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David Park

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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

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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

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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

How Contractors Can Use Zapier to Automate Business Tasks

Posted by David Park on Jun 30, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How Contractors Can Use Zapier to Automate Business Tasks

Body - How Contractors Can Use Zapier to Automate Business TasksIf you run a contracting business, you're probably handling hundreds of tasks on a daily basis with a limited and overworked team. Not only is it overwhelming, but key action items like lead follow-up or estimate requests fall through the cracks leading to more time wasted backtracking them later. Luckily, automation software like Zapier can execute many of your repetitive tasks and enable your business to become more efficient and organized. This advantage is crucial in order for your team to do what matters most and scale your business to the next level.

At Alchemy-Spetec, we leverage automation tools in every possible scenario to support our team to be more effective and efficient. We are excited to share some of the core features we have implemented that can be used to help your business grow as well. As always, we pride ourselves on supporting our customers so please feel free to contact me (David Park - Inside Sales Manager) at dpark@alchemy-spetec.com if you have any questions or need technical guidance on growing your business through automation.

Three Simple Ways Automation Can Scale Your Business

Your most valuable resource is not your product or your customer list, but the team of people who make your company a success. Your team’s most valuable resource is their time and attention, and tedious repetitive tasks have a habit of showing up in everyone’s daily routine. The software and digital tools we use to run our businesses come with data and information overload. We noticed at Alchemy-Spetec that simply aligning and keeping data updated between platforms was requiring a great deal of manual effort. Thanks to automation tools like Zapier, we have been able to implement three simple automation strategies.

1. Automate Data Entry

At Alchemy-Spetec, much of our data and information is stuck in a variety of fractured applications and online tools. We've used Zapier to link these applications and transfer data back and forth when a new lead or email arrives. If you find yourself manually entering lead or customer information over and over, it might be worth looking into an integration and automation tool. 

2. Automate Communication Internally

There are many different ways team members communicate, but it’s likely that email is still the most common means of communication in most organizations. If your email platform is Google-based, Zapier integration offers a variety of ways to utilize automation and tags to organize the clutter of your inbox. By implementing Google’s filtering system and Zapier automation, our team has been able to create multiple automation workflows that will perform repetitive tasks such as forwarding emails to another team member over and over. (If your email platform is not Google-based, Zapier may still offer automation options. Contact me for assistance if needed.) If you find yourself too busy organizing and forwarding internal communications, it might be worth looking into integration and automation tools like Zapier to do the work for you. 

3. Automate Communication Externally

Thanks to automation tools like Zapier, we have been able to configure many outward-facing emails to automatically send when a specific event occurs (such as a new lead being added to our database). Automation tools like Zapier enable us to automatically respond with customized response times and messages on a case-by-case basis. If you find yourself manually answering and replying to every lead, it might be worth looking into automation tools like Zapier to do the work for you.

Contact me (David Park - Inside Sales Manager) at dpark@alchemy-spetec.com if you think you have some tasks that can be automated. I'd be happy to assist you!

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

Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs With Foam

Posted by David Park on Jun 23, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs with Foam

Body - Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs with FoamWhen parts of a concrete surface sink due to erosion and poor compaction, the resulting trip hazard can be dangerous. If left unrepaired, liability and safety issues linger. Although concrete is tough and durable, unstable soil can cause it to crack and sink. Fortunately, a reliable solution for lifting concrete has been developed and proven over the past few decades. High-strength expansive polyurethane foam is injected underneath the slab to bring it back to level. This method has been used in a wide variety of commercial and residential applications with long-lasting results.

Despite consistently reliable results, some myths about polyurethane slab lifting have cropped up over the years.

Myth #1: Polyurethane Foam is a Temporary Fix

People who assume that polyurethane slab lifting is a temporary fix typically have a general lack of knowledge, understanding, and experience with the process. Common misperceptions supporting this myth include:

  • The incorrect assumption that foam will be susceptible to moisture and degrade under the concrete.
  • The incorrect assumption that the process typically leaves large voids underneath the slab, leading to resettlement.

Water does not cause lifting foams to degrade underneath the slab. In addition, a factory-trained contractor will not leave gaps underneath the slab that would lead to resettlement.

Myth #2: Polyurethane Foam Cannot Support Heavy Loads

Another common misconception is that polyurethane foam is weak and does not have the load-bearing capacity to support slabs with heavy traffic or large structures.

Common misperceptions supporting this myth include:

  • The incorrect assumption that lifting foam is the same stuff used by the insulation guys.
  • The incorrect assumption that because it expands easily, it must collapse easily.
  • The incorrect assumption that the expansion rate is uncontrollable and leads to unpredictable results.

All lifting and stabilization polyurethane foams formulated and manufactured by Alchemy-Spetec are designed specifically for Geotechnical applications. Once cured, Alchemy-Spetec lifting foams are incredibly strong and durable. Easy expansion does not equal easy collapse. Factory-trained contractors can control the final lift level of a slab to within 1/8th of an inch.

Myth #3: Polyurethane Foam is too Expensive

When faced with the dilemma of a sunken slab, you have three options aside from polyurethane slab lifting:

  1. Doing Nothing: If you do nothing, the problem will grow. The longer you wait, the more expensive the repair.
  2. Replacing the Slab: This process will take several days, is often messy, and is typically more expensive than lifting with polyurethane.
  3. Lifting with Cement Grout: This procedure (known as “mudjacking”) requires heavy equipment, large drill holes, and the use of weighty cement grout which often sinks over time. When the cement grout sinks over time, you have to get it lifted again. Eventually, even this process becomes more expensive.

Want more information about polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Stop Large Water Leaks with Spetec PUR H100

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

Banner - Stop Large Water Leaks with Spetec PUR H100

Body - Stop Large Water Leaks with Spetec PUR H100One of the greatest threats to our nation's infrastructure is unseen water eroding away its structural integrity. Water is relentless and all types of structures and sewer collection systems are at risk. If left unchecked, uncontrolled water will end up causing massive rehabilitation and repair bills. The market for repairing and controlling water infiltration is limitless.

Contractors Should Be Prepared

We believe every contractor should have access to cost-effective and long-term solutions for their customers. Alchemy-Spetec offers a variety of environmentally-friendly polyurethane resins for sealing leaks in structures and water collection systems. Our dedicated technical support team has decades of experience on leak seal projects. 

Spetec PUR H100 is widely specified by engineers for the cut-off of large water leaks. It is a one-component, closed-cell, hydrophobic, water-reactive, solvent, and phthalate-free, low viscosity resin. Its low viscosity and hydrophobic properties make it ideal for both soil stabilization and cutting off large water leaks.

Spetec PUR H100 Applications

There are a plethora of applications for Spetec PUR H100. Some specific uses include cutting off sewer water leaks and soil stabilization around sewer structures. Other uses include water cut-off of leaks in foundations such as diaphragm walls, piling sheets, and secant piles. Spetec PUR H100 is also good for stabilization and water cut-off of large cracks, voids, and gravel layers. It has also been used to stabilize soil and anchors in porous geology and gravel layers in concrete structures. In addition, it is an ideal resin for probe grouting below-grade pipes and manhole injections. Last but not least, injections in combination with cement-based grout work very well with pre and post injections in mines, tunnels, pipe jacking, drill & blast, and TBM applications.

Spetec PUR H100 Advantages

The one component, closed-cell structure allows the cured polyurethane resin to seal large water leaks in cracks and joints permanently. It is also possible to alter the reaction times by adjusting the percentage of accelerator. When cured, it exhibits high strength and good chemical resistance. This in turn makes it harmless to the environment and resistant to biological attacks. Not to mention it is also certified for contact with drinking water.

Your 3-Step Action Plan

Eliminate the risk to your client’s property and call our team of experts now to partner with the industry's leading technical support team. With our assistance, you can save your client’s property, save them money, and save their peace of mind.

  1. Start a conversation with one of our experts about your business and local market.
  2. We will work with you to create an action plan custom-tailored to your market’s needs.
  3. We will connect you with a local distributor and our technical service team to support you every step of the way.

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks