Alchemy-Spetec Blog

The Deep Lock Process Explained

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 25, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Unstable soil deep underneath private commercial property or public infrastructure can settle causing extensive and expensive damage. Poor compaction, water erosion, broken pipes, and organic material in this deep soil can make serious settling more likely.

How can you prevent settling and get long-term protection? Introducing the Deep Lock process. Alchemy-Spetec offers a unique combination of high-quality structural polymers along with the equipment and training needed to address deep soil issues. Now you can achieve soil stabilization and compaction on large projects faster without heavy excavation equipment, extended downtime, and risk of collateral property damage.

For a detailed explanation of the process, watch the animated video below...

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Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lock

Case Study - Curtain Grouting a Complex Crack in a Basement Floor

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Oct 20, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Curtain Grouting a Complex Crack in a Basement FloorIn Louisville, Kentucky the Presbyterian church owned two historic buildings with an alley between them. Last century, an addition was added removing the alley and connecting the two buildings. Unfortunately, the addition was not properly waterproofed during construction. This led to water below-grade infiltration and a plethora of very complex leaking cracks and joints in the basements of both buildings and the new connecting structure.

The building is still home to a Presbyterian church. For years, the administrators have been simply dealing with the water by channeling it, as best they could, to sump pumps. Many and various repair attempts have been made over the years, but none of them have been successful in the long term. Recently, the church administration reached out to BJB Restoration for help with this ongoing issue. Due to the complexity of the project, Alchemy-Spetec's Director of Technical Services - Leak Seal Division Charlie "The Grout Geek" Lerman was called in to consult on the job.

Powerful Polymers

The technicians chose Spetec PUR HighFoamer as the repair material for this job because its expansive nature when catalyzed with Spetec GEN ACC Accelerator makes it a very cost-effective curtain grouting polyurethane resin. This one-component, closed-cell, hydrophobic, water-reactive, solvent, and phthalate-free, low-viscosity resin is also ideal for filling any voids created by the water underneath the basement slabs.

Painless Procedures

This particular job was what we like to call exploratory grouting, focused on two trial areas of complex cracking. The crew started injecting in the area of the primary leak. As they injected, water and foam began to bubble up along an adjacent and previously unidentified trench-like defect as well as the cracking being addressed. The initial injection covered the main crack and a surrounding area of about 16 feet (thanks to the expansive nature of Spetec PUR HighFoamer). Outgassing (CO2 produced during polymerization) was visible in numerous defects outside of that radius, requiring additional injections to seal the entire area.

Rapid Results

This one-day exploratory grouting project provided the contractor with a very accurate understanding of the type of problem and soil conditions they were dealing in the basements. The contractor and church administrators subsequently agreed upon a long-term maintenance plan based on the church's budget that calls for periodic curtain grouting over the next few years to address the many remaining basement floor defects in both buildings.

Want more information on curtain grouting?

Download an Info-Packed Curtain Wall Grouting Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Soil Testing Equipment

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 18, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Soil Testing EquipmentSoil testing equipment is extremely helpful for planning slab lifting and soil stabilization work. Contractors use ground penetrating radar systems and dynamic cone penetrometers to get a sense of soil conditions before they drill their first hole into a slab or push their first injection pipe into the ground.

Deep Look™ Ground Penetrating Radar

The Deep Look™ wireless ground penetrating radar collects data from hundreds of thousands of pulse reflections each second to help contractors identify objects below ground. The triple-frequency antenna design provides higher-resolution imaging than conventional GRP systems.

Dynamic Cone Penetrometer

The Pagini DPM30 dynamic cone penetrometer is ideal for testing soil strength and density at various depths. The fact that it is exceptionally small means it can be used on sites that are inaccessible to normal machines. A hydraulic pump raises and drops a weight onto a measuring rod, pushing it into the ground. To measure soil strength, the operator counts the number of blows it takes to drive the steel rod in 10-centimeter increments. Good soil requires 10+ blows to drive the rod 10 centimeters. Anything less is typically indicative of weak soil conditions.

Want more info on geotech equipment and repair materials?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift, Deep Lock

Residential Leak Seal with Polyurethane Cartridges

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 13, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Residential Leak SealAs more property owners convert basements into living spaces, the demand for residential waterproofing increases. Some standard industry practices include using a sump pump to remove leaking water or applying hydraulic cement to the leaking side of the wall (negative side waterproofing). Neither of these is an ideal solution. Hydraulic cement is very rigid once it cures, and it cracks over time due to structural movement caused by freeze/thaw cycles and expansive surrounding soil. A home is often a family’s biggest investment, so most are looking for a cost-effective, durable, long-term repair.

Polyurethane leak seal grouts are injected into or through the wall to stop the leak at the source (positive side waterproofing). These products remain flexible after they cure, so structural shifts due to freeze/thaw cycles and expansive soils do not cause the cured grout to crack and fail. Polyurethane grouts are strong enough for use on large-scale, industrial structures. Alchemy-Spetec’s leak seal solutions are approved by the Army Corps of Engineers for use on U.S. infrastructure. These products contain no volatile organic compounds (harmful fumes) and are NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 approved for contact with drinking water.

Cartridges vs. Pumps

For small-scale residential applications, using cartridges is more cost-effective than using pails of material with a mechanical pump. The process is also less messy, saves a lot of man-hours, and allows for easy mobilization.

Products Available in Cartridges

Want more information on residential leak seal with cartridges?

Download an Info-Packed Residential Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Case Study - Repairing a Footing in a Detention Pond

Posted by John Knieper on Oct 11, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Repairing a Footing in a Detention PondThis post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers. This article, written by John Knieper of SiteMix Pressure Grouting LLC, provides an overview of a repair job on a detention pond wall footer. If you're an Alchemy-Spetec customer and you'd like to discuss writing content for our blog, please send an email to today!

A general contractor working with a homeowners association reached out to SiteMix Pressure Grouting, LLC about a detention pond wall that was leaking along the footer in several places. A detention pond is designed to collect rainwater and then let it drain slowly in a controlled manner. But in this case, water was washing out quickly in an uncontrolled manner in multiple spots under the footing.

Powerful Polymers

To rapidly address the problem the technicians at SiteMix chose AP Fill 720 soil repair material. This single component, closed cell, hydrophobic, water-reactive, solvent and phthalate-free, low viscosity polyurethane foam has a high expansion rate and is ideal for filling voids. In this case, AP Fill 720 was the perfect choice for filling the soil voids underneath the footer created by water erosion.

Painless Procedures

First, the crew injected AP Fill 720 along 150 feet of the wall, installing approximately one gallon underneath the footing every two feet. Next, they installed another 75 gallons spot treating larger voids.

Rapid Results

The job was completed in only 2 days. The detention pond wall was ready for use immediately upon completion of the work. The general contractor and the homeowners association manager were very happy with the results.

Want more information on geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil

Join Us in Supporting Hurricane Ian Relief Efforts

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Oct 6, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Join Us in Supporting Hurricane Ian Relief EffortsAlchemy-Spetec is proud to donate a portion of all proceeds to the Volunteer Florida Foundation's Hurricane Ian relief efforts through the end of 2023. Join us in supporting our neighbors in Florida, who were affected by Hurricane Ian.

From the Volunteer Florida website:

The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to assist Florida’s communities as they respond to and recover during times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with the public sector, private sector, and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities.

Donations to the Florida Disaster Fund are made to the Volunteer Florida Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization (EIN# 01-0973168), and are tax-deductible. Up to 3%, however, no more than $30,000 is typically taken from each donation to cover administrative costs, including but not limited to staff salary, indirect costs, and credit card and bank transaction fees. However, for Hurricane Ian, all administrative and credit card fees have been waived so that 100% of every donation can be used to help Floridians recover.


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Deep Lock Soil Stabilization

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Deep Lock Soil StabilizationCauses of Unstable Soil

Poor compaction, water erosion, broken pipes, and organic material in the soil can all lead to the settling of a foundation or a roadway. Traditional methods of soil stabilization can strengthen the soil directly under concrete and structures, but they do not address instability at deeper levels. Other methods of addressing deep soil issues require heavy equipment, extended downtime, and collateral property damage. These situations create problems for property owners as well as opportunities for the elite contractors that know how to fix them.

Deep Soil Stabilization

Introducing the Deep Lock process! Alchemy-Spetec offers a unique combination of high-quality structural polymers (AP Deep Lift 420, AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440 & AP Lift 475) along with the equipment and training needed to address deep soil issues. Now you can achieve soil stabilization and compaction on large projects with the smallest footprint and least amount of heavy equipment required. The Deep Lock process is powerful, painless, and rapid. Deep Lock gets to the root of the problems in the soil, it stabilizes the soil at all levels and accomplishes this with minimal imposition or downtime to the property owner.

Want more information about the Deep Lock process?

Download an Info-Packed Deep Lock Brochure!

Topics: Stabilize Soil, Deep Lock

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?

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Topics: All Posts, Seal Leaks

Polyurethane Curtain Grouting Case Studies

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

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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 Soil Stabilization Case Studies

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Soil Stabilization - Case StudiesThe Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Process

Weak soil under any structure or slab increases the risk of settling and structural damage. Excavating next to a building can weaken the soil that supports the foundation, potentially causing structural damage. Eroding soil can create sinkholes under roads and damage existing infrastructure. In some cases, this erosion is caused by water leaking into pipes and manholes and carrying soil with it. Regardless of the cause, loose soil will result in structural damage over time.

Contractors use Alchemy-Spetec soil stabilization polymers to fill voids and solidify the soil, thus preventing additional structural damage. These polymers are also used to reinforce excavation areas next to existing buildings. The contractor drives pipes in a grid pattern and injects soil stabilization resins to strengthen the soil and protect nearby structures. 

Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Case Studies

Want more info on polyurethane soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil