Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs With Foam

Posted by David Park on Jun 23, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs with Foam

Body - Debunking Myths About Lifting Slabs with FoamWhen parts of a concrete surface sink due to erosion and poor compaction, the resulting trip hazard can be dangerous. If left unrepaired, liability and safety issues linger. Although concrete is tough and durable, unstable soil can cause it to crack and sink. Fortunately, a reliable solution for lifting concrete has been developed and proven over the past few decades. High-strength expansive polyurethane foam is injected underneath the slab to bring it back to level. This method has been used in a wide variety of commercial and residential applications with long-lasting results.

Despite consistently reliable results, some myths about polyurethane slab lifting have cropped up over the years.

Myth #1: Polyurethane Foam is a Temporary Fix

People who assume that polyurethane slab lifting is a temporary fix typically have a general lack of knowledge, understanding, and experience with the process. Common misperceptions supporting this myth include:

  • The incorrect assumption that foam will be susceptible to moisture and degrade under the concrete.
  • The incorrect assumption that the process typically leaves large voids underneath the slab, leading to resettlement.

Water does not cause lifting foams to degrade underneath the slab. In addition, a factory-trained contractor will not leave gaps underneath the slab that would lead to resettlement.

Myth #2: Polyurethane Foam Cannot Support Heavy Loads

Another common misconception is that polyurethane foam is weak and does not have the load-bearing capacity to support slabs with heavy traffic or large structures.

Common misperceptions supporting this myth include:

  • The incorrect assumption that lifting foam is the same stuff used by the insulation guys.
  • The incorrect assumption that because it expands easily, it must collapse easily.
  • The incorrect assumption that the expansion rate is uncontrollable and leads to unpredictable results.

All lifting and stabilization polyurethane foams formulated and manufactured by Alchemy-Spetec are designed specifically for Geotechnical applications. Once cured, Alchemy-Spetec lifting foams are incredibly strong and durable. Easy expansion does not equal easy collapse. Factory-trained contractors can control the final lift level of a slab to within 1/8th of an inch.

Myth #3: Polyurethane Foam is too Expensive

When faced with the dilemma of a sunken slab, you have three options aside from polyurethane slab lifting:

  1. Doing Nothing: If you do nothing, the problem will grow. The longer you wait, the more expensive the repair.
  2. Replacing the Slab: This process will take several days, is often messy, and is typically more expensive than lifting with polyurethane.
  3. Lifting with Cement Grout: This procedure (known as “mudjacking”) requires heavy equipment, large drill holes, and the use of weighty cement grout which often sinks over time. When the cement grout sinks over time, you have to get it lifted again. Eventually, even this process becomes more expensive.

Want more information about polyurethane slab lifting?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab Lifting

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 21, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab Lifting

Body - How to Equip Your Spray Foam Rig for Slab LiftingMany spray foam insulation installers are interested in adding slab lifting capability to their rig setup. If you're a spray foam installer considering slab lifting, we have all the info you need right here. With just four additional pieces of equipment and one set of material, you can add slab lifting to your service offerings. Let’s take a look at exactly what additional equipment and material are required to get started...

Slab Lifting Equipment

MixMaster Pro Slab Lifting Gun
The MixMaster Pro is a two-component resin injection gun manufactured specifically for lifting concrete slabs, designed to handle back-pressure. 

Titan Impact 440 (Modified) Pump with Flush Hose
The Titan Impact 440 (Modified) pump is used for flushing the MixMaster Pro gun in between foam injections. (It's also used for pumping one-component material in soil stabilization and seawall repair applications.)

3/8” MixMaster Ports
These heavy-duty ports create an airtight seal for injecting foam into drill holes. 

Dial Indicator Crane
This precision tool is used to measure the lift of the slab within 1/10” of an inch.

Polyurethane Slab Lifting Material

AP Lift 430, AP Lift 440, or AP Lift 475 (100 Gallon Unit)
Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with these two-component polymer foams designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of these concrete leveling foams coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generate enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision.

