Alchemy-Spetec Blog

How Soil Destroys Buildings - A Video from Grady Hillhouse

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

Banner-How Soil Destroys Buildings

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

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

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

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

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

Click the video below for more...

Want some information on soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Ann Thaxton on Marketing for Slab Lifting & Foundation Repair

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Apr 23, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Ann Thaxton

Blog-Ann ThaxtonOn Episode 7 of The Injection Connection, host Jim Spiegel sits down with Ann Thaxton, from Concrete Titans, a marketing and advertising agency offering services to the concrete lifting, and residential foundation repair markets.  Ann offers great insights into the most current lead capture strategies, trends in the industry, and how marketing dollars are actually worth more in the current Covid-19 crisis.  (Jim Spiegel is Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and a Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute.)

Listen to the episode in its entirety below, or check it out on and the following platforms:

Want info on Alchemy-Spetec slab lifting products & applications?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips

Develop Your Competitive Edge

Posted by Michael Binyaminov on Apr 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Develop Your Competitive Edge

Body-Develop Your Competitive EdgeWhenever I talk to contractors who are in the market for a polyurethane materials provider, I always find myself discussing the same set of important points.  In a nutshell, I end up sharing my appreciation for the unique ways in which we can help contractors develop a competitive edge. In order to make this info available to a wider audience, I've decided to write it all up in a brief blog post.

Polyurethane – Quality and Selection

Alchemy-Spetec offers one of the most technologically advanced grout product lines currently on the market, including our unique, highly-effective Spetec PUR HighFoamer. Known in the industry for its expansive properties, this product is the only one in its class that can shut down gushing leaks and fill voids as quickly and effectively as it does. We offer a wide variety of materials, including slab lifting foams, deep-soil lifting foams, soil stabilization foams, injection resins for crack leak seal, foams for curtain grouting leak seal, acrylic injection resins that penetrate thin cracks and saturate soil, epoxy resins for structural repair and preventative waterstop products. The superior quality of these materials guarantees fewer callbacks from your customers. Many of these products are also certified for contact with potable water, making them safer for the environment.

Equipment and Accessories Selection

We’re a one-stop shop for all things polyurethane concrete repair, with one of the most versatile equipment and accessory product lines in the industry. Once you’ve picked out the product that best fits your needs, we can provide it all: pumps, hoses, packers/ports, and specialty accessories.

Tech Support – Experience and Dedication

Do you need technical support? You’re in luck—we’re home to the industry’s premier technical support squad. Averaging decades of experience, we also pride ourselves in being incredibly responsive. For example, our team was recently called on to assist with a large metro project in the Western United States. The customer informed us at 4pm on Monday evening that assistance was needed at 9am the very next day! Our Technical Services Director Charlie Lerman, Vice President Jim Spiegel, and Western Regional Sales Manager (that's me!) traveled to the site Monday evening to help diagnose the location of the leaks and develop an action plan. Our Technical Services Manager Charlie remained on site for two more days to ensure that the project was successful. Depending on the size and scope of the project, response time and participating team members may vary, but this story serves to illustrate the lengths we will go to assist customers.

Training and Education

We offer the industry's most thorough training and education for both Leak Seal and Geotech polyurethane infrastructure repair. We conduct training workshops at distributor locations, consult with contractors on job sites, and hold intensive programs twice a year at our headquarters in Tucker, GA. We also offer in-depth online training videos to current customers.

Marketing Support

Our Marketing Department provides qualified customers with product application illustrations and photos for use on websites, customized brochure PDFs for printing, and truck signage graphics. We also offer the use of our educational videos and animations. Lastly, we’re available for guidance on everything from online lead capture strategies to internet advertising, and more.

We’re Committed to Your Success

The overriding theme here is our commitment to your success. Obviously, this is not totally altruistic in nature.  The more successful you are, the more materials and equipment you buy.  But it is 100% genuine.  Our entire team understands the relationship between YOUR success and OUR success.  This point of view is thoroughly ingrained in our company culture.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

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

Soil Stabilization in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia

Posted by Tony Alfano on Apr 2, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Soil Stabilization in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia

Body - Soil Stabilization in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and VirginiaThe northeastern region of the United States faces a wide variety of infrastructure issues, caused by unstable soil, that contractors and property owners should be aware of.  These issues include:

  • Freeze/thaw cycles.
  • New construction compromising soil under neighboring structures.
  • Frequency of intense rainstorms, which cause flash flooding and erosion.
  • On coastal areas, erosion and soil disruption are also caused by rising sea levels.

How Does Polyurethane Soil Repair Help?

  • Strengthens the Soil
    Alchemy-Spetec soil stabilization foam allows contractors to strengthen soil for support of heavy structures.
  • Reinforces Eroded Areas
    Polyurethane foam displaces water and cures into a solid mass to reverse the erosion process.
  • Compacts the Soil
    The Deep Lift™ process compacts loose soil to create a strong substrate.
  • Fills Voids
    Polyurethane foam fills voids as it expands and before it cures, making it a great solution for instances of soil consolidation or biological decay.

What Are the Results?

  • Use of Surface and Surrounding Structures on Same Day as Repair
    Alchemy-Spetec soil stabilization foam cures to 90% full strength in 15 min­utes. In most cases the site is ready for traffic after clean up. 
  • Support for Up to 14,000 lbs/Sq. Ft.
    The Alchemy-Spetec series of geotech foams improves soil to support structural loads up to 14,000 pounds per square foot.
  • Stabilization Lasting Decades
    Alchemy-Spetec structural foams are a permanent fix.

Environmentally Safe

Alchemy-Spetec polyurethane soil stabilization polymer products have received the official NSF seal of approval for contact with drinking water (this also protects water-dwelling wildlife as well). This 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.

Want more information on polyurethane soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Interview with JR Crowell and Morgan Helms of Helms Polyfoam

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Mar 12, 2020 11:54:31 AM

Banner Graphic - Helms Polyfoam

Body Graphic - Helms PolyfoamJR Crowell and Morgan Helms of Helms Polyfoam are the guests on Episode 5 of The Injection Connection. In this episode, host Jim Spiegel discusses the history of the Helms business, the future of customer support, and the importance of relationships. (Jim Spiegel is Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and a Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute.)

Listen to the episode in its entirety below, or check it out on 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, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips

Deep Soil Stabilization with Polyurethane - A Case Study

Posted by Andy Powell on Feb 28, 2020 3:08:30 PM


2.Body-Deep-Soil-StabilizationI'd like to share a case study from a recent job that I consulted on with one of our contractor customers.

A two-story residential house in North Carolina was built on poorly compacted fill dirt. After about 20 years, it began showing evidence of settling. Interior cracks appeared in the sheetrock and some of the floors were no longer level (indicating that the footings were slowly sinking). These symptoms of unstable soil were caused by about 1 inch of settling. The engineer on the project determined that the problem was not severe enough to require helical piers. The contractor was called in to stop the sinking and reinforce the soil via deep soil polyurethane injection.

Powerful Polymer

Among the most dependable products for geotech applications, AP Lift 440 structural foam provides an exceptional DOT grade solution for these types of situations. This 4 lb. density, high-strength, hydro-insensitive structural polyurethane foam is perfect for densifying soil and stabilizing foundations (as well as lifting).

Painless Procedure

I worked with the contractor to draw up a plan, indicating exactly where the injection points would be located. The engineer reviewed the plan for feasibility. The contractor installed 18 injection tubes to a depth of 7 feet. 50 lbs of foam were administered through each tube, split between two different depths: 7 feet and 3.5 feet below grade. First, they injected from outside the house, installing foam beneath the exterior footings. Next, they injected from inside the house, installing foam beneath the load bearing interior walls. Spacing between injection points was approximately 5 feet.

Rapid Result

The deep soil stabilization process densified the soil and stopped the settlement. In addition, the contractors achieved a half inch lift from the exterior injections and another half inch lift from the interior injection sequence. The customer was extremely happy with the results. The engineer was impressed as well and said he would recommend this procedure in similar future scenarios.

Want more information on soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Learn How to Clean a MixMaster Gun at World of Concrete 2020

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 23, 2020 10:35:12 AM

Learn How to Clean a MixMaster Gun at World of Concrete 2020

Learn How to Clean a MixMaster Gun at World of Concrete 2020

The MixMaster Pro slab lifting gun was designed based on years of feedback from slab lifting contractors working in the field. Every known point of frustration and difficulty has been addressed in this sturdy, single-purpose gun. Further benefits include a lower cost of consumables (you can reuse ports with this gun), beefy check valves designed to handle the back pressure, and a short 10-minutes or less breakdown/cleaning session at the end of each day.

This gun is also is a production BEAST - no leaky port connections, no fumbling with clamps. Watch your man hours on each project shrink accordingly. Did we mention you’ll have less replacement part orders? There are only a few inexpensive replacement parts on this gun - PERIOD.

Ask about the quick 10-minutes or less breakdown/cleaning session on the MixMaster Pro at our World of Concrete 2020!  Drop by to see us at our Geotech Exhibit Space - # O40551 in the Silver Lots (same location we were in last year). 

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

Read more about our separate Leak Seal and Geotech exhibits for WOC 2020.

Want more information on the MixMaster Pro?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift

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

Repairing Concrete Loading Dock Slabs

Posted by Andy Powell on Dec 5, 2019 5:57:40 PM

Repairing Concrete Loading Dock Slabs

Repairing Concrete Loading Dock Slabs (4)Unstable Loading Dock Slabs

The soil beneath a loading dock slab needs to be stable and strong on a consistent basis.  Sinking or rocking slabs can cause injury and litigation risk that no property owner should have to deal with.  The good news is that you have a choice, even if your slabs are not sinking or rocking yet!

Loading Dock Slab Repair with Polyurethane

As the premier manufacturer of polyurethane lifting and stabilization products, we sell to slab repair contractors all over North America.  Wherever your property is located, we likely know a contractor in your area who can provide an estimate for repairing your loading dock.

Alchemy-Spetec's network of factory-trained contractors can fill voids, stabilize soil and lift sunken slabs with high-strength polyurethane foam.

If you own or manage a building with loading docks, do NOT ignore the risk of injury and litigation that stems from unsupported, unstable or sinking slabs.  We can help you find a well-trained contactor to inspect the concrete in your property. 

Call Alchemy-Spetec now at 404-618-0438 or...

Click below, fill out a form for a slab lift brochure & we'll contact you ASAP.

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

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Fill Voids

Repairing Dams with Polyurethane

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Nov 14, 2019 11:06:41 AM

Repairing Dams with Polyurethane

Repairing Dams with PolyurethaneDams Across the U.S. in Dire Need of Repair

On a cold morning last March, Kenny Angel got a frantic knock on his door. Two workers from a utility company in northern Nebraska had come with a stark warning: Get out of your house.

Just a little over a quarter-mile upstream, the 92-year-old Spencer Dam was straining to contain the swollen, ice-covered Niobrara River after an unusually intense snow and rainstorm. The workers had tried but failed to force open the dam's frozen wooden spillway gates. So, fearing the worst, they fled in their truck, stopping to warn Angel before driving away without him.

Minutes later, the dam came crashing down, unleashing a wave of water carrying ice chunks the size of cars. Angel's home was wiped away; his body was never found.

"He had about a 5-minute notice, with no prior warning the day before," Scott Angel, one of Kenny's brothers, said.

State inspectors had given the dam a "fair" rating less than a year earlier. Until it failed, it looked little different from thousands of others across the U.S. — and that could portend a problem.

A more than two-year investigation by The Associated Press has found scores of dams nationwide in even worse condition, and in equally dangerous locations. They loom over homes, businesses, highways or entire communities that could face life-threatening floods if the dams don't hold.

Excerpted from AP: At least 1,680 dams across the US pose potential risk
By David A. Lieb, Michael Casey And Michelle Minkoff

Specialty Grouting of Dams with Polyurethane

The recently released news story excerpted above is bringing major attention to the widespread problem of deteriorating dam infrastructure. In most cases, cementitious grout is used to repair dams at risk. But there are certain types of geologies that cementitious grout cannot penetrate or gets washed out of. This is where specialty grouting with polyurethane (and microfine cement) comes in. The following products can be used alongside cementitious grout for optimal results:

Spetec PUR F400
This is a is a solvent and phthalate free, water reactive, hydrophobic, closed cell, low viscosity, shrink-free, flexible, one-component polyurethane injection resin.  It can be used to seal fine cracks in dams that cementitious grout cannot reach.

Spetec AG200
This is a is a three-component, water-swelling hydrogel based on acrylic that hardens into an elastic product.  It can be used to stablize loose soil around dams.

AP Microfine 10
This is a microfine cement that penetrates very small openings such as soil pores and microscopic rock fissures in order to improve strength and reduce permeability.  It can be used in conjunction with Spetec AG200 to add strength to soil stabilization repairs around dams.

While cemententious grouting is the most common grouting method used to stop water flows and strengthen soils for dams, specialty grouting with polyurethane and/or microfine cements can be used to supplement or even replace standard centmentious grouting in areas it has troubles in.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil