Alchemy-Spetec Blog

Essential Seawall Repair Blogs

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Jan 28, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Essential Seawall Repair Blogs

Body - Essential Seawall Repair BlogsThis article features intros and links to our top 5 most popular seawall repair blogs:

Get up to speed quickly with these blog posts.  You may also want to visit the seawall repair application page for an animated explainer video, product info, and links to all seawall repair blog posts.

Stop Erosion Through Your Seawall with Polyurethane

A seawall is like a living, breathing thing: especially in the way that it is designed to function. But like all living breathing things, seawalls have a finite lifespan. For many of them, it's a mere 20 – 30 years. Depending on where you live, replacing a seawall can cost anywhere from $150 to $500 per foot. That's enough for some homeowners to choose to move instead of rebuilding their seawalls. Today however, signs of seawall distress can be solved before they get too bad through the application of polyurethane grouts to seal leaks, fill voids, and stabilize the surrounding soils. Click here to read more...

An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair

In this blog post we’ll look at an innovative way to repair seawalls instead of replacing them by stopping high flow leaks, filling the voids behind concrete structures and binding loose soil with polyurethane foam. As tidal flows rise and fall, water pushes its way in through cracks, joints, and defects in seawalls. The water pushes in on incoming tides and flows out on outgoing tides. As the water flows out, it carries sand and soil with it which causes undermining of the structure. Click here to read more...

Residential Seawall Repair

If you love the ocean, then living near the water can be an ideal situation most of the time. You can enjoy scenic views of the sea, easy access to the water, and gentle ocean breezes as you sit out on your deck. But one challenge many oceanfront home owners eventually find themselves facing is leaking seawalls. You depend on seawalls to keep water on the outside and the the soil that supports your property on the inside. The seawall protecting your property is vulnerable to many degrading factors. Click here to read more...

Signs a Seawall is in Need of Repair

Salt corrosion, tidal action, currents, boat wakes, storm surges and sometimes hurricanes all deliver a constant beating on the seawall. Contrary to popular opinion, many of the forces also come from the side of the wall facing the land. Did you realize that rainfall/storm events create more hydrostatic pressure than rising and falling tides? Every time it rains or the irrigation system runs, and every time the tide goes out; all of the groundwater above the waterline needs a place to vent or equalize. Massive pressure can build up if that water is trapped, making it impossible for it to drain into the sea or storm water system. That is a recipe for disaster which can easily be avoided with proper surveillance. Let's take a look at some of the external signs a seawall is in need of repair. Click here to read more...

Polyurethane Foam for Seawall Repair - Technical Details

Repair sea walls instead of replacing them by stopping high flow leaks, filling the voids behind concrete structures and binding loose soil with AP Fill 720 & AP Fill 700 — innovative, cost effective, water activated, low viscosity, simple to use closed cell polyurethane injection resins. Click here to read more...

Want more information on seawall repair with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

How to Tow a Trailer: 8 Basic Safety Tips

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Jan 26, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Banner - How to Tow a Trailer

Body - How to Tow a TrailerWhether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned veteran, this guide can serve as a simple checklist to keep your equipment and 16-20 foot trailer safe as you travel to your next project.

Give Yourself Plenty of Room to Stop and Turn

When towing a trailer, the distance required to stop is more than most people realize. The amount of space between you and the vehicle in front of you must be doubled if not more compared to driving without a trailer. The same is true with turns. Allow more space than you think you may need between you and any curbs or other vehicles. And don't jackknife the trailer (a turn so sharp that it touches your bumper) as this can cause damage.

Keep Your Trailer Grounded

Winds, downhill grades, and momentum can all lead to trailer swaying. We recommend utilizing a hitch stabilization device to negate some of these effects. You can also release the gas pedal and manually apply the trailer brakes with a brake controller as needed. Your trailer can start swinging back and forth behind you if you are not monitoring your surroundings and speed.

Look Twice While Changing Lanes

Your blind spots significantly increase with a trailer and it’s much harder to make quick lane changes. Give yourself plenty of space and move slowly from one lane to the other after double-checking your blind spots and the positions of surrounding vehicles.

Patience is Key with Passing

You also have to allow more distance and time when passing other vehicles. Give yourself plenty of room to get your vehicle safely up to speed with the trailer in tow. Be patient and remain calm at all times, even when other drivers may impatiently speed up and pass you.

