Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Conference Room: Partners

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 22, 2018 11:00:00 AM

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Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning” – Bill Gates

It doesn’t require a merger or acquisition to create a 1+1=3 partnership.  It requires two companies, through open communication, identifying alignment of supply and demand services rendered and required.  Seems simple enough, right?  Absolutely not. 

Whether we admit to this or not, every business fulfills their agenda first.  We have to.  We have to turn our own lights on before we worry about who else has turned on theirs.  But, how far does this culture trickle down?  What messages are being sent to sales and marketing teams?  After all, the message sent to the sales team is the market-facing message with which our brands enter the arena.  Sure, marketing campaigns paint a picture, but what is the dynamic when you sit down with a representative and share dialogue?  Next time you’re on a sales meeting call, listen and compare how many times WE or US is used compared to THEM or THEY. This alone will be a very indicative sign of company culture and how it pertains to our view of our own partnerships. 

Mattew Dixon, author of The Challenger Sale, profoundly suggests “what sets the best suppliers apart is not the quality of their products, but the value of their insight—new ideas to help customers either make money or save money in ways they didn’t even know were possible.”    We are all suppliers.  In some way or another, we supply our products to service an industry need.  How valuable is your insight?

Invite yourself to your client’s next sales meeting to understand THEIR needs.  Report back to your sales manager only what THEY are trying to achieve.  What is the best-selling line for your distributor?  How can you compliment THEIR efforts selling to THOSE customers? What are THEIR sales goals in 2018?  How can you help THEM achieve that goal?  What is the most profitable service your contractor performs?  How can you supplement THAT service?  How can you improve THEIR sales and marketing targets for this service?

I’ve always believed that money is a by-product of being good at something, and if you think making money is the industry you’re in, you have a far less chance of ever being industry-leading.  And the industry-leader there, Jeff Bezos, still did it by offering partners and customers industry-changing service.  Firstly, be the best at servicing your partners needs, and your company’s bottom line will fall into place. 

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed AS Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

MixMaster Pro Series Part 4

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 19, 2018 3:30:24 PM

MixMaster Pro Series Part 4

Alchemy-Spetec….We've Got Your Back!

Announcing the MixMaster Pro Stand Up Attachment

On our website, catalogs, and marketing materials we use a catch phrase “We've got your back”.  We try to live that every day and that focus has helped us become known for consistent product performance backed by superior support.

For the 2018 World of Concrete show, we want our slab lifting contractors and prospects to know that we not only have their backs, but that we also want to help their backs.  This year we are introducing our patent pending MixMaster Pro Stand Up Attachment.  No longer do you need to be on your hands and knees in order to level concrete with AP Lift polyurethanes.

MixMaster Pro Series Part 4The MixMaster Pro is already the fastest slab lifting production gun on the market, with the lowest operating cost.  But we just had to take it to the next level by designing an ergonomically friendly, back pain reducing standup system to go with it.  Sorry Advil and Aleve, we are going to be cutting into some of your business with this development.

For the most part slab lifting is not a physically demanding business.  Many of our customers are amazed at how easy it is and how rapidly you can achieve results by letting the equipment and the AP Lift 430 or AP Lift 475 do all the heavy lifting.  There has, however, always been that issue of having to squat down and standup so many times on the job.  If it’s a big warehouse job, that can be particularly grueling.

The MixMaster Standup Attachment takes that out of the equation.  Certainly there will be times when you cannot substitute getting down on a knee and having a close look at a crack or a joint.  But there’s no reason to do that on every injection.  Made of lightweight forged aluminum, the standup system operates the MixMaster while the operator stands comfortably.  For a stabilization job, like in a warehouse; you can rapidly inject points without wasting time kneeling and standing back up.  And when the job is complete, there’s no longer that aching lower back issue.

Come see us at our World of Concrete booth (Silver Lot #O40551) and have a look at the MixMaster Pro Standup Attachment.  You’ll see that We've Got Your Back in more ways than one.  You also won’t have to worry about being on a knee if someone happens to play the national anthem while you’re working.  Now the MixMaster Pro is also the most patriotic slab lifting gun on the market. 

Want more information on the MixMaster Pro & Stand Up Attachment?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

MixMaster Pro Series Part 3

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 17, 2018 2:57:17 PM

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Easy to Clean and Easy on the Wallet

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Today’s blog is part 3 of a 4 part series on the MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun.  The big news is coming on Friday when Part 4 arrives just in time for the 2018 World of Concrete.  But that’s Friday so you have to wait.

In Part 1 and Part 2 we covered the advantages of the Mixmaster as it pertains to job safety and production maximization.  In part 3 I want to address the “Painless Procedures” part of maintaining the MixMaster Pro. 

When I first started in this business, I worked with a lot of contractors that used traditional spray foam guns that had been adapted to slab lifting.  We had the MixMaster gun at the time but we still had to penetrate the market with it.  My first contractors were skeptical of our system; a gun designed just for slab lifting.  But I remember watching them struggle with cleaning guns, dealing with crossovers, and ordering long lists of parts.

Now 5 years later, the MixMaster Pro is even more refined and we have well over a hundred out in the market.  Slab lifting contractors rave about how it takes less than 10 minutes to clean at the end of the day.  Getting the hang of operating it is very easy and it’s nice that clean up procedures are just as smooth. 

How about the spare parts?  Those of you who own all of the other types of slab lifting guns out there may not want to hear this; it’s going to hurt.  I have seen the orders that you guys are placing for gun parts.  It’s thousands of dollars per year.  I have one contractor who says they averaged from $1000 - 2000 per month on gun parts, to maintain one rig with two guns.  That is nuts.  They have been converted to MixMasters for about 4 months now and they just finally called to order a few spare parts.  It wasn’t because they needed them either; they just wanted to have a few things on hand just in case.

In my capacity I deal with a majority of the slab lifting customers we have.  In 2017 I would guess we have sold less than $5000 total in spare parts…for all of the MixMaster guns that we have in the field.  It’s time to stop beating your head against the wall with the other slab lifting guns. 

The MixMaster Pro has what you need:

  • Lowest new gun price on the market at $1495.00
  • Port travels with the gun – no tripping over ports, no wasting a port on every hole
  • 10 Minutes to clean at the end of the day
  • Lowest operating cost – It’s not even close
  • Easily adaptable to Deep Lift accessories

On Friday we are going to roll out something really cool.  Make sure not to miss part 4 of the series.

Want more information on the MixMaster Pro?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

Conference Room: People 

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 15, 2018 12:28:00 PM

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conference room 1-blog (1)-1.pngHappy New Year from Alchemy-Spetec.

Over the next twelve months, I will be producing a monthly four-part blog, entitled Conference Room.  Producing content for forty-eight original blogs is quite an ambitious objective, but we all know not much gets achieved without setting lofty goals, and working towards them with diligence.  Our Conference Room blog will run concurrently with two other series focused on the Geotechnical and Waterproofing construction industry segments.  Through these blogs, we aim to provide our audience with an insight into not only the Alchemy-Spetec product line, but also the broader general industries as well as a behind-the-scenes snapshot of how we operate as an organization and how we prioritize our efforts.  We welcome questions, comments, and criticisms throughout, and look forward to finding ways to improve through this dialogue.  We hope you enjoy our blogs!

 “Getting the right people in the right jobs is a lot more important than developing a strategy” – Jack Welch

You read it in every business culture book, and you hear it in every management meeting.  Not only are people the most important dynamic to your business, good ones are extremely difficult to find.  We all realize that nothing in the business goes well when good people aren’t putting in their well-respected efforts day in and day out.  While this is certainly true inside each business, it is perhaps even more true outside of your business. 

The same phenomenon occurs when we don’t have the right people as partners anywhere along our respective verticals, or anywhere in our lives for that matter.  Do your suppliers share the same pillar principles?  Are you aligned with your distribution network’s goals?  As a supplier, do you share the same confidence in your product as the contractor has in their own skill and craftsmanship?  If the answer to any of these are ‘no’, then you’re not aligning with the right people.  In the often-quoted Best-Selling Book Good To Great, Jim Collins emphasizes the importance of first and foremost focusing on having the right people on the bus.  Why should this be any different for all of those people that make your brand uniquely yours?  Commitment to, and appreciation for finding the right people should be all of our #1 objectives. 

Tis the season for reflection and new beginnings.  Although you can’t throw someone off the bus who is sitting around your holiday dinner table, take some time to appreciate those around you who are the right people in your business and in your life.  And as we begin the new year, critically and reflectively consider if you’re performing as the right person on each bus you ride.  Next stop on this bus is Part 2 of 4; Partners. Be sure to stay tuned!  

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

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Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies: To Drill or Not to Drill

Posted by Thad Brown on Jan 12, 2018 11:58:05 AM

Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies

Polyurethanes vs. EpoxiesPorts are generally used to deliver resinous material and seal vertical or overhead cracks in concrete with epoxy or polyurethane chemical grout. 

Using Ports with Epoxy

For epoxy applications, ports are set directly over or into the crack. Epoxy is injected directly into the crack. A low viscosity epoxy needs to get at least 90% penetration and fill of the crack for a structural repair. It is not necessary to drill into the crack to set the ports for epoxy injection. “Top Hat” ports can be used to set and seal cracks. This seal creates a reservoir for the epoxy by not allowing any of the resin to leak out during and after injection.

Using Ports with Polyurethane

Polyurethane crack injection is done differently. Holes are drilled at a 45 degree angle to the crack in an attempt to meet the crack at its mid-point in the concrete membrane. Injecting the grout into the mid-point of the crack allows for expansion in all directions for a complete seal.

For polyurethane curtain wall grouting, holes are drilled completely through the wall in a pre-determined grid pattern and ports are set for the injection site. This method allows the crack or joint to be sealed from behind the wall. It is important to make sure you know where the steel reinforcing, possible post-tensioned cables, electrical conduit or any other systems that may be in or behind the wall are before drilling.

Polyurethanes and Epoxies

As mentioned in a previous blog, Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies, there are many different situations requiring either product type. The choice depends on the project at hand and the depth of your product knowledge.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec Products?

Download the Info-Packed AS Product Catalog! 

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Repair Cracks

Seeking Manufacturing Representative in Metro DC, VA, MD

Posted by Anthony Sandone on Jan 10, 2018 11:19:48 AM

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hiring-blog (1).pngDo You Know Someone Who Would Be Perfect for This Position?

Alchemy-Spetec is seeking a talented and experienced Manufacturing Rep to join our high growth team. The Manufacturing Rep territory is in the Metro DC area, Virginia and Maryland.
We are looking for a rep who has experience in the waterproofing industry.  This rep will possess the ability to find contractors and develop them to use our products.
This rep will travel in the three states calling on municipalities, specifying engineers, architects, geotechnical engineers, soil contractors, grouting contractors and waterproofing contractors that may have interest in our products.
This is a great product line for a rep that is already selling waterproofing products.  The Manufacturing Rep can not have a competing product line with any of our products.

Apply online by following this link:  Alchemy-Spetec Manufacturing Representative Application

Please note, this is an independent contractor position; the selected candidate will not be an employee of Alchemy-Spetec.

Alchemy-Spetec is an equal opportunity employer.

Topics: All Posts

MixMaster Pro Series Part 2

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 8, 2018 10:45:52 AM
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MixMaster Pro – The Production Beast!

In part one of our MixMaster series leading up to the World of Concrete, we highlighted the fact that contractors don’t have to worry about tripping over pre-positioned injection ports when using this gun.  With the MixMaster Pro system, the port travels with the gun and isn’t left in the hole.  So there's less to trip over or have your hoses and cords get caught on.

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If you have a system where you are clamping the gun to the port, then frankly, I am sorry for you.  I have seen first-hand how tedious it is to keep that connection clean and how much fun it is (NOT) to scrape cured foam off the vise grips and mixing module face of the gun.  This is a time waster for sure.  With the MixMaster Pro, you are able to move quickly from point to point, which saves time and money.

When I train installers in the field and we switch them from their spray foam style guns to a gun designed just for slab lifting, you can see their eyes light up once they realize how much easier it’s going to be.  The elimination of a port required for every hole not only eliminates a tripping hazard, but also maximizes production and reduces the cost of consumables.

On a typical job with traditional impingement guns, you have to place an injection port in every hole.  It’s a 5/8” hole to start with as opposed to a 3/8” hole with the MixMaster gun system.  3/8” holes take less time to drill, include less expensive drill bits, and reduce the percentages of hitting rebar or wire when drilling through a slab because of the drill bits having a smaller diameter.

Once our 3/8” holes are drilled it’s as simple as inject, monitor, and move to the next point when it’s time.  The other systems require: drilling 5/8” holes, hammering in the port and tightening with a wrench to anchor it into the slab, connecting the gun to the port with an overpriced, modified vise grip, then injecting until it’s time to move.  I have been on many jobs where this system is implemented and it is a LOT slower.

Increasing production is a way for you to realize the most savings, but you also can’t discount the savings on the consumables like the ports themselves.  MixMaster ports are 3/8” diameter and they cost less than larger 5/8” diameter sleeved ports.  So even if you used the same number of ports, the MixMaster system would be more cost effective.  Now factor in that you can do a typical residential job with one or two ports compared to 10-20 for the other guys, and those numbers will add up over time.  I consulted with one of our customers on a residential stabilization job a few weeks ago and the guys drilled a grid pattern with at least 50 holes.  They used two ports with our MixMaster Pro system.  A week earlier they would have used 50 ports.  That saved them over $50 on materials for that job; not a huge number but it adds up over a week, or a year.  That’s the cherry on top of all the money you can save on labor with our system.

Stay tuned for part 3 of 4 coming in a few days, in which I will continue to illustrate the low operating cost of the MixMaster Pro slab lifting system. If you are currently struggling with the cost of cleaning, maintaining, and buying parts for your impingement guns, you will want to read this next one.

I look forward to seeing you all at the World of Concrete, booth O40551.  Click here for an automatic discount on World of Concrete registration!

Want more information on the MixMaster Pro?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies

Posted by Anthony Sandone on Jan 5, 2018 10:56:50 AM

Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies

Polyurethanes vs. Epoxies

When repairing cracks in concrete, which material is better to use? Polyurethane or epoxy?  Well the real answer is both products will work, but there are some rules that apply.

Polyurethanes Vs. Epoxies

If the crack is leaking, polyurethane chemical grout would be the better choice because epoxies do not perform well where moisture is present. Polyurethane is a fast setting foam product that can stop leaks in as little as 5 seconds. It can also fix hairline cracks and cracks that are a few inches wide. 

Epoxy can be used for cracks in need of structural repair because of the high compressive strengths they have. Some epoxies even have higher strength ratings than concrete. This is why they are the best choice for non-leaking structural cracks.

A few years back I was asked by an engineer to look at a parking garage that had many leaking cracks. It turned out that those cracks were previously repaired with epoxy grout. This is a perfect example of why grouters should not use epoxy in leaking cracks.  As I mentioned earlier, epoxy does not do well in cracks that have moisture in them.  The other mistakes they made were: using a very rigid epoxy without flexibility, and failing to bridge the crack for movement. This is what caused the cracks to leak again.

My recommendation for this problem was a simple. Because the cracks already had epoxy in them, I had the contractor drill through the wall and into the soil. I then had the contractor pump polyurethane chemical grout behind the wall and build a curtain wall of grout behind each crack.  Problem fixed!

Products we have for crack injection:
Spetec PUR F400
AP Seal 500 
Products we have for curtain wall grouting:
Spetec PUR H100
AP Fill 700   
Product we have for structural crack repair:
Epicol INJ LV

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed AS Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Repair Cracks

MixMaster Pro Series Part 1

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 3, 2018 1:47:12 PM
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At Alchemy-Spetec we manufacture first class polyurethane and acrylic resins for Sealing Leaks, Stabilizing Soil, and Lifting Slabs. We also provide the delivery systems and training for using our products in the field.  Although I enjoy talking about all of our products and working with them in the field, I find that lifting concrete slabs and structures is the most rewarding and interesting to me.

One of the greatest public safety benefits a slab lifting contractor can provide for their workers is the elimination of tripping hazards on the job. I give talks to different building management associations like BOMA and IFMA, pointing out eye opening statistics about the costs of neglecting tripping hazards. A lost time accident for one of your workers is one of the most expensive costs to bear.

Last week I was training some slab lifting technicians on using our MixMaster Pro slab lifting gun. They really liked it and pointed out a number of advantages over the air and mechanical purge guns they were used to. I have heard these points made many times, but when the tech said he liked it because they weren't tripping over ports, I was caught off guard.

When I asked him to explain, he said that their old system required them to set injection ports in every hole. When they would then move back and forth injecting various holes to bring the slabs up, they would invariably trip over the pre-positioned ports. He mentioned that they were getting orange colored ports at one time in order to help address the problem.

A week prior, I experienced this myself on a curtain wall grouting job under a containment area. We had the same problem, and there were a LOT of ports to watch out for. At the end of the day,  we had to put up safety tape around the area to keep other workers from entering and possibly tripping over an injection port. To have that same situation brought up the following week, on a slab lifting job, was eye opening.

Indeed the MixMaster Pro gun does eliminate those types of tripping hazards for the crew. A port in every injection hole is a place to trip or have a hose or extension cord hang up. With the MixMaster Pro system, the injection port moves with the gun, leaving the area free of ports while your crew works. In fact it's not uncommon to use only one or two ports over the course of an entire residential job. 

Give us a call at Alchemy-Spetec and let one of our sales experts or field techs explain the advantages of the MixMaster Pro. If you want to start a business fixing tripping hazards by lifting slabs, we can help you out. If you already lift slabs, there may be different kind of tripping hazard we can help you resolve.

Stay tuned for part 2 of 4 coming in a few days and I look forward to seeing you all at the World of Concrete, booth O40551.  Click here for an automatic discount on World of Concrete registration!

Want more information on the MixMaster Pro?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

Best of 2017 Blog Posts: Part 2

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Dec 29, 2017 11:30:00 AM

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We round out this year with a look back at some of the best blog articles from 2017.  Today's post is part two of a two-part series.  Enjoy!

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Benefits of Buying through distribution

It is much more convenient to buy from a distributor that can deliver product directly to your job site, as opposed to depending on a freight company to deliver it from the manufacturer.

To make it simple: a distributor already knows the local job site, the area, the traffic patterns, and the key people to make seamless drop offs.  We have experienced first hand the frustration of trying to get materials to a project address. The logistics, the timing, the limitations of a freight carrier's route and schedule can drive someone mad. Having someone else handle that can be a no brainer. 

Read more

Alchemy-Spetec's NSF Certification Spells Environmental Protection

Alchemy-Spetec's NSF Certification Spells Environmental Protection

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) gives the EPA latitude to impose criminal and civil penalties on industries not in compliance. In 2014 enforcement efforts policing clean water netted $163 million in penalties and fines, 155 combined years of incarceration for sentenced defendants, and $16 million in court-ordered project clean-ups.

Having products that may come into contact with drinking water certified to NSF 61-5 (approved for contact with drinking water), ensures compliance with the SDWA and guarantees peace of mind for stakeholders on construction projects where this could be an issue. 

Read more

Sealing Leaks with Spetec F400 - Underneath the St Lawrence Seaway

Sealing Leaks with Spetec F400 - Underneath the St Lawrence SeawayOne of our regional managers recently had the opportunity to train a crew on a very interesting job inside an underwater utility tunnel beneath a lock and dam in the St. Lawrence Seaway. This seaway connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. This tunnel is underneath a giant concrete deck, so the walls have taken a lot of pressure over time. 

The soil also shifts and settles underneath the tunnel as the years go by. Those factors, in addition to freeze/thaw cycles have caused cracks to appear in the walls. 

Read more

Waterstop Essentials: Three Solutions


While similar in function, there is a difference between leak seal products and waterstop products. Waterstop products are designed to prevent water leaks from occurring, while leak seal products are designed to repair existing leaks.  

This article contains an overview of the following Alchemy-Spetec waterstop products:

  • Spetec WT400
  • Spetec ITS Kit
  • Spetec SST500

Read more

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Topics: All Posts