A tackifier is a substance that can be used to bind the particles of the hydromulch and the soil after application. Several factors should be considered when selecting a tackifier to use during the hydromulching process. This article discusses some of those factors.
Tackifiers are available either as a liquid or a powder formulation. Each comes with its own positive and negative sides. For example, liquid tackifiers are easier to mix into a slurry, but they can be bulky and difficult to store. Powdered tackifiers are easy to transport and store due to their limited volume. However, more effort is needed to mix it uniformly during the process of preparing the hydromulch slurry.
Tackifiers can be broadly divided into organic and synthetic versions. Organic tackifiers are biodegradable and may not remain effective for long because they are affected by repeated exposure to rainstorms and the elements. However, organic tackifiers are the best in case you don't want the hydromulch to have an adverse effect on any seeds or plants in the area of application. Synthetic tackifiers last longer after application. They may also be more affordable to buy. However, they can have an adverse effect on the environment. For example, they can reduce the germination rate of any seed underneath the hydromulch layer. Weigh these options and select what will suit your needs.
Always assess the viscosity of the tackifier when you are making your choice. Tackifiers with low viscosity are easier to use since they will not clog the equipment. However, such a tackifier can create opportunities for a runoff on steep slopes since the slurry will not stick to the soil immediately after application. Thicker tackifiers pose challenges of preventing the slurry from clogging the application equipment. However, the hydromulch will stand a higher chance of sticking on the substrate upon contact.
Each tackifier requires a specific set of weather conditions to be effective. For example, some need several sunny days after application to take full effect. Some tackifiers may require the soil to be moistened heavily before the slurry is applied while others may not have such a requirement. Read the product literature about any weather restrictions before you make a final choice.
Other important factors, such as the techniques used to apply the hydromulch slurry, also play a critical role in the hydromulching process. Enlist the help of an expert in case you lack the technical know-how to execute this project successfully.