Alchemy-Spetec Blog

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

Using Soil Stabilization Products in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 11, 2019 5:23:05 PM

Using Soil Stabilization Products in Cold Weather

blog-87In this blog post, we will share some tips for stabilizing soil in cold weather. The two main points to remember are – make sure the ground isn’t frozen and condition your material and equipment properly.

Do Not Attempt Soil Stabilization Work When the Ground is Frozen

If you’re considering soil stabilization in cold weather, the first step is to make sure that the water table isn’t frozen. Iced earth is not permeable enough for proper mixing of resin and soil. If you attempt to proceed with frozen soil, you’ll just be wasting your material. Best to wait it out in that case.

Properly Condition Equipment and Materials

For optimal results, it’s best to store any materials and equipment that are to be used in a heated environment over night. It’s best to keep your AP Soil 600 above 60 degrees at all times. This is key because cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. The methods you use to condition your material on the job site will depend on the type of vehicle you’re using.

In Slab Lifting in Cold Weather, we described in detail how to condition materials for cold weather if you’re using a rig…

If you have an insulated rig, it should stay around 40 degrees warmer than outside temperatures. Most foam rigs have built in electric heaters that require an extension cord to a power outlet at the job site or at your facility for overnight storage. Alternately, you could buy an electric radiator heater. Other available heating devices include drum band heaters and heated drum mats (be careful not to scorch the polymers by turning band heaters up too high). For a more DIY approach, you could build a hot box around the material storage area in your rig.

If you’re using pails and a smaller vehicle, we offered tips for that set up in my Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather article…

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.

Using a combination of the methods described above, you should be able to keep your materials warm enough. In extreme cases when the material gets a bit too cold and thick, you may want to use AP Cat 600 to speed up the reaction time.

Conclusion

As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you should be able to stabilize soil in cold weather.  Just make sure your materials and equipment are conditioned properly.  If you have any further questions, please contact us at 404-618-0438.

Want in-depth info on soil stabilization products?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Slab Void Fill with Polyurethane Foam

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 6, 2019 5:03:08 PM

Slab Void Fill with Polyurethane Foam

Slab Void Fill with Polyurethane FoamVoids beneath concrete slabs can be filled with two component polymer foam designed to work in wet or dry conditions. AP Lift 430 foam can support up to 7,200 lbs per square foot and will cure to 90% full strength in 15 minutes.  (Of the most resilient concrete slab jacking foams, AP Lift 430 is proven to lift concrete slabs under harsh conditions. This two-component, high-strength, high-density, hydro-insensitive structural polyurethane foam is the top slab jacking solution for concrete slab foundation repair, soil stabilization, and compaction grouting. AP Lift 430 weighs 2.75 – 3.25 pounds per cubic foot.)

Polyurethane foam conforms to void shape more accurately than cement grout, and - unlike cement - it doesn't shrink or sink over time.

The video below depicts a real time example of void fill and slab stabilization. A residential driveway is undermined by a large void. Because an entire bank of soil washed away on one side of the slab, we get an unusually clear view of polyurethane void fill in action. 

Observe the process closely and let us know if you have any follow up questions. We have the most knowledgeable and helpful customer support in the industry, so don't hesitate to call us at 404-618-0438 after you've watched this video! 

Want in-depth info on slab lifting and slab void fill with polyurethane foam?

 Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Lift Slabs

Warehouse and Industrial Slab Repair With Polyurethane

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Feb 4, 2019 5:03:41 PM

Warehouse and Industrial Slab Repair With Polyurethane

Warehouse and Industrial Slab Repair With PolyurethaneOne of the hidden dangers a warehouse or industrial property owner and their employees can face is an unstable or sunken slab with a large void underneath.  The last thing anyone wants is injury and/or a lawsuit resulting from an un-repaired trip hazard or worse - a complete slab collapse.  Take a good long look at the photo in today's blog graphic.  This occurred when a forklift carrying a heavy piece of equipment crossed a slab with an un-detected void underneath.  Luckily, no one was injured.

This video below depicts (via an inexpensive borescope lowered through a drill hole) a real time example of a warehouse slab with cavernous voids below and heavy equipment resting on top.  Next, you'll see the slab repair process in action as the voids are filled and the slabs are restored to a safe, stable state with AP Lift foams that support between 7,200 - 14,000 pounds per square foot (depending on the product selected). 

Watch the process closely and contact us if you have any questions!

Want in-depth info on warehouse & industrial slab repair with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Warehouse & Industrial Slab Repair Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

Concrete Leveling Polyjacking Product Saves Chinese Railway

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 30, 2019 3:08:52 PM

Concrete Leveling Polyjacking Product Saves Chinese Railway

Nowhere on earth are they building more railroad lines than in the People’s Republic of China. The most populous nation in the world is developing rapidly and with it comes a need for more and more freight and passenger rail - and the demand for higher and higher speeds. Unfortunately, these high speeds cannot be achieved on rail that is sinking and settling in various places, especially in tunnels. This slows down people and commerce and is also a concern for safety. The culprit is groundwater, soil consolidation, and in some cases poor compaction. This is the type of environment where AP Lift 475 has done some of its best work.

Concrete Leveling Polyjacking Product Saves Chinese RailwayPowerful Polymer

AP Lift 475 is a two component, hydrophobic, structural lifting polymer designed for airport, highway, and railroad applications. It can be used to stabilize structures, fill voids, and lift slabs supporting tremendous loads. The real beauty of it is the ability to be traffic ready for a train or a jumbo jet in less than one hour. A few years ago, it was put to the test in tunnels in the mountains of China.

Painless Procedure

With rails sitting on double concrete slabs (the top slab was 1 meter thick, the bottom 30 cm) a plan was developed to bring the low spots back into tolerance by injecting AP Lift 475 underneath both slabs through extra-long injection packers.

Monitoring with laser levels, the low spots in the rail were lifted back to the original grade. AP Lift 475 performed as advertised. The railroad track was raised and supported, while at the same time the ground water was displaced, literally jetting out of relief holes as it sought a place to escape.

Rapid Result

Working in 4 hour windows where the rail traffic is shut down at night, crews lifted low spots in these tunnels quickly and efficiently.  At 5 AM equipment and personnel had to be clear of the tracks and 15 minutes later the trains would rumble through.  Vibration monitoring by railway engineers showed a smoother ride and the people and commerce of China were allowed to move once again at a frenetic pace.

Want More In-Depth Info on Concrete Leveling Polyjacking Products?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

Soil Stabilization Products Prevent Cave In Beneath Busy Intersection

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 28, 2019 4:42:08 PM

Soil Stabilization Products Prevent Cave In Beneath Busy Intersection

Soil Stabilization Products Prevent Cave In Beneath Busy IntersectionCounty inspectors found a depression in the road due to an underground sewer line that wasn’t sealed at a heavily trafficked roadway intersection in Orange County, Florida.  Water and eroding soil were infiltrating the sewer line causing the road to slowly settle.  The resulting voids around the drainage structures had the potential to grow larger, eventually resulting in a complete cave-in of the roadway.  In this particular case, there was a patch of asphalt 12’ x 25’ that was settling and officials feared a cave-in would occur.  A point repair was done from within the leaky pipe to stop the infiltration but they feared it was only a matter of time before the road gave way. It was going to be very difficult and inconvenient to dig up this roadway, fill the void, re-compact, and re-pave due to the high volume of traffic, the adjoining rail crossing, as well as several major utilities running through the area.  Not to mention that the area would have to be completely shut down to accommodate all of the equipment required for such a repair.

Powerful Polymer

Orange County approached us to see if we could come up with a powerful, painless and rapid solution for their maintenance crew using chemical grouting to fill the voids and stabilize the roadway. We devised a solution for them using the versatility of AP Fill 700 as both a permeation and void filling grout.

Painless Procedure

We advised their crew to lay out a grid on the settling asphalt area and set up injection points to drive pipes down to the 13’ depth where leaking had occurred and where the loose soil zone was located. They monitored the pipes while injecting material at a rate of 2 gallons per vertical foot through the open manhole to identify additional leaks that had been missed during the first point repair. As expected when foam was observed coming in through a leaking joint it quickly sealed off the leak at the same time it was stabilizing the soil.

Rapid Result

To keep the lane closure down to a bare minimum of time, the project was successfully completed on two separate Saturdays.  The voids were filled, the loose soil was solidified, and only minor asphalt patching was required to make that area smooth for traffic again.

Want in-depth info on soil stabilization products?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: Stabilize Soil, All Posts

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

Announcing the Geotech and Leak Seal Product Catalogs

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Oct 17, 2018 10:34:54 AM

Alchemy-Spetec products will now officially be promoted under the Leak Seal and Geotech lines.  As holds true with most mergers (Alchemy Polymers and Spetec formed Alchemy-Spetec in 2017), the integration of products and services can take time.  This rebrand will be reflected in two separate product catalogs.  One for Leak Seal products and one for Geotech products. We are confident that the two-catalog offering is the best solution for our partners and customers.

Alchemy-Spetec products will now officially be promoted under the Leak Seal and Geotech lines.  As holds true with most mergers (Alchemy Polymers and Spetec formed Alchemy-Spetec in 2017), the integration of products and services can take time.  This rebrand will be reflected in two separate product catalogs.  One for Leak Seal products and one for Geotech products. We are confident that the two-catalog offering is the best solution for our partners and customers. Alchemy-Spetec products will now officially be promoted under the Leak Seal and Geotech lines.  As holds true with most mergers (Alchemy Polymers and Spetec formed Alchemy-Spetec in 2017), the integration of products and services can take time.  This rebrand will be reflected in two separate product catalogs.  One for Leak Seal products and one for Geotech products. We are confident that the two-catalog offering is the best solution for our partners and customers. 

Both product types are now easily discernible by the Spetec or AP nomenclature in which Spetec represents Leak Seal, and AP represents Geotech. 

The Geotech line encompasses all two-part rigid polyurethanes used for void filling, slab lifting, permeation grouting, and soil stabilization; as well as acrylic grout used for permeation grouting, and all associated pumping equipment and accessories. Due to the technical support requirements of geotechnical applications in terms of equipment use, accessory setup, and application technique, this line will remain a direct sale to contractors performing slab lifting and soil modification applications.  

Conversely, the Leak Seal line remains a distributor sale through our continued support of distribution partners.  The Leak Seal line encompasses all water-activated grouts, acrylic grouts, waterstop products, mechanical packers and ports, and all associated dispensing equipment.   Since structural repair products are also sold through distribution, they are included in the Leak Seal catalog.

If you have any questions about the Alchemy-Spetec Leak Seal or Geotech product lines, please contact Jim Spiegel at jspiegel@alchemy-spetec.com for further assistance. 

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec Geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

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

We Can Help You Find a Geotech Contractor

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Oct 12, 2018 5:25:47 PM

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Are you a property owner/manager looking for a geotech contractor to help you with unstable soil, sinking slabs or structures, etc?  As a leading manufacturer of polyurethane lifting and stabilization products, we sell to contractors all over the United States.  Wherever your property is located, we likely know a contractor in your area who can provide an estimate for repairing your geotech problem. 

For a brief overview of the types of services these contractors may offer, see the video below...

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting products?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, All Posts

5 Warning Signs a Structure May Need Slab Lifting or Stabilization

Posted by Andy Powell on Sep 24, 2018 11:52:22 AM

Do you know the 5 warning signs of when a structure may need slab lifting or stabilization? Read more to find out...

Do you know the 5 warning signs of when a structure may need slab lifting or stabilization? Read more to find out...

A home or commercial building is only as good as the foundation it’s built on. And regardless of how well-constructed a structure may be, most foundations settle. That’s just a fact of life. Shifting soil compaction and many other environmental conditions that tend to cause settling, however, should ideally be stabilized before significant structural damage is done.

One or two minor hairline or shrinkage cracks shouldn’t necessarily send off any warning bells – though both merit monitoring. But multiple or widening cracks indicate more serious problems and may lead to additional damage. For the property owner, this can disrupt business, displace occupancy, and cause a domino-effect of infrastructure woes serious enough to break the bank. Or worse. Litigation can result if preventative action isn’t taken before loss or injuries occur.

These factors alone make acting sooner rather than later imperative. Stabilization and lifting are key solutions to consider in cases of foundation or slab distress. How can you know for sure if slab lifting or soil stabilization is needed? Watch for these five warning signs:

Bulging or Cracked Floors

It’s estimated that 60 percent of homes built on expansive soils result in shifting and heaving in all or even just part of the foundation. One can’t-miss sign of distress caused by wobbly soil compaction is buckling and bulging wood floors or evidence of cracking concrete in other types of flooring.

Cracked Walls

When soil moisture levels are all over the map, you can be sure that problems will ensue. Poor drainage, soil decomposition, naturally occurring conditions, nearby sewer line damage, underground aquifers – all can play a role in fluctuating soil moisture levels that lead to foundational settling. Cracked sheetrock or concrete walls are a warning sign that trouble is brewing underneath the surface.

Sticking Doors

When doors suddenly start sticking or won’t easily open or close, it’s a sign that either moisture levels are causing the door to swell or something in the structural frame has shifted. And that something might very well be the foundation.

Displaced Moldings

Look up toward the ceiling or down at the floor for moldings that may have gone wonky, jutting this way or that.

Leaning Trees, Fence Posts, Etc.

It’s hard not to notice a tree, fencepost, mailbox, or flagpole that is leaning like the Tower of Pisa. If you don't associate this abnormality with foundational distress, you should. It can be a sign of sinkholes – the kind that gape and maw without warning. If the site you're evaluating is in what is known as karst terrain, which about one-fifth of the nation is, it's susceptible to sinkholes. Likewise if there are abandoned coal or other mines, sewer construction or groundwater pumping nearby. All are signs that further investigation may be needed, pronto.

Want in-depth info on slab lifting procedures and products?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil