Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Geotech Training: March 29th - 31st, 2022

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

Banner - Geotech Training Program March 2022

Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, March 1st

Click Here to Register NOW!

AS-Training-Program---Fall-2021$695 Registration Fee
$615 for each additional participant from
the same company.

Get ready for a thorough education in Slab Lifting, Soil Stabilization, the Alchemy-Spetec Deep Lift® process, equipment, and applications. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience.

Tuesday, March 29th

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Geotech Applications & Case Studies
  • PolyBadger® Demo & Training
  • Estimating & Quoting Jobs

Wednesday, March 30th

  • PMC Pump Demo & Training
  • Leak Seal Issues on Geotech Jobs
  • Ground Penetrating Radar Demo & Training
  • Slab Lift Rig Demo & Training
  • Competing Geotech Techniques

Thursday, March 31st

  • PolyShark® / Soil Stabilization Demo & Training (On-Site)
  • Deep Lift® Demo & Training (On-Site)

Your Instructors:

Andy Powell (Southeastern Regional Manager), Erik Prinzing (Midwest Regional Manager), Colt Hullander (Director of Technical Services - Geotech), Patrick Zito (Eastern Regional Manager), Joel Bryant (Western Regional Manager).

Click Here to Register NOW!

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

How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Jan 4, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022

Body - How 2021 Empowered Us to Serve You Better in 2022New year's message from Alchemy-Spetec Co-Owner and President Stephen C. Barton. (Stephen has been at the forefront of the concrete repair industry for over 30 years. Running leak seal crews in his teens, developing breakthrough polyurethane technology in his twenties, and helping grow the market ever since; Mr. Barton has been a leader in the field for most of his life.)

At the end of every year, I tell my team the same thing. “We have to reinvent ourselves. What got us to this point won’t get us where we want to go.” Every year we do just that. However, 2021 was special. We had to reinvent ourselves just about every month.

I won’t waste your time by repeating the phrase “supply chain issues”. I will say this: our team worked exhaustively to scour the earth for raw materials, reformulate our products, and finally manufacture and test the new formulations. In the end, we did everything in our power to live up to our entire reason for being – to serve our customers.

We learned more in the last year than we have since the inception of the business. We have more raw material options, formulations, and test data than ever before. These lessons learned will help us serve our customers more effectively than ever in 2022.

A lot of people are looking forward to putting 2021 in the rear-view mirror. Personally, I’m going to miss the challenges from last year that forced us to learn and grow. However, I’m sure 2022 will present some of the same issues and some unexpected new ones. I say, “Bring it on!” What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Finally, I would like to say “Thank you” to all our customers who patiently waited for material to show up and endured the sticker shock of rapid inflation. Our team will be there for you again this year. Happy New Year! Now, let’s get to work…

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, Business Tips

Safety: The Ultimate Gift

Posted by Andy Powell on Dec 21, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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Body - Safety The Ultimate GiftIt has become an Alchemy-Spetec holiday tradition to re-post this safety blog I wrote a few years ago.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  (Andy Powell - Alchemy-Spetec Southeast Regional Manager.)

This time of year, most people will spend a little extra time with their loved ones.  It is also a time to reflect on the loved ones we miss that are no longer with us.  Like most of us, I know people who have either been lost or have suffered through a loss.  In those cases, there was nothing that could have been done to stop it.  However, there are things that we can do to guard against job-related safety hazards.

I've been fortunate enough to spend time in an OSHA safety training class.  It was required in order to be present supervising a project at a chemical facility.  Signing in at 6 AM, I’ll admit I was not looking forward to spending all day there.  By the end of the day, I was glad that I went.

In an intro video, the narrator said that every morning when you kiss your loved one goodbye before you go to work, keep in mind that someone, somewhere will not come home from work that day.  Workplace accidents are almost entirely preventable.  Investigations typically find the cause quite easily. 

The class I attended contained a dozen or so modules, each one with a video case study followed by the teaching.  Every case study module covered a different accident where people didn’t come home from work that day.  All of them could have been prevented.  I learned about fire, electrical and chemical safety; as well as confined space, ladders, scaffolds, and working in trenches.  I have worked in the construction industry since my teenage years, so it was sobering to look back and think about some of the close calls I had.

If you're a contractor or industry-related business owner looking for a good investment, send your employees to one of these classes.  It’s an excellent opportunity for them to learn safety principles that can protect you, your other employees, and your business from being lost.  It’s a gift that will keep on giving.  You don’t need Christmas as a reason to do this, but in the spirit of the season, you may want to make it the reason.  

Click here to find an OSHA safety class near you.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Topics: All Posts, Business Tips

Take Advantage of the Section 179 Tax Break on Equipment Before the Year Ends

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Nov 23, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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

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

If you're currently considering an equipment purchase, you may want to buy before the end of 2021 so you can take advantage of the deduction on this year's tax return.  

Alchemy-Spetec offers a full selection of:

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec equipment & products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Business Tips

Contractors Complete Fall 2021 Geotech Training

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Nov 11, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Banner - Contractors Complete Fall 2021 Geotech Training

Body - Contractors Complete Fall 2021 Geotech TrainingOn October 26th - 28th, Contractors across North America traveled to Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA for a thorough education in Slab Lifting, Soil Stabilization, the Deep Lift® process, equipment, and applications. They received hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience.

This three-day geotech bootcamp featured presentations and demos on the following subjects:

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Geotech Applications & Case Studies
  • PolyBadger® Demo & Training
  • Estimating & Quoting Jobs
  • PMC Pump Demo & Training
  • Leak Seal Issues on Geotech Jobs
  • Ground Penetrating Radar Demo & Training
  • Slab Lift Rig Demo & Training
  • Competing Geotech Techniques
  • PolyShark® / Soil Stabilization Demo & Training (On-Site)
  • Deep Lift® Demo & Training (On-Site)

All of us here at Alchemy-Spetec would like to thank everyone who participated! and extend an invitation to those who missed this event to sign up below for notifications on future training programs.

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

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

Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Nov 2, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather 2021

Body - Stabilizing Soil in Cold Weather 2021It's that time of year again. As temperatures drop, take a moment to review this previously posted article packed with cold-weather tips.

In this blog post, we will share some tips for stabilizing soil in cold weather. The two main points to remember are – make sure the ground isn’t frozen and condition your material and equipment properly.

Do Not Attempt Soil Stabilization Work When the Ground is Frozen

If you’re considering soil stabilization in cold weather, the first step is to make sure that the water table isn’t frozen. Iced earth is not permeable enough for proper mixing of resin and soil. If you attempt to proceed with frozen soil, you’ll just be wasting your material. Best to wait it out in that case.

Properly Condition Equipment and Materials

For optimal results, it’s best to store any materials and equipment that are to be used in a heated environment overnight. It’s best to keep your AP Soil 600 above 60 degrees at all times. This is key because cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. The methods you use to condition your material on the job site will depend on the type of vehicle you’re using.

In Slab Lifting in Cold Weather, we described in detail how to condition materials for cold weather if you’re using a rig…

If you have an insulated rig, it should stay around 40 degrees warmer than outside temperatures. Most foam rigs have built-in electric heaters that require an extension cord to a power outlet at the job site or at your facility for overnight storage. Alternately, you could buy an electric radiator heater. Other available heating devices include drum band heaters and heated drum mats (be careful not to scorch the polymers by turning band heaters up too high). For a more DIY approach, you could build a hot box around the material storage area in your rig.

If you’re using pails and a smaller vehicle, we offered tips for that set up in my Polyurethane Leak Seal in Cold Weather article…

Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer, or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Using a combination of the methods described above, you should be able to keep your materials warm enough. In extreme cases when the material gets a bit too cold and thick, you may want to use AP Cat 600 to speed up the reaction time.

Conclusion

As long as the ground isn’t frozen, you should be able to stabilize soil in cold weather.  Just make sure your materials and equipment are conditioned properly.  If you have any further questions, please contact us at 404-618-0438.

Want in-depth info on soil stabilization products?

Download an Info-Packed Soil Stabilization Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips

Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Oct 28, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather 2021

Body - Sealing Leaks in Cold Weather 2021It's that time of year again. As temperatures drop, take a moment to review this previously posted article packed with cold-weather tips.

There are plenty of leak seal jobs that need to be done in the winter. So let's take a look at those cold-weather markets. We'll also review some special considerations for conditioning leak seal material and equipment. Then we’ll leave you with a few cold temperature leak seal application tips.

Cold Weather Markets

You have a variety of options for seeking jobs that are inside, out of the elements, during the winter months.  Hopefully, these ideas will spark more brainstorming on your part. First up we have tunnels, both pedestrian and vehicle. Tunnels often leak, sometimes significantly enough to result in quite a big job. Aquariums are another possibility. As you can imagine, there are infinite potential leak problems in a structure holding that much water. Other possible large jobs could include mines and water treatment plants (which have plenty of interior spaces with potential leak issues). On the smaller side, there are utility vaults, lift stations, manholes, and elevator pits.

If you’re still up for working outside during the winter months, you’re in luck because concrete contracts during colder weather. The contraction makes cracks open wider. Wider cracks make leaks more apparent to the property owner and make them easier to repair.

Conditioning Materials and Equipment

One important point to understand is that cold weather requires you to make an extra effort to keep your materials and equipment warm. Cold material reacts slower and gets thicker. Be sure to store your materials and equipment in a heated room the night before the job. When on the job site, there are many ways to keep everything warm. Use an enclosed vehicle, like a box truck, enclosed trailer, or pickup truck with a camper top or bed cover. Keep as much material and equipment inside the vehicle as possible when working. Use a portable heater to maintain a warm temperature. You can also use electric pail heaters to keep your resin ready for action.

Remember that it won’t do you any good to heat the resin if you’re pumping it through cold equipment. The cold steel inside the pump and the cold hose will literally suck the heat out of the resin before it gets where it needs to be. This will increase the viscosity, making it harder to mix with the water and it will slow down the reaction dramatically. So don’t neglect the equipment side of the equation!

Cold Temperature Application Tips

If you’re using a product with an accelerator, you may need to use a faster accelerator or increase your percentage. Also, bring lots of oakum. You may have to use more if the cold temperature slows down the material or the contracted concrete has made the cracks wider.

If your job requires you to inject into a structure underwater (and the water’s cold), you can use a technique called twin streaming. In this approach, you hook two valves together in a parallel fashion – then inject warm water along with the resin to kick start it reacting before hitting the cold water.

Conclusion

I hope this overview has helped spark some ideas on your part for finding leak seal work during the winter months. Just remember to keep your materials and equipment conditioned and you should be fine. Have more questions about polyurethane leak seal in cold weather? Call us at 404-618-0438.

Want more in-depth info on polyurethane leak sealing?

Download an Info-Packed Leak Seal Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Seal Leaks, Business Tips

Lifting Slabs in Cold Weather

Posted by Andy Powell on Oct 26, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Lifting Slabs in Cold Weather 2021

Body - Lifting Slabs in Cold Weather 2021It's that time of year again. As temperatures drop, take a moment to review this previously posted article packed with cold-weather tips.

Contrary to popular opinion, as a contractor, you don’t have to put up your equipment and rigs due to cold weather. There are many jobs to be done and many ways to keep your material conditioned. Use this season to your advantage and gain valuable business.

Cold Weather Markets

Seasonal attractions such as theme parks are a great place to start looking for winter work. Many of these parks (the ones that aren’t in Orlando) shut down for the winter and this is the time they do maintenance and repairs. Think of all the concrete lifting and leveling that can be done.

Factories can be less active in the winter months with production slowing down in many industries. This is a good time for them to do maintenance and floor repairs as well.

Warehouses typically operate year-round, so there is always work available. Warehouse floors are used and abused on a daily basis and will sooner or later need some form of repairs done to keep business running at a steady pace. In addition, many warehouses have dangerous voids beneath their floors that require repair.  

Exterior concrete slabs are still worth considering, even in the cold weather. These slabs experience the most wear and tear from the environment itself (think erosion) and daily traffic. You’ll need to lift concrete slabs before the ground freezes and only after your materials have been thoroughly conditioned.

Conditioning Materials

Your slab lifting equipment probably has built-in heaters and a heated hose. Each brand and model of pump has different sized pre-heaters and different ∆T (∆ = Delta and T = Temperature). This sounds complicated but is actually quite simple.  ∆T is simply the change in temperature.  Let’s say your material has been sitting in a cold trailer all night and the temperature has dropped to 40 degrees F. If the required temperature of your B side material is 120 degrees F, then your pump better be rated with a ∆T of at least 80 degrees. However, if your material is preconditioned to 70 degrees F, then your machine only has to be rated for a ∆T of 50 degrees. As I said, every machine is rated differently based on the size of the heaters. What is important to know is that there are limitations to how much heating your machine can do.

Keeping your materials conditioned in the winter months is a lot easier than it sounds. The main point is to keep your AP Lift products above 60 degrees at all times. Keeping the polyurethane at or above that temperature can be accomplished in a number of ways.

If you have an insulated rig, it should stay around 40 degrees warmer than outside temperatures. Most foam rigs have built-in electric heaters that require an extension cord to a power outlet at the job site or at your facility for overnight storage. Alternately, you could buy an electric radiator heater. Other available heating devices include drum band heaters and heated drum mats (be careful not to scorch the polymers by turning band heaters up too high). For a more DIY approach, you could build a hot box around the material storage area in your rig.

Heat Sink

Another consideration when lifting cold slabs is the heat sink factor. AP Lift products come out of the gun hot and get even hotter as they react. However, cold concrete acts as a heat sink and sucks the energy out of the foam as it starts to react. This can slow down the reaction speed of the foam. If you are pumping into a void, it will have little effect because most of the foam is not in contact with the concrete. If you are trying to lift a slab with little void, it will have more of an effect because more of the foam is in contact with the cold concrete and cold soil. More volume = more energy.

Conclusion

Don’t let common preconceptions deter you from slab lifting in cold weather. As noted above, there is no need to shut down completely for the upcoming winter months if you don’t want to. Opportunities still exist and one of them may just be the job you’ve been looking for all year. There are many ways to keep your equipment and materials conditioned to efficiently work in lower temperatures. Have more questions about slab lifting in cold weather? Call us at 404-618-0438.

Want more in-depth info on slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

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

Polyurethane Estimating Calculator & Leak Seal Material Selection Guide

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Oct 12, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Alchemy-Spetec App

The Alchemy-Spetec app now includes a Leak Seal Material Selection Guide, along with the Polyurethane Estimating Calculator.  The Leak Seal Product Selection guide asks you a series of Yes/No questions about your job and then provides product recommendations.  The Polyurethane Estimating Calculator takes the guesswork out of estimating material for Leak Seal, Geotech, and Floor Repair jobs. Here's a step-by-step guide...

Download the Alchemy-Spetec App & Create an Account

1. Download the app.
Search Alchemy-Spetec in your Apple App Store or Google Play Store to install the app.

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-1

2. Create an account.
After installing the app, create an account by clicking "Sign Up" at the bottom and following the prompts.

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Select a Leak Seal Product for Your Job

1. Tap the three lines in the top left corner to display the application options.  Choose Leak Seal Material Selection Guide.

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2. Answer a series of Yes/No questions about your leak seal job.

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3. Review the product recommendation screen (and/or click the Start Over button at the bottom to begin again). Call the Alchemy-Spetec support squad at 404-618-0438 for more guidance specific to your project.

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NOTE: You can also access the Leak Seal Material Selection Guide via this red button in the top right corner of our website home page...

Estimate Material for Your Leak Seal, Geotech, or Floor Repair Job

1. Tap the three lines in the top left corner to display the application options. Choose Material Estimation Calculator, then choose Geotech (Slab Lifting & Void Fill), Leak Seal, or Floor Repair for your job type.

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2. Select the measuring system you want to use.

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3. The Slab Lifting calculator appears by default. You can switch to the Void Filling calculator by clicking the button at the bottom right. Choose your product and fill in the square feet of your slab, plus the inches it has settled (or inches of void if using the Void Filling calculator).

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4. View the recommended material quantities. Call the Alchemy-Spetec support squad at 404-618-0438 for more guidance specific to your project.

Alchemy-Spetec Estimator App Results

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, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Business Tips, Floor Repair, Fill Voids

Reminder! Geotech Training: Oct 26th - 28th, 2021

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 30, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Reminder Fall Geotech Training

SOLD OUT!

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, October 12th

AS-Training-Program---Fall-2021$695 Registration Fee
$615 for each additional participant from
the same company.

Get ready for a thorough education in Slab Lifting, Soil Stabilization, the Alchemy-Spetec Deep Lift® process, equipment, and applications. You’ll get hands-on training from a technical staff with decades of on-the-job experience.

Tuesday, October 26th

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Geotech Applications & Case Studies
  • PolyBadger® Demo & Training
  • Estimating & Quoting Jobs

Wednesday, October 27th

  • PMC Pump Demo & Training
  • Leak Seal Issues on Geotech Jobs
  • Ground Penetrating Radar Demo & Training
  • Slab Lift Rig Demo & Training
  • Competing Geotech Techniques

Thursday, October 28th

  • PolyShark® / Soil Stabilization Demo & Training (On-Site)
  • Deep Lift® Demo & Training (On-Site)

Your Instructors:

Andy Powell (Southeastern Regional Manager), Erik Prinzing (Midwest Regional Manager), Colt Hullander (Director of Technical Services - Geotech), Patrick Zito (Eastern Regional Manager), Joel Bryant (Western Regional Manager).

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