Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Interview with Industry Veteran Kevin Earles

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Feb 20, 2020 4:44:11 PM

The Injection Connection - An Infrastructure Repair Industry Podcast

The Injection Connection - An Infrastructure Repair Industry PodcastThe Injection Connection podcast features in-depth discussions with thought leaders and professionals in the infrastructure repair industry. Host Jim Spiegel is Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. With 15 years in the industry and experience on job sites around the world, Jim is uniquely qualified to bring you a wealth of informative infrastructure repair content on a regular basis.

This episode's guest Kevin Earles is a long-time friend of Jim, and the National Sales Director for EPMS Supplies based in Nottingham, UK. Topics covered include how they met one another, the future of online distribution, Brexit, and more. Kevin has been in the speciality construction distribution industry for almost 25 years.

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

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 16, 2020 4:11:01 PM

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Leak Seal & Geotech Products & Procedures

March 18th & 19th, 2020 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA

Get ready for a thorough education in Leak Seal, Slab Lifting, Soil Stabilization and the Alchemy-Spetec Deep Lift™ process. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience.

Wednesday - Leak Seal

  • Leak Seal Product Line Overview
  • Curtain Grouting
  • Permeation Grouting
  • Leak-Seal Product Mixing
  • Pump & Packer Overviews
  • Leak-Seal Accessories
  • Municipal Applications
  • Live Injection Demos
  • Open Discussions

Thursday - Geotech

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Geotech Product Mixing
  • Rig & Mobile System Overviews
  • Geotechnical Accessories
  • Slab Lifting Live Demo
  • Deep Lift™ Overview
  • Soil Testing with the
  • GPR & Penetrometer
  • Maintenance Discussions
  • Pricing / Estimating / Cost Savings
  • Open Discussions

Click Here to Register NOW!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Repair Cracks, Waterstop, Deep Lift, Floor Repair, Fill Voids

How to Avoid Using More Lifting Foam Than Estimated

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 7, 2020 4:35:54 PM

How to Avoid Using More Lifting Foam Than Estimated

How to Avoid Using More Lifting Foam Than EstimatedEvery once in a while, we will get a call from a frustrated contractor who has had a few jobs in a row where they used more foam than estimated.  Extra foam also means extra time on the job site so it's a serious concern with financial consequences.  

Although it's easy to think it might be the polyurethane not working right, that's usually not the case because formulations generally remain unchanged year after year.  Once a certain formula is dialed in and has gone through various approvals; it is unlikely to be changed.  So, what could be happening?

Site Evaluation Issues

I have been on more than a few jobs where the operator runs into a problem because the salesperson has missed something.  In cases where more foam than predicted is used it is usually because there is a big void that was not initially identified or there is very poor soil compaction.

When doing a proper site evaluation, you should start with bringing the right tools.  Bring a golf club or a piece of rebar to tap on the concrete and listen for voids.  Concrete makes a distinctly different "hollow" sound when there is a void beneath it.  Tap around the area to determine the extent of the void and then take measurements.  

I also like to have a cordless hammer drill with a 3/8" bit and a 1/2" bit.  If the customer will give you permission, ask to drill a small hole through the slab to check the void.  Make a mark on your drill bit when you break through the slab so you can determine the thickness of the slab.  Then I like to use a fiberglass driveway marker to stick through the hole and measure the amount of void.  If my drill bit is breaking through at 4" and my driveway marker goes in 7" before contacting the ground, then I know I have a 3" void.  When in contact with the ground, try to push the probe further into the ground to get an idea of compaction. If you can bury the probe by hand, then you know the ground is super soft or saturated and you need to account for more foam being used.

If you bring a borescope camera, you can drill a 1/2" hole in the slab and then insert the camera to have a look.  A good borescope will allow you to turn the camera head 90 degrees to have a look under the slab in a horizontal position.  These cameras plug into your smart phone or tablet so you can record video or take still shots.  This can be very compelling evidence to show a property owner and it also indicates that you know what you're doing.

So, what if you have all the cameras and probes, and you know how to sound out a piece of concrete with your piece of rebar; does that guarantee you won't go over on foam usage?  The answer to that is "No" because you may know how to check for a void, but you may not know where to check.  

Take, for example, a driveway slab that is down 2" from the garage slab.  It's easy for a salesperson to come out and measure the driveway slab, check for voids, and put together an estimate.  The experienced salesperson will also ask to go in the garage or carport to check for voids under that slab.  Polyurethane foam always tries to find the easiest path to travel when it is expanding.  If there is a washout under the driveway caused by a misplaced downspout; there is a good chance the void continues up under the garage as well.  Check the garage slab for cracking and tap on it with steel to listen for voids.  The point is to not get so focused on the obvious and take a look at the bigger picture.

Foam Issues

As I mentioned earlier, it's typically not going to be an issue with the foam unless you are using the wrong foam or sub-par foam in the first place.  However, you can still make a poor-quality finished foam with perfectly good raw materials and that will definitely affect the yield and the amount of foam that you will use on a job.  

Because Alchemy-Spetec does not use recycled materials in our formulations, the B-side is almost clear in color and the A side is always the color of weak coffee.  A quick test shot of our foam will let you know right away if it's on ratio because it will be a nice off-white color with a smooth skin forming as it expands.  If there is too much A side the foam will look more yellow and the texture will be crunchy.  If there is too much B side the foam will be pale white and soft.  It will take longer to cure and, in both cases, it will take more product to get the job done.

Besides doing an occasional test shot to check for color and foam curing speed, it's also important to watch the pressure gauges on the machine to make sure they are equal.  Also make note if you are going through a drum set and you consistently have too much A or too much B left over while the other drum is empty.  It could be an adjustment needs to be made at the machine itself.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting solutions?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Give the Gift of Safety

Posted by Andy Powell on Dec 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Give the Gift of Safety

Give the Gift of SafetyIn what is becoming an annual tradition, we are re-posting this classic Christmas blog from our Southeast Regional Manager, Andy Powell.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Alchemy-Spetec.

This time of year, most people will spend a little extra time with their loved ones.  It is also a time to reflect on the loved ones we miss that are no longer with us.  Like most of us, I know people who have either been lost or have suffered through a loss.  In those cases there was nothing that could have been done to stop it.  However, there are things that we can do to guard against job related safety hazards.

I've been fortunate enough to spend time in an OSHA safety training class.  It was required in order to be present supervising a project at a chemical facility.  Signing in at 6 AM, I’ll admit I was not looking forward to spending all day there.  By the end of the day I was glad that I went.

In an intro video, the narrator said that every morning when you kiss your loved one goodbye before you go to work, keep in mind that someone, somewhere will not come home from work that day.  Workplace accidents are almost entirely preventable.  Investigations typically find the cause quite easily. 

The class I attended contained a dozen or so modules, each one with a video case study followed by the teaching.  Every case study module covered a different accident where people didn’t come home from work that day.  All of them could have been prevented.  I learned about fire, electrical and chemical safety; as well as confined space, ladders, scaffolds, and working in trenches.  I have worked in the construction industry since my teenage years, so it was sobering to look back and think about some of the close calls I had.

If you're a contractor or industry related business owner looking for a good investment, send your employees to one of these classes.  It’s an excellent opportunity for them to learn safety principles that can protect you, your other employees, and your business from being lost.  It’s a gift that will keep on giving.  You don’t need Christmas as a reason to do this, but in the spirit of the season, you may want to make it the reason.  

Click here to find an OSHA safety class near you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Alchemy-Spetec and Bayset Host Geotech Training in Australia

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Dec 17, 2019 3:35:32 PM

Alchemy-Spetec and Bayset Host Geotech Training in Australia

Alchemy-Spetec and Bayset Host Geotech Training in AustraliaAlchemy-Spetec's Geotechnical consultant Andy Powell and Bayset Specialist Trade Suppliers recently conducted Geotechnical concrete repair training programs in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane Australia. 

The training agenda included:

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Geotech Product Mixing
  • Rig & Mobile System Overviews
  • Geotechnical Accessories
  • Slab Lifting Live Demo
  • Deep Lift™ Overview
  • Maintenance Discussions
  • Pricing / Estimating / Cost Savings
  • Open Discussions

We'd like to thank Bayset and Andy Powell for working together to get contractors down under trained in the use of polyurethane for slab lifting, soil stabilization and the Deep Lift™ process!

Want information on future Alchemy-Spetec training opportunities?

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Automate Your Quote Prep, Customer Tracking, & Follow-Ups with Estimate Rocket

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Nov 8, 2019 11:48:55 AM

Automate Your Quote Prep, Customer Tracking, & Follow-Ups with Estimate Rocket

Automate Your Quote Prep, Customer Tracking, & Follow-Ups with Estimate RocketAlchemy-Spetec is pleased to offer 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

Slab Lifting and Leak Sealing in Cold Weather

Posted by Andy Powell on Nov 1, 2019 10:53:58 AM

Slab Lifting and Leak Sealing in Cold Weather

Slab Lifting and Leak Sealing in Cold WeatherSlab Lifting in Cold Weather

Contrary to popular opinion, as a contractor, you don’t have to put up your equipment and rigs due to cold weather. There are many jobs to be done and many ways to keep your material conditioned. Use this season to your advantage and gain valuable business.

Seasonal attractions such as theme parks, for example, are a great place to start looking for winter work. Many of these parks (the ones that aren’t in Orlando) shut down for the winter and this is the time they do maintenance and repairs. Think of all the concrete lifting and leveling that can be done.

Read all about cold weather slab lifting markets, conditioning materials and more in our blog post Slab Lifting in Cold Weather.

Leak Sealing in Cold Weather

You have a variety of options for seeking leak seal jobs that are inside, out of the elements, during the winter months. (See the linked article below for a list of ideas.) If you’re still up for working outside during the winter months, you’re in luck because concrete contracts during colder weather. The contraction makes cracks open wider (thus easier to seal). One important point to understand is that cold weather requires you to make an extra effort to keep your materials and equipment warm.

Read all about cold weather leak seal markets, conditioning materials and more in our blog post Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather.

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, Seal Leaks, Business Tips

Now Offering Animation Services for Customer Marketing Efforts

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 1, 2019 2:54:47 PM

Now Offering Animation Services for Customer Marketing Efforts

Now Offering Animation Services for Customer Marketing EffortsThe Custom Animation Process

Attention Alchemy-Spetec customers!  While we still offer you the use of our Leak Seal, Soil Stabilization, Slab Lift and Deep Lift animations, we are now also offering custom animation services in order to assist you with your marketing efforts.  Work with us to create a new and original animation in a similar style to those linked above, but specifically created for YOUR company.  For the sake of clarity, here's a thorough explanation of the process...

Part 1 - Get a Price Quote

  1. We will send you a questionnaire about the services you want to advertise.
  2. Our animation team will review your answers to come up with a visual concept and estimated running time.
  3. We'll then schedule a strategy call with you to work out the remaining details.
  4. After the call, we'll create a price quote for you.
  5. You would pay 50% down with 50% due prior to delivery of final video.

Part 2 - Approve Each Stage of the Production

Our Production Process is carefully designed and well defined to deliver a high-quality animation.  Once we complete a step to your satisfaction, you give us written approval to move to the next step. This will maximize quality and complete your video within the agreed budget.

Scripting: 

A professional writer produces a script for feedback, and revisions are made until you approve final version of the script.

Storyboard:

  1. Our animation team will use the approved script and visual concept to produce a scene-by-scene black and white storyboard. We will review with you and make revisions until you are satisfied.
  2. After storyboard approval, we will provide color illustrations for final approval.
  3. We record your script with professional voiceover talent. You can make up to two minor revisions of the voiceover track.

It is critically important to understand and agree that all major revisions must be made before animation begins in order to avoid additional charges.

Animation:

  1. Our team creates the animation using your approved storyboard and voiceover.
  2. Only minimal changes are allowed at this stage (and only if absolutely necessary).
  3. We deliver a preview and can provide up to 3 revisions of the following:
    • Adjust where animation action isn’t matched to the voiceover
    • Adjust animation effects and timing
    • Sound revisions to audio quality, volume, sound effects
  4. Any revisions to the actual animation or voiceover at this point will incur additional costs. We will estimate these costs based on the amount of content that needs to be changed.

Project Timeline:

Developing and creating a professionally produced video takes time. Plan on eight to twelve weeks from our questionnaire phase to delivery. Of course, staying on schedule depends timely feedback from you. It’s critical that all decision makers agree and provide written authorization at every stage.

Please Note:

Animations will feature this “Powered by Alchemy-Spetec” logo.
Powered-By-Alchemy-Spetec - Web Resolution

How to Get Started

If you already have an account with Alchemy-Spetec or one of our distributors, the next step is to click the button below and sign up for a brief phone consultation. We’ll provide more info on pricing rates and answer any other questions you have. (If you have not already signed a Marketing Materials Agreement, please be prepared to discuss that as well.)

Want to schedule a brief phone consultation?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT!

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Sep 27, 2019 9:43:16 AM

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT! (1)

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT!

Alchemy-Spetec's Fall 2019 training event is officially SOLD OUT!  If you're still interested in training, we'll be conducting another event in the Spring of 2020.  Click the button below and fill out the form.  We'll keep you updated on the Spring 2020 event an all other training opportunities!

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Alchemy-Spetec two-day training events typically consist of the following...

Leak Seal Day

  • Leak Seal Product Line Overview
  • Curtain Grouting
  • Permeation Grouting
  • Leak-Seal Product Mixing
  • Pump & Packer Overviews
  • Leak-Seal Accessories
  • Municipal Applications
  • Live Injection Demos
  • Open Discussions

Geotech Day

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Geotech Product Mixing
  • Rig & Mobile System Overviews
  • Geotechnical Accessories
  • Slab Lifting Live Demo
  • Deep Lift™ Overview
  • Soil Testing with the GPR & Penetrometer
  • Maintenance Discussions
  • Pricing / Estimating / Cost Savings
  • Open Discussions

Want to be alerted when Spring 2020 training registration is available?

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, NSF Certification, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Repair Cracks, Waterstop, Deep Lift, Floor Repair, Fill Voids

Alchemy-Spetec Customized Estimate Rocket Software for Your Slab Lifting Business

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 17, 2019 2:23:04 PM

Alchemy-Spetec Customized Estimate Rocket Software for Your Slab Lifting Business

Blog Alchemy-Spetec Customized Estimate Rocket Software for Your Slab Lifting BusinessAlchemy-Spetec is 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