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Kreg Thornley

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Murray Heywood - Creating a Site-Specific Grout Application Plan

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 9, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Creating a Site-Specific Grout Application Plan

Body - Creating a Site-Specific Grout Application PlanThis article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Charlie Lerman: One of the things I say and again - and I’ll bounce this off you since you're from the coating side - I always contrast our grouts to coatings because with coatings, you can see them, you can touch them, you can do all kinds of tests. And I also always say it behooves us to train our contractors well and support them to get the products installed correctly because it's not like a coating. When you're a coating manufacturer, if there's a problem with your coating, you come out there, you do a pull test, you do a spark test, you can check the millage of it, you can say the surface prep was wrong and you could say, "You know what, you didn't follow the right installation procedures." With grouting, I’d come out and say the same thing that the contractor didn't follow the correct procedures, but what are we going to do? Cut the wall out? Dig up the whole thing in downtown and show? We can't prove any of that. It's very important. Grouting gets a black eye when it's not installed right because we can't test all those things. And I think that's one of the reasons that grouting has always stayed kind of small is because there are no really great, quantifiable, repeatable engineering tests that work everywhere to test grouting.

Murray Heywood: No, it really comes down to, did the water stop, right?

Charlie: Yes.

Murray: And if the water doesn't stop, that doesn't necessarily mean that there was something wrong with the grout. It's often that the problem was bigger than you thought because you can't see it. You're doing educated guesses. As a grout geek you know, "Well, I’ve seen this before. I know that we're going to have to put a port here and we're going to chase it around here." You can make some educated guesses but you're right. I can go in with the coating and with my gauges and test the DFT and quickly say, "Well, your spec said you're supposed to have 40 mils on here. You've got 20. So you're half of what you should be. Shame on you." Or I can pull the coating off and say, "Well, you have no surface profile, you didn't prepare it." And I’m sure the skeptics are thinking, "Oh, yeah, well, you're just saying that to cover your own butt." It’s virtually unprovable other than, when the water didn't stop it's obviously not working. And they say, "Well, your grout’s no good." I do a lot of failure analysis and failure investigations. That's the majority of what I do now is failure analysis. And I like that, it's kind of like CSI Paint. And I enjoy that. But still to this day, 100 years into this coating thing, the biggest cause of failure is poor application, poor surface preparation, and poor environmental conditions during the application. It always relates, 98% of the time, back to something that didn't go right with the application. And that can be the same with grouting. If you don't know how the water's flowing or if you can't make some educated guesses on how the water's getting in, you don't know where to start. And sometimes, as you know, you could be pumping grout in one side and it's coming out the other side and not doing anything.

Charlie: It always goes somewhere. It's about how we get it to go where we want it to through a foot of concrete. How do we control a liquid? That's what it comes down to.

View the video version of this excerpt...

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Murray Heywood - Rehabbing a Pipe Gallery Rainforest

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 2, 2022 10:00:00 AM

2 1400 х 425-1

2 800х1200-1This article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Charlie Lerman: Now what would you say is maybe the most interesting job that you've been on - or unique or weird - or something that just stands out in your head (with grouting obviously)?

Murray Heywood: Well, I should have been more prepared for that question because I’ve been on so many projects. But one of the things that struck me a few years ago was at a water treatment plant in New Jersey. I was in the pipe gallery. You've got to remember, in the pipe gallery you have tanks on either side of you, and possibly tanks above you - all filled with water - none of which are lined. They're all just bare concrete. I’m walking through this because we're there to look at the pipe. They've got all this corroding pipe and they're kind of perplexed. These pipes are severely corroding, with all these issues and I’m walking through this huge pipe gallery. It's huge, it's long and wide and they're worried about their pipe. And meanwhile, there's water spraying and dripping and coming out of every pipe penetration and crack. It's like a rainforest in there basically. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls and been behind the falls?

Charlie: I haven’t, but my wife has.

Murray: Yeah, you can go behind the falls. It's kind of like that. And there's water coming out from everywhere. I say, "We can address the corrosion and take it off and repair it and do all that stuff, but you've got to fix this leak." They look at me and say, "Well, it's a water treatment plant." I reply, "Yeah, but this doesn't have to happen. This is not normal. This is not just part of the normal day that you just let water spew in and all over the place and expect to have good results." So I made a recommendation.

Charlie: Yeah.

Murray: And I think they actually addressed all of that in there, but I was just struck by how oblivious to it they were. There was so much water coming in. And then there was another situation here in Canada at a plant north of here. They had another situation where they had a tank on one side and a pipe gallery on another. Now in the previous example from New Jersey, the pipe gallery wasn't painted, the walls weren't painted, it was just a concrete room. In this one, they kind of wanted to dress it up, so they kept painting these walls. And every time they'd paint the walls, all these leaks were happening and the paint would come off. They must have to put like 40 coats of paint on this thing. Then I walk in one day and I say - because the paint was now at this point with all the peeling - "Yeah, this is always a problem. Well, it's not the paint that's a problem. It's the fact that you've got all this water coming out all over the place." And they reply, "Well, we've tried to stop it but we don't know how." So I gave them some instructions on how to do it. They got somebody in, I don't know who, and they fixed it. I’ve talked to them since then and they haven't had any further issues. So it's just that. As I said, it's the lack of education that there's a fix out there. And let's be honest, it's not rocket science, it's a relatively simple fix.

View the video version of this excerpt...

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Murray Heywood - Spalling of Concrete Potable Water Tanks

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM

2 1400 х 425

2 800х1200This article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Charlie Lerman: There's something I always say and I want to run it by you because you could verify or tell me if I’m wrong on this. When you look at potable water tanks, those things are typically like three feet thick and they're chock-full of rebar. They're just stuffed full of rebar, so any type of drilling crack injection on them is just nightmarish. A lot of people don't like to do that. Normally what you get when those things leak, is that you just have a hairline crack because you have so much concrete in there. What I imagine happens a lot of times is that you have people come in with hydraulic cement. They rub that out, but you still then have three feet of concrete with water all the way through it. And all that reinforcing steel potentially rusting. You mentioned the freeze-thaw effect, and that's about 12 times expansion when water freezes.

Murray Heywood: Yes.

Charlie: But when you look at corrosion, N.ACE has put out that it's about seven or eight times expansion when the steel rusts.

Murray: Yes.

Charlie: So, it's not as dramatic as freeze-thaw but still, six times is going to blow up the concrete.

Murray: Well, you've got to remember that if you have rebar, it will expand about seven times but the tensile strength of concrete is very weak. Concrete does not hold itself together very well. It doesn't take much to start that expansion happening and to make the problem worse. So you have to keep the moisture out as much as possible. The thing with potable water, especially concrete potable water tanks, and ground storage tanks, is that if you want to become very unpopular, go into an AWWA, D110 prestressed concrete tank committee and mention protective coatings. They want to string you up because they want to sell it as maintenance-free and that you don't need to line it. And truly, they don't need to line it - except for when you start to get some deterioration and then you get water in. And once water gets in, then that whole deterioration is expedited. So you've got to keep the moisture out and you want to keep it away from the rebar. When you're talking about potable water tanks, a lot of them are engineered and pre-cast. But when you get into wastewater treatment plants, you'll find a lot of times mistakes are made and the rebar is too close to the surface. And then any water that gets in is going to create that issue much quicker because that rebar is going to get more moisture. It's going to expand quicker and cause more damage. So I think that where you see more need for grouting in the potable water world is in the treatment plants again because a lot of these plants are getting long in the tooth. Their concrete has a 50-year design life and we have no money to replace it. We barely have money to fix it. So I think grouting plays a role in both wastewater and water but certainly, on rebar you're correct - you've got to stop that moisture.

View the video version of this excerpt...

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Murray Heywood - Water is Relentless

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 21, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Water is Relentless

Body - Water is RelentlessThis article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Murray Heywood: Water is a damaging substance when it gets in and starts working its way through concrete. And no coating - despite claims that people and manufacturers make about withstanding hydrostatic pressure and backside pressure - no, it won't. Not long-term. It might in the beginning until you drive away and maybe even until you cash to check perhaps, but water will be a problem at some point. And the only way to successfully do these things is by stopping the water from getting in. Don't let it get in, in the first place, and then it won't be a problem. That's why we line the insides to protect the surface. So we have to figure out some way to keep the moisture out. So grouting is it. And in a lot of cases, if you're talking about underground things of that nature, there are so many cool tricks that you grout geeks have taught me. These procedures can be done without as much invasive digging and prodding around, and ripping this out and putting this in. And you can do so much of it simply by knowing where to start and drilling holes and pumping grout in. I have learned a lot from you about it...a ton. It's one of those things that comes up all the time, but it's partially ignorance, partially indifference, and then just an afterthought.

Charlie Lerman: Right. I think a lot of it also comes down to - you have GCs and they're focused on their Gantt Charts and how to move this multimillion-dollar project along. Then you're talking about a small percentage of it, or it's not even a percent. It's a problem that's come up and they don't realize the long-term effects of just skipping over that because they're focused on what the fire is at that time right there. So a lot of the times we're brought in, we're dealing with people that are closing out a project or trying to finish it up. Now they're saying, "Oh, well, I heard months ago that it’s going to bite me in the butt and here it is now. I can't get my paycheck because we're still leaking on this tank" or whatnot.

Murray: Right. And probably one of the places that it's understood the most and it's used a lot in this way is the underground, in sewer manhole restoration. Most of the people that are playing in that game now at least understand inflow and infiltration and what it does to the system, and how it wreaks havoc on the plant and their capacity levels. I shouldn't say everybody, but anybody who's in the business has seen the classic manhole eruption. A few years ago, I was down in Louisiana in New Orleans for a conference. I can't remember whether it was WEFTEC or SSBC or something, and just outside our hotel, a huge rain event happened. You could hear the manhole lids dancing all around the streets. You could hear it. You could hear it, and people are saying, "What is that?" I’m replying, "Oh, just watch." Within probably five, six minutes all of a sudden, the manhole lids were coming off - and they're heavy. If you've never lifted one up, they're very heavy. And these things just popped out, and the water was spewing. When people see that, they kind of understand it. But it's understood a little bit more in that market. Where I find that there's a lack of understanding of it is in the wastewater treatment plant itself. Because there are all kinds of problems in water treatment and wastewater treatment with leakage and with cracks. I’ve been walking through plants, and there's just water dripping everywhere. But the mentality of the people who work there is like, "Is that a problem? It’s been doing that for years." They just walk by it, because it's always been there and they've never dealt with it. A lot of times you have to say, "Well, you know there's a solution." And their response is, "Oh, really? You know how to fix that? We've tried everything. We've put hydraulic cement in, and we've tried to plug it with silicone." They've tried everything. I say, "Yeah, there's actually a fairly simple way to fix this."

View the video version of this excerpt...

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Murray Heywood - Addressing Coating Issues with Grouting

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 14, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Addresssing Coating Issues with Grouting

Body - Addresssing Coating Issues with GroutingThis article is an excerpt from Episode 14 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring veteran coatings expert Murray Heywood. (If you'd rather view or listen, an audio/visual version of this excerpt is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Charlie Lerman: From your point of view when it comes to grouting, what are some of the common mistakes or problems you see that people just deal with repeatedly?

Murray Heywood: Well, when it comes to my world, the coatings world, one of our biggest challenges is water, keeping it where you want it or not letting it get in where you don't want it. That water molecule creates a lot of damage. Concrete, which is predominantly the work that we do in the infrastructure world, 85% of water and wastewater structures are concrete. And concrete has very poor elongation properties, it doesn't stretch very well but it does move a lot because of settlement and this and that, and inflection when you're loading tanks, unloading, so you get cracks. If we don't address the water coming in or whatnot, it creates even bigger issues. So grout plays a huge role in doing that. And I think one of the challenges that I see is people don't understand that you just can't fill it with some cement because if it cracks again it's going to leak again. You just can't fill it with an epoxy injection because that's rigid. So just the misconception of how to deal with it is prevalent and it's something that we try to explain a lot. Mistakes are made where they'll, well, "We're just going to put hydraulic cement in and fix it that way." Or, "We're going to do this or the coating should handle it and we shouldn't have to do this extra work". So I just see the mistakes in the materials they select to do the repairs and not understanding necessarily that it has to be treated or you're just spending thousands and thousands of dollars to rehab this and you're going to skip that part. That's going to wreak havoc on your system. Those are the common mistakes. It's a lack of understanding really when you get to the bottom of it, of how it all works together.

Charlie: Yeah. And neither of us are engineers who have gone and got those types of degrees, so we're not always the smartest person in the room.

Murray: I may not be the smartest person in this room right here.

Charlie: I’ll give you that one. I'll take that. Thank you. But really what you find is, that it's not that this industry is rocket science or hard to figure out. It's that it's non-intuitive and most of the time, people just overlook it, they don't even understand. Again, it's not a fear thing of, "oh, you're just never going to figure this out and be able to launch a rocket to Mars". It comes down to people just making common mistakes with it. Like you mentioned with the epoxy, there's no elongation or very little elongation for concrete at all and you'll have people, they waterproof epoxies all the time and then they get a mirror crack right by it and they're like, "Whoa, didn't we just fix this last year?" And you're like, there it is.

View the video version of this excerpt...

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Limited Time Offer on the New MixMaster Pro

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 12, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Body - Limited Time Offer on the New MixMaster ProSave Time, Hassle, and Money!

Spray foam insulation guns are made for the process of spraying foam at constant pressures. Slab lifting requires a gun that is designed to deal with changing pressures and backpressure without backing up or crossing over.

  • Get the new MixMaster Pro Version 7.0 for $2,450 (that's a savings of $355).
  • Get an "I Am a MixMaster!" T-shirt (while supplies last).
  • Mention the "I Am a MixMaster" promo for the discount and the T-shirt. Offer expires August 31st, 2022. Act now!

Contact your regional manager or call 404-618-0438 to place an order. (Be sure to mention your T-shirt size.)
Find your regional manager here.

MixMaster Pro 7.0 Features

  • New CNC machined handle.
  • Custom machined nipples.
  • Less threaded connections.

MixMaster Pro 7.0 Benefits

  • End-of-day cleaning time cut in half.
  • The handle is built to last through the toughest of jobs.
  • The nipples can be removed easily.
  • Less threaded connections = fewer leak possibilities.

Want more info about the MixMaster Pro?

Download an Info-Packed MixMaster Pro Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs

Charlie Lerman Interviews Veteran Coatings Expert Murray Heywood

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 5, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Charlie Lerman Interviews Veteran Coatings Expert

Body - Charlie Lerman Interviews Veteran Coatings Expert-2Episode 14 of The Injection Connection features Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman interviewing veteran coatings expert (and punk rock drummer) Murray Heywood. Don't miss this info-packed and entertaining discussion!

The Injection Connection features in-depth discussions with thought leaders and professionals in the infrastructure repair industry and is produced by Alchemy-Spetec, the premier manufacturer of Leak Seal and Geotech polyurethane concrete repair products.

Watch this episode in its entirety below, or check it out on TheInjectionConnection.com and the following platforms:

Want information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab Lifting

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 21, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab Lifting

Body - How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab LiftingMany spray foam insulation installers are interested in adding slab lifting capability to their rig setup. If you're a spray foam installer considering slab lifting, we have all the info you need right here. With just four additional pieces of equipment and one set of material, you can add slab lifting to your service offerings. Let’s take a look at exactly what additional equipment and material are required to get started...

Slab Lifting Equipment

MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun
The MixMaster Pro is a two-component resin injection gun manufactured specifically for lifting concrete slabs, designed to handle back-pressure. 

Titan Impact 440 (Modified) Pump with Flush Hose
The Titan Impact 440 (Modified) pump is used for flushing the MixMaster Pro gun in between foam injections. (It's also used for pumping one-component material in soil stabilization and seawall repair applications.)

3/8” MixMaster Ports
These heavy-duty ports create an airtight seal for injecting foam into drill holes. 

Dial Indicator Crane
This precision tool is used to measure the lift of the slab within 1/10” of an inch.

Polyurethane Slab Lifting Material

AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440, or AP Lift 475 (100 Gallon Unit)
Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with these two-component polymer foams designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of these concrete leveling foams coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generate enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision.

AP Flush 125 (5 Gallon Unit)
Water-based gun flush specifically used for flushing out the MixMaster Pro impingement gun. Also used to protect concrete from resin stains.

AS Pump Flush (5 Gallon Unit)
High-performance pump flush that is friendly to the environment and does an excellent job flushing out injection pumps.

Want to talk to a spray foam to slab lift conversion expert?

Request a "Spray Foam to Slab Lift" Consultation

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Atlanta Contractors Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam Magazine

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 16, 2022 10:21:00 AM

Banner - Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam Magazine

Body - Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam MagazineAlchemy-Spetec customers Matt Chittick and Travis Germick of Lift It Rite LLC were recently featured in a Spray Foam Magazine article. SprayFoam Magazine is an industry-leading publication in the spray foam insulation sector. Because so many spray foam insulation professionals are adding slab lifting to their service offerings, the magazine is now covering this technology as well. The article featuring Lift It Rite is a profile of a sidewalk lifting job that was done in order to save an old tree in Winder, Georgia. The roots were disrupting the pavement. Here's an excerpt from the article...

Cities often hire a third party to take care of sidewalks, potholes, and wastewater management issues and it was this third party who contacted Travis Germick and Matt Chittick. They are the owners of Lift it Right LLC, and they were asked if they could help save Winder’s sidewalks.

Germick and Chittick went to Winder to review the situation and noted that several of the sidewalks around the town were obviously sunken. One of them was next to a very old tree and the roots were impacting the sidewalk. This had happened to another tree in the area, and the town took out the concrete and cut some of the roots of the tree. Once a tree’s roots are cut the tree will eventually die so they cut down the entire tree. After the tree was cut down, the residents of the town clubbed together and had a memorial for the tree. After that unhappiness, cutting down more trees in the future was not an option. There had to be another solution to save the additional old tree. Read more at SprayFoam.com!

Want more info on slab lifting with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Quickly Cut Off High-Flow Leaks with Spetec PUR H200

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 9, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Quickly Cut Off High-Flow Leaks with Spetec PUR H200

Body - Quickly Cut Off High-Flow Leaks with Spetec PUR H200Municipalities across the country have widespread problems with water infiltration undermining the integrity of manholes, pipes, lift stations, water collection systems, etc. High-flow leaks in these structures add millions of dollars to maintenance and water treatment expenses every year.

Limitless Leak Seal Market

We believe every qualified leak seal contractor should be prepared to take advantage of this type of job opportunity. Alchemy-Spetec offers environmentally-friendly leak seal resins for applications ranging from hairline cracks to gushing high-flow leaks. Our industry-leading technical support team (with decades of experience) assists infrastructure repair contractors on a wide variety of projects every day.   

Spetec PUR H200 is a one-component, water-activated, hydrophobic, low viscosity, closed-cell polyurethane injection resin. When used with Gen ACC Fast, it is the fastest one-component Alchemy-Spetec grout. So it’s an ideal solution for quickly cutting off high-flow leaks.

Spetec PUR H200 Applications

The primary application for Spetect PUR H200 is cutting off high flow leaks quickly and effectively in manholes, pipes, lift stations, tunnels, mines, water collection systems, parking garages, and more. It's also great for curtain grouting projects. In addition, it can be used for filling water voids in the soil around all types of structures, cutting off underground water flows, and consolidating loose soil.

Spetec PUR H200 Advantages

Spetec PUR H200 is certified for contact with drinking water. The low viscosity allows for very effective soil permeation. It's water impermeable. The set time is adjustable – as fast as 20 seconds. It's also phthalate-free.

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