Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Applications of Polyurethane: Void Fill, Slab Leveling, and Slab Lifting

Posted by Brian Dalinghaus on Jan 25, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Applications of Polyurethane

Body - Applications of PolyurethaneThis post is part of the Alchemy-Spetec Contractor Lens series, featuring views, news & case studies written by our customers. This article, written by Brian Dalinghaus of Dalinghaus Construction, examines the following applications of polyurethane: void fill, slab leveling, and slab lifting. 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!

So, your sidewalk sunk into the muddy mire that used to be your backyard before Fifi dug it up. Or perhaps your cement patio has a new severe slant to it so that you shimmy folded-up pieces of paper underneath your picnic table to make it artificially level. Or maybe you have weak, non-loadbearing soil and your pool is starting to crack due to the strain. The question is: how do you lift and re-level large sections of concrete?

Polyurethane is a panacea, a cure-all, for a long list of soil-related issues. Polyurethane can lift, level, and densify weak soil. Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair industry for decades. We are here to educate you on everything to do with polyurethane, whether you choose to employ our services or go with another contractor.

In this article, you will learn the properties of polyurethane foam, how it is utilized for soil densification, slab lift & leveling, and void fill.

What is Polyurethane Foam?

Polyurethane foam is an injectable polyol and isocyanate resin sealant, insulation, grout which expands upon application providing void fill, structural support, and re-leveling properties. Polyurethane foam is waterproof, flame-retardant, noninvasive, and nonpolluting, weighing 3.5 to 5 pounds per cubic foot and reaching 90% compression strength after 15 minutes. Polyurethane can hold up to 7,200 pounds per square foot.

Polyurethane is injected as a liquid before it solidifies into its foam state. Due to the initial liquid form, polyurethane permeates into tight spaces, allowing it to penetrate weak soil and difficult to reach voids. This foam is environmentally inert, posing no danger to the environment or the evolutionarily finely tuned habitat that is your yard.

In other words, your children and your furry pets are safe. In fact, polyurethane itself is so safe it is used in pacemakers and other devices that can be safely implanted into the body.

At Dalinghaus Construction Inc., we utilize AP Lift 430, which is certified by Truesdail Labs to NSF / ANSI 61-5 (meaning it’s approved for contact with drinking water).

Fun Fact with Brian – Polyurethane has quickly usurped mudjacking due to its lighter weight and less invasive application system. Mudjacking slurry weighs up to 140 pounds per cubic foot (which just adds more weight to an already sinking slab). To find out why Polyurethane is a better option than mudjacking, read our article Polyurethane Injection vs Mudjacking (Weight, Application, & Cure Time).

Polyurethane Soil Densification

Polyurethane foam densifies weak, non-loadbearing, expansive soils, such as clays and lay stratum. The polyurethane is pumped deep into the soil (often at varying levels/intervals) and expands as a foam. The polyurethane foam fills gaps and underground pockets that compromise the structural integrity of the soil. This foam solidifies, strengthening the soil by adding light, water retardant support. Polyurethane soil densification can be used to mitigate landslides, for hillside stabilization, and deep injection.

Polyurethane Slab Lift & Leveling

Sidewalks, concrete patios, and backyard basketball courts can sink and become uneven. While it’s tempting to blame the slanted slab for your bad dribbling skills during a pick-up game, it’s always more fun and safer to walk across flat, level surfaces.

A flat working space is especially important in a warehouse environment. Polyurethane foam works beautifully at leveling warehouse slabs to ensure all the warehouse workers are safe. To learn more about warehouse safety, read our other Contractor Lens article on the Alchemy-Spetec blog, Warehouse Floor Repair.

Polyurethane is the perfect candidate to lift and re-level concrete surfaces, due to the expansive properties of the foam. As the foam expands, it pushes upwards, exerting a tremendous amount of force on the slab above, returning it to level.

Polyurethane Void Fill

Polyurethane foam is often utilized as a void fill after a slab lift during an underpinning project. When the affected section of the home is lifted, it leaves a void where the home had settled. Polyurethane is injected, the foam expands, and the void is filled with strong, durable, and supportive material.

*Note – The lifted section of the home always requires void fill (the last pier on each side is referred to as the void fill lifting point). The entire area beneath the slab doesn’t require void fill, only the affected area.

Polyurethane Projects

In this article, you learned about various applications of polyurethane foam in the construction world: soil densification, slab lift & leveling, and void fill.

If you want to learn how invasive polyurethane injection is, read our article 5 Steps to Polyurethane Foam Injection (From Drillholes to Cure).

We have over 100 years of combined experience in the foundation repair game. We are here to educate and assist, whether you ultimately choose us for your polyurethane services or not.

If you live in Southern California or Arizona and would like to book a free foundation inspection, click the link below...Dalinghaus Schedule Evaluation

Want more information on slab lifting with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Fill Voids

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

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

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.

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide54

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

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-10

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.

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-125

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.

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-2

2. Select the measuring system you want to use.

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-6

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).

Polyurethane-Estimating-Calculator-&-Leak-Seal-Product-Selection-Guide-14
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

Top Three Alchemy-Spetec Blog Posts

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 21, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Top Three Alchemy-Spetec Blog Posts

Body - Top Three Alchemy-Spetec Blog PostsAs of today, the top three most viewed Alchemy-Spetec blog posts are:

  1. Slab Void Fill with Polyurethane Foam
  2. So You’re Thinking About Starting a Slab Lifting Company: Key Considerations
  3. Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic: Polyurethanes

Given the amount of interest in these subjects, it's worth reviewing them again. In this article, we'll feature some intro text from each of these blog posts, along with a link to the full version.

Slab Void Fill with Polyurethane Foam

Voids beneath concrete slabs can be filled with two-component polymer foam designed to work in wet or dry conditions. AP Lift 430 foam can support up to 7,200 lbs per square foot and will cure to 90% full strength in 15 minutes.  (Of the most resilient concrete slab jacking foams, AP Lift 430 is proven to lift concrete slabs under harsh conditions. This two-component, high-strength, high-density, hydro-insensitive structural polyurethane foam is the top slab jacking solution for concrete slab foundation repair, soil stabilization, and compaction grouting. AP Lift 430 weighs 2.75 – 3.25 pounds per cubic foot.) Polyurethane foam conforms to void shape more accurately than cement grout, and - unlike cement - it doesn't shrink or sink over time. Read more...

So You’re Thinking About Starting a Slab Lifting Company: Key Considerations

If you want to corner the market in this potentially profitable business, begin by scoping out a specialized area, such as residential, commercial, or civic/municipal. Next, make a simple short written list of the assets you absolutely must have to get started. Do you need a full-sized slab lifting rig to get rolling? Or maybe just the portable PolyBadger lifting system? Are there any special licenses or certifications required for operation? Do you have a good relationship with an equipment and materials supplier? Having the right slab lifting equipment, top-of-line materials, vendor support, and deep expertise in this unique industry are the first keys to success for startup companies. Read more...

Hydrophobic vs Hydrophilic: Polyurethanes

The terms hydrophobic and hydrophilic may not mean anything to the average person. But, to a contractor, these terms can mean a world of a difference. Hydro means water while phobic means “to fear” and philic means “to love”.  Alchemy-Spetec offers both hydrophobic and hydrophilic polyurethanes, so it is important to be aware of the differences between the two types.  Read more...

Want more information about Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Fill Voids

Geotech Training: Oct 26th - 28th, 2021

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Sep 14, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Geotech Training Fall 2021

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

Filling Voids with One-Component Polyurethane

Posted by Colt Hullander on Jul 22, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Filling Voids with One-Component Polyurethane

Body - Filling Voids with One-Component PolyurethaneAlchemy-Spetec's AP Fill 700 and AP Fill 720 are one-component polyurethanes used for filling voids in supporting soil surrounding a structure.  Situations in which these materials might be used for void fill include soil adjacent to retaining walls, basement walls, seawalls, and infrastructure boxes.  

Benefits of One-Component Void Fill Foams

  • Their slow reaction time allows for the material to travel farther from the injection point, fill more voids, and permeate more soil before curing.
  • They're ideal for encapsulating underground debris (decaying organics, roots, buried construction waste).
  • On small jobs, they can be installed with a very small, portable pump that can be lifted and transported by hand. 

Differences Between AP Fill 700 and AP Fill 720

  • AP Fill 700 features very low viscosity, making it ideal for permeating fine soil with small voids.
  • AP Fill 720 is extremely rugged and durable when cured, while still retaining some flexibility. Its high expansion rate makes it ideal for filling larger voids.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec geotech products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Fill Voids

A Competitive Edge for Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Apr 15, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - A Competitive Edge for Contractors

Body - A Competitive Edge for ContractorsEditor's Note: An earlier version of this article was published under the title Develop Your Competitive Edge. 

In today's fast-paced infrastructure repair market, you need every advantage you can get. At Alchemy-Spetec, the success of your business is our top priority. You gain a significant competitive edge over your competition with access to the widest selection of premium materials and equipment, plus rock-solid reliable technical and marketing support. Our entire company culture is built around ensuring your success in this industry.

Polyurethane – Quality and Selection

Alchemy-Spetec offers one of the most technologically advanced grout product lines currently on the market, We offer a wide variety of leak seal materials, including injection resins for sealing water leaks in cracks, curtain grouting foams for sealing challenging/gushing leaks, acrylic injection resins that penetrate thin cracks and saturate soil, epoxy resins for structural repair and preventative waterstop products. We also offer a wide variety of geotech materials, including slab lifting foams, deep-soil lifting foams, soil stabilization foams,. The superior quality of these materials guarantees fewer callbacks from your customers. Many of these products are also certified for contact with potable water, making them safer for the environment.

Equipment and Accessories Selection

We’re a one-stop-shop for all things polyurethane concrete repair, with one of the most versatile equipment and accessory product lines in the industry. Once you’ve picked out the product that best fits your needs, we can provide it all: pumps, hoses, packers/ports, and specialty accessories.

Tech Support – Experience and Dedication

Do you need technical support? You’re in luck—we’re home to the industry’s premier technical support squad. Averaging decades of experience, we also pride ourselves on being incredibly responsive. For example, our team was once called on to assist with a large metro project in the Western United States. The customer informed us at 4 pm on Monday evening that assistance was needed at 9 am the very next day! Our Technical Services Director, Vice President, and Western Regional Sales Manager traveled to the site Monday evening to help diagnose the location of the leaks and develop an action plan. Our Technical Services Manager remained on site for two more days to ensure that the project was successful. Depending on the size and scope of the project, response time and participating team members may vary, but this story serves to illustrate the lengths we will go to assist customers.

Training and Education

We offer the industry's most thorough training and education for both leak seal and geotech polyurethane infrastructure repair. This includes job site training/consulting, online educational content, and training workshops at distributor locations - not to mention one of the most educational blogs in the industry.

Marketing Support

Our marketing department provides qualified customers with product application illustrations and photos for use on websites, customized brochure PDFs for printing, and truck signage graphics. We also offer the use of our educational videos and animations. Lastly, we’re available for guidance on everything from online lead capture strategies to internet advertising, and more.

We’re Committed to Your Success

The overriding theme here is our commitment to your success. Obviously, this is not totally altruistic in nature.  The more successful you are, the more materials and equipment you buy.  But it is 100% genuine.  Our entire team understands the relationship between YOUR success and OUR success.  This point of view is thoroughly ingrained in our company culture.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, NSF Certification, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Repair Cracks, Waterstop, Deep Lift, Floor Repair, Fill Voids

Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material Provider

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Sep 24, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Blog Banner-Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material Provider

Blog Body-Turbo-Charge Your Geotech Business with a Premier Material ProviderThe choice of a polyurethane material provider for your geotechnical contracting business is a critical decision with far-reaching consequences. In addition to top quality concrete and soil repair material, a premier provider will offer reliable high-performance equipment, rock-solid tech support, extensive training resources and even marketing assistance.

Polyurethane Materials

All polyurethane materials are not created equally. Make sure you ask around the industry to see which materials are the most reliable.

Characteristics of High-Quality Materials

  • 100% virgin (do not contain recycled polyurethane).
  • Easy on your reactor (does not create high-pressure that wears out your equipment).
  • Unlikely to catch fire (yes, some sub-par materials out there will char or catch fire while setting up).
  • Capable of bonding to concrete.
  • Strong and durable after they set up.
  • Approved for contact with potable (drinking) water after curing.

Rigs and Equipment

The quality of your geotech rig is not something you want to compromise on. A premier provider will offer state of the art rigs set ups, customized to fit your exact needs. You’ll want multiple door options (side door, choice of barn door vs ramp door), multiple power outlets and slide-out equipment options. These features allow for maximum flexibility in all types of job situations. In addition, a well-insulated rig allows for operation in a wide variety of climates.

Your pumps, air compressors and slab lifting guns need to be reliable as well.

Characteristics of High-Quality Equipment

  • Easy to use (not overly complicated).
  • Easy to maintain (easy to clean, not a lot of complicated parts to replace all the time).
  • Reliable, reputable brands.

Tech Support and Training Resources

A major differentiator separating serious material manufacturers from the rest is the availability of on-the-job technical support and service. A premier provider will offer field service to assist customers on challenging jobs. Phone support should readily available as well, with support techs ready to answer questions when you need the answers. You will also want to look for comprehensive training resources on material installation, equipment use and maintenance, and estimating/billing jobs. A good combination of online videos and articles, training literature and live events is the sign of a manufacturer dedicated to educating their customers.

Marketing Assistance

Look for a provider offering robust marketing assistance. Geotech contractors have many marketing needs, including website content (illustrations, photos, descriptive text), videos, vehicle sign design, advice on lead capture, etc. A manufacturer willing to go the extra mile in this department can help give you an edge of the competition in your market.

Do Your Own Research, Make Your Own Choices

Did we just describe Alchemy-Spetec in the paragraphs above? Of course we did. This is the Alchemy-Spetec blog after all. That being said, we encourage you to do your own research and contemplate your own needs in a material provider. Ask around in the industry. Seek out users of different brands and find out all you can about their experiences. If you think we missed anything in this article, let us know. We’d be happy to hear from you.

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

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