AP Flush 125 (5 Gallon Unit)
Water-based gun flush specifically used for flushing out the MixMaster Pro impingement gun. Also used to protect concrete from resin stains.

AS Pump Flush (5 Gallon Unit)
High-performance pump flush that is friendly to the environment and does an excellent job flushing out injection pumps.

Want to talk to a spray foam to slab lift conversion expert?

Request a "Spray Foam to Slab Lift" Consultation

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

Atlanta Contractors Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam Magazine

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jun 16, 2022 10:21:00 AM

Banner - Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam Magazine

Body - Lift It Rite Featured in Spray Foam MagazineAlchemy-Spetec customers Matt Chittick and Travis Germick of Lift It Rite LLC were recently featured in a Spray Foam Magazine article. SprayFoam Magazine is an industry-leading publication in the spray foam insulation sector. Because so many spray foam insulation professionals are adding slab lifting to their service offerings, the magazine is now covering this technology as well. The article featuring Lift It Rite is a profile of a sidewalk lifting job that was done in order to save an old tree in Winder, Georgia. The roots were disrupting the pavement. Here's an excerpt from the article...

Cities often hire a third party to take care of sidewalks, potholes, and wastewater management issues and it was this third party who contacted Travis Germick and Matt Chittick. They are the owners of Lift it Right LLC, and they were asked if they could help save Winder’s sidewalks.

Germick and Chittick went to Winder to review the situation and noted that several of the sidewalks around the town were obviously sunken. One of them was next to a very old tree and the roots were impacting the sidewalk. This had happened to another tree in the area, and the town took out the concrete and cut some of the roots of the tree. Once a tree’s roots are cut the tree will eventually die so they cut down the entire tree. After the tree was cut down, the residents of the town clubbed together and had a memorial for the tree. After that unhappiness, cutting down more trees in the future was not an option. There had to be another solution to save the additional old tree. Read more at SprayFoam.com!

Want more info on slab lifting with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Slab Lift Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs

Resources for Infrastructure Repair Contractors

Posted by Kreg Thornley on May 31, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Resources for Infrastructure Repair Contractors

Body - Resources for Infrastructure Repair ContractorsAlchemy-Spetec offers a wide variety of online resources for current and aspiring infrastructure repair contractors. Let's take a look at what's available...

Literature Downloads

Looking for polyurethane concrete repair product Tech Data Sheets, Safety Data Sheets, Application Procedures, Case Studies, Environmental Safety Info, or Specifications?  All of these documents are available on one convenient page at Alchemy-Spetec's Comprehensive Download Resource Center.

Educational Videos

Watch brief, info-packed videos on crack injection, curtain grouting, slab lifting, and soil stabilization on the Videos page.

Spray Foam to Slab Lift Conversion

With just four additional pieces of equipment and one set of material, you can quickly and easily add slab lifting to your service offerings. Take a look at exactly what additional equipment and material you’ll need to get started on the Spray Foam to Slab Lift Conversion page.

Training Center

The Alchemy-Spetec Training Center is a password-protected resource-packed page featuring video presentations and product/equipment demos. This page is only available to established customers who have requested access from their Regional Manager.

Injection Connection Podcast

The Injection Connection podcast features in-depth discussions with thought leaders and professionals in the infrastructure repair industry.

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, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil

Lift Sunken Slabs & Stabilize Loose Soil Caused by Uncontrolled Water

Posted by David Park on May 26, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Lift-Sunken-Slabs-&-Stabilize-Loose-Soil

Body - Lift-Sunken-Slabs-&-Stabilize-Loose-SoilMost property owners and managers don’t realize that the greatest threat to their slabs and structures hides underneath the surface of the ground. Water is relentless, and your property is at risk if it is left unchecked. Uncontrolled water can lead to soil erosion, voids, and sometimes even sinkholes. Neglecting these types of soil issues can end up costing significant money, time, and stress.

We believe that every property owner and manager should understand how to prevent these problems from getting out of control. Water must be controlled properly, and with the right solutions. Alchemy-Spetec offers a variety of polyurethane resins for lifting sunken slabs, stabilizing soil, and filling voids underneath foundations and slabs. We are a global manufacturing company certified to ISO9001. Our polyurethane resin technology has been successfully used on a multitude of projects spanning the globe. It's also environmentally friendly (NSF certified for contact with drinking water).

Raising & Lifting Concrete

Sunken concrete slabs can be lifted back into place with our two-component polymer foams designed to work in wet or dry conditions. The expansion force of the concrete leveling foam coupled with the pressure of a specialized pump generates enough controlled force to lift virtually any structure back into position with 1/8” precision. Polyjacking (a.k.a. slab lifting and concrete lifting) can be accomplished at a fraction of the cost and time required for replacement using our AP Lift series of resins. The Deep Lift® process may be necessary if deeper soil issues are undermining the slab or structure.

Polyurethane Slab Lifting Products

Stabilizing Soil

Unstable, eroded, or loose soil around infrastructure can result in settlement and damage to the structure. Voids can be filled, seawalls remediated, soil consolidated, and water migration halted by permeating the soil with our ultra-low viscosity resins

Polyurethane Soil Stabilization Products

3-Step Property Preservation Plan

Eliminate the risk of a total loss to your property and contact our team of experts now to start your Property Preservation Plan. With our support, you can save your property, save your money, and save your peace of mind.

  1. Start a conversation with one of our experts about your specific challenge/property.
  2. We will work with you to create an action plan custom-tailored to your needs.
  3. We will connect you to a factory-authorized contractor who will help you solve your problem.

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Fill Voids

CE/PDH Accredited Presentation on Polyurethane Geotech Applications

Posted by Andy Powell on Apr 28, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Accredited Geotech Presentation

Body - Accredited Geotech PresentationThe Geotechnical Applications for Polyurethane presentation explains and demonstrates how concrete leveling and soil stabilization resins can be used to stabilize soil and repair structures. The presentation covers the following topics:

  • Single Component Polyurethane Grout Applications
  • Two-Component Polyurethane Grout Applications
  • Acrylic Grout Applications

This one-hour CE/PDH accredited presentation is ideal for engineers who are interested in learning about next-generation geotech repair methods for pavement lifting and stabilization, excavation support, erosion control, infrastructure infiltration control, etc.

Click here and submit your info for a follow-up call on scheduling an accredited presentation.

Want more information on geotech products and equipment?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Deep Lift, Fill Voids, Engineer Resources

Repairing Rocking Slabs

Posted by Colt Hullander on Apr 19, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Repairing Rocking Slabs

Body - Repairing Rocking SlabsLoose, unstable slabs with voids underneath are often referred to as "rocking" slabs due to their movement when forklifts cross over them. Rocking slabs are a common problem in many warehouses. Left un-repaired, they can cause damage to equipment and injury to workers. Eventually, rocking slabs will require replacement if they are not repaired properly.

Rocking Slabs Can Cause:

  • Slab Deterioration Over Time
  • Floor Destabilization
  • Damage to Material Handling Equipment & Loads
  • Trip Hazards & Litigation Risk

How to Repair Rocking Slabs:

  1. Inject high-strength, high-density polyurethane foam underneath the slab for lasting support.
  2. The polyurethane expands to fill any voids underneath and cures to support 14,000 lbs/square foot.
  3. Easily clear excess foam from the surface of the slab.
  4. Repaired slabs are traffic ready in just 15 minutes!

Want more information on warehouse slab repair?

Download an Info-Packed Commercial & Industrial Slab Repair Brochure!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil

Spring 2022 Geotech Training Report

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Apr 5, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Spring 2022 Geotech Training Report

Body - Spring 2022 Geotech Training ReportOn March 29th - 31st, Contractors from around the world 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: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Deep Lift, Fill Voids

What Is Polyurethane?

Posted by Brian Dalinghaus on Mar 31, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - What is Polyurethane

Body - What is 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, provides an overview of polyurethane concrete repair material. 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!

Perhaps a foundation repair contractor has suggested polyurethane foam for deep injection, void fill, or slab lifting/leveling, but you’re not so sure about pumping “plastic” into the earth or underneath your home. You’re probably wondering: is polyurethane environmentally friendly? Is it effective?

If you’re concerned about the use of polyurethane for foundation repair and soil densification or just want to know more general information about PU, this article is for you.

Dalinghaus Construction Inc. has been in the foundation repair game since 2015. We have over 100 years of combined foundation repair experience and have serviced thousands of foundations in Southern California and Arizona via polyurethane-related repairs. We know everything there is to know about polyurethane and we’re here to share.

In this article, you will learn the definition of polyurethane, its history, many general uses, and how polyurethane foam is utilized in foundation repair.

What is Polyurethane?

Before you pump gallons of polyurethane foam underneath your home or into the soil around your property, you probably want to know what exactly it is.

Polyurethane Definition

Polyurethane is a synthetic resin compound comprised of carbamate/urethane groups linked to polymer units, often abbreviated as PU or PUR. In other words, polyurethane is a combination of chemicals/compounds that react to create a plastic-like substance. As a solid, polyurethane has an open-cellular structure – which is a foam.

Polyurethane foam, utilized for many purposes including insulation, sound-proofing, and foundation repair, is created by the chemical reaction of Diisocyanates and polyols (both of which are derived from organic crude oil). Because polyurethane is comprised of organic material, it is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to an increased eco-footprint.

Polyurethane is not a plastic. Technically, the elongated flexible polymer molecules that make up thermoset polyurethanes categorize this material as an elastomer (a natural or synthetic polymer having elastic properties, e.g., rubber).

Polyurethane foam is a safe, eco-friendly option to densify weak, non-load-bearing soil, void fill beneath your foundation following a lift/stabilization and relevel slabs.

History of Polyurethane

Polyurethane was invented in 1937 by the renowned German Professor Dr. Otto Bayer. Dr. Otto Bayer was an industrial chemist and worked for IG Farben – spearheading the research team that discovered polyaddition (the key to synthesis for polyurethanes by combining polyol and polyisocyanate).

Polyurethane first enjoyed widespread use in World War II as a rubber substitute. Polyurethane was utilized as airplane finishes, various coatings, and to create flame-retardant clothing. By the 1950s, Polyurethane was utilized for many different applications: couch cushion foam, rigid foams, elastomers, and adhesives.

Today, polyurethane is utilized for a wide variety of applications: mattresses, shoe soles, car seats, insulation, and even pacemakers. Polyurethane is a “behind the scenes” product, often hidden behind a layer of fabric, plastic, or other encasing material.

Due to its prevalence, in everything from car seats to pacemakers, it’s truly difficult to grasp the full scope and impact of polyurethane in everyday life – however, its importance in the foundation repair game is easy to explain.

Polyurethane and Foundation Repair

The foundation repair industry uses polyurethane foam primarily for soil densification, void fill, and lifting/leveling slabs back into place. 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.

The polyurethane foam is installed via an application gun: the polyols (a type of alcohol, containing multiple hydroxyl groups) and diisocyanate/polymeric isocyanate are pumped separately, but simultaneously. The chemicals combine and react after exiting the application gun.

The foam then expands, filling the void, densifying the soil, or lifting the slab back into place. In short, polyurethane has incredible expansive properties, allowing it to fill voids evenly and with ease – providing strength and support to the affected structure.

Here at Dalinghaus Construction Inc., we use Alchemy-Spetec's AP Lift 430 (which has been certified by Truesdail Labs to NSF/ANSI 61-5 – meaning it’s approved for contact with drinking water).

AP Lift 430 is:

  • Waterproof (Hydrophobic)
  • Noninvasive (Install Process is More Efficient and Replacing Concrete)
  • Nonpolluting (NSF Approved for Contact with Potable Water)

In addition, AP Lift 430 weighs approximately 3 pounds per cubic foot and reaches 90% compression strength in only 15 minutes. And, finally, polyurethane can hold 7,200 pounds per square foot. In short, polyurethane is a fantastic solution for foundation repair and hillside stabilization needs.

Polyurethane Foam is Safe, Effective, and Environmentally Friendly

In this article, you learned the definition of polyurethane, how it was invited by Dr. Otto Bayer, the wide spectrum of uses, and how polyurethane foam is utilized in foundation repair and construction. You also learned that polyurethane is a safe and effective product. Dalinghaus Construction has helped hundreds of homeowners and offers an array of services, including carbon fiber crack repair, steel pier underpinning, and more. 

Click here if you live in Southern California or Arizona and would like to book a free foundation inspection.

Want more information on polyurethane repair products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: All Posts, Lift Slabs, Stabilize Soil, Fill Voids

The PolyBadger: A Value Packed Compact Slab Lifting System

Posted by David Park on Mar 24, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Banner - The PolyBadger A Value Packed Slab Lifting System

Body - The PolyBadger A Value Packed Slab Lifting SystemThe Alchemy-Spetec PolyBadger lifting system is tough and compact. This system is an affordable entry-level option for new contractors, as well as an extremely portable addition to the experienced contractor’s arsenal. The PolyBadger is a lot less expensive than your standard 20-foot trailer rig. The setup is simple and requires minimal equipment. The entire system can easily fit in the back of a pickup truck! With this equipment, you can handle most every flatwork type of concrete lifting, be it residential or commercial. Of course, void filling beneath slabs and structures is also within the capability of the machine.

Witness the PolyBadger in Action

The PolyBadger is a reliable entry-level choice for new lifting companies focusing on small jobs. It's also a great system for larger companies facing out-of-the-way jobs that may prohibit the use of a large rig.

The demo video below covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to the PolyBadger
  • Drilling an Injection Hole
  • Preventing Concrete Stains with AP Flush 125
  • Injecting Polyurethane
  • Cleaning Out the Static Mixer
  • Cleaning Up & Shutting Down the System

The PolyBadger Lifting System: Key Advantages

The Alchemy-Spetec PolyBadger mobile slab lifting system is tough, compact, and built to last. The cabinet is constructed from powder-coated carbon steel and the frame is constructed from carbon steel box tubing. The durable hose is constructed with a Teflon core and a stainless steel braid.

Key Advantages to Consider:

  • Material handling - the PolyBadger is designed to pump right out of 10-gallon material sets (5 gallons of A-side and 5 gallons of B side). These are easy to handle, easy to dispose of when empty, and very convenient to use. No dealing with 1000 lb drum sets of material required.
  • Easy to operate - the PolyBadger features an auto-calibrator proportioning system that is genius. It takes monitoring pressures all the time out of the equation. Startup takes about 5 minutes and shut down takes less than a minute. It is a very easy machine to learn.
  • Advanced technology - besides the auto-calibrator, the PolyBadger features advanced primary heaters that can heat the material in one pass. No recirculating material to get it hot enough to pump.
  • Gun clean-up - gun maintenance for the PolyBadger Handy gun takes about 30 seconds. Traditional spray and lifting guns can take an hour or more some days.

The PolyBadger Package and Considerations

The PolyBadger package typically includes the cart, control cabinet, moisture separator, and regulator dashboard, two transfer pumps, 60' of Green Flare heated hose, two Handi guns, static mixers, and injection ports. The price may vary depending on what you already have and may need to add on.

Power and air requirements are two 20-amp 110 V circuits and 10-11 cfm of air. You can run the machine from two separate circuits of a residence or business or a 5000-watt generator. For air, our contractors will usually purchase a wheelbarrow-style air compressor with twin parallel tanks. These are gasoline-powered units and usually have about 10+ CFM capacity at 90 psi. Odds are you already have a generator and compressor that is sufficient. In a warehouse or plant environment, you can run off factory airdrops and 110 v outlets.

Want more information about the PolyBadger system?

Download an Info-Packed PolyBadger System Brochure!

Topics: Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs