Alchemy-Spetec Blog

AP Fill 700 Polyurethane Foam vs Cement Grout for Soil Stabilization

Posted by Andy Powell on Aug 13, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - AP-Fill-700-vs-Cement-Grout-for-Soil-Stabilization

Body - AP-Fill-700-vs-Cement-Grout-for-Soil-StabilizationOne request we often receive is to explain the difference between AP Fill 700 polyurethane foam and cement grout for soil stabilization. When you're asked a question repeatedly, it's probably a sign that the answer(s) would make a good blog post. So here they are...

AP Fill 700 is a one-component, water activated, hydrophobic, low viscosity, closed cell foam. It adds no weight to the soil, has a quicker set time, resists erosion, and displaces groundwater, and expands during installation - penetrating small soil gaps in the process. AP Fill 700 can also be adjusted to work in flowing water and installed in any climate. These are all very beneficial characteristics for soil stabilization. As you'll see in the comparison table below, the characteristics of cement grout are not exactly the same.

Comparing AP Fill 700 & Cement Grout for Soil Stabilization

AP-Fill-700-vs-Cement-Grout-for-Soil-Stabilization-1

Environmentally Safe

AP Fill 700 is NSF approved for contact with potable water, ensuring compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA) and guaranteeing peace of mind for in-the-field stakeholders on soil stabilization projects.

Want more information on soil stabilization with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Matt and Travis from Lift It Rite on the Best Blade for Cutting Bound Slabs

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 11, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Matt & Travis from Lift It Rite on the Best Blade for Cutting Bound Slabs

Body-Matt & Travis from Lift It Rite on the Best Blade for Cutting Bound SlabsThis article is an excerpt from Episode 8 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC, a residential slab-lifting business. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather watch the video clip of this exchange, it is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: When you’re on slab lifting job, what do you think holds you up the most often?

Matt Chittick: I would say binding slabs are the hardest thing that we deal with. But we've done a couple of jobs here recently where the bind was good and it allowed something to come up together like we needed it to, versus breaking that crack that was binding apart and lifting one side versus the other side. But binding slabs are generally the hardest thing to figure out and make work for you, I would say.

Jim: So, when you have something binding, when do you make the decision to cut into it?

Travis Germick: Well, you can look at it and say, okay, there's a possibility of it binding or something like that, we'll go ahead and take care of it. I mean, those saw blades we were talking about earlier in the podcast are amazing that we picked up. So we’re not as scared to pull it out and saw through what we got to saw through.

Matt: They cut like butter. That was an actual company that we met out there at the World of Concrete. We bought three blades from the guy. Well, actually he sent us one first. We tried it, we were like, yeah, need more of these. And I don't think we've used any of the ones we just bought. I think we're still on the first one.

Travis: We are. I mean, they're really good blades.

Jim: You want to give them a plug? What kind of blade is it?

Matt: Diamond Blade Warehouse.

Travis: There you go.

Jim: Super blade from a Diamond Blade Warehouse and of all the blades you've used, you think that's one of the better ones?

Travis: Yeah it really is, whether it's a cured concrete, old stuff where the house has been there for forty years or whether it's stuff that’s two years old.

Watch the excerpt...

Want more information on polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It Rite

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Aug 6, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It Rite

Body-Tips for New Slab Lifters from Matt & Travis of Lift It RiteThis article is an excerpt from Episode 8 of Alchemy-Spetec's podcast The Injection Connection, featuring Matt Chittick and Travis Germick, co-owners of Lift It Rite, LLC, a residential slab-lifting business. The Injection Connection is hosted by Jim Spiegel: Vice President of Alchemy-Spetec and Board Member at the International Concrete Repair Institute. (If you'd rather watch the video clip of this exchange, it is posted at the bottom of the article.)

Jim Spiegel: If there's one thing that you guys, a piece of advice or some sage wisdom, as I know you guys are full of that as well as punch lines (laughter), what would you say to someone thinking about getting into the lifting business?

Travis Germick: If you're going to get into the industry, I would say get with Alchemy-Spetec and get some training. Hang out with those guys, come down and watch someone do the work. Get with a reputable company, come with us and work for a day or two and see what it's all about.

There's a lot of people that can definitely do this job but there's also a lot of people that could not do this job. There's a work ethic that goes with it. And I think with any spray foam or something like that, if it's insulation or whatever it is but there's a special ethic that has to go with it and special type of person it takes to get into this. But we absolutely love it. Every day, we get up, we're excited to do what we do because our customers’ minds are blown every time they see foam lifting concrete. And we feed off of that. I mean, they're over there like, “wow, that was cool” and I'm like, “I know, right?” That was really neat. We’re really psyched about it as well. There's a lot of times where Matt and I are high fiving each other because, that was a really cool job we just did.

That’s the only takeaway I have with it. I think it's a great industry to be in. I think it's a great service that we're offering and it's cool, too. It really is some neat stuff. What do you think, Matt?

Matt Chittick: I 100% agree. I would tell somebody you can learn all the ins and outs of it but until you get on the job sites and you see some things happen and you kind of roll with the punches, me and Travis, we have fun. If you have fun, it doesn't feel like you're working. And I would say have fun. You want to look for more good jobs than bad, but don't let the bad jobs bring down your attitude because your customers will feed off of your attitude. If you have a great positive attitude, those customers are going to have a great positive attitude. And if they have a great positive attitude, guess what, they love writing checks.

Jim: Yeah. I couldn't agree with you more that the attitude is such a big part of it. And then that starts when you get out of your truck, right?

Travis: Absolutely.

Jim: If you get out of your truck and you’re all smiles and having a good time with them, it just leads into a good experience. Not only do they feel like they trust you, but when things go wrong, they're more tolerant, I feel.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I would say because of our attitudes and things like that, we've been able to explain some things to customers and show them what happened here, what happened there and whatnot and they know that we're professional because that's the way we come across. We keep them involved in it, and when they see these things happen, I think they are a lot more tolerant and really accept some of the imperfections. That might be because getting concrete back to the original exact part or area whre it was might not always be what you can do. But if you talk about those expectations and you keep the customer informed and you're upbeat and positive, that's just going to transcend right to your customer and then everybody's okay and everybody's having a good day.

Watch the excerpt...

Want more information on polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Business Tips

Why Are You Trippin'?

Posted by Robin Smith on Aug 4, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Why Are You Trippin

Body-Why Are You Trippin-2This post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers.  This article, written by Robin Smith of Dalinghaus Construction, reviews common causes of trip hazards and the repair solution of polyurethane concrete leveling.  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 today!

Raise your hand if you have ever tripped walking down the sidewalk!

Well you are trippin’ for 1 of 2 reasons:

  1. You are uncoordinated, and can’t be trusted to walk and chew gum at the same time (that would be me).
    OR
  2. Uneven concrete slabs created a trip hazard that you have just fallen victim to!

What causes concrete to shift, become uneven, and cause these trip hazards?

  • Expansive clay soil: Expansive clay soil is prone to swelling and shrinking. Changes such as temperature, drought, and moisture causes it to expand and contract...causing the concrete to move.
  • Soil compaction: When preparing to build a home, the soil must be moved around, or graded, to create a level base to build upon. If the soils aren’t properly compacted before the concrete is poured, over time, it eventually compresses and can settle. This settlement can cause the concrete to shift.
  • Leaking water: If a plumbing or irrigation line springs a leak, it can erode the soil around the concrete, causing it to be unstable.
  • Poor drainage: Similar to a leak, improper drainage can also cause erosion.

Concrete removal and replacement can be costly. There is a cost effective solution that can even out those dangerous trip hazards in just 1 day!

Polyurethane concrete leveling to the rescue! Polyurethane concrete leveling, also known as “polyjacking”, is a process in which the contractor drills small holes through the affected sunken slabs. A port is then placed in the hole, the polyurethane is injected as a liquid, then quickly expands to lift the slab back into place.

If you are a visual person like me, check out this video on the Dalinghaus Consruction YouTube channel...

Whether it is a sidewalk, porch, patio, or a VERY busy Orange County Transportation Authority bus stop (insert one more rad video)...

...polyurethane concrete leveling is often an excellent solution, without breaking the bank!

Click here for more information on Dalinghaus Construction.

Want more info on polyurethane concrete leveling?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Polyurethane Foam - Less Downtime and Increased Bottom Line

Posted by J.R. Crowell on Jul 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Less Downtime Increased Bottom Line

Body - Less Downtime Increased Bottom LineThis post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers.  This article, written by J.R. Crowell of Helms Polyfoam, explains why polyurethane slab lifting requires less downtime than alternative repair solutions (and why that's an advantage for property owners & managers).  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 today!

When deciding on a repair plan for a commercial facility, no matter the type of repair, one very important factor to consider is downtime. That old expression “time is money” is not a joke, especially when we are talking about downtime for a business.

A large portion of repairs in the commercial market, whether it be concrete lifting, soil stabilization, or void fill, are in areas with high traffic. This traffic usually consists of forklifts, heavy equipment, and semi-truck and trailers, all of which have a dollar amount tied to their load or run time. Every minute they are aren’t running is a minute they 1) are not making money or 2) are losing money on a late delivery or late project completion.

How is Polyurethane Foam Beneficial to Downtime?

Small Footprint:

Polyurethane repairs generally require only one truck or trailer or even smaller equipment. Crews can work around high traffic areas and times to ensure that daily workflow is minimally impacted.

No Excavation:

Repairs are completed using polyurethane resins injected through a 3/8” – 5/8” hole. These injections are completed from the equipment mentioned above, requiring no heavy equipment. No heavy equipment means that employees will not have to alter their site flow to navigate around a large excavator or concrete truck.

Fast Cure Time:

When it comes to concrete lifting, polyurethane resins begin to set up within 15 seconds after injection and are 90% cured within 30 minutes. This means that by the time the crew leaves the site, the treated areas are ready for “business as usual” and can allow normal traffic. Compare this to demolition and concrete pouring (days of labor and curing), and you see a huge savings on downtime.

If time truly equals money, and we all know it does, the above three reasons show how a polyurethane repair can keep downtime to a minimum and maintain an efficient workflow, thus keeping the bottom line in order. When comparing estimates of various repair methods, don’t get stuck on the dollar figure, always compare the total repair plan and what it could cost on the back end.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

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

Hand Sanitizer Regulations Explained

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jul 23, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Hand Sanitizer Regulations Explained

Body-Hand Sanitizer Regulations ExplainedFor hand sanitizers, the CDC website recommends a >60% ethanol, or >70% isopropyl version in healthcare settings. However, the CDC is only one agency. Comparatively speaking, the FDA will adhere to their own claims as to what is acceptable in healthcare, food processing, home use etc. And within each of these segments, there will be different approvals for different uses. For instance, a poultry plant will require specific claims to the efficacy to kill salmonella. The resulting EPA claim registration will be different for the chemical used to clean a cleaver to butcher a chicken compared to a surface on which the chickens are stored. In addition to this, the same product may have registered claims to kill 99.9% salmonella in 60 seconds, while another producer had the same claim, for the same chemical, approved with a 90-second kill claim. These could be different products at the retail level. Also, EPA approval does not constitute FDA approval, and vice versa. It’s easy to see that agency regulations can be very confusing.

Further to this, a Covid-19 kill claim does not exist. At the moment, the EPA claim that best encapsulates this effectiveness is against ‘emerging viral pathogens.’ So, if you see Covid-19 on any label, it is not authorized, however, some (very few) producers may be approved to make off-label claims.

How Do You Know What is Compliant?

The FDA has honored the WHO recommendations which Alchemy-Spetec used to officially set up our Labeler Code, and resulting National Drug Code. Deviating from this formula is not authorized. Is it possible to supply 70% IPA grade to meet the ‘CDC Healthcare’ recommendation, but we would no longer be FDA-compliant and could not use our registered NDC number on the packaging. Simply put, if sanitizers do not have an NDC number on their product, then they are not FDA-compliant. If they make Covid kill claims on the label, they are not EPA compliant. To further complicate things, there are benzalkonium chloride-based sanitizers that are not alcohol at all, yet have EPA sanitizer claims, but may not meet CDC or FDA regulations.

Hand Sanitizer is FDA Controlled

The most recognizable brands are not immune to this confusion. A quick Google search on inaccurate coronavirus kill claims will provide ample detail on some of the consumer confusion caused when an FDA-regulated company makes EPA-regulated claims. The FDA does not have any list of sanitizers that kill coronavirus. Again, this is an EPA-regulated claim for ‘emerging viral pathogens’, and more commonly used in disinfectants.

What is the Best Hand Sanitizer Formula?

All consumers want the safest, most-stringent formula on the market. WHO / FDA released the approved formulas in direct-response to Covid-19 to provide the safest formula to ensure protection against emerging pathogens. While many sanitizer products are available in the market with various alcohol concentrations and active ingredients, Alchemy-Spetec strongly recommends seeking the WHO / FDA mandated level, which is 75% IPA, found in our sanitizer. What we can say is that our current version meets the FDA / WHO regulations (although more stringent), exceeds the CDC Healthcare requirements, is manufactured and packaged at an FDA approved establishment, and is accompanied by a registered National Drug Code ID. Products that are <75%IPA, or <80% ethanol version, do not meet FDA / WHO requirements. Benzalkonium chloride versions, do not meet CDC or FDA / WHO requirements. Coronavirus kill claims on label are not EPA compliant. In this period of scarcity, Alchemy-Spetec has chosen to adhere to the FDA-regulated formula to ensure the safest and best-performing sanitizer product to all consumers.

Want to buy Alchemy-Spetec Hand Sanitizer?

Click Here to Buy Hand Sanitizer NOW

Topics: All Posts, Sanitizers

INJECTR Series: Grout & Accelerator in an Easy to Use Single Cartridge

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jul 21, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - INJECTR Series - Grout & Accelerator in an Easy to Use Single Cartridge

Body - INJECTR Series - Grout & Accelerator in an Easy to Use Single CartridgeThe 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.

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

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

Colt Hullander Joins Alchemy-Spetec as Director of Technical Services - Geotech Division

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jul 14, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Colt Hullander Alchemy-Spetec

Body-Colt Hullander Alchemy-SpetecAlchemy-Spetec is pleased welcome Colt Hullander! Colt will join us as the new Director of Technical Services – Geotech Division, supporting Alchemy-Spetec customers on a wide variety of polyurethane jobs, from slab lifting to soil stabilization and seawall repair. He brings a decade of geotech experience to the team.

Colt put in many years as a project manager for Stable Soils of Florida where he oversaw polyurethane rig assembly and chemical grout installation projects. After that he briefly worked for Alchemy-Spetec as a Tech Services Rep for about a year. Colt then amicably moved on to Ramjack South Florida to become a Project Manager for their Seawall Division. We are happy to welcome him back in this new role.

Alchemy-Spetec VP of Sales & Business Development Jim Spiegel is excited about the ways in which this hire will benefit the market: “Colt brings many years of invaluable field experience with expertise in a wide range of equipment, products, and techniques. His field experience coupled with his technical acumen for equipment improvements will undoubtedly offer our Geotech customers another industry-leading resource. As most grouting contractors agree, there is no substitute for field experience, and Colt has no shortage of it.”

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift