done using a number of different edging options.  The 2 most important elements related to edging is 

a) to ensure that the edge height is below the surface of the Organic-Lock blended aggregate to allow for any excess water to fall off the sides and not get trapped in between, which can cause a rill erosion effect 

and 

b) to make sure that your chosen edge is % secure and firm.  Loose, unsecure or unstable edges can move away from the Organic-lock blended aggregate, making it much easier for water to gain traction in the newly formed gap, thereby facilitating a rut/rill effect.

Examples of approved edging materials are:

  • Concrete
  • Pavers
  • Steel edge (if stable and 100% secured in place)
  • Grass/sod
  • No edge (i.e. tapered to the ground)
  • Examples of non-approved edging materials are:
  • Plastic edge
  • Aluminum edge

The most common edge type we have seen to date, is the natural “no edge” option.

PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS

WHAT IS THE LONGEVITY OF AN ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE SURFACE?

The longevity of the Organic-Lock™ is mostly dictated by the unique environment in which it is installed. Factors such as surrounding watershed, climate, precipitation quantity and raindrop form, canopy cover, traffic and installation all influence the longevity. 

A natural (unstabilized) aggregate surface is most prone to potential damage (washouts, displacement, etc.) during the first few years of its lifetime before it has a chance to settle.  This prone 2-3 year timeline makes this project susceptible to continual fixing of damaged areas, making it near impossible to build up strength from settling and consolidation of the particles.

Organic-Lockis most effective during this initial 2-3 year period of potential stress, as it grips on to the surrounding particles and keeps it from displacement.  As the aggregate settles it continually consolidates with traffic, weathering and overall compaction.  Eventually the Organic-Locktakes a back seat and the aggregate takes on the heavy lifting.  We’ve seen successful installations lasting well over a decade.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK DETER WEEDS?

The Organic-Lock product does have the ability to deter weeds simply by staying in place. Weeds don’t grow from the bottom up, but instead, they grow from the top down when seeds fall onto a surface with nutrient-rich materials. Surrounding soil and debris often get mixed in with loose aggregate surfaces. This nutrient-rich medium is a haven where seeds can germinate and grow into nuisance weeds.

Because the Organic-Lock stabilized aggregate becomes firm and stable, it limits the ability of there being an accumulation of soil, and debris integrating with the surface. 

Organic-Lock also comes with an elevated pH which makes it difficult for seeds to grow into weeds, even when they do fall and connect with a growing medium. This, however, does not mean that it’s impossible for a seed to find root and grow into a nuisance weed. A maintenance analysis program should always be included to avoid the build-up and accumulation of any soil/debris on the Organic-Lock surface.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK BE USED IN WET/DAMP, RAINY ENVIRONMENTS?

In extreme rain conditions, the material will resist washout very effectively with a proper watershed management plan in place. Should any washout damage occur over time, the material is easily repairable.

The Organic-Lock product will not perform as long or as well in prolonged damp or wet conditions.  It’s always recommended to remove sitting water from the surface of the material, as long-term exposure to this type of stress is detrimental to the strength of the Organic-Lock binder.  This sitting water effect can often be dramatically improved by surveying and adjusting the surrounding watershed to guide water away thereby preventing long-term saturation of the product.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK BE USED IN EXTREME SHADED ENVIRONMENTS?

In extreme shade conditions, the material will take longer to set up initially and will also be slower to dry after wet occurrences such as rainfall.  It’s important to encourage the removal of sitting water in these areas through the use of crowns, swales, culverts and drains.  These areas should also be routinely checked during scheduled maintenance analysis periods.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK BE INSTALLED OVER AN IMPERVIOUS BASE MATERIAL?

It is not recommended to put any type of aggregate (stabilized or not) on top of impervious material such as concrete. The lack of drainage is a significant issue that will force the aggregate material to hold water creating an unstable surface material.  

When the removal of impervious material is not possible, there are better potential options for creating a surface on top of the impervious structure that can complement your surrounding Organic-Lock blended aggregate material. A concrete paver overlay is an example of this.

DOES EXTREME HOT OR COLD WEATHER AFFECT PERFORMANCE?

When temperatures fall below freezing, the Organic-Lock blended aggregate surface will contain moisture and will simply freeze creating a very strong surface, without any significant effect from the freeze/thaw cycle. 

In areas prone to freezing temperatures and below, something to be conscious of from a maintenance perspective are the times of first snow and last snow. This first/last snow period is the time before the freeze making the surface often saturated but not frozen and therefore vulnerable to damage and displacement from aggressive traffic. Taking precautions at this point is important.  If possible, limit long periods of aggressive traffic, and when there is snow present, use a shoe or a baffle under the blade of any plough to decrease any damage to the surface. If damage does occur, this can be maintained by completing the scarification fix of saturating, scarifying, regrading and compacting with a roller.

In areas of extreme heat, there is no concern as the product acts optimally here.

IS ORGANIC-LOCK WATER PERMEABLE?

Yes, Organic-Lock blended aggregate remains permeable to water after installation. This reduces runoff volume and allows some water back into the root zone for trees and eventually to the groundwater table. The permeability rate will change over the course of a rainfall event given the nature of the Organic-Lockto swell with water and hold the aggregate in place. The highest rate of water infiltration will occur at the beginning of a rainfall event when the blended aggregate is dry – as the Organic-Lock™ naturally swells on contact with water to hold the aggregate in place, the rate of water permeability slows.

The Organic-Lock binder coats the aggregate particles, and swells into a gel when it comes in contact with water.  Once the binder has taken in maximum moisture, any additional water passes through to the groundwater table.  Over time, the binder releases the held water down through percolation and up through evaporation.

We have a 3rd party tested, double ring infiltrometer infiltration analysis report that shows a water permeability rate of just under one inch per hour through Organic-Lock blended aggregate.  You can find a copy of our permeability testing results here.

You can also check out this video for a detailed explanation of Organic-Lock’s water permeability.  It is important to recognize that the optimal installation of the Organic-Lock™ blended aggregate incorporates crowns and swales to shed the water off of the surface and prevent sitting water as much as possible.

As with any permeable surface, the level of permeability can also change over time as the surface becomes contaminated by the surrounding environment (i.e. soil, silt, debris etc.).

The porosity of the specific aggregate blended with the Organic-Lock, as well as the level of compaction, can have a significant impact on permeability.

Any contamination of fine materials will reduce permeability, so the best way is to take steps to minimize the contamination, as well as implementing ongoing maintenance analysis checks. In winter conditions, use of road salt would be more ideal than sanding because of sand’s effect on the aggregate particle size distribution. However, it should be noted that salt can speed up damage on the Organic-Lock binder, so it is best to do this sparingly.

Organic-Lock blended aggregate does not behave like porous asphalt. Porous asphalt and concrete are static materials that have manufactured pores. These pores can get clogged up with contamination making porosity very slow.

Organic-Lock blended aggregate acts more like fine crushed stone, where the porosity in the aggregate shifts continually as the aggregate consolidates.

DOES ORGANIC-LOCKSTABILIZED AGGREGATE HELP ACHIEVE DISABILITIES ACT COMPLIANCE (ADA, AODA, ETC.)?

Yes, a project successfully installed with Organic-Lock blended aggregate creates a wheelchair friendly surface. Aggregate blended with Organic-Lock is always compacted upon installation, and therefore results in a firm surface capable of supporting many different traffic types.

*Projects including Organic-Lock™ have been considered ADA Compliant.

NOTE: Our Organic-Lock™ ADA Test Report supports this performance feature – ADA Test Report

WILL ORGANIC-LOCK STABILIZED AGGREGATE STAY HARD LIKE CONCRETE?

Although the material has a monolithic appearance upon final compaction, natural weathering and traffic will expose some loose particles on the surface to give it a more natural look and feel.  If we could adjust/reduce this loose surface material….we wouldn’t!  Quite simply, we have designed this product to eliminate the man-made appearance of so many products that contradict with the natural settings they are found in.

Organic-lock blended aggregate looks and feels natural, while reducing the high levels of maintenance found in other non-stabilized natural crushed stone applications.

Should the loose surface particles exceed more than ¼”, it is recommended to do a full scarifcation process to rejuvenate the area.

INSTALLATION QUESTIONS

WHERE DO I FIND INSTALLATION SPECIFICATIONS?

To find the specifications for your installation, please follow these steps. 

  • On our website, organic-lock.com, please go to the RESOURCES dropdown in our menu and choose SPECS & CAD.
  • On our SPECIFICATION & CAD page, click on the “Click here” link which takes you to CAD Details. (you will need to input your email address to access CAD Details).
  • Click on the product you are interested in – example “Foot Traffic Pathway”
  • Scroll to the bottom section – “All Available Specifications” and click on the link that best matches the type of edging you’ll be using to download the specs (in Microsoft Word format).

Please let me know if you are not able to navigate this, please just be specific on what type of application, as I can send you the specifications directly.

WHAT IS AN APPROPRIATE AGGREGATE TO USE WITH ORGANIC-LOCK?

Generally, limestone, dolomites and decomposed granites tend to perform the most reliably, however other materials can work when combined with a suitable aggregate profile.  As a general rule, an acceptable aggregate will be a well graded material in the form of a 1/4” minus or 3/8” minus with at least 5% fine particles passing the #200 sieve.

WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT IS NEEDED TO BLEND ORGANIC-LOCK WITH AGGREGATE?

You can use a pug mill, volumetric mixer, ready-mix truck, concrete mixer or bucket mix with a loader on a monolithic (hard) surface to avoid contamination. Refer to our installation video and our installation guidelines.

CAN I BLEND AGGREGATE IN THE RAIN?

Do not blend in the rain. Do not install in the rain. Rainfall can have an adverse effect on the Organic-Lock™ if it has not yet been installed and compacted as blended material. If it is raining during blending/installing, it is possible that the material will become too hydrated, making it difficult to work with since the Organic-Lock™ could become prematurely fully activated.

CAN BLENDED MATERIAL BE STOCKPILED?

Yes, Organic-Lock™ blended aggregate can be stockpiled, but it should be installed within 24 hours of blending. The natural moisture in the aggregate can compromise the Organic-Lockmixed within when it is not fully activated in an actual application. If a pile of blended material receives rainfall, the Organic-Lock™ will leach out of the material and therefore compromise the mixture and eventual end product.  If rain is a potential, it is recommended to cover the pile with a tarp or equivalent to avoid excess moisture to penetrate the Organic-Lock blended aggregate.

CAN I PACKAGE BLENDED MATERIAL IN BULK BAGS FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE ACTIVITIES?

If absolutely necessary, Organic-Lock™ blended material can be packaged in bulk bags if the aggregate is 100% dry before blending. If the material is stocked for an extended time period, the finer particles will naturally settle to the bottom of the mixture and it should be remixed on site before pre-hydrating.

BLENDING RATIOS

Organic-Lock is to be blended at a ratio of 1.5%.

This works out to be 30lbs of Organic-Lock for each ton of aggregate.

BLENDING METHODS – CAN I SPREAD THE AGGREGATE ON THE GROUND AND TILL THE ORGANIC-LOCK INTO THE AGGREGATE?

No, we do not recommend blending new material using this method due to the high risk of contamination and the lower chances of achieving a homogeneous mixture.

WHAT IS THE IDEAL BASE?

The ideal base depth is listed in your project Architectural Specifications (click here to view them) and related to the type of traffic you expect.  However, it is a general overall recommendation to use the base material recommended by your regions DOT (Department of Transportation).ex. ¾ crusher run, A Gravel, Granular A etc..

WHAT DO I NEED TO COMPACT THIS?

It is recommended to use a minimum 1 ton roller when compacting Organic-Lock blended aggregate during the installation process.

Water filled drum rollers do not apply enough weight to compact, nor will hand tamping.

Since neither water filled drum rollers nor hand tamping apply enough weight to compact the aggregate properly, you can use a vibratory plate compactor if that is your only option in tight spots. When using a vibratory plate compactor, you will have to be aware that this will make for a poor surface installation because the vibration will jar loose the aggregate on the upper surface. There is no way around it with the vibratory compaction method, so we only recommend using this method on installations when a larger roller is accessible.

We recommend a roller whenever possible, even if it is a smaller walk behind one.  A golf greens roller in tight areas can assist in the compaction in hard to reach areas.

If you have to use a vibratory compactor in the very tight areas, then lightly wet the surface and go over with a water roller for a smooth final finish. 

It’s important to be aware when a Landscape Architect designs these tight spots, these areas will never reach optimum compaction, but typically the aesthetic goals outweigh the functionality in those nooks and crannies. 

IF I CAN’T USE A LARGE STATIC ROLLER TO COMPACT THE ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE WHEN INSTALLING IT IN SMALL, TIGHT SPACES, CAN I HAND TAMP IT OR USE VIBRATORY COMPACTOR?

They do make a small walk-behind single-drum or double-drum version of a big steam roller that you may be able to find at an equipment rental place. A greens roller has also been used successfully in tight areas. Since neither water filled drum rollers nor hand tamping apply enough weight to compact the aggregate fully, you are better off using a vibratory plate compactor if that is your only option. When using a vibratory plate compactor, you will have to be aware that this will make for a non-ideal installation because the vibration will jar loose the aggregate on the upper surface and will never reach optimum compaction. You would then have to go over with a water roller for a smooth final finish.

Wherever this is not suitable or available, the hand tamp can be used as long as enough attention is given to the significance of the compaction weight.

CAN I INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE IN-BETWEEN NATURAL STONE?

When installing the Organic-Lock blended aggregate with natural stone throughout, it is important to look at the ability to compact.

If the area in between the natural stone placement is not large enough to get a proper compacting roller into it, the product will never be fully compacted. The result of this will be a premature loosened surface material in comparison to the fully compacted areas. The Organic-Lock binder will still function in these areas, but the compaction element is critical to get fully optimal long-term results.

It should, however, be noted that when comparing Organic-Lock blended aggregate to unstabilized aggregate for the same use (i.e. in between large natural stones embedded throughout), there is really no comparison. The Organic-Lock blended aggregate will definitely outperform the unstabilized material in terms of displacement. The reason for caution here is just in comparison to the optimally compacted material.

If the objective is to maintain a natural look of crushed stone in this application, we recommend installing a sample to gauge your own tolerance.

HOW TO ADD WATER TO ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE

The way that water is added will be dependent on whether the blended aggregate is shipped from a dealer blended and already saturated with water.

We always recommend that our licensed dealers provide a blended aggregate (blended with the appropriate and approved aggregate) that is blended with the appropriate amount of moisture directly to the jobsite.

Additional water may need to be blended into the aggregate at site, when the aggregate that arrives has lost moisture from the time of blending.

In situations where additional water needs to be blended in, we recommend that our licensed dealer support this with directions on how to do so.

This can be accomplished by following the Snowball Test instructions.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CHECK MOISTURE LEVEL OF BLENDED MATERIAL?

Make a compacted ball of blended material in your hands or step on a ball of material with your work boot. If the blended material falls apart easily, more water must be added. If the ball easily holds together and there is excess water visible on the surface of the compacted ball, then some dry blended material must be added to the over-hydrated material. If the ball holds together just barely or your boot imprint is free of cracks, the ideal moisture level has been achieved and you can then proceed with installation.

The best way to look at this is to start with a low level of moisture, and systematically add a small (measured) amount of water each time until there is just enough…You’re looking for the following – the spot where there isn’t enough moisture – add slightly more, there’s more but still not enough – add slightly more, there’s even more now and it’s holding together but not creating a firm snowball – add slightly more, there’s just enough moisture now that barely holds a snowball together- STOP!  This is the best way to add just the right amount of water without going over.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO WATER?

In areas where direct water access is not possible, other sources can be used.  Examples of this are water trucks, IBC (Intermediate Bulk Container), or extension hoses.  It’s important to recognize that when doing the water blending process, it is most effective to do this in batches and track exactly how much water is used per batch.  This process allows for increased speed through precise batch repetition.

CAN I INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE IN THE RAIN?

Do not blend in the rain. Do not install in the rain. Rainfall can have an adverse effect on the Organic-Lock™ if it has not yet been installed and compacted as blended material. If it is raining during blending/installing, it is possible that the material will become too hydrated, making it difficult to work with since the Organic-Lock™ could become fully activated and will stick to your equipment.  The best option is to tarp the blended material and wait for the rain to subside.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCKMATERIAL BE INSTALLED IMMEDIATELY AROUND THE BASE OF A TREE?

It is recommended to use a Structural Soil blend when installing a surface material intended for traffic up to the trunk of the tree.

Installing Structural Soil is recommended below the root base and out to the radius of the root ball (even extending up to 12′ for more sensitive trees).

Install the Structural Soil in lieu of the base material (at the same depth) and then proceed with the Organic-Lockblended aggregate mix over the surface of the compacted structural soil.

Options (lowest to highest rates of permeability):

  1. Install full 3” of Organic-Lockblended aggregate mix over the structural soil up to the trunk of the tree.
  2. Start at 3” and taper to 2” or 1.5” to the trunk of the tree.
  3. Install the full 3″ of Organic-Lockblended aggregate up to the edge of the root ball of the tree, and proceed with unstabilized, aggregate (i.e. same aggregate as used elsewhere, however, un-blended with Organic-Lock) up to the trunk of the tree.

Be aware that by not using a proper base material up to the trunk of the tree that this area may not firm up to the same level as the other areas but there also shouldn’t be much traffic right by the base of the tree anyway.

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM INSTALLATION TEMPERATURE FOR ORGANIC-LOCK?

We do not recommend that you install Organic-Lock blended aggregates when daytime temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) for the installation period and the following 72 hours after the installation (to allow it to properly set up. 

We also do not recommend installing Organic-Lock blended aggregates during any part of a rain event.

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM SLOPE ON WHICH I CAN INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK BLENDED AGGREGATE?

The maximum slope that is acceptable for an Organic-Lock™ stabilized aggregate application is 20%. For slopes that are 10% or greater, it is recommended to install runoff “diverters”, which are materials such as railroad ties (or equivalent) embedded in the pathway at a 45-degree angle to prevent water gaining momentum which can accelerate washout damage.

Proper watershed management is best achieved by installing a “crown” or “cross-slope” to divert rainfall runoff to flow off the side of the application to prevent washout damage.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK STABILIZED AGGREGATE BE INSTALLED WITH A GRID PRODUCT?

Yes, it is acceptable to install the material with a grid product, but the installation process must be modified. Instead of pre-hydrating the material, fill the grid cells with dry blended material and surface wet the material with a light water spay. Then install a 3-inch compacted layer of pre-hydrated material on top of the filled grid cells and proceed with installation as per our regular instructions.

CAN I INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK INTO AN EXISTING SURFACE

Organic-Lock is designed to be blended with a specific grade of crushed stone before installation and is not recommended for retrofitting aggregate that has already been installed.  The reason for this is because of the unknowns involved in an existing surface material…mostly the contamination of other materials (debris, leaves, soil etc..).

In situations like this, we recommend that you excavate out the existing material and replace it with Organic-Lock blended aggregate.

Please let me know if this is something you are interested in exploring so that I can guide you to your next options.

CAN I INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK UNDER A DRIPPING ROOF?

Installing Organic-Lock blended aggregate directly under a drip edge (ex. Overflowing eavestrough, troughless roof edge etc..) that will see constant stress from the continual dripping from above, is not recommended.  It is recommended to either adjust the drip edge to guide the water away or include material in the impact area that can withstand this type of stress.  It is important to realize that continual dripping water can/will erode asphalt or concrete.

HOW DO I AVOID TRACKING MATERIAL INTO A BUILDING?

Instead of designing the Organic-Lock blended aggregate right up to the entrance of a building, it is recommended to design a transition area that will be helpful in removing the larger particles from the bottoms of people’s feet before they enter the building. Examples of this are pavers or concrete sidewalks etc.)

HOW CAN I INSTALL ORGANIC-LOCK NEAR IRRIGATION SYSTEMS?

Irrigation systems that have sprinkler nozzles in proximity of the Organic-Lock blended aggregate can be problematic when their spray radius includes the Organic-Lock blended aggregate traffic surface.  This will create a situation of prolonged sitting water, which will negatively affect the performance and lifespan of the product in these areas.  It is always recommended to adjust the nozzle head away from the surface of the Organic-Lock blended aggregate wherever possible.

WHAT DOES THE PRODUCT COST?

Product costing will depend on the licensed dealer that you are purchasing the Organic-Lock blended aggregate from.  Differences in aggregates and trucking make it impossible to provide an estimate, so we suggest you reach out to your local dealer to gather this information.

Please let us know the location of your project, so that we can guide you to your closest dealer.  Please fill out this form.

MAINTENANCE

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM A MAINTENANCE PERSPECTIVE?

The range of maintenance programs is quite extensive in terms of expected maintenance costs.  We’ve seen projects installed in rustic, natural surroundings that require little to no maintenance over time.  We’ve also seen areas that are more high profile where a manicured look is the desired outcome. 

Both of these projects require a regular maintenance “analysis” combined with spot checks after high-stress occurrences (i.e. heavy rains or high traffic accumulation etc..). However, the difference between these two extremes results in two very different approaches. The rustic, natural surroundings project may require 1/5th the amount of maintenance analysis to ensure the surface is performing to the desired outcome.

KEY ELEMENTS OF MAINTENANCE

MAINTENANCE ANALYSIS IS KEY.

It is best to perform regular maintenance “analysis” on your project to minimize a build-up of damage (i.e. damage that starts small, but compounds with stress). Catching small problems before they become big problem areas will minimize all maintenance costs. This analysis can be as simple as walking the trail and taking notes on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Small fixes can be as little as a site soaking, re-grading, scarification and tamping. The frequency of the analysis can be determined by many of the factors listed below.

This analysis should also include understanding the areas surrounding any damaged or potentially damaged sections, as the damaged section of the surface material is often the symptom and not the problem.  For example, if rainfall or drip erosion is the issue, it is recommended to visit the site during a heavy rain occurrence to fully understand how the water is getting to the surface area and determine if this can be improved.

Time/cost of the maintenance is heavily determined by many factors. Below is a list of the more common areas to take into consideration when designing your maintenance analysis program.

1.  Edging differences

Clean-lined surfaces (i.e. edged with a firm border such as concrete, pavers, steel etc..) vs no edge. Confined edge areas will require a stronger standard of maintenance analysis due to the very nature of the aesthetic.  Having a firm edge shows where the product is supposed to be, and when it deviates from that- it’s noticeable. Having no edge creates a surface that always looks rustic and unconfined, making it harder to notice small flaws.

Also, the area between the firm edge and the Organic-Lock stabilized aggregate may be damaged by continual water flow if the water finds a path between the two, so it is ideal to recognize a potential issue like this before the damage becomes more apparent. Catching any potential problem area before it becomes an issue, will prevent the compounding stress that can result in exponential damage over time.

2.  Sitting water combined with high traffic

Low lying areas that collect sitting water can be cause for concern, but when they are combined with high levels of traffic, these areas can increase in damage in a compounding nature. Recognizing these areas early and fixing them early (especially looking at the root causes of the problem), can significantly reduce any long-term maintenance.  Examples of fixes can be the addition of drains or culverts, or by adjusting the surrounding topography to elevate the low-lying surface.

3.  Shade areas

Areas that have high levels of canopy cover, or that are surrounded by tall structures that impede direct sunlight, may take longer to firm up after prolonged rain. When these areas are combined with elevated levels of traffic, small amounts of damage can take shape. These areas are easily maintained when they are caught early. A simple scarification fix will rejuvenate the surface and prevent further damage.  Doing anything to help drain any sitting water is also encouraged in these areas (i.e. swales, cross slopes, crowns etc..).

4.  Overall expectation of the surface

Many (actually most) of the projects that use the Organic-Lock stabilized aggregate are projects that have a natural, weathered texture as the desired surface. A lack of maintenance on these areas adds to the appeal. In contrast, areas where the desired surface is a manicured look, require a heightened level of maintenance and maintenance analysis to maintain that manicured look.  

5.  Traffic volume and Traffic type

The overall volume of traffic and the particular type of traffic, both play a significant role in understanding the level of maintenance and maintenance analysis expected. Traffic will exacerbate any of the above-listed maintenance elements. Also, the feedback from that traffic often alerts the managers of the existence of any issues of concern more regularly than that of an unwatched pathway system. Understanding the dynamic between a particular level of traffic and how that traffic interacts with different environmental conditions, can cut down the maintenance analysis time by pinpointing key areas to check on in certain conditions.

6.  Maintenance program infrastructure

The expected cost to maintain a project will be determined by any/all of these above factors, combined with the type of maintenance infrastructure that is currently in place. The city trail running through a small rural town often has a very small support staff responsible for maintaining it. The high-profile project in a highly populated and wealthy city may have a full staff dedicated to maintaining a particular trail. Ease of access to these sites will also play a role in their cost to maintain…understanding the infrastructure in place will help to understand the expected cost and ability to create an effective maintenance analysis program.

OTHER USES

BOCCE COURTS

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  We are very focussed on supporting this application type and are continually working to further our developments around it.  We do not readily recommend our Organic-lock product for any other type of use.

Since this use involves the same material (fine crushed stone) as our optimal surfaces, we can provide you with the information of our closest licensed dealer, where you may be able to purchase the pre-blended Organic-lock aggregate.  

BASEBALL INFIELDS AND WARNING TRACKS

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  We are very focussed on supporting this application type and are continually working to further our developments around it.  We do not readily recommend our Organic-lock product for any other type of use.

Many of our licensed dealers do carry baseball infield and warning track materials, so please let us know your location of interest so that we can provide you with your closest dealer.

EQUESTRIAN SURFACES

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  We are very focussed on supporting this application type and are continually working to further our developments around it.  We do not readily recommend our Organic-lock product for any other type of use.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK BE USED WITH PEA GRAVEL, BEACH PEBBLES OR OTHER DECORATIVE STONES?

No, pea gravel or beach pebbles lack the fine particles required for the Organic-Lock™ to effectively bond with the aggregate. These materials are also very much “rounded” which make them unable to create an “interlocking” matrix within the aggregate itself. Crushed aggregate that have angular or sub-angular particles are optimal for proper interlocking within the aggregate.

WILL ORGANIC-LOCKEFFECTIVELY STABILIZE NATIVE SOIL?

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  The strength and stability of the well graded, crushed stone blends ideally with the powdered fines of the Organic-Lock binder.  The binder was created to blend and bind optimally with a specific aggregate type, structure and distribution of particles sizes.  

We therefore do not recommend blending Organic-Lock with any other type of material.

CAN ORGANIC-LOCK BE BLENDED WITH CRUSHED BRICK?

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  The strength and stability of the well graded, crushed stone blends ideally with the powdered fines of the Organic-Lock binder.  The binder was created to blend and bind optimally with a specific aggregate type, structure and distribution of particles sizes.  

We therefore do not recommend blending Organic-Lock with any other type of material.

IS VEHICULAR TRAFFIC ACCEPTABLE ON ORGANIC-LOCKSTABILIZED AGGREGATE?

Organic-lock is scientifically designed to be blended with fine crushed stone aggregate for use on foot and bike traffic pathway surfaces.  We are very focussed on supporting this application type and are continually working to further our developments around it.  We do not readily recommend our Organic-lock product for any other type of use.

BIKE TRAILS

Organic-Lock blended aggregate has been used successfully on bike trails in projects across the globe.  Typically, where there are foot traffic trails, there are bike trails associated with it.  If your project area of interest involves additional levels of stress (i.e. high traffic, steep slopes etc..), please feel free to share this with our tech team so we can provide additional support.

DOG RUNS

Regarding use of our product in a dog run, we have had no reported instances where there has been any kind of an issue for dogs, horses or human feet directly on the surface of Organic-Lock stabilized aggregate. Although the material will have an elevated pH, the binder itself is concentrated in the fines of the aggregate where the surface material will almost always consist of primarily larger particles. 

If you have any significant concerns whatsoever, the best thing to do would be to create a mock-up.

GREEN ROOF PATHWAYS

Organic-lock blended aggregate can be installed successfully in green roof building applications.

When installing Organic-Lock blended aggregate in a rooftop application, there are to be no changes to existing specifications other than the substitution of a specifically designed and engineer approved foam for a sub-base.

An engineer needs to sign off that:

  1. The roof can hold the weight of the path mix and base
  2. The roof can hold the weight of the roller.

If using foam, the installers need to be sure that the engineer or supplier confirms that the foam can handle the weight of the roller. 

The base profile– if using foam, then filter fabric, then base material, then path mix. Sometimes the weight restrictions call for the base material to be removed, which means you are putting path mix on fabric or foam- neither is ideal because of the permeability issue on top of the lack of proper support.

Wind issues:

Wind could be a concern. Often the Organic-Lock blended aggregate material is used on high-end apartment courtyards which are subject to higher winds and micro-climates as the building typically surrounds the courtyard on 2-4 sides.  High winds can pick up the larger, more loose particles and create a negative stress impact on its surroundings