Alchemy-Spetec Blog

How to Seal a Persistent Footer Leak

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Feb 15, 2019 1:40:12 PM
How to Seal a Persistent Footer Leak
 
How to Seal a Persistent Footer LeakThe dreaded floor/wall leak. Anyone who has seen enough leaks in their time knows that the wall/floor detail can be an injection contractors arch-nemesis. But it doesn't have to be so difficult. Please take a look at the basic detail depicted in the graphic which shows a common mistake as well as a couple of ways to remedy this situation with chemical grouting. Alchemy-Spetec has several products that can be used for this application. For an explanation of when and why you would use Spetec PUR H100, Spetec PUR F400, Spetec AG200, or Spetec PUR GT500, please call us at 404-618-0438, or click the button at the bottom of this article to schedule a consultation with a technical consultant.

See a close up of the graphic and an overview of the drilling methods below:
 
Top Arrow: The location of the top arrow in the graphic represents a good drilling technique, but it requires depths that many contractors are not used to drilling for joint injection.  Drilling here is very effective when grout is delivered to the positive side of the footer joint.
 
Middle Arrow: Drilling a shallow hole that does not reach the joint here (see how the arrow stops mid-wall?) is the most common mistake when doing footer details. The contractor thinks they are hitting a wall/floor joint that is not there. Often they damage existing waterstops in good condition if they do reach the joint. However, drilling here can be effective if the joint is actually reached and the grout is injected successfully.
 
How-to-Seal-a-Persistent-Footer-LeakBottom Arrow: This is the least commonly used drilling location, but when done correctly it seals the under-slab leak path as well as the wall/footer leak path. It's the least intuitive because it requires specific knowledge of the footer construction. 

Want to schedule an appointment with an Alchemy-Spetec tech consultant to learn more about this process? 

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Topics: Seal Leaks, All Posts

Announcing Spring 2019 Infrastructure Repair Training

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 13, 2019 5:06:30 PM

Leak Seal & Geotech Training Event - March 14 & 15, 2019 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA. 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.

Leak Seal & Geotech Products & Procedures

March 14 & 15, 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.

Leak Seal & Geotech Training Event - March 14 & 15, 2019 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA. 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.Thursday - 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

Friday - 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), and Charlie Lerman (Western Regional Manager). Each instructor is a seasoned professional with at least a decade of experience in the industry.  

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

Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 8, 2019 3:08:30 PM

Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather

As we stated in a previous blog post, Slab Lifting in Cold Weather, there are plenty of jobs that need to be done in the winter. This is just as true for sealing leaks as it is for slab lifting. So let's take a look at those cold weather leak seal markets. We'll also review some special considerations for conditioning leak seal material and equipment. Then we’ll leave you with a few cold temperature leak seal application tips.

Cold Weather Markets

You have a variety of options for seeking jobs that are inside, out of the elements, during the winter months.  Hopefully these ideas will spark more brainstorming on your part. First up we have tunnels, both pedestrian and vehicle. Tunnels often leak, sometimes significantly enough to result in quite a big job. Aquariums are another possibility. As you can imagine, there are infinite potential leak problems in a structure holding that much water. Other possible large jobs could include mines and water treatment plants (which have plenty of interior spaces with potential leak issues). On the smaller side, there are utility vaults, lift stations, manholes and elevator pits.

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. Wider cracks make leaks more apparent to the property owner and make them easier to repair.

Conditioning Materials and Equipment

One important point to understand is that cold weather requires you to make an extra effort to keep your materials and equipment warm. Cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. Be sure to store your materials and equipment in a heated room the night before the job. When on the jobsite, there are many ways to keep everything warm. Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Remember that it won’t do you any good to heat the resin if you’re pumping it through cold equipment. The cold steel inside the pump and the cold hose will literally suck the heat out of the resin before it gets where it needs to be. This will increase the viscosity, making it harder to mix with the water and it will slow down the reaction dramatically. So don’t neglect the equipment side of the equation!

Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold WeatherCold Temperature Application Tips

If you’re using a product with an accelerator, you may need to use a faster accelerator or increase your percentage. Also, bring lots of oakum. You may have to use more if the cold temperature slows down the material or the contracted concrete has made the cracks wider.

If your job requires you to inject into a structure underwater (and the water’s cold), you can use a technique called twin streaming. In this approach, you hook two valves together in parallel fashion – then inject warm water along with the resin to kick start it reacting before hitting the cold water.

Conclusion

I hope this overview has helped spark some ideas on your part for finding leak seal work during the winter months. Just remember to keep your materials and equipment conditioned and you should be fine. Have more questions about polyurethane leak seal in cold weather? Call us at 404-618-0438.

Want more in-depth info on polyurethane leak seal?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Leak Seal Injection Stops Two Million Gallon Per Day Leak

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 25, 2019 10:00:00 AM

How polyurethane leak seal injection stopped a two million gallon per day leak at a water treatment plant.

How polyurethane leak seal injection stopped a two million gallon per day leak at a water treatment plant.On top of a hill northeast of Chattanooga, Tennessee sits a clearwell that belongs to Eastside Utilities. Built in the 1940’s on a former Army post, this clearwell consists of twin 2-million gallon tanks used for treating surface water to turn it into drinking water. The problem was that less than half of the water coming into the clearwells was making it out the other side. Although this water treatment plant has undergone several upgrades in its 70+ year lifespan, the ground beneath it has been subject to settling and consolidation. The tanks had shifted slightly and in doing so, loosened some of the joints and the water stops contained within. Measurements indicated that the clearwells were losing 1,700 gallons per minute through various leaks; well over 2-million gallons per day. A short drive downhill from the property revealed various gullies and small creeks created by water running down the hillside.

Powerful Polymer

An Alchemy-Spetec certified installer was called in to utilize Spetec PUR GT500, an NSF /ANSI 61 approved product for contact with drinking water, to seal the leaks.  This single component polyurethane resin is designed to penetrate and seal off leaks in cracks, joints, and pipe penetrations.  As a hydrophilic polyurethane, it chases down water and gets into the microstructure of the concrete, forming a flexible seal and a tenacious bond with the wet concrete.

Painless Procedure

Due to the amount of water escaping, all of the joints around the perimeter walls were suspect as well as the roof support columns throughout each clearwell that penetrated through the floor.  The contractor drilled holes to intersect the leaking joints around the perimeter of the clearwell and along all interior joints.  Injection ports were installed and Spetec PUR GT500 was pumped into each one to create an injected membrane within the joints and beneath the clearwell.

Rapid Result

After three days of injection the work was done and the site was cleaned up.  Monitoring after the Spetec PUR GT500 was installed indicated that the leak had been reduced from 1,700 gallons per minute to 10 gallons per minute.  The small number of remaining leaks were attributed to the many vintage valves and fittings that are still present at the plant.

Polyurethane Leak Seal Injection

Want in-depth info on polyurethane leak seal injection?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: Seal Leaks, All Posts

Mix Foam Samples at Our Live Mixing Station!

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 14, 2019 5:31:05 PM

MIX FOAM SAMPLES AT OUR LIVE MIXING STATION!-banner

MIX FOAM SAMPLES AT OUR LIVE MIXING STATION!-blogSee first-hand how chemical grouts react and set up when mixed at our Live Mixing Station at World of Concrete 2019

Drop by to see us at Booth # O40551 in the Silver Lots (same location we were in last year). 

There will be a LOT to see and do at our booth this year: 

Want to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a rep at World of Concrete?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

See Leak Seal and Curtain Grouting Displays

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 11, 2019 5:19:30 PM

See Leak Seal and Curtain Grouting Displays-banner

See Leak Seal and Curtain Grouting Displays-blogLeaking concrete structures can be permanently repaired with concrete crack injection by using a water activated flexible foam. Pressure injection of these liquid polyurethane resins forces the material into leaking cracks, joints, and other defects. After the polyurethane crack injection is complete, the polyurethane resin rapidly reacts with water to form a flexible, watertight seal.

Curtain wall grouting is a leak seal method that is often required when cracks cannot be identified, when walls are made of material that does not respond well to crack injection (such as masonry, stone and CMU), and when previous leak seal methods have failed. Curtain wall grouting is the process of injecting water reactive resin behind the leaking wall in a widespread grid pattern. The water on the other side mixes with the grout and cures to a solid mass covering the surface of the wall on the other side.

See crack injection and curtain wall grouting displays at World of Concrete 2019!  Drop by to see us at Booth # O40551 in the Silver Lots (same location we were in last year). 

There will be a LOT to see and do at our booth this year: 

Want to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a rep at World of Concrete?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Want more information on our Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Stopping Leaks with Spetec PUR GT500: Concrete Crack Injection with Polyurethane Resin

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Dec 14, 2018 5:02:32 PM

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This video demonstrates how concrete crack injection works for leak seal problems. Leaking concrete structures can be permanently repaired using a water activated flexible polymer. Pressure injection of these liquid resins forces the material into leaking cracks, joints, and other defects. The resin rapidly reacts with the moisture to form a flexible, watertight seal. From hairline cracks to gushing leaks, virtually any defect can be corrected with our leak seal resins, optimized for stopping water flow.   

In this case the concrete wall in the basement of an apartment complex was leaking water, slowly flooding the area at the base of the structure. Needless to say, these types of situations can eventually present a fairly serious issue for property owners. Fortunately, they can attack the problem head on by hiring a contractor skilled in the application of Spetec PUR GT500 (formerly known as AP Seal 500).

Spetec PUR GT500 is a single component, low viscosity, flexible hydrophilic polyurethane injection resin. This grout is a proven industrial concrete crack sealant. A powerful polyurethane resin that is optimal for sealing hairline cracks, pipe penetrations, joints and larger defects in concrete structures.

Want in-depth info on leak seal procedures and products?

 Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Grout Injection Prevents Stormwater Infiltration

Posted by Andy Powell on Oct 26, 2018 4:58:57 PM

During Flooding, Stormwater Infiltration Occurs in Stormwater Systems, Leading to Costly Repairs. Polyurethane Grout Injection Prevents this Infiltration. Read more...

How Polyurethane Grout Injection Works for Stormwater Infiltration Prevention

During a period of heavy flooding, stormwater systems become more susceptible to erosion and the infiltration of polluted water. For municipalities, infiltration of polluted stormwater means costly treatment of water and infrastructure repairs to damaged pipes.

The Stormwater Infiltration Issue

  • Ground water rising and falling puts hydrostatic pressure on pipe and manhole joints causing them to fail.
  • Water flowing in and around catch basins and roadways causes soil to erode.
  • Water flowing into failed joints erodes soil from around the infrastructure causing potholes, cave-ins, and loss of structural integrity of the storm water system. Pipes can become misaligned causing much more expansive problems. 
During a period of heavy flooding, stormwater systems become more susceptible to erosion and the infiltration of polluted water. For municipalities, infiltration of polluted stormwater means costly treatment of water and infrastructure repairs to damaged pipes. Read more...

The Solution: Polyurethane Grout Injection

  • Point grouting is a method of driving injection pipes to the points of failure and injecting a resin such as Spetec PUR H200.
  • The resin expands and cures quickly to seal off the leaks and fill voids in the soil.

Polyurethane-Grout-Injection-Prevents-Stormwater-Infiltration-2

The Favorable Outcome

  • Sealing the joints prevents further soil erosion.
  • Filling the voids with a resin like Spetec PUR H200 reduces the hydrostatic pressure on the joints.
  • The resin also permeates the soil and increases the load bearing capacity which can prevent future misalignment of the pipes.

Polyurethane-Grout-Injection-Prevents-Stormwater-Infiltration-3

 Want in-depth info on leak seal procedures and products?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, NSF Certification, Seal Leaks

Alchemy-Spetec NSF Certification Spells Peace of Mind for Stakeholders

Posted by Andy Powell on Oct 24, 2018 4:30:27 PM

Alchemy-Spetec is already known for providing the most powerful polymers and painless procedures contractors need to achieve the rapid results their projects demand. However, on construction projects of almost any scope and size, ensuring the safety of public drinking water is also mission-critical.

Alchemy-Spetec is already known for providing the most powerful polymers and painless procedures contractors need to achieve the rapid results their projects demand. However, on construction projects of almost any scope and size, ensuring the safety of public drinking water is also mission-critical.

Alchemy-Spetec is already known for providing the most powerful polymers and painless procedures contractors need to achieve the rapid results their projects demand.

However, on construction projects of almost any scope and size, ensuring the safety of public drinking water is also mission-critical. That's why the following Alchemy-Spetec' polyurethane resin products have received the official NSF seal of approval for contact with drinking water: 

AP Lift 430

AP Lift 475

AP Soil 600

AP Fill 700

Spetec PUR H100

Spetec PUR H200

Spetec PUR F400

Spetec PUR GT500

Spetec PUR HighFoamer

Spetec AG200

This single designation ensures compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA) and guarantees peace of mind for in-the-field stakeholders on construction projects of almost any scope and size.

The SDWA helps ensure the water we drink, bathe in, cook with, and use in myriad other ways in daily life is safe for consumption. The federal law was put in place to maintain public health standards for drinking water systems. It defines what is considered a contaminant – both man-made and naturally occurring; and outlines the agencies responsible for regulating, monitoring, and enforcing adherence to the law, primarily the Environmental Protection Agency.

The 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.

Because so many of those defined contaminants are pertinent to even the most basic construction projects – turbidity from soil runoff, leaching from PVC pipes, potentially harmful and corrosive chemicals, and more – understanding and adhering to the law is particularly important for industry stakeholders. Contractors and engineers must be able to confidently choose vendors whose products and services won’t become the source or cause of drinking water contamination either in the short or long-term. NSF certification offers assurance that such problems won’t occur or will, at a minimum, be addressed.

“NSF, an independent, private, not-for-profit, third-party certification organization founded in 1944, has developed numerous health-based certification programs and consensus standards including those that relate to drinking water,” reads an NSF compliance brief. “The purpose of its certification program is to promote public health and enrich the quality of life. Through its Council of Public Health and Health Advisory Board, which includes EPA health professionals, it obtains guidance in developing and maintaining programs and standards. NSF also partners with code councils to ensure ongoing compliance.”

The products Alchemy-Spetec offers that can help net the most reliable and cost-effective results for contractors. NSF-certified products and materials are evaluated and lab-tested, and production facilities such as our own are inspected and annually audited for re-testing to maintain certification.

Alchemy-Spetec voluntarily undergoing such a rigorous certification process is invaluable to customers because it provides assurance that, at the end of the day, our arsenal of products are not only the top-performers in the market, but also protectors of the environment.  Powerful polymers, painless procedures, rapid results!

Want in-depth 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, NSF Certification, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil

Two Products Will Stop Most Water Leaks

Posted by Andy Powell on Oct 19, 2018 1:46:43 PM

Leak seal contractors see so many different kinds of leaks out in the field that categorizing them into basic groups is not an easy task.  However, that’s what we’re going to try and do.  Learn how just two products in your arsenal can accomplish 90% of leak sealing tasks.  Read more...

Leak seal contractors see so many different kinds of leaks out in the field that categorizing them into basic groups is not an easy task.  However, that’s what we’re going to try and do.  Learn how just two products in your arsenal can accomplish 90% of leak sealing tasks.  Read more...

Concrete restoration and waterproofing contractors see so many different kinds of leaks out in the field that categorizing them into basic groups is not an easy task.  However, that’s what we’re going to try and do.  The reason for this is to demonstrate how just two products in your arsenal can accomplish 90% of leak sealing tasks.

Alchemy-Spetec manufactures a range of polyurethane resins for Sealing Leaks, Stabilizing Soil, and Lifting Slabs.  Today we’ll focus on Spetec PUR GT500 and Spetec PUR H200 to demonstrate the versatility and scope of leak sealing that can be accomplished with these two products.  To be clear, the leaks we are addressing today are leaks through concrete, below grade structures, and through the soil.

Leaks through concrete are generally going to be through cracks, joints, and honeycomb (areas in poured concrete of mainly course aggregate with voids in between).  Depending on water volume and pressure, and the size of the joint or crack, you are going to encounter weeping leaks, steady leaks, and gushing leaks.  And of course there are also the “sometimes it leaks” types of situations.  All of these can be stopped permanently with Spetec PUR GT500, Spetec PUR H200, or a combination of both.

Spetec PUR GT500

This flexible hydrophilic injection resin is very low in viscosity and is excellent for injecting into hairline cracks and standard cracks and joints up to 3/8” wide.  It bonds aggressively to concrete and handles any movement within the crack because of its flexibility.  Spetec PUR GT500 is a single component resin designed to penetrate deep into the cracks, react with the water, and seal the leaks.  Its reaction time is slowed down somewhat in order to allow it to migrate throughout the crack.  On larger cracks which are actively leaking, a little oakum or backer rod can be wedged into the crack to prevent the resin from running out before it sets up.

Spetec PUR H200

Because the rapid expansive properties of this semi-rigid hydrophobic resin make it great for filling voids, it’s also excellent for shutting down strong and gushing leaks up to thousands of gallons per minute.  The low viscosity of this product allows it to be injected into hairline and smaller cracks as well, but it is mainly used for stopping the big ones.  Use Spetec PUR H200 with an accelerator to adjust the set time according the conditions of the leak. 

Spetec PUR H200 is also an excellent product for the process known as “curtain grouting”.  For instance, earthen dams and ponds often have water migrating through the soil creating voids, water loss, and potential failure.  Grouting into the soil in a grid pattern can seal off this water migration.  The resin expands into the ground and penetrates through the fines, and then bonds well with the surrounding earth.

Spetec PUR GT500 & Spetec PUR H200

Sometimes a leak requires a combination of both products.  Here is an example from an actual job:

There was a below grade utility vault that housed valves for two sewer force mains.  There were 24” and 18” ductile iron pipes penetrating the vault to connect to the valves.  Around the pipe penetrations, a previous contractor had used clay and mortar to try and seal it, but the water table was about 10’ above the penetrations and it had blown out the seals.  The entire vault (14’L x 12’W x 20’H) would fill up with water within a few hours.

Once again, these basic products were all that was needed to stop the leak.  The new contractor punched holes into the side of the vault near the pipe penetrations and installed injection ports.  Spetec PUR H200 with the standard catalyst was pumped through the ports and the hydrostatic pressure of the water forced the reacting resin back through the pipe penetrations slowing the leak and then quickly sealing it off.  Because there is some vibration in a pipe, Spetec PUR GT500 was then injected in a circle around the penetration creating a flexible seal and shutting down any trickles.  In this case the water table was so high that as the polyurethane expanded and reacted with the water, it literally travelled up the exterior of the vault and came in through some unseen cracks and poorly sealed joints, sealing those issues off as well.

It's is easy to go into a product catalog and become overwhelmed by the array of choices.  But don’t over think it!  Two products, or a combination of both, may be all you need to get the job done. 

Want in-depth info on leak seal procedures and products?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks