Alchemy-Spetec Blog

David Park

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Case Study - Culvert Restoration Project: Sealing Pipe Joints

Posted by David Park on Mar 23, 2023 9:56:00 AM

Banner - Sealing Pipe Joints

Body - Sealing Pipe JointsA major culvert restoration project was recently completed by Geotech Services Inc. in Ohio. The Este Ave culvert is a concrete storm sewer that runs about 1000 feet from 4861 Este Ave to Mill Creek. The culvert includes 200 pipe joints, the majority of which are not watertight, and is 108 inches in diameter. A few of the sealed joints in the culvert have failed, leading to enhanced infiltration at downstream joints. The groundwater infiltration ranges from modest seepage to major leaks. Although there aren't any voids easily seen at the surface, it's expected that some channeling has happened along the pipe's bottom. In 2008, grout was injected to seal several joints near the intake and to fill voids around the outside of the pipe. Controlled density fill was then used to fill voids at the surface around the wing wall. Since that time, the wing wall has remained stable. Unfortunately, the culvert's sealed joints have degraded, leading to more infiltration at downstream junctions.

Powerful Polymer

Geotech Services used Spetec PUR GT500 to seal all the pipe joints in the culvert and to fill voids around the outside of the structure. Spetec PUR GT500 is NSF/ANSI 61 approved for contact with drinking water. 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 mechanical bond with the wet concrete.

Painless Procedure

Every joint in the culvert's bottom half was leaking and allowing groundwater to seep in. Geotech Services drilled one injection hole in the middle of the culvert joint at the bottom and injected the GT500 until the joint was completely sealed. Additional holes were drilled, based on how the material was traveling. About 3500 gallons were injected overall.

Rapid Result

The entire 1000-foot culvert was sealed in just under 30 days.

Want more information about polyurethane leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Give Presentations to Engineering Firms

Posted by David Park on Mar 2, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Give Presentations to Engineering Firms - Banner

Give-Presentations-to-Engineering-Firms---BodyJoin an Alchemy-Spetec Specialist to Present to Local Organizations

The Alchemy-Spetec team routinely joins geotech and leak seal contractors to deliver lunch and learn lectures on applications for polyurethane concrete repair products to engineers, municipalities, and general contractors. These events offer a chance to highlight polyurethane in a particular application and a forum for investigating potential future applications.

It's not uncommon for an engineer to inquire after a discussion of polyurethane soil permeation, "Hey, could that be used in this other situation that I am dealing with?" These discussions at the very least a chance to lay the groundwork for future projects.

How to Get Scheduled

Contact us, and we'll send one of our regional managers your way to arrange a meeting. Please let us know which application(s) you are interested in presenting. We'll work with you to create a custom presentation. 

Want more info about geotech and leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

A Contractor's Guide to Creating a LinkedIn Profile

Posted by David Park on Feb 28, 2023 10:00:00 AM

A Contractors Guide to Creating a LinkedIn Profile - Banner

A Contractors Guide to Creating a LinkedIn Profile - BodyUsing social media to market yourself and your contracting firm is essential as the world becomes more connected. Consider a LinkedIn profile to be your very own personal branding page. LinkedIn can play a significant role in your strategy for locating new clients and contacts in your field. Your name, photo, and headline are frequently the first things visitors see before even clicking on your profile. A professional headshot photo is essential for your profile page.

Headline

One of the most crucial elements of your profile on LinkedIn is your headline, the section found under your name. It spans the top of your page and can be seen everywhere, including in "People You May Know" sections, job applications, postings, messages, recommendations, and even connection requests on LinkedIn.

The LinkedIn character limit for headlines is 220 for desktop and 240 for mobile. Although there are two options, be sure to optimize for 220 characters or less. Don't simply list your title; but include what you can offer, such as "President at ACME Foundations: Concrete Leveling and Soil Stabilization."

Summary

The text box that reads "Summary" at the top of your LinkedIn profile is also known as the "About" section. It's directly below your picture. You can briefly describe your career history in this extra space which has a character limit of 2,000. This is a crucial area in which LinkedIn scans the keywords to decide whether or not to include your profile in search results. Use keywords and information that potential customers might be searching for. In the end, your LinkedIn summary should act as a spotlight, framing your individual story and assisting readers in learning more about you, your motivations, the types of work that excite you, and (if applicable) your accomplishments.

Experience

You have the choice to import your resume here, but there's more to do than just that. Take advantage of including one or more media items. Customers might spend more time browsing your profile if it includes interesting media. This could result in more business opportunities.

Recommendations

Get at least two recommendations from people who have hired you for jobs or who are influential in your industry, if at all possible. Make sure to provide talking points that highlight your character and strengths.

Endorsements

Endorsements are essentially testimonials from individuals who confirm the skills you listed on your profile. List these skills from most applicable to least relevant, starting at the top. You could recommend others and hope they will recommend you in return to increase those endorsements (or email associates to specifically endorse you for a certain skill).

Connections

Create as many connections on LinkedIn as you can. This increases the visibility of your profile. Connect with everyone you know, including your friends, family, alumni, coworkers, clients, and industry leaders.

Contact Information

A straightforward email would be sufficient for this section. You will always be accessible in this manner, ensuring that you never miss a crucial business opportunity.

LinkedIn Account Address (URL)

Your first and last names can be added to the LinkedIn account address. If your name is already taken, you can change it by adding a middle initial, a number, etc.

Updates

Updates are essentially what you share with your connections, similar to a Facebook "post" or a "tweet" on Twitter. It is the ideal way to interact with your contacts on a regular basis and maintain visibility. It allows you to update your status with recent achievements and business-related news.

Conclusion

With the help of this guide, you should be able to use LinkedIn effectively and draw in the audience you desire. Don't forget to follow the Alchemy-Spetec LinkedIn company page as well! 

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Case Study - Curtain Grouting in a Repurposed Power Plant Intake Well

Posted by David Park on Nov 8, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Curtain Grouting in a Repurposed Power Plant Intake Well

Body - Curtain Grouting in a Repurposed Power Plant Intake WelBack in the 1990s, the Seaholm Power Plan in the City of Austin, TX closed after four decades of operation. Recently, the entire area has been converted into an indoor-outdoor park and public space called the Seaholm Waterfront. All that's left standing of the original power plant is an intake building that the city decided to repurpose for public use as part of the project. Thirty feet below grade, are chambers that were originally designed to hold water from the river and pump it into the power plant to cool the machinery. The intake building renovation project hit a snag when they discovered that several thousand gallons of water were pouring into the chambers on a daily basis.

"Sealing of the intake gates was necessary in order to eliminate water from being continuously present within the building. Nine of the 10 wells have been successfully sealed off. While pumping the water out of the building, leaks were discovered in one of the wells which will require additional work by the underwater construction crew. Preventing the free-flowing entry of lake water into the building is central to the scope of this project improving the occupancy conditions by lowering humidity levels, eliminating odors and pests, and preserving the integrity of the building materials."
— Austin City Council, April 21, 2021

Initially, concrete was poured into the chambers to stop the leak. This proved to be ineffective and further complicated the job. Specialty contractors Canalco were brought in to seal the leaks via polyurethane curtain grouting, in which the technicians drill holes through concrete and inject water-activated grout on the other side, stopping the leak at its source. Technical assistance was provided by Chamberlin Waterproofing.

Powerful Polymer

The engineering firm Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., specified Spetec PUR HighFoamer as the best grout to handle these high-pressure leaks. Technicians can easily adjust the set time for this material. They can speed it up for gushing leaks and slow it down to maximize coverage and penetration into the substrate for curtain grouting.

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Painless Procedure

A small crew sent a confined entry certified technician deep into the well to drill 1.25" injection holes 4-7' feet through the concrete. Next, he injected Spetec PUR HighFoamer through five holes to create a grout curtain on the outside of the structure to seal off the leaks.

Rapid Result

The job was completed in just one week. The city continues to monitor the situation and the results have been spectacular given the difficulty of the job and the complications.

Want more information on curtain grouting?

Download an Info-Packed Curtain Wall Grouting Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Crack Injection Case Studies

Posted by David Park on Sep 29, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Crack Injection Case Studies

Body - Crack Injection Case StudiesThe Crack Injection Process

Crack injection is a precision-focused leak seal approach for smaller cracks or joints. Contractors repair these defects by drilling holes into the wall and inserting injection ports at an angle to intersect the crack inside the wall. Next, they inject polyurethane grout directly into the center of the crack through the ports. The resin rapidly reacts with water to form a flexible watertight seal. 

This process also protects the rebar inside the wall. Water intrusion through the cracks can lead to rebar corrosion and concrete spalling. Rusting rebar can expand six to ten times the original volume of the steel. This creates internal pressure on the concrete. While concrete is very strong in compression, it has a low tensile strength, and the expanding rebar will cause it to crack. When polyurethane resin is injected under pressure, it can encapsulate rebar and slow down the corrosion process.

Crack Injection Case Studies

Want more information on polyurethane crack injection?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Methodology Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Curtain Grouting Case Studies

Posted by David Park on Sep 27, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Curtain Grouting Case Studies

Body - Curtain Grouting Case StudiesThe Curtain Grouting Process

There are negative-side leak seal solutions, in which contractors apply surface treatments to the face of a wall to stop leaks. However, this is merely a band-aid approach. The water pressure coming through the cracks from behind the wall can still blow this band-aid repair right off. Contractors using positive-side solutions like curtain grouting can stop multiple leaks in a structure at one time.

In this process, holes are drilled through a structure in a diamond pattern. Next, expansive leak seal grout is injected through the structure, sealing leaks and filling soil voids on the other side. The grout quickly reacts with the water and cures to form a curtain wall made of a resin/soil mixture that seals the leak permanently. This is a positive-side waterproofing solution applied from the negative side.

Curtain Grouting Case Studies

Want more information on polyurethane curtain grouting?

Download an Info-Packed Curtain Wall Grouting Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Concrete Repair Presentations for Engineers

Posted by David Park on Sep 15, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Polyurethane Concrete Repair Presentations for Engineers

Body - Polyurethane Concrete Repair Presentations for EngineerAlchemy-Spetec offers one-hour CE/PDH accredited presentations on polyurethane concrete repair. Presentation topics offered include Leak Seal, Geotech, and Seawall Repair. Here is a detailed overview... 

Leak Seal Presentation

The Specialty Waterproofing with Chemical Grouts presentation covers sealing leaks in structures with the use of polyurethane chemical grout injection materials and techniques. 

  • Chemical Grouting Primer
    • History
    • Safety
    • Characteristics
  • Utilization & Applications
    • Identifying Applications
    • Selecting a Chemical Grout
    • Epoxy & Hydraulic Cement
  • Installation Techniques
    • Crack and Joint Injection
    • Curtain Grouting
    • Oakum Soakum
    • Equipment Overview

Alchemy-Spetec's one-hour CE/PDH accredited Leak Seal presentation is perfect for engineers looking for information on innovative and proven leak seal repair methods for sealing leaks in structures, inflow/infiltration mitigation, and more.

Geotech Presentation

The Geotechnical Applications for Polyurethane presentation explains three types of concrete leveling and soil stabilization materials and applications. 

  • Single Component Polyurethane Grout Applications
  • Two-Component Polyurethane Grout Applications
  • Acrylic Grout Applications

Alchemy-Spetec's one-hour CE/PDH accredited Geotech presentation is perfect for engineers looking for information on innovative and proven geotechnical repair methods for lifting concrete, soil stabilization, excavation support, controlling erosion, and more. 

Seawall Repair Network Presentation

The Seawall Stabilization and Preservation through Permeation Presentation explains and demonstrates how Seawall Repair Network contractors use polyurethane injection resin and surface-applied preservation solutions to stabilize and preserve seawalls and bulkheads. (Seawall Repair Network is a division of Alchemy-Spetec.)

  • The Causes of Seawall Failure
  • Stabilizing a Seawall
  • Preserving a Seawall
  • Stabilization & Preservation Through Permeation

Alchemy-Spetec's one-hour CE/PDH accredited Seawall Repair Network presentation is ideal for engineers who are interested in designing superior seawall/bulkhead rehabilitation and preservation solutions. This type of environmentally friendly permanent soil stabilization and seawall preservation can be applied to all types of waterfront infrastructure.

Want info on scheduling a presentation?

Request a Concrete Repair Presentation

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Business Tips, Engineer Resources

Industry-Leading Technical Support

Posted by David Park on Sep 6, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Industry-Leading Technical Support

Sometimes so-called "innovation" creates more problems than solutions. Have you ever needed technical support on a product, only to be faced with a maze of phone menus or inefficient chatbots? These days it can be almost impossible to get in touch with a real human being for expert assistance. 

Fortunately, Alchemy-Spetec offers industry-leading technical support for leak seal and geotechnical applications - provided by readily available experts. With over 15 decades of combined technical experience, our team will support you online, over the phone, and even in person on a job site. We never outsource work to independent technicians; our team is there for you and your project. So when you work with Alchemy-Spetec, you get Alchemy-Spetec. 

Here are three ways you can count on Alchemy-Spetec for industry-leading support and resources:

Phone Support

Get direct phone support from any member of our Technical Services team whether you're an engineer, a customer, or even a potential customer with technical questions. Call us at (404) 618-0438 and we'll connect you with an expert. We’re here to help.

On-Site Support

Alchemy-Spetec is the premier technical and field service provider nationwide. The tech support team offers multiple layers of support such as on-site training, estimating, planning/design, bid submittals, troubleshooting, and more. Call us at (404) 618-0438 for more information.

Online Training

All Alchemy-Spetec customers and engineer partners have access to our extensive online training resources. There are 12+ presentations on industry topics, 13+ product/equipment demos, and multiple video case studies accessible at any time for your team. Contact a Regional Manager today for more information.

Want more info on geotech and leak seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Case Study - Repairing a Leaky Pipe & Sinkhole on a Residential Property

Posted by David Park on Aug 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Repairing a Leaky Pipe & Sinkhole

Body - Repairing a Leaky Pipe & Sinkhole

In the city limits of Atlanta, a couple was surprised to see a sinkhole forming in their home’s front yard. They became quite alarmed as within just a few weeks it swallowed their sidewalk and a decent portion of the property in front of the home. They notified the city. 

After the City of Atlanta quickly got involved, some investigation revealed an old brick storm sewer running approximately 25-30 feet under the front of the property. Across the country, there is lots of brick infrastructure that’s still in service and in some cases over 100 years old. These outdated structures suffer from infiltration of groundwater which often erodes soil, as well as causes subsidence above. In this case, cameras revealed that several bricks had become dislodged, creating a pathway for soil and groundwater to get in. The end result was a rapidly forming sinkhole.

The City of Atlanta was already consulting with Alchemy Spetec on some other projects, so they asked us to take a look. After reviewing the available information and making a site visit, it was determined that a multi-step plan would need to be undertaken to seal the pipe and reestablish soil compaction.

Powerful Polymers

The single-component polyurethane AP Fill 700 was selected for the sealing of the pipe and for the compaction grouting of the above soils. AP Lift 430 would be kept on standby in case further grouting was required to stabilize under the home foundation itself. As it turns out, this was indeed the case.

  • AP Fill 700 has an adjustable set time and is highly expansive. It works in wet environments, perfect for this project. It can permeate loose soils and gravel and achieve compressive strengths in excess of 1000 psi.
  • AP Lift 430 is fast and expands 24 times its original volume. It is strong and can support 7,000 lbs per square foot.
  • Both products are NSF ANSI 61 approved as safe for potable water contact. This certification provides reassurance that these products will not leach any chemicals out into the soil.

Painless Procedures

As previously mentioned, there were several steps that had to be undertaken to complete this project. First, the bricks that had become dislodged were reaffixed back into place. Once that breach was sealed, AP Fill 700 was injected through the pipe walls in multiple areas around the breach. AP Fill 700 reacts when it contacts moisture and there was no lack of that at 25 feet deep. Regardless, twin streaming through an F-Valve Assembly was implemented to ensure a good resin/water mix. This approach rapidly filled all of the voids surrounding the pipe and also sealed several other small areas of weeping water infiltration.

The second step was to fill the sinkhole with loose dirt and gravel and then permeate that with AP Fill 700 to squeeze the soil and lock all of the backfill together. Half-inch injection pipes were installed down to the top of the pipe, then soil and gravel were backfilled to the surface. Once the backfill was in place, AP Fill 700 was injected and the probes were slowly extracted to insure a uniform measure of polymer throughout the soil column. When this is done in a grid pattern, the result is a lot of increased compaction and bearing capacity.

Once the sinkhole was repaired, concern remained about loss of soil compaction under the foundation of the home. The steps leading up to the front porch had settled away from the home indicating further bad soil was likely the case.

Alchemy-Spetec is a dealer for Pagani, a dynamic cone penetrometer (DCP) manufacturer out of Italy. We brought our unit out to the property and did 6 penetrometer tests across the front of the home next to the foundation. Four of the six tests revealed weight of hammer (WOH) readings which basically means zero compaction. The soil could not even support the weight of our machine. The city was on site to see the tests and immediately approved the compaction grouting beneath the front foundation. This is where the AP Lift 430 came into play.

Half-inch injection probes were installed across the entire front of the home next to the foundation. Probes were installed down to 8 feet which is where the soil became much stronger. AP Lift 430 was injected while the crew slowly extracted the probes - until lift was observed on the home. When lift was detected, the grouting ceased. This process was repeated across the entire front of the home on 4-foot spacing.

After the compaction under the footing was reestablished, the front steps that had settled away from the house were lifted back into place using AP Fill 430.

Rapid Results

The job was completed quickly without any excavation and dewatering. No curbs, road base, or utilities had to be removed or relocated. This approach saved enormous amounts of additional cost and delays.

Want more information on leak seal and geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil

How Contractors Can Use CRM Software to Close Deals

Posted by David Park on Jul 7, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How Contractors Can Use CRM Software

Body - How Contractors Can Use CRM SoftwareLeveraging technology is essential for contractors to stay competitive and grow in the modern era. As the Inside Sales Manager for Alchemy-Spetec, I have the daunting task of maintaining our ever-increasing lead, customer, and project database. There is no room for hesitation in today’s competitive landscape, and we need easily accessible, precise information at a moment’s notice. Organizing your day-to-day tasks with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can give you a powerful, painless, and rapid advantage over the competition.

Centralize Data & Information

We all at some point have likely had to contend with endless emails, spreadsheets, and documents siloing or isolating important data and information about our leads and customers. With a CRM, you can integrate your data into one single source of information. You can use it to manage customer data and leads as they enter your pipeline through various channels and integrate them into a linear sales process.

Increase Productivity & Results

Enable your entire sales and marketing team to get more done. Leads can be tracked through a linear sales process with access to information displaying critical data points for whatever the user needs. Having a centralized database reduces your paperwork and helps you limit the headache of digging through old emails. With a clear view of your leads and customers to access at any time, you will be able to focus on execution instead of endless email chains and spreadsheets.

Clear Reporting and Greater Visibility

With CRM dashboards and reporting features, your team and management will be able to make key decisions to improve and scale the business. You'll be able to quickly identify inefficiencies and take swift action to address them. Real-time reporting allows you to quickly assess what is going on and how the health of the business is looking without having to rely on exporting and aggregating data on a spreadsheet over and over. I can’t stress enough the importance of being able to quickly and efficiently generate sales forecasts and analyze the profitability of your various service offerings.

Contact Us for CRM Tips and Guidance

Please contact me (David Park - Inside Sales Manager) at dpark@alchemy-spetec.com if you have any questions or need technical guidance on choosing or using a CRM.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips