Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the Industry & Challenges of Finding Good Employees

Posted by Kreg Thornley on May 28, 2020 11:11:38 AM

Banner-Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the Industry

Body-Jack Whitworth on Benefits of Working in the IndustryThis article is an excerpt from Episode 6 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring industry veteran Jack Whitworth. 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: Obviously, you have a ton of experience, so I’d like to get some insights from you. What do you think are some of the strengths of the chemical grouting industry? What's kept you in it for 26 years? What do you like about the industry and why do you think it has such a strong future?

Jack Whitworth: I like the industry because it's challenging, no job typically is the same. You have to be quick on your toes, you have to be able to react to emergencies and that also ties into the fact that chemical grouts will always be necessary - but the job never gets boring. Plus, you get to see a lot of locations and areas that the general public (or probably at least 75 percent of the population) doesn't even know exist. It's exciting to get out there and be a solution provider. That's probably what really keeps me interested in it the most.

Jim: Yeah, I agree. That's a good point that the places that the chemical grouting industry takes you is just unbelievable - walking the gallery of a dam or something like that, it's a place you would otherwise never know existed. There are some really interesting projects out there. One of the things that is a concern, is the fact that no kid will say, “I want to be a sales professional for chemical grouts when I grow up.” How do you get young talent interested in chemical grouting?

Jack: Typically, you almost have to be lucky to run into somebody that has interest in it because it is the unknown that's out there. There is no magic because if we went to college fairs and different things like that, they’d think we were crazy because it's not that understood. But I think where we find most of our opportunities for representatives is typically in the field. That could be a contractor, that could be a distributor. We typically have a good knowledge of what their work habits are and really they have some fairly decent knowledge of chemical grouts because if you take a distributor salesman, for instance, you might find a guy that's selling a ton within one location. I want to meet that guy. I want to know why he's finding these opportunities and those are people we try to look out for.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

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Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 26, 2020 1:30:00 PM

Banner-Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

Body-Sealing Gushing Leaks with Oakum Soakum

AP Oakum is an oil-free dry jute rope which can be used dry or soaked with Spetec PUR GT500, Spetec PUR F400 or any other Spetec water-reactive resin to seal leaks in concrete structures. It works well dry to drive into cracks as a temporary seal to allow injected resin time to cure without washing out. Here’s an overview of the installation process:

Preliminary Analysis

Determine if the large crack or joint is structural or cosmetic. If deemed structural, consult an appropriate engineer. Oakum is typically utilized in conjunction with water-reactive chemical grouts in leak-sealing applications. Void filling of these spaces can also be achieved through similar application techniques and appropriate product selection.

Preparation of Substrate

Remove all existing sealant, debris, or contamination of any kind. In large openings, inspect for loose concrete or anything that would prevent insertion of Oakum into the desired depth and location.

Preparation of Product

Firstly, cut oakum into desired lengths and segments. Pre-mix hydrophobic or hydrophilic chemical grouts per manufacturer recommendation in a separate container taking note of working times and reaction times. Once the material is mixed, quickly, and fully soak the Oakum in the mixed chemical grout. Place the saturated Oakum to the desired location.

Preparation of Personal Protection Equipment

Oakum is typically manually installed. Be sure to wear full hands, arm, face, and eye covering at
all times. Chemical grout can drip/spill cover anything with which it comes in contact.


  1. Clean the surfaces to which the oakum will be applied. Wet the surfaces down if necessary, to react with the resin.
  2. If necessary, cut the oakum into appropriate lengths.
  3. Place oakum in a clean container (5 gallon/18.9 liter pail or plastic bag) and saturate with resin. Allow time for the resin to soak into the oakum.
  4. Using gloved hands, pull a section of oakum through a loose set to wring excess resin from the oakum.
  5. Optional Step: Dip the oakum into a pail of water to begin the reaction process. This will begin the reaction process of the resin. This step causes the resin to begin to expand.
  6. Pack oakum into the joint, crack, or other defect 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 through a grout needle directly through the oakum or by drilling holes through the concrete behind the oakum.
  8. Allow the material to cure overnight before attempting to trim the excess foam.

Brief Video Clip

Here's a brief video, taken from my trusty Grout Geek Helmet Cam, of me packing oakum into a gushing leak.

Want more information on Leak Seal® products?

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Alchemy-Spetec Customized Estimate Rocket Software for Automating Quote Prep, Customer Tracking, & Follow-Up

Posted by Kreg Thornley on May 21, 2020 10:30:00 AM

Banner-Estimate Rocket Alchemy Spetec

Body-Estimate Rocket Alchemy SpetecDid you know that Alchemy-Spetec offers a customized version of the popular Estimate Rocket invoicing, client management and CRM tool for contractors?  The custom version includes material estimating calculators for Alchemy-Spetec geotech polyurethanes.  These calculators make it easy to figure out the amount of material you'll need for any given job.  Sign up now via this Alchemy-Spetec link to get the customized version!  (Visiting the Estimate Rocket site in any manner aside from the links we provide will get you the generic, non-customized version.)

Paperless Workflow

Creating impressive proposals has never been easier with Estimate Rocket’s easy-to-use business templates. Leave a lasting impression with professional paperless estimates and invoices you can create and deliver to clients in seconds. 

Job & Client Management

Keep your clients most important information organized and at your fingertips 24/7. The system automatically saves and organizes current and previous jobs, contact information, notes, and more.

Powerful CRM Tools

Stay connected with customer relationship management tools that keep you more responsive than ever before. Automated reminders and appointment scheduling let you know when to take action. Automated Follow-Ups stay in touch with your customers automatically.

Team Collaboration

Bring your entire team with an easy to use web-portal where crews can view appointments, field estimators can build estimates, and accountants can send out invoices.

Financial Reports

View up to the minute reports and know exactly where every job stands. Advanced reporting gives greater depth with detailed job statistics. Easily export to QuickBooks or other accounting software that imports CSV files.

Access on Any Device

Whether you’re on site with a customer or back in the office, you always have complete access to all features. Estimate Rocket works on Mac, PC, iOS, Android, Blackberry and any other web-enabled device.

AS Material Estimation Calculators

As mentioned previously, the Alchemy-Spetec customized version of Estimate Rocket features AS geotech material estimation calculators built in!

Sign Up for the AS Version of Estimate Rocket

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Poly VS Mudjacking

Posted by Robin Smith on May 19, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Poly VS Mudjacking

Body-Poly VS Mudjacking

This post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers.  This article, written by Robin Smith of Dalinghaus Construction, contrasts the methods of polyurethane slab lifting vs mudjacking.  If you're an Alchemy-Spetec customer and you'd like to discuss writing content for our blog, please send an email to marketing@alchemy-spetec today!

Have a sinking slab you need to lift? Here at Dalinghaus we offer Polyurethane Slab Leveling, but we often get calls from customers asking for something called “Mudjacking”. If you follow us online, you have gotten an opportunity to learn a lot about Poly, but might not know anything about mudjacking. We are going to break down some of the basic differences between them! You do have options! So let’s take a look at Poly VS Mudjacking, and see what looks better to you.

What is Mudjacking???

Mudjacking is the process of lifting a building, driveway, or any slab of concrete by pumping a mixture of concrete and water (known as mud to people who work with it) underneath a sunken slab raise it back to a level or a predetermined lift. The process of mudjacking settled concrete has been around for over 60 years, and as such, the issues with the process have been well documented. Some of those issues include:

  • Weight Of Material: The weight of the “mud” material can be as much as 100lbs per cubic foot! (Compare that to Polyurethane that comes in at about 2-4lbs per cubic foot!) Typically a slab starts sinking in the first place because the soil around it has been compromised. The added weight of the concrete can cause further settlement. Why fix a problem with something that potentially adds to the problem?
  • Big Holes In Your Concrete: Mudjacking requires drilling a 2-3” hole through your slab to pump the thick material through. The number of holes needed is dependant upon the condition of the concrete. (Compare that to Poly that only requires a ⅝” hole to inject material!) These holes then need to be patched, and they tend to stick out like a sore thumb. 
  • Curing Time: The concrete that is pumped under the slab isn’t exposed to the sun, it takes longer to cure. It can take days to a week to dry! (Our Polyurethane sets up in just seconds! Check out this project that we completed at the Orange County Transit Authority. Our technology was able to keep the bus schedule on track without missing a beat!)

When it comes to Poly VS Mudjacking, Poly makes WAY more sense to us! If you want to learn more about how we can help you, give us a call!

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting products used by Daulinghaus Construction and others?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Interview with Meric Selvi at Alchemy Inject

Posted by Jim Spiegel on May 14, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Interview with Meric Selvi of Alchemy Inject

Body-Interview with Meric Selvi of Alchemy InjectOne of our geotech customers in Australia, Meric Selvi at Alchemy Inject, was recently interviewed about his concrete repair business.

Alchemy Inject's parent company Antidote Remedial is a remedial building company which was established in 2007. Over the last decade the business has grown to become a team of licensed skilled trades including builders, tilers, painters, plumbers and concreters with a diverse background and a common passion for delivering the best results for their clients.

Antidote/Alchemy Inject is dedicated to providing exceptional levels of service to their clients. Their team is made up of skilled licensed tradespeople, plus admin staff and certified project managers to make sure the projects are completed on time, on budget and to a high quality.

Based in Manly, Australia, they operate throughout the Sydney metro area. They recently posted a great 10 minute video interview with Alchemy Inject owner Meric Selvi.  Enjoy this profile of their slab lifting business, Alchemy Inject.


Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

How Soil Destroys Buildings - A Video from Grady Hillhouse

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 12, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-How Soil Destroys Buildings

Body-How Soil Destroys BuildingsWe all know the destructive power of earthquakes, hurricanes, and other forces of nature and while I was aware of expansive soils, I had no idea the amount of damage they cause. We at Alchemy-Spetec focus on industry education, so I am pleased to share this video about expansive soils from Grady Hillhouse at Practical Engineering.

Here's a text excerpt to whet your appetite...

"When most people think property damage, they think about natural disasters. But what if I told you there’s a slow-moving, geologic phenomenon that causes more damage in the United States than earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes combined?

Hey, I’m Grady and this is Practical Engineering. Today we’re talking about expansive soils.

Certain types of clay soils change their volume depending on moisture content. They swell when they get wet and shrink as they dry.  This is a microscopic mechanism where the shape and arrangement of the molecules actually change according to the amount of water mixed in. And large portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast and Great Plains have these kinds of soils. If you’re starting a foundation repair or road paving business, this is an important map for one very good reason – expansive soils break stuff."

Click the video below for more...

Want some information on soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Does Your Hand Sanitizer Kill Covid-19?

Posted by Michael Binyaminov on May 7, 2020 10:38:13 AM

Banner-Does Your Hand Sanitizer Kill Covid 19

Body-Does Your Hand Sanitizer Kill Covid 19

A lot of customers have recently been asking about the hand sanitizer that we sell vs. others they are finding on the market. It turns out that there can be a significant difference. For example, my parents bought a 16 oz bottle of ethyl-based hand sanitizer from the grocery store, and after reading through the label, we realized there was a critical differentiator between that version and the one we sell.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, hand sanitizers deemed most effective against COVID-19 pathogens contain 80% ethanol or 75% isopropyl by volume. The brand that my parents bought, as well as a few other popular offerings I researched, contained between 60-70% ethyl by volume. This formula, according to the CDC, is not as effective against the current outbreak.

On the other hand, our FDA-approved hand sanitizer contains 75% isopropyl by volume.  This hand sanitizer was formulated specifically according to the World Health Organization guidelines for killing COVID-19.

Want to order Alchemy-Spetec hand sanitizer?

Click Here to Buy Hand Sanitizer NOW

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Disinfectants

Polyurethane Crack and Curtain Grouting Demo

Posted by Charlie Lerman on May 5, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Crack and Curtain Demo

Body-Crack and Curtain DemoEmbedded below is a crack and curtain grouting video demo I recently recorded.  For those not familiar with me, my name is Charlie Lerman. I'm the Director of Technical Services for the Leak Seal Division at Alchemy-Spetec (and I'm also known as the Grout Geek). I have been involved in a wide variety of grouting jobs from dams to tunneling, municipal to sewer system work, residential, commercial, and industrial.

Prior to joining the Alchemy-Spetec team, I was with the Navy in the submarine and recruiting services. I have 20 years of construction experience – I was with a restoration contractor for five of those twenty years and earned a bachelor degree in Business Management during that time. I have been providing technical support and training for polyurethane grouts for over fifteen years and have been involved with the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) for a decade.

Social distancing does not have to mean downtime. This is an excellent time to learn about polyurethane chemical grouting. From my home "studio" I bring to your home office demonstrations on crack injection, curtain grouting, and pump operation/maintenance.

Want more info on Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks

Hand Sanitizer in Convenient 2.1 Oz (63 ml) Bottles Coming Soon!

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Apr 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM
Banner-Hand Sanitizer in Convenient Bottles

Body-Hand Sanitizer in Convenient BottlesPocket-Sized Squeeze Bottles

As mentioned in a previous blog post on our quart and gallon size hand sanitizer offerings, we have secured stock to produce the isopropyl-based WHO-formula (Made in USA - Tucker, GA), and are fully registered with FDA as a manufacturer with a National Drug Code (NDC) of 74826-812. 

A 2.1 Oz (63 ml) Bottle Size Will Soon Be Available:

  • FDA Approved
  • WHO Formula
  • Ideal for Field Work
6 Week Lead Time
(Limited Quanities Available Sooner)
Private Labeling Available
Packaging Options:
Home Pack - Case of 10
Office Pack - Case of 100
Dealer Pack - Pallet: 72 cases of 100

Join the notification list for this new hand sanitizer option and you'll be the first to recieve pricing and availability details.

Click Here to Join the 2.1 Oz Hand Sanitizer Notification List

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Disinfectants

How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam Rig

Posted by Tony Alfano on Apr 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam Rig

Body-How to Add Slab Lifting Capability to a Spray Foam RigWe often get calls from spray foam insulation installers who are interested in adding slab lifting capability to their rig set up. If you're reading this article, you yourself may be looking for info on the matter. If so, we have good news for you. With just four additional pieces of equipment and one set of material, you can quickly and easily add slab lifting to your service offerings. Let’s take a look at exactly what additional equipment and material you'll need to get started...

Slab Lifting Equipment

MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun
The MixMaster Pro is a two-component resin injection gun manufactured specifically for lifting concrete slabs, designed to handle back-pressure. 

Titan Impact 440 (Modified) Pump with Flush Hose
The Titan Impact 440 (Modified) pump is used for flushing the MixMaster Pro gun in between foam injections. (It's also used for pumping one-component material in soil stabilization and seawall repair applications.)

3/8” MixMaster Ports
These heavy duty ports create an airtight seal for injecting foam into drill holes. 

Dial Indicator Crane
This precision tool is used to measure the lift of the slab within 1/10” of an inch.

Polyurethane Slab Lifting Material

AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440, or AP Lift 475 (100 Gallon Unit)
Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with these two-component polymer foams designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of these concrete leveling foams coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generate enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision.

AP Flush 125 (5 Gallon Unit)
Water based gun flush specifically used for flushing out the MixMaster Pro impingement gun. Also used to protect concrete from resin stains.

AP Lube 190 (5 Gallon Unit)
This product is a multi-purpose lubricant for use with both airless electric injection pumps and proportioner/reactor pumps.

Want more information on slab lifting products & application?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips