Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Colt Hullander Joins Alchemy-Spetec as Director of Technical Services - Geotech Division

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 14, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Colt Hullander Alchemy-Spetec

Body-Colt Hullander Alchemy-SpetecAlchemy-Spetec is pleased welcome Colt Hullander! Colt will join us as the new Director of Technical Services – Geotech Division, supporting Alchemy-Spetec customers on a wide variety of polyurethane jobs, from slab lifting to soil stabilization and seawall repair. He brings a decade of geotech experience to the team.

Colt put in many years as a project manager for Stable Soils of Florida where he oversaw polyurethane rig assembly and chemical grout installation projects. After that he briefly worked for Alchemy-Spetec as a Tech Services Rep for about a year. Colt then amicably moved on to Ramjack South Florida to become a Project Manager for their Seawall Division. We are happy to welcome him back in this new role.

Alchemy-Spetec VP of Sales & Business Development Jim Spiegel is excited about the ways in which this hire will benefit the market: “Colt brings many years of invaluable field experience with expertise in a wide range of equipment, products, and techniques. His field experience coupled with his technical acumen for equipment improvements will undoubtedly offer our Geotech customers another industry-leading resource. As most grouting contractors agree, there is no substitute for field experience, and Colt has no shortage of it.”

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

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Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift

Sealing Gushing Leaks in Precast Manholes with GT380 and Oakum Soakum

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 9, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-GT380 Gushing Leaks in Precast Manholes

Body-GT380 Sealing Gushing Leaks in Precast ManholesMajor water infiltration in precast manholes often occurs at the pipe penetrations. Failure to seal these leaks quickly could lead to the loss of thousands of dollars. It can also suck in soils and fine particlesThis process creates voids outside the manhole. With time, these voids grow larger and become sinkholes.

The typical method of sealing manhole pipe penetrations is using cementitious grout. This method may be effective at first, but you'll eventually notice cracks and infiltration again because it can't withstand the slightest movement of the pipe.

We recommend you use a combination of Spetec PUR GT380 and AP Oakum. The GT380 is a highly flexible polyurethane grout that allows movement between the pipe and manhole. Combine it with the AP Oakum which is an oil-free dry jute rope, and you can take care of large and irregular-shaped defects.

The installation steps are as follows:

  1. Clean the surfaces on which you want to apply the Oakum. Wet them down if necessary, so they can react with the resin.
  2. Cut the oakum into appropriate lengths if necessary.
  3. Place oakum in a clean container (5 gallon/18.9 liter pail or plastic bag) and saturate with resin. Give time for the resin to soak into the oakum.
  4. Using gloved hands, pull a section of oakum through a loose set to squeeze out excess resin.
  5. (Optional Step) Dip the oakum in a pail of water to begin the reaction process of the resin. Soon, the resin will expand.
  6. Pack oakum into leaking defect around the pipe using a screwdriver, wooden dowel, or other mechanical device sized appropriately for the joint, crack, or defect.
  7. After the resin has cured, you may inject additional resin via a grout needle directly through the oakum or by drilling holes through the concrete behind the oakum.
  8. Leave the material to cure overnight before attempting to trim the excess foam.

With the Spetec PUR GT380 and AP Oakum combination, your work will last up to 50 years - way longer than it would if you used hydraulic cement.

Want more info on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration with Spetec PUR GT380

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 7, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - GT380 Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration

Body - Sealing Precast Manhole Joint Infiltration with GT380What happens when a joint in a precast manhole begins to leak? The answer is it may as well be leaking money.

About $22k could be lost yearly because of any ONE manhole leak at the rate of 10 gallons per minute. In the U.S, there are approximately 20 million manholes, and many of them have OVER 10 gallons of infiltration a minute. You can imagine the potential loss.

Generally, manholes leak because of either movement and settlement after installation or just plain bad installation. A leak can happen at any time. Thankfully, Alchemy-Spetec offers a quick and effective solution to this problem.

You can seal precast manhole joints using Spetec PUR GT380. It is a hydrophilic polyurethane material that cures to form a gel or a foam. Because it's a single-component material, you can install it easily without the need for mixing. It can easily penetrate joints before it eventually cures into place, thanks to its low viscosity.

Installation is simple.  There are only four steps:

  1. Drill holes. Typically, four per barrel joint.
  2. Flush the holes.
  3. Install your injection port.
  4. Inject the resin.

With Spetec PUR GT380, you can have confidence in your work because this is a durable, long term sealing solution that holds up against the harsh sewer environment.  And your clients will be delighted to stop losing money from leaking manhole joints.

Want more info on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Spetec PUR GT380: Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May Occur

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 2, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May Occur

Body - Shut Off Leaks in Structures Where Movement May OccurIn this post, we’re profiling Spetec PUR GT380. This hydrophilic polyurethane gel injection resin is your best option for shutting off water leaks in concrete, brickwork, and sewers where movement may occur. You can also use Spetec PUR GT380 for curtain grouting behind tunnels, concrete, and sheet piling. Due to the product’s low viscosity, you can also use it to cut off water leaks in a variety of foundations, including diaphragm walls, piling sheets and secant piles.

Advantages of Spetec PUR GT380

  • Highly flexible and ideally suited for structures with high probability for settlement or movement.
  • One component hydrophilic polyurethane resin, additional mechanical water shut-off through expansion after curing.
  • Versatile form, adjustable with the amount of water added. Can cure to a rubbery foam (200 to 500% water) or a stable polyurethane gel (500 to 700% water).

We advise pairing the resin with the following accessories: a Spetec Pump Cleaner, AP Soak 130, Oakum, mechanical ports, and a single component electric injection pump.

Want more information on Spetec PUR GT380?

Download an Info-Packed Shut Off Leaks in Shifting Structures Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Matt Chittick and Travis Germick of Lift It Rite

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Lift It Rite

Body-Lift It RiteOn Episode 8 of The Injection Connection, Jim sits down with Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC, a residential slab-lifting business servicing the Greater Atlanta and surrounding markets. Matt and Travis offer valuable insights on how to start a lifting business, production considerations, and the under-appreciated value of showing up with a smile - and perhaps a hamburglar costume!  (Jim Spiegel is Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and a Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute.)

Listen to the episode in its entirety below, or check it out on TheInjectionConnection.com and the following platforms:

Want info on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting products & applications?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Richard Cunningham

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 29, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Richard Cunningham

Body - Alchemy-Spetec Welcomes New Operations Manager Richard Cunningham

We are thrilled to welcome Richard Cunningham as a part of our team! Richard will join us as the new Operations Manager, overseeing the company’s production process, quality control, and facilities maintenance. He brings 23 years of facility management and environmental safety experience.

Richard began his operations management career with Ardrox, working his way up to the position of East Coast Regional manager, overseeing four facilities in the U.S. and Canada. He was also a plant manager for Brenntag Mid-South, Inc. in Tennessee where he oversaw storage capability optimization for barges, rails, and tankers. He was later promoted to the Atlanta location, where he managed multiple facilities in Georgia. Richard holds an A.S. in Business from Newbury College in Boston, is Lean-certified, and has helped multiple facilities achieve multiple-year OSHA, ISO, EHS, and HACCP certifications.

Most impressively, Richard is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Richard joins the growing list of Alchemy-Spetec employees who have proudly served our country.

Alchemy-Spetec President and CEO Stephen C. Barton is excited about bringing on a skilled expert to optimize the company’s operations: “Richard’s sharp eye for quality control, safety, and production planning will help us as we continue to expand sales across the country. With Richard at the helm, I am confident that our operations are in good hands.”

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

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Topics: All Posts

Ann Thaxton on Advertising Strategy & Costs for Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 25, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Advertising Strategy and Cost for Contractors

Body-Advertising Strategy and Cost for ContractorsThis article is an excerpt from Episode 7 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring concrete lifting marketing expert Ann Thaxton of ConcreteTitans.com. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: As you know in the industry it's very expensive to get into this, just on the equipment side of things. You're looking at 50, 60, 70, even more - $100,000 perhaps depending on your rig setup.  So, one of the questions we get all the time is – “Okay, I'm going to invest in this equipment. What are you going to do for me and how do I get leads?” That's probably the number one question. For the customers that buy the equipment, their biggest problem we see as far as their success is their lack of marketing or advertising strategy. Say I'm Joe the builder and I want to get into this, and my first question is, “How do I start? Where do I even start with marketing, advertising and lead capture?”  Could you talk us through what solutions you may offer on that and any information on monthly budgets?

Ann Thaxton: We've found throughout the industry that for cost per lead, your cheapest cost per lead is digital advertising. Your most expensive cost per lead is TV. And everything else falls in between. Your average cost per lead with digital advertising runs between $40 and $50 per lead. TV runs around $200 to $250 per lead. Direct Mail runs about $150 per lead. Ideally, if you were a more mature company, you would do all of those because studies show that it takes anywhere between 12 and 18 touch points for somebody to convert to become a customer. If you're just starting out in the business, your cheapest cost per lead is digital advertising. But I wouldn't just stop there. If you have time on your hands and if you are able to, then print up some door hangers and hang them up around neighborhoods where you know they have some problems with their concrete. If you level concrete in one neighborhood, you hang door hangers on both sides of that house and across the street for sure. And you ask your customer if they would please refer people to you because referrals are really the gold standard here. Referrals are “free” cost per lead. So, once you get really mature as a company, you get so many referrals that it just becomes gravy on top. But to start out, I would think that you would do a lot of that pounding the pavement type of work to get your name out and then do some lead advertising. And I have different levels of service. From the start, from the starting service up to 4+ rig companies. And for a budget to start out, you can spend less than a thousand a month.

Visit ConcreteTitans.com for more info on Ann Thaxton's marketing services.

Want some marketing tips from Alchemy-Spetec?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Ann Thaxton on the Importance of Lead Advertising for Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 23, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Lead Advertising for Contractors

Body-Lead Advertising for ContractorsThis article is an excerpt from Episode 7 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring concrete lifting marketing expert Ann Thaxton of ConcreteTitans.com. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather listen, an audio version of this exchange is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: A lot of your expertise is in social media and SEO. Do you offer support in that entire realm of marketing?

Ann Thaxton: I do. I pretty much am a mixed bag, but for home repair industries really the most effective channel of marketing is lead advertising. I'm a big proponent of lead advertising because you get a concrete return on your investment. You get a potential client’s name, phone number, email address and why they're contacting you - maybe their pool deck needs to be raised or they have a parking lot that needs to be leveled. That's what I really push the most with this industry is lead advertising. Not only that but I also really promote the lead nurturing process. So once you get your lead from lead advertising, you start a series of automated emails that go to those people maybe two to three weeks and it educates them on the industry. One of the big things, one of the big challenges of residential concrete lifting is a lot of people don't know that it's a thing. They don't realize that you can repair your concrete rather than replacing it at a fraction of the cost. I think that is a big part of why you need that sort of lead nurturing so people can start getting their brain around – okay, well, how does this work? How do you raise this concrete? And how long does it take? That sort of thing. So yes, I do search engine optimization, SEO, I do websites, I do email nurturing campaigns for leads, lead advertising, some sales training. I look at it as if you take a business that has maybe two rigs and they have two crew that are going out, you start them with the basic lead advertising email nurturing and hopefully you can get somebody on staff that is a customer service person that does nothing but call these leads the second they come in and it helps you build the business from there. A lot of the nurturing I do for the leads is not just emails, it’s occasional texts. It's consistent phone calling until we know if these people are going to convert or if they're not interested. That's what you’re trying to find out from these leads. So lead advertising all the way.

Jim: And are you heavily involved with the social media side of things?

Ann: I believe that you should post on your social media business pages. People do you go there occasionally but the algorithm with that is not what it used to be five years ago even because Facebook is now a public company. They want to make money. So they are not going to show your posts to the people that like your Facebook page unless you put some money behind it really. I do lead advertising on Facebook which is a great platform for educating people on concrete lifting in that it's a real home repair service. I believe in posting maybe a couple times a week but then I also really believe in lead advertising on social media. And then LinkedIn if you want to build your commercial business.

Jim: You're saying lead advertising and excuse my ignorance but essentially you’re talking about the lead capture side of it?

Ann: Yes. So, usually you need to offer something, like maybe a $50 off coupon, $100 off coupon. And they click through, in order to get that coupon, they have to give you their name and information.  Then you send the coupon pretty much immediately and call shortly after that. So that's how that works.

Visit ConcreteTitans.com for more info on Ann Thaxton's marketing services.

Want some marketing tips from Alchemy-Spetec?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Two Reasons You Should Avoid Ethanol-Based Sanitizers & Cleaners

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Jun 18, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Avoid Ethanol Based Sanitizers and Cleaners

Body-Avoid Ethanol Based Sanitizers and CleanersWhen shopping for alcohol-based hand sanitizers and alcohol-based surface cleaners, you should pay close attention to the type of alcohol listed in the ingredients.  Isopropyl alcohol offers a couple of key advantages over ethanol alcohol.   Let's review them...

Isopropyl is Gentler on Your Skin Than Ethanol

According to this article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Ethanol use is associated with skin irritation or contact dermatitis...", among other concerns.

Ethanol Tends to Have a Harsher Smell

The harsh smell of ethanol intended for topical use is often caused by the "denaturing" treatment during the manufacturing process - in which harsh chemicals are added to make it un-drinkable.  Isopropyl, on the other hand, is not a drinkable alcohol in the first place.

Isopropyl is a Key Ingredient in Sanitizers & Cleaners

Due to the two concerns outlined above, we choose to manufacture Alchemy-Spetec hand sanitizer and surface cleaner with isopropyl alcohol because it's a healthier ingredient.  We don't cut corners with our industry-standard polyurethane concrete repair products - and we won't cut corners with the sanitizers either.  Rest assured.

Want to buy an isopropyl-based hand sanitizer or surface cleaner?

Click Here to Buy Hand Sanitizer NOW

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Topics: All Posts, Sanitizers, Cleaners

Introducing the Jack Attack System

Posted by Andy Powell on Jun 16, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Banner-Introducing the Jack Attack System

Body Graphic-Introducing Jack Attack SystemThe AP Jack Attack System provides leverage for positioning small to medium slabs into place while lifting or stabilizing with polyurethane. Easy for one person to operate. Triangular steel frame.

Even with the largest polyurethane rigs on the market, manipulating small slabs can be very tedious. It would be nice if all slabs settled evenly but that is rarely the case. Often slabs settle unevenly, making it nearly impossible to lift and rotate back into place with foam alone. It will lift for sure but it won’t rotate back into place.

For these small to medium slabs we recommend the Jack Attack System. This super-easy leverage system can be attached to a slab with concrete screw-in anchors. Then the integrated 8000 lb (3628.74 kg) jack can apply the leverage necessary to make the slab rotate back into place while the lifting process takes place. It is good practice to leave the slab 1/8”-1/4” (3-6mm) under-level to allow the foam to create optimal strength as it performs the final lift to level. It makes even the most troublesome sidewalk slab a piece of cake and you will use less foam as well.

Jack-Attack-2

This photo is from a job in which the front porch settled away from the home causing columns to separate from the roof line. On one end the slab had actually cracked in two and was settled away from the home as well as parallel to the home. You can see the triangle-shaped Jack Attack System holding the slab in place as foam is injected underneath.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec Geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs