Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Aug 15, 2019 3:59:15 PM

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th

Sign up for Fall 2019 Training while there are still spots left!

Click Here to Register NOW!

October 9th & 10th, 2019 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!

Participants receive a Samsung tablet loaded with training material.

Your Instructors:

Stephen C. Barton (President/CEO), Jim Spiegel (VP Sales & Business Development), Andy Powell (Southeastern Regional Manager), Anthony Sandone (Eastern Regional Manager), Charlie Lerman (Western Regional Manager), and Michael Binyaminov (Western Sales Representative). 

 

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, Engineer Resources

Charlie Lerman Promoted to Director of Technical Services – Leak Seal Division

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Aug 9, 2019 10:20:33 AM

Charlie Lerman Promoted to Director of Technical Services – Leak Seal Division

Charlie Lerman Promoted to Director of Technical Services – Leak Seal DivisionAlchemy-Spetec is proud to announce that Charlie Lerman "The Grout Geek" will be shifting roles to start up our North American Leak Seal Technical Services Department. Charlie not only brings two decades of specialty waterproofing and construction experience to his new role as Director of Technical Services - Leak Seal Division, but he also brings nine years of service in the US Navy. He understands the value of teamwork and is dedicated to the mission.

While the trend in the last few years for chemical grout manufacturers has been to reduce or eliminate their technical service roles, Alchemy-Spetec understands the needs of the specialty waterproofing contractor and is committed to customer success. Leveraging Alchemy-Spetec’s quality products, strong distribution, and our rapid response technical service is what gives our contractors the edge they need in today's fast-paced market.

Please let us know how we can assist you with your next waterproofing challenge. Whether you need help with product selection, hands-on field training, or creative grouting solutions, Alchemy-Spetec is here for you.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Waterstop

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Aug 2, 2019 4:32:51 PM

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th

Reminder - 2019 Fall Training on October 9th & 10th Don't forget to sign up for Fall 2019 Training!

Click Here to Register NOW!

October 9th & 10th, 2019 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!

Participants receive a Samsung tablet loaded with training material.

Your Instructors:

Stephen C. Barton (President/CEO), Jim Spiegel (VP Sales & Business Development), Andy Powell (Southeastern Regional Manager), Anthony Sandone (Eastern Regional Manager), Charlie Lerman (Western Regional Manager), and Michael Binyaminov (Western Sales Representative). 

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, Engineer Resources

Polyurethane Leak Sealing Explained

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 29, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Polyurethane Leak Sealing Explained

Leaking concrete can be detrimental to safety and property values.  Pressure injection forces polyurethane resin into leaking cracks, joints, voids, and other defects.  After injection is complete, the polyurethane resin rapidly reacts with water to form a flexible, watertight seal.  Leaks in concrete structures can be permanently repaired with water-activated polyurethane and a few assorted leak seal accessories.

From hairline concrete cracks to gushing leaks, virtually any defect can be sealed with the Alchemy-Spetec series of leak seal resins and products.

Watch this animation for a detailed explanation of the polyurethane leak sealing process...

 Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Waterstop

Jump Start Your Leak Seal Business with Alchemy-Spetec's Fall 2019 Training

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 26, 2019 1:44:32 PM

Jump Start Your New Concrete Leveling Business with Alchemy-Spetecs Fall 2019 Training

Jump Start Your New Concrete Leveling Business with Alchemy-Spetecs Fall 2019 TrainingJump start your leak seal business at Alchemy-Spetec's Fall 2019 Training!  As stated in our blog post on Leak Seal Curriculum for 2019 Fall Training...

Get ready for a thorough education in polyurethane leak seal products and applications on Wednesday, October 9th (October 10th is geotech day), 2019 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience. Registration includes both days, but we’ll take a close look at the leak seal curriculum in today’s blog post…

The schedule on Wednesday, October 9th includes presentations on the Alchemy-Spetec leak seal product line, crack injection, curtain grouting, permeation grouting, pumps & packers, leak seal accessories and municipal applications. There will also be live injection demos, product mixing demos, and open discussions for sharing job related tips and solutions from the field.

In addition, you'll get an overview of geotech (concrete leveling & soil stabilization) products and procedures!  Here's a complete schedule for both days...

Wednesday Oct. 9th - 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 Oct. 10th - 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: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Business Tips

Specifications for Polyurethane Injection Grouting with Hydrophilic & Hydrophobic Materials

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 24, 2019 1:56:27 PM

Specifications for Polyurethane Injection Grouting with Hydrophilic & Hydrophobic Materials

Specifications for Polyurethane Injection Grouting with Hydrophilic & Hydrophobic Materials

 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at our specification entitled Injection Grouting – Hydrophilic & Hydrophobic.  The specification includes documentation on the following:
  • Sealing cracks in concrete structures through pressure injection.
  • Sealing hairline cracks, expansion joints, wide cracks, pipe joints, pipe penetrations.
  • Saturating dry oakum to create a flexible gasket for sealing pipe penetrations, joints and larger defects in concrete structures.

If you’re unfamiliar with the terms hydrophobic and hydrophilic, please read the blog post Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic Polyurethanes.  In that post we clearly explain the differences between the two types of leak seal resins…

Hydrophobic Polyurethanes:

Hydrophobic polyurethanes naturally repel water (similar to the way oil would repel water and stay separate if you were trying to mix them in a glass).  These products push water out of the area in question as they expand.  Hydrophobics are used with catalysts which allow you to adjust the set time.  They also have zero shrinkage after curing.

Hydrophilic Polyurethanes:

Hydrophilic polyurethanes naturally mix with water before curing (similar to the way gin and tonic mix thoroughly in a glass).  This characteristic allows for a very strong chemical and mechanical bond, as water helps pull the material into the pores of the concrete.  These products do not require a catalyst.  You can pump them straight out of the pail.

Click this link, Injection Grouting – Hydrophilic & Hydrophobic, to view a PDF of the specification.  It thoroughly documents the installation process for these two types of products (in our case, the hydrophilic Spetec PUR GT500 and the hydrophobic Spetec PUR F400).  These are both flexible polyurethanes.  For a copy of the specification in Microsoft Word format, please call Alchemy-Spetec at 404-618-0438.

For more Alchemy-Spetec specifications, scroll to the bottom of the Alchemy-Spetec Downloads Page

Would you like to speak to an Alchemy-Spetec consultant regarding specifications?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Engineer Resources

Leak Seal Curriculum for 2019 Fall Training

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 12, 2019 3:38:06 PM

Leak Seal Curriculum for 2019 Fall Training

Leak Seal Curriculum for 2019 Fall Training

Get ready for a thorough education in polyurethane leak seal products and applications on Wednesday, October 9th (October 10th is geotech day), 2019 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience. Registration includes both days, but we’ll take a close look at the leak seal curriculum in today’s blog post…

The schedule on Wednesday, October 9th includes presentations on the Alchemy-Spetec leak seal product line, crack injection, curtain grouting, permeation grouting, pumps & packers, leak seal accessories and municipal applications. There will also be live injection demos, product mixing demos, and open discussions for sharing job related tips and solutions from the field.

Your instructors have years of experience providing technical support for both contractors and distributors across the country. You can look forward to presentations, demos and/or discussions lead by Stephen C. Barton (President/CEO), Jim Spiegel (VP Sales & Business Development), Andy Powell (Southeastern Regional Manager), Anthony Sandone (Eastern Regional Manager), and Charlie Lerman (Western Regional Manager). 

Participants will receive a Samsung tablet loaded with leak seal training material.

Sign up while there's still space available...

Click Here to Register NOW!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Business Tips

Leak Mitigation of Dynamic Cracks in Concrete

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jul 10, 2019 11:12:23 AM

 Leak Mitigation of Dynamic Cracks in Concrete

 Leak Mitigation of Dynamic Cracks in Concrete

Concrete will crack – that is a fact. When cracks appear, they are dynamic or static, and structural or non-structural. If the crack is static, non-structural, and does not leak, epoxies are great to restore design strength. However, since concrete constantly shrinks, expands, and often leaks, the use of a flexible polyurethane resin to permanently seal active leaks is the optimum choice to create a leak-free environment.

Water leaking through concrete is as old as concrete itself. Any leaking structure is problematic. These issues range from reduced lifespan to liability and lawsuits. This paper will discuss the mitigation of leaking structures to facilitate its coating. Often, these cracks are dynamic in nature. Static or structural repair of dynamic cracks will fail when the concrete needs to “move” again. Flexible polyurethane grouts can be used to mitigate water intrusion. This will extend the life of the structure and is a crucial step in surface preparation for most coatings.

Why Concrete Cracks

Concrete will crack - that is a fact. But to treat the crack, you need to understand the nature of cracking. There are four categories of cracks: static, dynamic, structural and non-structural.  A crack normally falls into two of the four categories. Just as the names imply, a static crack is non-moving, and a dynamic crack moves. Structural cracks place the integrity of the structure in jeopardy, while non-structural cracks can be eyesores and allow water infiltration. 

Static cracks are the result of a one-time event. This may be a thermal or shrinkage crack that formed while the concrete cured, or from a damaging event like a car hitting the concrete.  Typically, these structures do not move which is the driving force to why they are no longer used today.

Dynamic cracks expand and contract due to reoccurring force(s). The forces include, but are not limited to, freeze/thaw cycles, rapid thermal changes, loading of the concrete, and expansive soils. If the joint’s design was not adequate to deal with these forces, the concrete will often crack. “Cracking in concrete is affected by the long-term conditions to which the concrete element is subjected. In most cases, long-term exposure and long-term loading extend the magnitude of cracks, principally their width, in both reinforced and plain concrete." (ACI 22R-01 2001).

External forces are usually repetitive and cause the crack to expand and contract. These cracks are not a structural concern, but water infiltration through these cracks can be a serious problem.

Epoxy vs. Flexible Polyurethane

In spite of the best efforts of the architect, engineer and contractor, structures will sometimes move in unanticipated ways causing cracks to appear. Resin can be injected into the concrete to accomplish one of two purposes:

  1. Restore design strength
  2. Stop water leakage

If load bearing members such as walls, beams or columns are weakened, injection of high strength epoxies may be appropriate. However, more often than not, the concern with cracking is water infiltration. Epoxies are designed to be strong with little to no elongation, and chemically bond the concrete back together which is not appropriate for a dynamic, leaking crack. Epoxy will be stronger than the concrete and will cause the concrete to crack nearby. Lastly, the majority of epoxies are water intolerant and not suitable for waterproofing.

Crack / Joint Injection

Examination of the crack or joint after cleaning tells us where the crack goes and how wide it is. The surface should be cleaned mechanically. Loose debris or patches should be removed to reveal the crack. To maximize results, it is best to inject an actively leaking crack.

Injection should start from the lowest point of a vertical crack or the narrowest side of a horizontal crack. Injection holes should be drilled at a distance away from the crack that is equal to half the wall’s thickness (Example: If the wall is 8” thick, drill your hole 4” from the crack). This forms an isosceles right triangle when drilling at a 45 degree angle, and ideally intersects the crack or joint at its halfway point through the wall.

A low viscosity, flexible polyurethane grout should be injected.  Polyurethane grout will react with water to form a “custom gasket” that has three different bonds - adhesive, mechanical, and compressive. “The aim of all injection processes is to obtain uniform penetration of the resin and complete filling of the crack.” (Perkins 2003). Urethanes are very chemical resistant, but always check with the manufacturer about specific chemical resistances for a project.

Patience is important in resin injection work - slow is better. Always start injecting with the pump set at the lowest setting.  I like to say “If crack injection is not slow and painful, you are doing it wrong.”

Case Study: Vault Coating Failure

A below grade concrete precast vault was epoxy coated during a summer, the dry season, in the Pacific Northwest. The following winter coating failure was observed only at the joint.  There was also indication of water intrusion and rundown (see Photo 1).

Leak Mitigation of Dynamic Cracks in Concrete 1

Photo 1
Inspection of the vault lead to the belief the failure was caused be water intrusion through the precast joint. In 2012 the joint was injected with a flexible hydrophobic grout (Photo 2).

Leak Mitigation of Dynamic Cracks in Concrete 2

Photo 2
After a number of months of observation with no water intrusion the coating was repaired and is still in service till today with no defects.

Curtain Grouting

Curtain grouting is a method of installing a waterproofing membrane on the positive side of a below-grade structure without excavation. Curtain grouting is appropriate when there is spider web cracking or extensive cracking of the concrete.  It is not possible to address a large number of cracks in proximity with crack injection due to the number of injection holes needed.  Often, curtain grouting is easier than crack injection, but more material intensive.  Curtain grouting is an excellent fix because even if the concrete continues to crack, there will be no leaks as the water is no longer in contact with the structure.

Summary

A coating manufacturer once stated “It is estimated that 85%+ coating and lining failures are due to inadequate surface preparation.” Moisture mitigation is a large percentage of that and must be addressed.  For dynamic cracks, flexible polyurethanes are one of the best repair methods out there.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Repair Cracks

Seawall Sealing with Polyurethane

Posted by Michael Binyaminov on Jun 28, 2019 2:37:09 PM

 Seawall Sealing with Polyurethane

 Seawall Sealing with PolyurethaneDoes Your Seawall Need Sealing?

In general, seawalls protect property from erosion over time and from damage during extreme weather. But this is only the case when the seawall is not leaking. If your seawall is compromised, consider having it sealed with polyurethane resin. (To determine if your seawall is compromised, see our blog post Telltale Signs Your Seawall May Need Repairs.) The key to keeping problems at bay is to actively anticipate them. Regularly inspect your seawall or call us at 404-618-0438 to help you find a professional to inspect it for you.

Polyurethane Products for Seawall Sealing

AP Fill 700 and Spetec PUR H200 are both semi-rigid hydrophobic polyurethane foams that react with moisture in the soil and expand to fill voids while permeating sandy soil to form a solid, strong, watertight mass.  These are the two most commonly used foams for sealing seawall cracks, voids and defects (as well as for filling voids and stabilizing soil).  

Andy Powell summed it up perfectly in Signs a Seawall is in Need of Repair...

If you live along the water, it is always going to be man against nature. That seawall is keeping your property from damage and from disappearing altogether. The key to extending the life of your seawall is the advanced polyurethane technology from Alchemy-Spetec. For more on the repair process itself, read An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair. It's fast, clean, easy to install, and most of all, effective.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec seawall repair products and applications?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

 

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts, Seal Leaks

Using Oakum with Chemical Grout

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jun 24, 2019 5:34:28 PM

Using Oakum with Chemical Grout

Using Oakum with Chemical Grout

Using oakum with chemical grout is a way of sealing gushing leaks, as well as sealing the area (annular space) around pipes passing through concrete structures. When a pipe passes through a concrete structure and the annular space around the pipe is large, the saturated oakum technique can be used to seal off the water infiltration. Oakum saturated with grout can be used alone to seal off water flow. It can also be utilized to build a surface seal or “dam” behind which grout can be pumped. 

Procedures

This is a two-person process.

  1. Clean the crack or space to be sealed of any loose debris and foreign material.
  2. Cut the oakum in various lengths to fit the perimeter requirements of the area to be sealed.
  3. Soak the oakum in the grout.
  4. One person will wring out the soaked oakum and hand it to the other person, who will...
  5. Dip the oakum into a pail of water to activate the grout and then place the activated oakum into the crack or space using a screw driver or a similar tool.

After the space has been packed with saturated oakum, you can inject grout behind the seal with an injection needle. 

For more information, see our previous post on this subject and call us at 404-618-0438.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks