Alchemy-Spetec Blog

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

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

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

Banner-Colt Hullander Alchemy-Spetec

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

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

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

Want more info on Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

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

The Design of Coastal Revetments, Seawalls, and Bulkheads

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Jun 11, 2020 9:48:34 AM

Banner-Design of Seawalls

Body-Design of SeawallsChemical grouts have an amazingly diverse range of properties. This makes them incredibly useful for all types of waterproofing, soil modification, and structural repairs. This wide range of characteristics means that there is no one size fits all grout out there. But I get ahead of myself. Before one can select a chemical grout for a repair it is necessary to understand not only the asset to be repaired but also how and why it is failing and/or leaking. There are numerous methodologies that can be utilized to determine what is going on, but before one can start the troubleshooting one needs to understand the structure's design.

This is why I love articles like this one from PileBuck.com. It gives a good overview of seawalls and bulkheads. These structures are often the frontline in our war against erosion and thus require periodic maintenance. We at Alchemy-Spetec are committed to providing cost-effective, high-quality grouts tailored to the precise needs of the project. We know that a quality grout is just the beginning and we follow-through with the most experienced technical support in the industry. Enjoy the article...

Along bluffs and coastal shorelines, various structures are often necessary to protect beaches from wave action, or to retain fill or in situ soil.  There are three primary structure types that can be utilized to accomplish these goals, including protective materials laid on slopes, known as revetments, and vertical structures, which are classified as either seawalls or bulkheads.

Revetments are typically constructed of stone or other durable materials to provide protection for designated slopes.  They are built with an armor layer, a filter layer or layers, and toe protection.  The armor layer can consist of interlocking structural elements designed to form a geometric pattern, or a random mass or stone or concrete rubble.  Next, a filter layer will ensure drainage and protection of the underlying soil.  Finally, toe protection will offer stability against undermining at the base of the revetment.

While bulkheads and seawalls are both types of vertical structures used to protect coasts, they have different purposes.  Bulkheads are used to retain or prevent the sliding of land, with protection of the upland area from wave action as a secondary consideration.  In contrast, the primary purpose of seawalls is to intercept waves.  Bulkheads can be cantilevered, anchored, or gravity structures, with their use limited to areas where wave action can be resisted by the types of materials used in these respective designs (such as sheet piling or rock-filled timber cribs).  For areas where intense wave action exists, massive concrete seawalls are the more appropriate choice, with either a vertical, concave, or stepped seaward face.

Read the rest at PileBuck.com...

Want more info Alchemy-Spetec products?

Download the Info-Packed Leak Seal Product Catalog!

Download the Info-Packed Geotech Product Catalog!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, Seal Leaks

Develop Your Competitive Edge

Posted by Michael Binyaminov on Apr 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Banner-Develop Your Competitive Edge

Body-Develop Your Competitive EdgeWhenever I talk to contractors who are in the market for a polyurethane materials provider, I always find myself discussing the same set of important points.  In a nutshell, I end up sharing my appreciation for the unique ways in which we can help contractors develop a competitive edge. In order to make this info available to a wider audience, I've decided to write it all up in a brief blog post.

Polyurethane – Quality and Selection

Alchemy-Spetec offers one of the most technologically advanced grout product lines currently on the market, including our unique, highly-effective Spetec PUR HighFoamer. Known in the industry for its expansive properties, this product is the only one in its class that can shut down gushing leaks and fill voids as quickly and effectively as it does. We offer a wide variety of materials, including slab lifting foams, deep-soil lifting foams, soil stabilization foams, injection resins for crack leak seal, foams for curtain grouting leak seal, acrylic injection resins that penetrate thin cracks and saturate soil, epoxy resins for structural repair and preventative waterstop products. 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 in being incredibly responsive. For example, our team was recently called on to assist with a large metro project in the Western United States. The customer informed us at 4pm on Monday evening that assistance was needed at 9am the very next day! Our Technical Services Director Charlie Lerman, Vice President Jim Spiegel, and Western Regional Sales Manager (that's me!) traveled to the site Monday evening to help diagnose the location of the leaks and develop an action plan. Our Technical Services Manager Charlie 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. We conduct training workshops at distributor locations, consult with contractors on job sites, and hold intensive programs twice a year at our headquarters in Tucker, GA. We also offer in-depth online training videos to current customers.

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

Seawall Repair in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia

Posted by Tony Alfano on Mar 10, 2020 3:47:19 PM

Northeast Seawall Repair - Banner

Northeast Seawall Repair - BodyAs Alchemy-Spetec's Northeast Regional Geotech Lead, I am the point-person for contractors and property managers in this area of the country.  I also represent the NJ coastal, oceans, ports, and river engineers through the NJ COPRI, the Institute arm of The American Society of Civil Engineers. COPRI is responsible for evaluating data on ports, providing them with report cards on inefficiencies, and making recommendations for improvements. COPRI members also meet with leadership in Washington DC to give expert testimony on how funding should be appropriated for sustainability of US coastal areas, ports, and rivers.

I have developed feasible procedures for seawall remediation using polymer grouts, and have consulted with engineers and contractors to develop the standards for polymer seawall repairs. These standards are used throughout the US, and I regularly give presentations on them at engineering lectures and conferences.

In this blog post, I provide a simple introductory overview of seawall issues in the Northeastern United States.

Tony Alfano
Mech. Eng., A.M. ASCE  | Chair ASCE NJ COPRI (Coastal, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute)

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Seawall Repair in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia

Many Seawalls along the northeastern United States are in a state of disrepair, for a wide variety of reasons. Rising water levels, corrosion, seasonal freeze/thaw cycles, storms and extreme weather events all contribute to seawall deterioration over time. Properly built seawalls include a drainage system to handle the daily influx and outflow of water from rain, tides and waves. Over time, these drainage systems can sometimes become clogged. Seawalls without an effective built-in drainage system face a unique problem in that the water has no way to escape except to force its way down and out from underneath the base of the wall. When this occurs, sinkholes will appear alongside the wall.

Seawall Repair Options

Property owners facing seawall deterioration have a few options:

  • Do Nothing
    The problem with this option is obvious: longer you wait, the more expensive the eventual repair.

  • Replace the Seawall
    Rebuilding a seawall (or even a section of a seawall) can be messy, time consuming and expensive.

  • Repair with Cement Grout
    Cement grout seawall repair requires heavy equipment, large drill holes and the use of weighty cement grout which may sink over time.

  • Repair with Polymer Foam
    The polyurethane seawall repair process is accomplished with small mobile equipment, durable material that doesn’t sink, and small drill holes. This procedure makes less of a mess than replacing the seawall or repairing with cement grout.

Alchemy-Spetec structural foams are stronger than crystalline bedrock. Combined with proper drainage, polyurethane seawall repair can greatly extend the life of the structure.

Environmentally Safe

Alchemy-Spetec polyurethane seawall repair resin products have received the official NSF seal of approval for contact with drinking water (this also protects water-dwelling wildlife as well). This designation ensures compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA) and guarantees peace of mind for in-the-field stakeholders on construction projects of almost any scope and size.

Want more technical information on Seawall Repair?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Technical Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Polyurethane Seawall Repair Explained

Posted by Michael Binyaminov on Feb 18, 2020 2:43:14 PM

Polyurethane Seawall Repair Explained

Polyurethane Seawall Repair ExplainedWhy Do Seawalls Deteriorate?

The Elements
Salt corrosion, tidal action, currents, boat wakes, storm surges and heavy rain events all deliver a constant beating on the seawall. Every time it rains, or the irrigation system runs, and every time the tide goes out; all of the groundwater above the waterline has to vent or equalize. Tremendous pressures can build up if that water is trapped and cannot make its way into the sea or the storm water system.

Structural Aging
Correct construction of a seawall includes a drainage system to handle the bulk of the water that comes from rain in addition to check valves, weep holes, or seams to handle the daily influx and outflow from tide and wave action. Over time the materials degrade or can be disturbed by settling. The result is a loss of soil and the inevitable sinkholes and / or low spots that will occur along the wall. Other times, the weep holes and vents become clogged and the water has no way to escape except to force its way down and out from underneath the base of the wall. When this occurs there will again be sinkholes and sometimes wall failure.

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 Polymers 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.

Environmentally Safe
Alchemy-Spetec offers seawall repair resins that are approved for contact with drinking water (certified to NSF 61-5). That means they can be used anywhere without having an adverse effect on water quality.

Watch this brief overview of the polyurethane seawall repair process.

Want more information on seawall repair with polyurethane?

Download an Info-Packed Seawall Repair Brochure!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Posted by Jim Spiegel on Jan 16, 2020 4:11:01 PM

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Announcing Spring 2020 Infrastructure Repair Training

Leak Seal & Geotech Products & Procedures

March 18th & 19th, 2020 at Alchemy-Spetec HQ in Tucker, GA

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

Wednesday - Leak Seal

  • Leak Seal Product Line Overview
  • Curtain Grouting
  • Permeation Grouting
  • Leak-Seal Product Mixing
  • Pump & Packer Overviews
  • Leak-Seal Accessories
  • Municipal Applications
  • Live Injection Demos
  • Open Discussions

Thursday - Geotech

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Geotech Product Mixing
  • Rig & Mobile System Overviews
  • Geotechnical Accessories
  • Slab Lifting Live Demo
  • Deep Lift™ Overview
  • Soil Testing with the
  • GPR & Penetrometer
  • Maintenance Discussions
  • Pricing / Estimating / Cost Savings
  • Open Discussions

Click Here to Register NOW!

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

Seawall Repair on Waterfront Properties

Posted by Charlie Lerman on Oct 8, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Seawall Repair on Waterfront Properties

Seawall Repair on Waterfront PropertiesSigns of Seawall Distress

Do you own or manage waterfront property?  If so, you may have issues with your seawalls.  Check for the following signs of distress:

  • Settled soil near the wall (a sign of water leaking through the wall and eroding the soil on the land side).
  • Soil deposits near the seams on the water side of the wall (a sign of water leaks bringing soil through the seams into the lake).
  • Visible rust colored cracks or stains in the wall (a sign of water leaking through cracks in the wall and rusting the rebar inside).

Polyurethane Seawall Repair

High-strength polyurethane foam can be injected through pipes directly into voids and loose soil around your distressed seawall. Concrete repair contractors use semi-rigid hydrophobic material that reacts with moisture in the ground and expands to fill voids while also permeating the soil to form a solid, strong, watertight mass.

Since this polyurethane is impermeable to water once in place, the likelihood of future erosion is vastly diminished versus refilling the void with soil or other material.  Originally developed over 30 years ago, and continuously improved since, this technology has one of the longest histories of success in the field.  

Efficient seawall repair with this material prevents the need for remediation processes that can be harmful to the environment, such as a complete wall replacement or the excavating of all loose soil.  If the contractor is using the appropriate Alchemy-Spetec products, they will be Phthalate free AND approved for contact with drinking water once cured in place.  So you don't have to worry any long-term averse environmental impact.

Alchemy-Spetec Can Help You Find a Seawall Repair Contractor

Would you like assistance finding a seawall repair contractor in your area?  Professionals everywhere rely on Alchemy-Spetec's industry leading products for reliable and lasting results.  We can very likely put you in touch with an Alchemy-Spetec approved installer nearby.  Call us at 404-618-0438 or fill consultation request form linked below.

Want to schedule a consultation for assistance finding a contractor?

Sign Up for a Consultation Now!

Topics: Repair Seawalls, All Posts

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT!

Posted by Stephen C. Barton on Sep 27, 2019 9:43:16 AM

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT! (1)

Alchemy-Spetec Fall 2019 Training SOLD OUT!

Alchemy-Spetec's Fall 2019 training event is officially SOLD OUT!  If you're still interested in training, we'll be conducting another event in the Spring of 2020.  Click the button below and fill out the form.  We'll keep you updated on the Spring 2020 event an all other training opportunities!

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

Alchemy-Spetec two-day training events typically consist of the following...

Leak Seal Day

  • Leak Seal Product Line Overview
  • Curtain Grouting
  • Permeation Grouting
  • Leak-Seal Product Mixing
  • Pump & Packer Overviews
  • Leak-Seal Accessories
  • Municipal Applications
  • Live Injection Demos
  • Open Discussions

Geotech Day

  • Geotech Product Line Overview
  • Soil Stabilization
  • Geotech Product Mixing
  • Rig & Mobile System Overviews
  • Geotechnical Accessories
  • Slab Lifting Live Demo
  • Deep Lift™ Overview
  • Soil Testing with the GPR & Penetrometer
  • Maintenance Discussions
  • Pricing / Estimating / Cost Savings
  • Open Discussions

Want to be alerted when Spring 2020 training registration is available?

Sign Up to Get Notified for Future Training Events

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