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is geotextile fabric really neccesary?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by l3en007, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. l3en007

    l3en007 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I went to my supplier the other day while pricing out the job and got a price on a 500 ft roll of geotextile fabric...i dont remember exactly the number but it was over 500 dollars! Now does everyone use this fabric because they were told to by icpi? I dont know, sometimes I think some of these standards are set just so certain businesses will sell there product. My supplier told me no one is even buying geotextile anymore. He said alot of people are just buying landscape fabric to use between the base and soil. What are your guys thoughts on this???????????
  2. soopa

    soopa LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if you have stable, undisturbed, and well compacted sub-soil then you could could get away with nothing more than a separation layer (landscape fabric, asphalt underlayment, non-woven textile, what have you). However, if your sub-soil doesn't match said criteria you'd be well served by a stabilization membrane.

    While I agree woven textiles are, perhaps, unjustifiably expensive... I pay an average of only 0.15 cents a ft2, which is a relatively small price to pay to insure I'm not back in a year digging the project up.

    The cost has more of an impact on smaller projects as a roll has a minimum ft2, but once you start stockpiling unused textile and spreading it across your projects you don't notice it as much.

    Be on the lookout for bargains too. Mirafi alone has several product lines and even the cheapest woven stabilization textiles are suitable for patios, etc. If you can't find a deal on Mirafi there are other brands out there.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    abso-fah-king-lutly geotextile fabric is necessary.

    $500 for a roll??? BFD! You charge the client for it.

    We charge 14 cents per square foot. we also factor in 15% material for waste (overlapage, cuts, etc). This way we do not have to eat a single sf of cost.

    Its cheap insurance.

    A serious patio builder not using geo-textile fabric on ALL their jobs is like a moto-cross racer racing without a helmet - SQUID.

  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    That is why the majority of walkways installed (at least in my area) are completely failing. Within the first year they are settling, by the second the concrete edging is broken and the sides of the walks are caving in. The third the downspouts they placed under the walkway are coming up through the walkway. We usually get the call in the 4th or 5th year after initital installation b/c they want it 'repaired'. Its rediculous.

    6' x 100' roll runs me ~70 while 12' x 100' runs me around ~130. $100 or $150 materials cost and another man-hour to lay it is minimal on a walkways that cost between $3k and $6k. Its a no-brainer.
  5. Mid-Ohio Scaper

    Mid-Ohio Scaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    What he said!
  6. soopa

    soopa LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    It should be noted that the gentleman who started this thread never actually suggested forgoing a textile altogether. He seems to have been asking if a separation fabric (such as landscape fabric) also commonly sold as NON-WOVEN GEO-TEXTILE can be used as a suitable supplement for WOVEN STABILIZATION GEO-TEXTILE.

    I would bet there's some here who do not even know the difference. Most construction suppliers sell all fabrics as a geo-textile (as that's what just about all fabrics are considered) and with good reason. Mirafi, the leading textile manufacturer, classifies nearly all of their fabric lines as geo-textiles and rates them for different uses and soil conditions. They provide guidelines for when and what to use so far as their products are concerned. Some of their WOVEN geo-textiles ARE NOT RATED FOR STABILIZATION.

    I wouldn't be surprised if some of you paying $70 for 6x100' are using textiles rated for little more than SEPARATION, not stabilization. LB, what is the name of the product you use? If you're getting stabilization fabric at that price I'll take a ride to jersey to stock up for the season!

    I've seen many of you mention before you use Mirafi 500X as your textile of choice. It is rated ONLY as a woven SEPARATION membrane. It is not suitable for stabilization or load distribution. It's also the most popular fabric in the industry and is the most readily available from block supplies –*go figure. It's also listed as the material of choice in the specifications provided by several big name paver manufacturers.

    Here's a handy chart that will help you select a product suitable for the job at hand: http://www.tencate.com/smartsite.dws?id=4565

    So, back to my original point, the answer to the original poster is YES! there are cases where it is acceptable to use a textile rated only for separation (sometimes sold as landscape fabric) so long as it has the service life necessary to continue to perform it's given function for the life of your pavement. It is your job to select the most appropriate materials for the job.

    A stabilization fabric can easily cost 2-3x that of a separation fabric and if the latter is unnecessary for the job at hand it is in my opinion unethical to charge a customer for something they don't need. Doing so is akin to selling snake oil. If you're selling an expensive stabilization membrane only because of your lack of product knowledge, your insecurity, or your own peace of mind then tell the customer that and if they want to pay for it than so be it... otherwise eat the cost or educate yourself.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  7. soopa

    soopa LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 132

    BTW, how many of you use the same textile for patios/walks as you use for driveways? The most affordable textile I'm able to get my hands on that is rated for stabilization and use under pavements sustaining regular vehicular loads is about $0.35/ft2.

    I wonder if some of the preachers on here have been using their $0.15/ft2 patio textile in all instances...

    Also, you guys charging the customer $0.15/ft2, you multiply that times 2 for areas getting alot of foot traffic or vehicular right? I mean, you're using a layer between your sub-soil and base and your base and bedding sand for areas sustaining repeated loading, correct? ICPI data shows that a separation fabric between your bedding and base course can significantly lengthen your pavements service life in these cases.

    Of course you are. So, since were doing it right, were accounting for $0.35/ft2 for a stabilization membrane plus $0.15/ft2 for a separation membrane for driveways, walkways, and any area of frequent use over clay or other unstable soils. Right? So, since we're all doing it right were charging a minimum of $0.50/ft2 (our cost) for fabric on these types of jobs? Good.
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    nice post.

    I'll look I have both rolls at the jobsite which is currently under water. Should be able to get back there mid week.
  9. AllHardscaping

    AllHardscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I used geo as a selling point. Nobody else uses it in my area. My additional .30 is nothing compared to what you can get by looking like the more educated contractor that is putting down a material that will prolong the life of a paver system. Most guys just want to put in pavers and run. You are showing that you care what will happen years down the road. This will get you a premium.
  10. ford550

    ford550 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 221


    We charge 15 cents per quare foot and also figure 25% for waste. It's cheap, your dealer is ripping you a knew a**hole. We buy the BIG rolls of Mirifi 500X, 12.5'w by 432'L and I pay about $432.00 (8 cents per sf) for that roll. Use it, that's why I can offer a 5 year warranty (along with great compaction of coarse). DON'T USE LANDSCAPE FABRIC, THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE AND WILL NOT WORK!

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