Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Erik Prinzing

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Take Advantage of the Section 179 Tax Break on Equipment Purchases While You Can

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Nov 17, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Take Advantage for the Section 179 Tax Break

Body - Take Advantage for the Section 179 Tax BreakHigh-performance polyurethane concrete repair equipment is essential to the success of any contractor in this industry.  For that reason, I'd like to bring the Section 179 tax break to your attention.  According the Section179.org website...

Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.  Read more at Section179.org.

Chris Fletcher's article, How much money can Section 179 save contractors on 2020 equipment purchases? from EquipmentWorld.com provides these essential details...

What equipment qualifies?
Almost all tangible business equipment qualifies: production machines and related equipment; office machines and furniture; computers and common software; safety equipment; most signage; business vehicles in excess of 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (including heavy equipment); and more.

Note: If you needed to buy equipment to modify your workspace for COVID-19, such as plexiglass dividers, air filtration systems, sanitizing stations, new servers for work-at-home people, etc., it’s very likely they are Section 179 eligible, which is great news. As always, ask your accountant for the final word.

How much money can Section 179 save me in 2020?
It depends on the cost of the equipment you purchase, and ultimately, your tax rate. But let’s say you buy $50,000 worth of equipment. With Section 179, you can deduct the entire $50,000 from your taxable income. At a 35 percent tax rate, that would result in a net tax savings of $17,500.  Read more at EquipmentWorld.com.

If you're currently considering an equipment purchase, you may want to buy before the end of 2020 so you can take advantage of the deduction on this year's tax return.  

Alchemy-Spetec offers a full selection of:

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec equipment & products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Business Tips

Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material Provider

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Sep 24, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Blog Banner-Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material Provider

Blog Body-Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material ProviderThe choice of a polyurethane material provider for your geotechnical contracting business is a critical decision with far-reaching consequences. In addition to top quality concrete and soil repair material, a premier provider will offer reliable high-performance equipment, rock-solid tech support, extensive training resources and even marketing assistance.

Polyurethane Materials

All polyurethane materials are not created equally. Make sure you ask around the industry to see which materials are the most reliable.

Characteristics of High-Quality Materials

  • 100% virgin (do not contain recycled polyurethane).
  • Easy on your reactor (does not create high-pressure that wears out your equipment).
  • Unlikely to catch fire (yes, some sub-par materials out there will char or catch fire while setting up).
  • Capable of bonding to concrete.
  • Strong and durable after they set up.
  • Approved for contact with potable (drinking) water after curing.

Rigs and Equipment

The quality of your geotech rig is not something you want to compromise on. A premier provider will offer state of the art rigs set ups, customized to fit your exact needs. You’ll want multiple door options (side door, choice of barn door vs ramp door), multiple power outlets and slide-out equipment options. These features allow for maximum flexibility in all types of job situations. In addition, a well-insulated rig allows for operation in a wide variety of climates.

Your pumps, air compressors and slab lifting guns need to be reliable as well.

Characteristics of High-Quality Equipment

  • Easy to use (not overly complicated).
  • Easy to maintain (easy to clean, not a lot of complicated parts to replace all the time).
  • Reliable, reputable brands.

Tech Support and Training Resources

A major differentiator separating serious material manufacturers from the rest is the availability of on-the-job technical support and service. A premier provider will offer field service to assist customers on challenging jobs. Phone support should readily available as well, with support techs ready to answer questions when you need the answers. You will also want to look for comprehensive training resources on material installation, equipment use and maintenance, and estimating/billing jobs. A good combination of online videos and articles, training literature and live events is the sign of a manufacturer dedicated to educating their customers.

Marketing Assistance

Look for a provider offering robust marketing assistance. Geotech contractors have many marketing needs, including website content (illustrations, photos, descriptive text), videos, vehicle sign design, advice on lead capture, etc. A manufacturer willing to go the extra mile in this department can help give you an edge of the competition in your market.

Do Your Own Research, Make Your Own Choices

Did we just describe Alchemy-Spetec in the paragraphs above? Of course we did. This is the Alchemy-Spetec blog after all. That being said, we encourage you to do your own research and contemplate your own needs in a material provider. Ask around in the industry. Seek out users of different brands and find out all you can about their experiences. If you think we missed anything in this article, let us know. We’d be happy to hear from you.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Deep Lift, Fill Voids

Save Time & Money with INJECTR Series Cartridges

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Sep 22, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Save Time & Money with INJECTR Series Cartridges

Body-Save Time & Money with INJECTR Series CartridgesThe INJECTR Series single cartridge houses grout and accelerator in two separate interior compartments. The grout and accelerator are thoroughly blended when injected through the static mixer. This cartridge is compatible with standard caulk guns. Spetec PUR F400 and Spetec PUR HighFoamer are currently available in this format.

Benfits to Contractors

  • Same top-line product in a smaller package for smaller jobs
  • Quicker in and out - less labor
  • Faster set up
  • You don’t have to bring in a full crew and a pump
  • Use with standard caulk gun (no special guns needed)

Spetec PUR F400

  • Concrete crack leaks
  • Pipe penetration leaks
  • Hairline cold joint leaks

Spetec PUR HighFoamer

  • Gushing leak control
  • Void fill in wet conditions
  • Semi-rigid tolerates movement

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec Leak Seal® products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Aug 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

Body - Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

According to the Detroit Free Press, rising water levels on the Great Lakes have hit records in 2020, leading to extensive flooding and unusually aggressive shoreline erosion. Many property owners and contractors in the area are now researching seawall repair methods. This type of research typically reveals three options: the common methods of excavation or repair with cement grout, and the next generation method of repair with high-strength polyurethane.

Common Seawall Repair Options

In a previous blog post, An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair, Andy Powell explained two of the most common options, along with their drawbacks...

Seawall Excavation

You can tear out the wall (or part of the wall) and replace it. This approach has a few daunting downsides. Namely, it can be…

  • Costly
  • Time consuming
  • Environmentally damaging
  • Requires time consuming permits

Paying for a new seawall is no doubt going to cost more than any kind of repair. A complete rebuild will also take some time. Not to mention the inevitable mess, a good portion of which is likely to end up in the water. Excavation also requires getting a permit, which can eat up a LOT of time. 

Seawall Repair with Cement Grout

We still see contractors and property owners filling sinkholes and trying to plug seawall leaks concrete. This outdated approach has many disadvantages when compared to polyurethane repair. For example, it’s…

  • Product, labor and machinery intensive
  • Time consuming
  • Prone to degradation
  • Heavy (adds weight to seawall or bulkhead already under stress)

The amount of cement grout, labor and machinery required can be quite disruptive as well.  Compared to the stealth, surgical approach of polyurethane repair, the property owner can end up with quite a mess on their property during a cement grout repair job. Needless to say, with all this extra material, machinery and labor – the whole process takes longer than your typical polyurethane repair. Cement grout is known to shrink and degrade over time as well. Imagine the frustration of paying for an expensive seawall repair, only to see it wash out over the next few weeks. Cement that doesn’t wash out can add weight to the structure and sink over time.

Click here to read the rest of Andy Powell's blog post - An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair.

Next Generation Seawall Repair with Polyurethane

Polyurethane repair material addresses the primary weaknesses inherent in excavation and repair with cement grout. This includes minimal disruption from equipment, labor, and messy materials; plus a quick return-to-use time. Alchemy-Spetec offers high-strenth polyurethane foams for repairing seawall cracks, voids, and surrouding soil.  Alchemy-Spetec seawall repair foams are also NSF-approved for contact with potable water.

Want more info on polyurethane seawall repair?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Three Critical Warning Signs of Possible Seawall Failure

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Jul 28, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Three Critical Warning Signs of Possible Seawall Failure

Body - Three Critical Warning Signs of Possible Seawall FailureStorms, tidal action, and soil erosion constantly cause damage to seawalls. It is essential to identify any problems as early as possible. Here are the most common warning signs of seawall failure:

Blocked Weep Holes

Weep holes function as a pressure-relief valve that allow for drainage of any water that gets behind a seawall. They are visible from the water side, just above the surface usually. A clogged or blocked weep hole could spell trouble. If you find debris in the weep holes, act immediately to prevent water pressure from building up and damaging the seawall.

Voids and/or Sinkholes Near the Inside Edge

In many cases, too much water leaks through to the inside of the seawall. Voids and sinkholes then appear on the land side of the wall due to a loss of soil underneath. Removing the grass near the edges of the seawall to expose possible holes is good practice.

Expanding Concrete Cracks

Damage to concrete in a seawall can expose the interior steel rebar to water. Over time, the rebar (which structurally supports the concrete) can begin to rust and stain the surrounding areas. The added rust causes the rebar to expand, and cracks in the concrete begin to grow.

Polyurethane Seawall Repair

Many seawall issues can be resolved or even prevented with polyurethane seawall repair. Polyurethane can be injected through pipes directly into voids and loose sandy soil using small portable equipment. Polyurethane seals leaks along the wall, fills the voids that have occurred, and mixes with the soil to form a solid, impermeable mass.

Want more information on polyurethane seawall repair?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Common Causes of Seawall Failure

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Jul 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Common Causes of Seawall Failure

Body - Common Causes of Seawall FailureSeawalls are built to create a strong and stable barrier between a body of water and adjacent land, but why do they fail over time? Here are three common factors that can damage a seawall.

Soil Erosion

Incoming tide water pushes against a seawall and through cracks, joints, and defects. Over time soil erosion can occur on the inside of the wall. When the tide falls, water flows out and this erodes the soil, thereby weakening the structure. Soil erosion will begin to form small sinkholes in the corners of the inside section of a seawall. During periods of heavy rainfall, this problem worsens, and the deterioration process speeds up. Sinkholes are one of the earliest signs of trouble for a seawall.

Clogged Vents and Weep Holes

Constructing vents and weep holes in the seawall to allow the water behind it to drain and pass through is good practice in order to prevent pressure build-up. Unfortunately, when debris forms and blocks these holes, the channel for water passage seizes to exist. This can then cause the pressure build-up to occur. After some time, the pressure can crack the seawall and the water may find other flow passages causing unwanted soil erosion. 

Natural Disasters

If you live in an area that is susceptible to hurricanes, a seawall will very likely take some damage during hurricane season. The powerful winds erode soil from the back of the seawall to create sinkholes and voids. A lot of this damage can be prevented by reinforcing a seawall for the hurricane season.

Polyurethane Seawall Repair

You can greatly extend the life of a seawall by reinforcing or repairing it with semi-rigid hydrophobic polyurethane foams that react with moisture in the soil and expand to fill voids while they permeate sandy soil to form a solid, strong, watertight mass.

Want more information on Seawall Repair?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Case Study – Leveling Sunken Slabs in a Pole Barn

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Mar 31, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Leveling-Sunken-Slabs-in-a-Pole-Barn

Body - Leveling-Sunken-Slabs-in-a-Pole-BarnI'd like to share a case study from a recent job that I consulted on with one of our contractor customers, ETRU Spray Foam and Coatings and Coatings in Southern Illinois.

A 25’ x 40’ residential pole barn in Carbondale, Illinois was built on a 6” floating concrete slab on grade. The concrete was poured into four 10’x 25’ sections. Each section had multiple cracks and breaks throughout, and in some cases, the broken sections had a drop of up to 3”. During the inspection, it was discovered that the pole barn 4 corner beams were driven into the ground and the concrete poured around them. The front of the property was pitched towards the pole barn and it showed no signs of ever having gutters and downspouts attached. After drilling an injection hole, we inserted a probe to check the depth of the void and the stability of the ground. In some areas the void was 6” and the probe was hand driven to a depth of 3’ before hitting hard ground. ETRU Spray Foam and Coatings was hired to stabilize the ground and level as much of the concrete as they could. The homeowner plans to utilize the space as a game room.

Powerful Polymer

Among the most dependable products for geotech applications, AP Lift 430 structural foam provides an exceptional DOT grade solution for these types of situations. This 3 lb. density, high-strength, hydro-insensitive structural polyurethane foam is perfect for densifying soil and lifting concrete slabs.

Painless Procedure

The ETru crew and I walked the project with both property owners. We pointed out how waterlogged the ground was and that they needed to add gutters and downspouts, as well as pitch the ground water away from the pole barn. We also talked about possible blowout from under the slab during the injection process and how to handle it. I worked with ETRU to draw up a plan, indicating exactly where the injection points would be located (knowing that the plan might change due to the ground moisture and the number of voids to be filled). All injections were completed from inside the pole barn with a crew member on the outside to alert us when product broke through the ground. First, we injected in the back corner which had the 3” drop. The plan was to establish a base slab height on the side with the most soil problems and then level everything else to that slab. Spacing between injection points was approximately 3-4 feet, with 38 total injection locations.

Rapid Result

The ETRU Spray Foam and Coatings crew achieved a three-inch lift and was able to bring all the other slabs within 1/8” from the adjoining slab. The customer was extremely happy with the results.

Video Footage

Want more info on lifting slabs with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Fill Voids