Alchemy-Spetec Blog

AP Fill 700 for Soil Stabilization

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Feb 2, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - AP Fill 700

Body - AP Fill 700Single component, water-activated, hydrophobic, low viscosity, closed-cell polyurethane injection resin for stabilizing soil. Also good for filling voids and cutting off high-flow underground leaks, AP Fill 700 is a proven polyurethane soil stabilization solution.

Applications

  • Concrete void filling for all types of structures.
  • Consolidating loose soil.
  • Filling voids under concrete slabs.
  • Cutting off underground water flows.
  • Cutting off high-flow leaks.

Advantages

Check out the AP Fill 700 sample demo! 

 

Want more information on soil stabilization?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Case Study - Pool House Foundation Void Fill

Posted by Steve Taylor on Jan 31, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Pool House Foundation Void Fill

Body - Pool House Foundation Void FillGeotech specialists from Ground Consolidation Services were called into a job by a general contractor in Atlanta. A property owner was restoring a very interesting pool house in an upscale neighborhood. The pool actually sits atop and in the center of the pool house itself. During the initial restoration process, they discovered voids under the pool house foundation.

Powerful Polymer

The GCS crew recommended Alchemy-Spetec's AP Lift 475, a two-component, hydrophobic, structural lifting polymer designed for airport, highway, and railroad applications. It can be used to stabilize structures, fill voids, and lift slabs supporting tremendous loads. The real beauty of this material is its ability to be traffic ready in less than one hour.

Painless Procedure

The technicians used the compact PolyBadger pump system for this job since the location was not easily accessible with a slab lifting rig. The PolyBadger, manufactured by Alchemy-Spetec, is a tough and compact mobile cart system for pumping polyurethane resin. Using this pump, the crew was able to fill the voids at a relatively quick pace.

Rapid Result

The GCS technicians were out of the way and the restoration crew was able to start backfilling the area in a few short hours.

Topics: All Posts, Fill Voids

Andy Powell Promoted to Geotech Division Manager

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jan 24, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Andy Powell Promoted to Geotech Division Manager

Body - Andy Powell Promoted to Geotech Division ManagerAlchemy-Spetec is pleased to announce the promotion of Andy Powell to the newly created position of Geotech Division Manager. In this position, Mr. Powell will supervise the currently expanding team of Geotech Regional Managers and report to the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. This change reflects our continuing efforts to serve our customers in the best way possible and build on our product and market expertise as the company grows.

Andy Powell has been with Alchemy-Spetec since the inception of the company in 2013. His experience includes manufacturing, application, equipment, estimating, field service, and training for the entire product line. Prior to employment with Alchemy-Spetec, Andy served as Sales Manager and Field Technician for HP Industries, a supplier/contractor for the Concrete Pipe and Precast manufacturing industry. He was responsible for sales, AutoCAD, equipment installation, and employee training for pipe machinery and reinforcement equipment. He has extensive domestic and international experience working in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and China.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts

Create an Effective Presentation for Your Contracting Business

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 19, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Create an Effective Presentation-1

Body - Create an Effective Presentation-1Many of the contractors I’ve worked with over the years have had to give a presentation at one time or another. In some cases, they need to make a pitch to a potential client (for example at municipality or state agency contract meetings). In other cases, they have the opportunity to market their services by giving presentations at trade shows, “lunch and learn” seminars, webinars, homeowner association meetings, professional association events, etc.

Presentation opportunities can sometimes arise on short notice. This is why you can benefit from creating presentations ahead of time. If you’d like, you can ask our marketing team to critique your presentation. You can also inquire about getting a member of our sales team to co-present when an opportunity does come along.

Incorporate the following tips to create a powerful presentation for your contracting business. Some of these suggestions may seem contrary to everyday conventional practice, but who wants a run-of-the-mill presentation? We’ve tested this approach time and time again, with consistently positive results. It will be worth your while to at least give it a shot.

Fewer Words

As a detail-oriented professional, you may be inclined to pack your presentation slides with lots of text in order to get all your important points across. This is not the most effective way to give a presentation. It can lead to information overload and a drowsy, impatient audience. When creating a presentation, you want to condense the information and only include text that is absolutely essential.

Powerful Images

Now that you have seriously scaled back your text use, the next step is to make the presentation livelier. The audience needs to be actively engaged rather than bombarded with data. If you associate a powerful image with each essential point, the audience is better able to visualize and remember the concept.

Engaging Stories

Once you have simplified your text and added visually striking images, you can add extra punch by incorporating stories to get your points across. As a contractor, you probably have many stories from the trenches. Telling a story is a surefire way to make sure a message sticks.

White Paper Instead of Note-Taking

One thing that dilutes the impact of even the most powerful presentations is audience note-taking. This habit guarantees that half their time is spent looking down at their desk rather than paying attention to you. That’s why it’s helpful to prepare a whitepaper (basically a multi-page essay with any essential graphics) that summarizes all the key points from your presentation. Inform the audience up front that there is no need to take notes, as they will receive a written summary afterward. Explain to them that they’ll get a lot more out of the presentation if they provide their full attention.

Conclusion

Since I believe in giving credit where credit is due, I'd like to acknowledge that most of these ideas came from the book Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds.

For more tips on how to create a powerful presentation for your contracting business, or to inquire about co-presenting with one of our specialists, give us a call at 404-618-0438.

Want more ideas for marketing your contracting business?

Download an Info-Packed Contractor Marketing Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Alchemy-Spetec is Hiring Geotech Regional Managers

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jan 17, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Hiring Geotech Regional Managers

Body - Hiring Geotech Regional ManagersAbout Alchemy-Spetec and the Geotechnical Division

Alchemy-Spetec is an international leader in the manufacture and supply of chemical grouts for Geotechnical, Seawall Repair, and Leak Seal applications. Geotech is the largest division of Alchemy-Spetec. Our focus: Controlling water movement through permeable soils and improving soil-bearing capacity for construction and remediation projects.

About the Opportunity

Permanent full-time positions are available in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South-Central United States.

We are expanding the Geotechnical Division. The Northeast/Mid-Atlantic/South Central regions are critical to our successful expansion. We are searching for a leader to facilitate this growth opportunity. You will report to the Geotech Division Manager and take responsibility for locating and converting selected prospective clients, expanding existing clients, and networking with established Regional Managers to grow the Geotech Business in your region.

Responsibilities

  • Generating new sales opportunities by finding and developing new customers in key markets.
  • Contacting prospective customers who have sent inquiries and converting them into customers.
  • Establishing relationships with local governments and engineering firms to develop new opportunities.
  • Delivering rapid growth and business revenue in the region through proactive sales activities.
  • Working with existing Regional Managers and Technical Support to meet territory goals.
  • Building Regional Networks of Referral Partners in support of our customers.
  • Working closely with the marketing team to provide content and leverage existing opportunities.

Location & commitments

  • Remote-based office with Travel throughout your region.
  • Periodic Training and organizational meetings in Tucker, GA, and Reno, Nevada.
  • Estimated travel: 50-70%

Candidate requirements

  • Proven experience in business development and networking.
  • Experience in this industry sector (Environmental, Geology, Civil, Foundations, Engineering).
  • Strong business, communication, and budgeting skills.
  • Professional, engaging, technical, and determined personality that is also comfortable learning geotech equipment.
  • Goal-oriented self-starter who requires little supervision.
  • The ability to track and achieve KPIs.

Benefits

  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development assistance
  • Vision insurance

Contact us to apply

If you have a passion for business development and the geotechnical and environmental industry, then we would like to meet you. Consider becoming an important teammate of a growing organization that is dedicated to saving and developing property and infrastructure. Send your resume and cover letter to Andy Powell at apowell@alchemy-spetec.com.

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

Helms Succeeds in Railroad Repair

Posted by Morgan Helms on Jan 12, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Helms Succeeds in Railroad Repair

Body - Helms Succeeds in Railroad RepairThis post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers.  This article was written by Morgan Helms of Helms Polyfoam.  If you're an Alchemy-Spetec customer and you'd like to discuss writing content for our blog, please send an email to marketing@alchemy-spetec.com today!

Railroads are an integral part of our nation’s infrastructure, and Helms knows how important it is to maintain their structural integrity and operability. Unfortunately, soils beneath railroads and railbeds are subject to settling from water intrusion.

With our structural polyurethane resins that support over 14,000 lbs. per square foot, Helms Polyfoam can stabilize and lift railbeds back to their normal and safe levels. In fact, Helms recently succeeded in solving a railroad repair problem for one of our clients, Gulf Coast Sand, in Picayune, Mississippi.

For this client, a 75-foot section of railway approaching their railcar scale had settled 5-6 inches. This settling was causing inaccurate scale readings due to uneven weight distribution along the scale. When there’s a soil stabilization or settling problem, Helms has the solution!

In order to ensure an even distribution of lift and stabilization, it was determined that varying depths of injections should be made. These injections were spaced on 4-foot centers, at a span of 4 injections wide per track (one injection point on each outer rail and two injections inside of the rail track) for an approximate injection total of 80 injection points.

At each of the 80 total injection points, ½-inch galvanized tubes were probed to a depth of 6 feet and 4 feet, alternating at each injection point. Expanding resins were then injected into the shell mixture at each injection point for stabilization without adding additional lift to the track.

The result? Our injection pattern for Gulf Coast Sand created a soil squeeze where each injection point compressed against the adjacent points to create a solid, rock-hard mass below the surface!

If you need concrete lifting or soil stabilization work done in the Mississippi area, click here to contact Helms Polyfoam today!

Want more information about soil stabilization with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

Uneven Concrete Slab Repairs Using Polyurethane Foam Injection

Posted by Brian Dalinghaus on Jan 10, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Uneven Concrete Slab Repairs Using Polyurethane Foam Injection

Body - Uneven Concrete Slab Repairs Using Polyurethane Foam InjectionThis post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers. This article was written by Brian Dalinghaus of Dalinghaus Construction. If you're an Alchemy-Spetec customer and you'd like to discuss writing content for our blog, please send an email to marketing@alchemy-spetec.com today!

Why Do Concrete Slabs Become Uneven?

Concrete slabs such as sidewalks, driveways, and patios, usually become uneven for one of the following reasons:

  • Expansive soil – Expansive soil is clay-rich and for this reason expands as it soaks up moisture, and then shrinks as it loses moisture and dries out. This swelling/shrinking – which can be caused by drought/non-drought periods – causes movement in the soil under the slab, and will often cause a slab to become uneven over time.
  • Erosion under the slab – Some types of soil are prone to erosion and if there’s poor drainage under the slab, this could cause voids to form and an uneven slab eventually.
  • Soil not tamped down – Soil always needs to be properly compacted before anything gets placed or built on top of it, including concrete slabs. If this isn’t done, the slab could settle into the soil and end up uneven.
  • Tree roots – We’ve all seen examples of tree roots pushing up on a slab and causing it to become unlevel.
  • Dead leaves decaying leave voids – Leaves and other organic matter should be removed from the soil before a concrete slab is poured. If this isn’t done, voids could form under the slab. If the slab sinks into the voids, it will become uneven.

Uneven Concrete Slab Repairs Using Polyurethane Foam Injection

Fortunately, an uneven concrete slab can be repaired (i.e, leveled) in just a few hours using polyurethane foam injection, a waterproof material that’s injected under the slab in order to level it. Polyurethane foam injection can lift and level sidewalks, driveways, patios, pool decks, and more.

The general polyurethane foam injection procedure to perform concrete slab repairs is as follows:

  • Dime-sized holes are drilled into the affected slab.
  • A nozzle is inserted through the holes and the polyurethane foam is injected under the slab.
  • The foam immediately begins to expand, fill any voids, and raise the slab.
  • The holes are patched using a compound that matches the color of the concrete.
  • Fifteen minutes after the repair is complete, the slab is ready for use.

Is Polyurethane Foam Better Than Mudjacking?

Yes, we believe polyurethane foam injection is better than mudjacking. Mudjacking is an older method for leveling an uneven concrete slab. Today, most concrete leveling jobs are done using polyurethane foam injection for the following reasons:

  • The mudjacking slurry used to raise the slab is heavy because it contains cement, sand, soil, etc. Because of this, it has the potential to make the problem even worse because the slab might have become uneven due to weak soil that is unable to support it. If so, adding more weight to the soil in the form of a cement slurry isn’t going to help.
  • The mudjacking slurry is prone to erosion if there’s poor drainage under the slab.
  • The holes used to inject the mudjacking slurry under the slab are at least 2 inches wide. Compare this to the dime-sized holes used with polyurethane foam injection.
  • Mudjacking is a messy process that takes 2-3 to dry and harden. This means downtime.

Yes, mudjacking is still being done today. However, we view it as a temporary fix, at best.

Are Concrete Slab Repairs Better Than Replacing The Slab?

Unless the concrete slab is severely damaged, yes, lifting the slab via polyurethane foam injection is better than digging up and replacing the slab. Concrete leveling using polyurethane foam is a quick procedure taking usually no more than a few hours and then the slab is ready for use. Pouring a new slab and then waiting for it to dry and harden takes time. Replacing a slab is also more expensive. Therefore, severely damaged slabs are typically the only cases that are not a good fit for leveling with polyurethane.

How Much Do Uneven Concrete Slab Repairs Cost?

The cost to fix an uneven concrete slab using polyurethane foam injection depends on where you live and the size of the affected area (this determines how much lifting foam is needed).

How To Help Prevent Concrete Slabs From Becoming Uneven

You can help prevent a concrete slab – such as a sidewalk or driveway – from becoming uneven, by doing the following:

  • Make sure the soil is adequately tamped down before the slab gets poured on top of it.
  • Ensure that any organic material (such as leaves) is removed from the soil before the slab gets poured.
  • Make sure there’s good drainage under and around the slab.
  • Keep trees with invasive root systems away from the slab.

If you have an uneven concrete slab that needs to be lifted and leveled (and you’re in the Dalinghaus Southern California and Arizona service area) click here to contact Dalinghaus today and schedule an evaluation.

Want more information on leveling concrete slabs?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 2

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 5, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 2

Body - Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 2It’s January. Football is about done, ice fishing is getting boring, it’s so cold that hunting is out, and you’re starting to think about part one of this blog series. It would be nice to be prepared to make money every winter, but you don’t know where to start. So what needs to be done to plan ahead for next year’s winter work?

Engineer and Consultant Outreach

If you have spent any time with me, you will have heard me say that engineer outreach is the key to having a pipeline of projects. Whether it is a geotechnical or a waterproofing opportunity, if it is a significant project there is likely to be an engineer involved. Every factory, every property management company, and every hydroelectric plant has a go-to engineering firm they turn to whenever there is a situation to deal with. It might be a broken water main under a floor that has undermined concrete slabs. Or it could be water getting into a machinery pit or a containment area. Whatever it is, you can be sure an engineering firm will be called.

Alchemy-Spetec has engineering presentations for leak seal, soil stabilization, concrete lifting, and many other polyurethane applications. Most of them are approved for continuing education credits so an engineer can learn something useful and pick up some credit towards their yearly requirements. We like to do these jointly with a local contractor to connect the dots between the supplier, contractor, and engineer.  Help us get them set up and we are happy to present on your behalf.

With proper follow-up, these presentation activities often lead to small project opportunities. A successfully completed small project can lead to a bigger opportunity and so on. Remember, these engineers get called by property owners when something has gone wrong. If you are the contractor they turn to, as long as you are fair, responsive, on time, safe, and get the job done - you will continue to get work that doesn’t go out for bid.

Professional Associations

There are a million professional associations out there for every field and trade you can imagine. Joining an association is a great way to network and find out what opportunities might be out there.

Find out about your local chapter of BOMA. The Building Owners and Managers Association represents one of the largest industries in the world – commercial real estate. Members of BOMA are primarily building owners, property managers, facility managers, and building engineers. Where else could you find a better place to discuss elevator pits, parking garages, tripping hazards, etc. Look for opportunities to present at BOMA events. The very first presentation I ever gave was in front of about 100 building engineers from one chapter of BOMA in Metro Atlanta and I was already looking at a project just an hour after I finished. 

Another good one is IFMA, the International Facility Management Association. As a simple rule of thumb, think of BOMA as the “landlords” and IFMA as the “tenants”. Often it is the tenant that is reporting the issue of concern. Presenting to IFMA gives you the opportunity to let facility managers know about polyurethane technologies that can resolve issues in and around a building.

The ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) is a great place to network with professional engineers. You don’t have to be an engineer to participate in meetings and have access to what ASCE offers; they have a category called Organization Partners for non-engineer participation. Look for opportunities to present at ASCE; we can assist you with that.

DOTs and Municipalities

Sometimes there is no substitute for just grinding out phone calls, computer research, or making some stops at the local municipalities and DOTs. You can find out when projects are coming out for bid, you can attend bid meetings and lettings, and you will likely find yourself networking with general contractors and engineers in the process.

Mass transit authorities also need to be researched as well. Any city with trains/subways is going to have a transit authority. They have their own engineering departments and will put projects out for bid on a regular basis. Outreach to these engineers with offers to present on leak seal and geotech applications could very well touch on an issue they have. You can also meet these kinds of engineers at an ASCE meeting.

Winter IS the Time to Grow Your Business

If you are a contractor looking for work to do in the cold months, contact your Alchemy-Spetec Regional Manager for details on how we can help you expand your business. These efforts are great for finding that winter work but you will find that they will transform your business year-round. 

Want more information on 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

Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 1

Posted by Andy Powell on Jan 3, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 1

Body - Keeping Busy During the Winter Months - Part 1Wintertime IS the Time for Northern Contractors to Grow a Polyurethane Injection Business

So, you think because it’s cold and the ground is frozen, it’s time to hang it up and winterize all your polyurethane injection equipment? Time to start bowling, shooting pool, ice fishing, hunting, drinking, etc.? Okay, maybe that is not the way to start a blog; a guy who has never lived north of Atlanta, telling contractors in the northern USA what they could be doing in the winter. But I implore you; please read on and consider the other fun stuff you could be doing and getting paid for.

Specialty chemical grouting contractors that operate in the northern USA face a more limited window of time to get outdoor soil stabilization and slab lifting work done. They have earned the right to take it easy in the winter because they typically work twice as hard as everyone else when the weather cooperates. With proper planning though, northern poly contractors can stay busy in the cold months as well. In this two-part blog series, we will cover what those wintertime opportunities are and how to make them happen.

What Geotechnical Work Can Be Done in the Winter?

When I talk about geotechnical work, I am primarily referring to concrete slab lifting and soil stabilization/ground improvement.  Here are some winter targets to consider:

  1. Warehouses and Distribution Centers – Interior slab lifting and void filling behind loading dock walls.
  2. Office and Retail – Interior slab lifting and tripping hazard mitigation.
  3. Infrastructure – Below the frost line, groundwater infiltration into stormwater and sewer pipes causes loss of soil density and settling of pavement. Infiltration can be halted, voids filled, and soil density restored through a chemical grouting program.
  4. Agricultural Facilities – Leveling slabs in grain-drying bunkers.
  5. Commercial / Industrial – Filling voids and leveling slabs in plants and factories.

What about other polyurethane injection work? Winter is a great time to learn some new skills like crack injection, slab undersealing, and curtain grouting. When it gets cold, concrete shrinks, and cracks and joints open up and can start leaking. They are actually easier to inject when it’s cold. The market for this kind of work is practically unlimited. Consider these areas where waterproofing work needs to be done:

  1. Below-grade parking structures – Every underground parking structure leaks through cracks, expansion joints, and cold joints. These can be injected with Alchemy-Spetec leak seal resins. If the concrete is in bad condition, a curtain wall grouting program can be implemented to basically create a membrane between the groundwater and the concrete.
  2. Elevator pits – Any below-grade concrete structure can potentially leak. Elevator pits, especially in areas with high water tables, routinely leak. How many elevators do you think are in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago? These are all cities basically at sea level.
  3. Tunnels (Pedestrian, Vehicle, Mass Transit) - These all suffer from water intrusion and can be injected with polyurethane resins.
  4. Dams – It’s kind of scary to think about huge concrete dams leaking but it is indeed the case. A lot of crack injection work is done in dam galleries during the winter.
  5. Residential and Commercial Building Basement Waterproofing – Cracks and joints leak year-round but when it’s cold they are easier to inject.
  6. Slab Undersealing – This is the same as curtain wall grouting. The difference is that it’s done through the floor instead of through a wall.

Alchemy-Spetec’s Technical Service Team and Regional Managers provide training to get contractors started with these new skills and opportunities. You’re probably wondering how to find these projects though.  Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog series where I cover the leg work that must be done to line up this wintertime work.  

Want more information on Geotech and Leak Seal products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts

Tradeshow Appearances in January and February

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

Banner - Tradeshow Appearances in January and February

Body - Tradeshow Appearances in January and FebruaryAlchemy-Spetec will appear at the following tradeshows in January and February...

6th International Conference on Grouting & Deep Mixing

January 15-18, 2023 – New Orleans, Louisiana

Visit Alchemy-Spetec at Booth #236

Deep Foundations Institute (DFI) and International Conference Organization for Grouting (ICOG) with support from Geo-Institute’s Grouting Committee are presenting the 6th International Conference on Grouting and Deep Mixing, January 2023, at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. Be updated on the latest grouting practices, network with industry professionals, and view the latest technology and services in the Exhibit Hall … all while enjoying the excitement and diversity of the Big Easy!

2023 Sprayfoam Convention & Expo

February 12-15, 2023 - Daytona Beach, Florida

Visit Alchemy-Spetec at Booth #818

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance, or the “SPFA”, is an educational and technical resource for the spray polyurethane foam industry. A national 501(c)6 trade association, the SPFA was founded in 1987. The SPFA’s core mission is to support the health of the industry and to serve its participants, promoting best practices and growth through a number of core initiatives, educational resources, events, and much more. The 2023 Sprayfoam Convention & Expo will be held at the Ocean Center located at 101 N. Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, Florida 32118. SPFA has all the pieces in place for another successful event!

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