Avoid Blocking Yourself In

Just because you can get in doesn’t mean you can get out. It’s a lot easier to get stuck or blocked in with a trailer than most people realize. Make sure there's plenty of space to make a complete turnaround or choose a spot where you can exit straightaway.

Practice Backing Up with the Trailer

Backing up with a trailer can be counter-intuitive for newbies. New trailer drivers should take some time in a parking lot or other spacious area to practice slowly driving in reverse. You’ll find that you have to turn the steering wheel left in order to move the trailer towards the right and vice versa. For most people it doesn’t feel right at first, so it’s definitely worth practicing in a safe environment.

Perform Regular Maintenance and Carry a Spare Tire

If you have electric brakes on the trailer, be sure to calibrate them so they are receiving the correct amount power. Follow the calibration procedures in your brake controller manual. Check the lug nuts with a lug wrench periodically to make sure they aren't coming loose. Grease the bearings on the axels every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. Carry a spare tire, a lug wrench, and a jack that is strong enough to lift your trailer. It's tough to change a tire without the proper equipment.

Stay Alert

The #1 reason people get into accidents is because they are not paying attention, driving faster than they should, or simply lacking foresight. Look further down the road than you normally would because it takes longer to speed up, brake, change lanes, and turn with a trailer. This way you can spot and anticipate problems from a mile away.

Want more information on geotech products and equipment?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Deep Lift

Seawall Repair: Flowable Fill vs Polyurethane Resin

Posted by J.R. Crowell on Dec 15, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Seawall Repair Fill vs Resin

Body-Seawall Repair Flowable Fill vs Polyurethane ResinThis 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 the difference between two popular types of seawall repair materials.  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!.

Seawalls play an important role in shoreline protection and adjacent structure stability.  Over time however, hydrostatic pressure, storm surges, and simple aging will create the need for routine maintenance to be performed on the walls themselves as well as on the soil behind the walls.  When repairs are needed, it's important to use the most effective material available. 

Let's take a look at a recent job in which two different materials were used.  We were brought in on a project where a metal coastal seawall was damaged by heavy erosion and washouts.  This particular repair was part of a larger scale revitalization to a public access area, so safety and aesthetics were very important.  Prior to our involvement, the repair plan to fill the voids called for flowable fill, a cementitious mixture, to be pumped into all known voids.  That process was completed on a Friday, and when the site was evaluated the following Monday, over half of the voids were back.  Why did this happen?  Here are a few reasons:

  • Flowable fill is a cementitious mixture with fluid properties.  Cement has a long cure time and it is heavy.  So, pumping this into a void caused by water infiltrating an already weak seawall means two things:

    • Water is present, so an even longer than normal cure time is expected. Longer cure time means more time for water to undermine the seawall.

    • Flowable fill relies on volume to fill voids.  More volume means more weight.  More weight on a weak/failing wall could make matters worse.

  • Part of sediment loss from behind the wall was due to larger, rusted holes. Based on the factors stated above, flowable fill will have a hard time setting up with water actively coming through the wall, which means you never get a complete seal on the holes.

  • Flowable fill doesn’t combine with soil, but rather fills up only large voids.  It is a thick material which means any small water paths will be hard, if not impossible, to reach.

The Solution:

We used a permeating, hydrophobic, polyurethane resin to seal off the problem areas.  This material is a bit of a hybrid chemical, meaning it has both permeating and expansive qualities.  (It should be noted that the expansive qualities are not synonymous with the qualities of the rigid, two part expanding foams used to lift and stabilize structures.)

Two days after the repair was completed, this area was hit with a tropical storm dumping 8” of rain in a matter of days and sending a powerful surge that caused waves to crash over the seawall. A thorough site evaluation the next week revealed that the polyurethane resin repair held.  So, why was this repair successful?

  • For starters, with active leaks and holes in a seawall, you want to stop the water inflow as fast as possible so that the material behind the wall can be strengthened.  Material used here has an expansion rate of 50x its liquid state and is moisture activated.  This combined with hydrophobic properties means that as soon as the resin touched moisture, it began to seek and force out all water in the area.  This is saying a lot when you take into account the material was also holding off pressure from coastal tides.

  • This resin has a very low viscosity (approximately 100cps) and is injected under pressure.  So anywhere water is going, it can go.  This is important because we are not just sealing the small holes, we are finding the small paths that flowable fill simply cannot get to.  There were instances where we had material reaction 10-15 ft from our injection point, meaning it found water traveling that far to cause problems.  Flowable fill can’t find that.

  • Remember we said this is a hybrid material and the permeation qualities are probably the most important part of this repair. Once the active leaks were sealed, the resin then permeated through the soil seeking out all large and hairline water paths.  As interaction with soil and moisture occurred, soil particles were combined and bound together to create a solid, water impermeable mass everywhere water once traveled.  Extra care was also taken to make sure the surrounding areas were treated to mitigate future erosion.  This was important because we were stabilizing the natural water paths, where water has been and will be trying to go, we weren’t just putting up a “dam”.  This method stops the water intrusion at its source and then strengthens the area.

Seawall failures are common and can be expensive and unsafe if done incorrectly.  We want to make sure you have access to all the information necessary to make an informed decision.  The initially failed repair was not at all due to negligence, but simply a lack of information.  The property owners weren’t aware of a better method.  Therein lies our mission, to solve problems permanently and educate while doing so.

Click here for more information on Helms Polyfoam.

Want more information on seawall repair with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

John Ziebell Reflects on 36 Years in the Industry

Posted by Kreg Thornley on Nov 19, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - John Ziebell Reflects on 36 Years in the Industry

Body - John Ziebell Reflects on 36 Years in the IndustryOn this episode of The Injection Connection, Charlie Lerman takes over the hosting duties, welcoming Alchemy-Spetec independent rep John Ziebell. Formerly the Vice President of Operations for Deneef Construction Chemicals, Inc., John has 36 years of experience in the chemical grout industry and is currently a member of the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI).

Listen to the episode in its entirety below, or check it out on TheInjectionConnection.com and the following platforms:

Want info 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, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips

PolyShark Seawall Repair & Soil Stabilization Pump Skid

Posted by Colt Hullander on Nov 10, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-PolyShark Seawall Repair & Soil Stabilization Pump Skid

Body-PolyShark Seawall Repair & Soil Stabilization Pump Skid GraphicSingle-Component Geotech Pump Skid

The PolyShark is a custom pump skid system for installation of single-component polyurethane geotech resins. This world-class skid set up is essential for large scale seawall repair, soil stabilization, and void fill projects.

The PolyShark includes a gas-powered high-pressure injection pump, two hose reels, and flow meters.

Gas-Powered High-Pressure Injection Pump

A step up for projects that require greater power and output, this custom modified pump is our best-selling gas over hydraulic piston machine, favored by contractors who want to complete large application jobs in record time with high profit margins. The hydraulic ram fluid section is moved front and center in the configuration for easier maintenance and control.

High-Pressure Hose Reels with Stainless Steel Ball Bearings

High-pressure design guarantees durability when used with the high-pressure single-component pump. The construction is completely corrosion resistant and the stainless steel ball bearings, hardware, and manifolds are stronger than the aluminum parts on standard hose reels. The ball bearing-driven hose reels operate smoothly because they contain no bushings. (Bushings easily wear out.)

Flow Meters

Two high-pressure flow meters are capable of recording the exact amount of product pushed through the hoselines. This allows for precision material-use tracking.

Want more information on this seawall repair/soil stabillization skid?

Download an Info-Packed PolyShark System Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts, Stabilize Soil

Field Service When YOU Need It

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Oct 27, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Field Service When YOU Need It

Body - Field Service When YOU Need ItWe understand that chemical grouting is often not the primary focus of a construction or repair job, but a water leak can often bring the rest of the job to a screeching halt until it is sealed. Job costs then start to pile up, production or facility services stay shut down as time drags on, sometimes tempers begin to flare. Sound familiar?

It’s not an exaggeration to state that Alchemy-Spetec has the most experienced and responsive technical support squad in the industry. In the spirit of the famous postal service motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”, our approach is somewhat along the lines of, “Neither weekends nor evening hours nor holidays…”. In other words we strive, to the best of our ability, to be there for you when YOU need us.

For example, Alchemy-Spetec has provided technical support for critical infrastructure jobs over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. While on-site technical service response is based on availability and job circumstances, we have a track record of being there when it counts. In the chemical grouting industry, almost all other manufacturers have moved away from dedicated fulltime support personnel. We stand alone to help you when YOU need it.

Want more information on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Equipment & Accessories, All Posts, Lift Slabs, Seal Leaks, Stabilize Soil, Business Tips, Deep Lift

Polyurethane Seawall Repair in Florida

Posted by Andy Powell on Aug 27, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - AS - Polyurethane Seawall Repair in Florida

Body - AS - Polyurethane Seawall Repair in FloridaWith 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida is home to countless seawalls.  If you're a property owner or manager in the Sunshine State, you have landed in the right place. Alchemy-Spetec provides environmentally safe seawall repair polyurethane materials to contractors covering all of Florida. (These seawall repair foams are NSF approved for contact with potable water.) If you have a seawall requiring evaluation, we'd be happy to refer you to an experienced contractor covering your area. Call us now at 404-618-0438.

If you're still in research mode, we have plenty of information for you on this website about polyurethane seawall repair. Visit the Seawall Repair Overview Page for a brief explanatory video, product info and a complete list of seawall repair blog articles at the bottom.

In a previous blog post, Polyurethane Seawall Repair Explained, we reviewed the benefits of repairing with polyurethane...

Why Use Polyurethane for Seawall Repair?

Non-Intrusive Application
Polyurethane can be injected through pipes directly into voids and loose sandy soil using small portable equipment.

Proven Solution
Seawall repair resins are used extensively seal cracks, voids and defects as well as for filling voids and stabilizing the soil.

Creates an Impermeable Mass
Polyurethane seals leaks along the wall, fills the voids that have occurred, and mixes with the soil to form a solid, impermeable mass.

What Are the Results of Polyurethane Seawall Repair?

Long Lasting Solution
Alchemy-Spetec seawall repair resins cure to a strength greater than crystalline bedrock. Combined with proper drainage, this method can greatly extend the life of your seawall.

Water Tight Seawall
The resin reacts with water or moisture in the soil and expands to fill voids while it permeates sandy soil to form a solid, strong, watertight mass.

Click here to read the rest of Polyurethane Seawall Repair Explained.

Property owners and managers in Florida can rest assured.  If you have seawall problems, we have you covered.  Contact us at 404-618-0438 for a referral to a contractor near you.  

Want more information on seawall repair with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

Posted by Erik Prinzing on Aug 20, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner - Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

Body - Great Lakes Flooding Increases Demand for Seawall Repair

According to the Detroit Free Press, rising water levels on the Great Lakes have hit records in 2020, leading to extensive flooding and unusually aggressive shoreline erosion. Many property owners and contractors in the area are now researching seawall repair methods. This type of research typically reveals three options: the common methods of excavation or repair with cement grout, and the next generation method of repair with high-strength polyurethane.

Common Seawall Repair Options

In a previous blog post, An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair, Andy Powell explained two of the most common options, along with their drawbacks...

Seawall Excavation

You can tear out the wall (or part of the wall) and replace it. This approach has a few daunting downsides. Namely, it can be…

  • Costly
  • Time consuming
  • Environmentally damaging
  • Requires time consuming permits

Paying for a new seawall is no doubt going to cost more than any kind of repair. A complete rebuild will also take some time. Not to mention the inevitable mess, a good portion of which is likely to end up in the water. Excavation also requires getting a permit, which can eat up a LOT of time. 

Seawall Repair with Cement Grout

We still see contractors and property owners filling sinkholes and trying to plug seawall leaks concrete. This outdated approach has many disadvantages when compared to polyurethane repair. For example, it’s…

  • Product, labor and machinery intensive
  • Time consuming
  • Prone to degradation
  • Heavy (adds weight to seawall or bulkhead already under stress)

The amount of cement grout, labor and machinery required can be quite disruptive as well.  Compared to the stealth, surgical approach of polyurethane repair, the property owner can end up with quite a mess on their property during a cement grout repair job. Needless to say, with all this extra material, machinery and labor – the whole process takes longer than your typical polyurethane repair. Cement grout is known to shrink and degrade over time as well. Imagine the frustration of paying for an expensive seawall repair, only to see it wash out over the next few weeks. Cement that doesn’t wash out can add weight to the structure and sink over time.

Click here to read the rest of Andy Powell's blog post - An In-Depth Look at Polyurethane Seawall Repair.

Next Generation Seawall Repair with Polyurethane

Polyurethane repair material addresses the primary weaknesses inherent in excavation and repair with cement grout. This includes minimal disruption from equipment, labor, and messy materials; plus a quick return-to-use time. Alchemy-Spetec offers high-strenth polyurethane foams for repairing seawall cracks, voids, and surrouding soil.  Alchemy-Spetec seawall repair foams are also NSF-approved for contact with potable water.

Want more info on polyurethane seawall repair?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

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

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