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Author Archives: Chris

  1. Joining and Sealing Precast Concrete

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    The primary purpose of adding sealant to the joints of precast concrete is to establish an extra layer of protection between the blocks or segments. This will prevent water or dirt from entering a construction joint. Common structures requiring joint sealants are catch basins, culverts, manholes, sumps, and trenches.

    Liquids take the joints of concrete structures as the primary route to the ground. Thus, failure to seal these gaps and spaces could result in detectable leaks or potential structural damage, especially if immediate action is not taken.

    This article will discuss the advantages of joint sealants for precast concrete and the application process.

    Advantages of Using Joint Sealants

    The primary advantage of joint sealants is that they remain flexible and accommodate movement between precast concrete components. If used for floors, they will also support the movement and contraction of joints.

    The following are the other benefits of joint sealants:

    • Ability to move with the concrete joint, extending the seal’s lifespan
    • Ability to enhance the visual appearance of concrete joints, increasing their appeal to architects and customers
    • Capability to adhere to precast concrete to ensure the joint remains permanently sealed
    • Fast and cost-effective application
    • Exceptional mechanical strength, chemical resistance, and durability
    • Simple to employ without the requirement for specialized equipment or instruction

    How To Apply Sealants to Precast Concrete Joints

    Joints in precast concrete must always be properly sealed; therefore, the correct application procedures must be followed. Here are five steps in correctly applying sealants:

    Step 1: Preparing the Concrete Joint

    Before applying the sealant, ensure the joint is completely dry and clear of dust, dirt, and release agents. To do so, you can thoroughly scrub the joint and its surroundings with a hard brush. If an excessive release agent is visible or you are sealing a concrete surface exposed to the elements, cleaning the covers with a pressure washer or cleaning solution may be required.

    Step 2: Applying the Joint Sealant

    SealGuard II, HyperFlex, and X-Seal are designed to seal concrete structures and prevent water from penetrating into them. These products are applied in their oil-like raw form. In particular, SealGuard II is a polyurethane-based grout that reacts with a catalyst to expand and form a foam-like substance. This foam fills in any gaps or cracks in the concrete and creates a watertight seal.

    On the other hand, HyperFlex and X-Seal react with water to expand and form a foam. These products are typically used in precast concrete applications, where the segments are joined together to form a larger structure. Basically, the product is applied to the joint, and then water is added to activate the product. The foam then expands to fill any gaps.

    Both processes eliminate the risk of the tar strip moving or deteriorating and ensure long-lasting, effective concrete sealing.

    Choose SealGuard for the Best Sealing Solutions

    Since 2004, SealGuard has been manufacturing polyurethane grouting materials for water management, sealing, and adhesion of precast concrete sections and other constructions. We currently offer SealGuard II, HyperFlex, and X-Seal — all of which are unparalleled in terms of quality and effectiveness!

    We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and ensure that our products adhere to all applicable standards and regulations. Contact us today for more information!

  2. Key Considerations in Pre-Cast Concrete Crack Injection

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    When it comes to pre-cast concrete structures, durability and strength are essential. However, even the most robust structures can experience damage over time due to weathering, impacts, and other factors. Thus, it is vital to assess the damage and determine the most appropriate repair method to restore the structure to its original strength and stability.

    One method to consider is pre-cast concrete crack injection. However, when repairing a structure, it’s vital to consider several key factors to ensure the procedure is done correctly.

    1. Type of Damage

    When assessing how to repair a pre-cast concrete structure, the first key consideration is the type of damage that the structure has sustained. This will help determine the appropriate repair method and materials needed.

    Several types of damage can occur in pre-cast concrete structures, including:

    • Chipping: Chipping is typically caused by impacts or abrasion and occurs in areas with high foot or vehicle traffic. Depending on its severity, the repair method can range from applying a patching material to replacing the damaged section.
    • Spalling: This refers to larger pieces of concrete that break off the structure’s surface. It occurs due to freeze-thaw cycles, exposure to harsh chemicals, or age-related deterioration. Repair methods for spalling can include using a bonding agent on the damaged area or replacing the portion.
    • Cracks: These occur for several reasons, such as shrinkage, settlement, overloading, or exposure to extreme temperatures. The size and location of the damage will determine the appropriate repair method — injecting an epoxy filler, applying a bonding agent, or replacing it entirely.

    2. Cause of Damage

    It is crucial to know the underlying cause of the damage to ensure that the repair method addresses the root issue. Doing so allows you to prevent it from recurring and ensure the structure’s longevity. In addition, an accurate diagnosis will save you time and money in the long run by avoiding unnecessary costs and procedures.

    3. Location of Damage

    Damage in visible areas can be an eyesore and negatively impact the perception of your structure. As such, it’s important to consider the visual impact of the chosen repair method. Additionally, the location of the damage may impact the accessibility of the area, which can make the repair more challenging and time-consuming.

    4. Age of the Structure

    As pre-cast concrete structures age, they may require more extensive repairs than newer structures. The repair method must consider the wear and tear that older systems undergo and the potential for more advanced damage. Failing to consider the age of the structure can result in further damage, structural issues, and even safety hazards.

    5. Condition of the Reinforcing Steel

    The reinforcing steel in a pre-cast concrete structure provides additional strength but must be replaced if it’s corroded or damaged. Neglecting to consider the condition of the reinforcing steel can compromise the integrity of the repair and worsen the structure’s issue.

    6. Local Building Codes

    Local building codes may specify certain materials or repair methods that must be used to ensure the structure’s safety and compliance with regulations. Therefore, consulting and checking existing policies before undertaking any repair is crucial to ensure you’re using the right materials and methods. This will also help you avoid fines and sanctions from your community.

    7. Structural Integrity

    This aspect must be assessed to determine if the damage has compromised the strength or stability of the entire structure. More extensive repairs may be necessary if the damage has affected the foundation’s structural integrity. Ensuring that the building is structurally sound and safe is of utmost importance in these cases.

    8. Environment

    If the structure is located in a coastal environment, the repair method must consider the potential impact of saltwater corrosion. Failure to do so can lead to further damage or render repair works useless, wasting time and money.

    9. Accessibility

    Damage located in hard-to-reach areas can be a challenge to repair. In addition, special equipment or techniques may be needed, which can increase the cost and time required. Therefore, it’s important to consider the accessibility of the damage to plan the repair effectively.

    Protect Your Structure With SealGuard’s Reliable Sealing Solutions!

    SealGuard has been producing polyurethane grouting solutions for water management, sealing, and adhesion of pre-cast concrete sections and other structures since 2004. We offer SealGuard II, HyperFlex, and X-Seal — all of which are of the highest caliber and efficiency!

    Contact us to learn more!

  3. Step-by-Step Manhole Rehabilitation

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    Manholes are an essential component of an area’s sewage system, serving as maintenance access points and providing structural support for the pipes. They are also crucial to the system’s proper operation, allowing for wastewater collection, transport, and treatment.

    However, manholes can deteriorate and become damaged over time. The most common causes of manhole damage are corrosion, ground movement, and heavy traffic. These can result in leaks, blockages, and collapses, requiring costly repairs and posing safety risks to the public.

    Manhole rehabilitation may appear daunting, but it can be accomplished efficiently and effectively with the right knowledge and resources. Using trenchless techniques enables efficient and cost-effective maintenance. This method involves repairing the utility hole from the inside.

    Listed below are the steps to effective rehabilitation:

    Step 1: Preparing the Substrate

    Prepare the concrete and steel substrates so the restorative materials can adhere sufficiently. This will also ensure the repair’s success and extended durability. Next, remove loose and contaminated substrate material through pressure washing, grinding, or abrasive blasting.

    Verify that the Concrete Surface Profile (CSP) is suitable for the application of repair mortars — per SSPC-SP12/NACE No. 6 — requiring a CSP equivalent to medium-grit sandpaper. Lastly, inspect the concrete’s pH level to confirm whether the surface is contaminant-free. If the pH is less than 10, contaminants are still present on the substrate, and additional actions may be required.

    Step 2: Injecting the Grout Material

    Injecting grout into a manhole is a rehabilitation step that aids in the repair and stabilization of the structure. In concrete structures, grout fills voids, cracks, and joints. It is also typically composed of cement, water, and different aggregates.

    The trenchless procedure involves drilling holes through the concrete whenever cracks or leaks exist. Then, you should inject a low-viscosity, water-activated polyurethane grout that follows the path of the infiltrating water around the structure. The grout hardens in place and creates a tight seal between the underside and the soil.

    The optimal grout material for a particular rehabilitation depends on the project’s conditions and requirements. Some examples include the following:

    • Epoxy grout
    • Polyurethane grout
    • Cement-based grout
    • Hybrid grout or multi-component grout

    Step 3: Rehabilitating the Structure

    Next, it’s time to address and repair the structural issues of a manhole, which may include cracks, holes, deformations, and corrosion of the steel reinforcement. The appropriate cementitious repair mortar will vary depending on the substrate, the service environment, and the coating.

    One of the most popular repair materials that can be used is cementitious microsilica repair mortars. This mixture possesses superior strength, durability, flowability, adhesion, and impermeability. You can also use cementitious calcium aluminate repair mortars. They are distinguished for their rapid hardening, heat resistance, low shrinkage, and eco-friendly properties.

    Step 4: Applying the Coatings and Linings

    Applying corrosion-resistant coatings or linings to a manhole is an essential step in the rehabilitation process that prevents further deterioration and damage to the structure. Typically, these substances are applied to the walls and floor to create a barrier against water, chemicals, and other potentially damaging factors.

    Here are the two types of semi-structural liners:

    Freestanding Liners

    A freestanding semi-structural liner is typically composed of a fiberglass-reinforced polymer (FRP) material that is durable, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. Furthermore, it is designed to be self-supporting and can be used to repair structural defects like cracks and holes.

    Bonded Liners

    Unlike a freestanding semi-structural liner, a bonded liner is firmly attached or adhered to the existing structure. Therefore, it requires surface preparation of the current system and a proper installation and curing process to ensure effective adhesion.

    Contact SealGuard for High-Quality Sealing Products and Solutions

    Manhole rehabilitation can increase the sewer system’s overall flow capacity, prevent infiltration and exfiltration, and reduce the risk of collapse. It can also optimize the manhole’s condition to avoid further deterioration and extend its lifespan.

    Don’t let leaky manholes bring your sewer system to a standstill! Try SealGuard’s top-of-the-line sealing products and solutions today and experience the difference for yourself.

    Contact us now to learn more about how we can help keep your manholes leak-free and your sewer system running smoothly!

  4. Horizonal Drilling and Hyperflex Grout

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    To install a pipeline underneath an interstate, a horizontal directional drill was used. However, the drilling discovered that the area consisted of large voids / karst zones. The pipeline itself needs to have a solid foundation to rest on. To fill the voids, polyurethane grout was injected into the problem areas. The grout used was Hyperflex, manufactured by SealGuard, Inc. Hyperflex reacts with the moisture in the ground which creates an expanding foam to provide a solid base for the pipeline. Hyperflex is NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 for contact with potable water. The grouting was done by Sub-Technical, Inc.

    Horizontal Directional Drilling and Void Filling with Polyurethane Grout.

  5. Single Component Polyurethane Grout Injection

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    Smaller water leaks in structures can be sealed by injecting single component polyurethane grout into the leak paths. The grout being used is Hyperflex, manufactured by SealGuard, Inc.  Being a single component grout, Hyperflex is pre catalyzed and only needs 2% moisture to start reacting (foaming).  The expanding foam will fill the voids that is creating the leak.  Once cured, the foam will remain flexible to allow for slight movements within the structure.  The benefit of a single component grout is the slower reaction and lower viscosity.  This allows the material to travel further before the reaction, allowing for better penetration and coverage within the leaking substrate.  Hyperflex is also NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 approved for contact with potable water. This injection was done using a grout pump and mechanical injection packers.  Burlap was placed in a large void before injection to help prevent the grout from washout. Grouting was performed by Sub-Technical, Inc.

  6. SealGuard II Polyurethane Grout Injection to Stop Water

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    The seam on this dam tunnel was actively leaking water.  SealGuard II, a dual component polyurethane grout, was injected into the leak path to seal the water flow.  With just a drill, a dual component caulking gun, and some SealGuard II, a water leak of up to 50 gallons per minute can be stopped.  SealGuard II is manufactured by SealGuard, Inc. and the grouting was performed by Sub-Technical, Inc.

  7. Concrete Floor Seeping Water

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    This new construction concrete floor was leaking ground water at a joint.  Polyurethane grout was pressure injected through mechanical packers to seal off the flow.  The grout was Hyperflex, a single component moisture activated material that is manufactured by SealGuard, Inc.  Hyperflex is pre-catalyzed and in NSF-61 approved for potable water.  The grouting was done by grouting contractor Sub-Technical, Inc.

  8. Water Traveling Along a De-Watering Pipe in a Hard Rock Mine

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    The picture on the left is water traveling down the outside of de-watering pipe in a hard rock mine.  The picture on the right is after the annulus of the pipe was injected with polyurethane grout to control the unwanted groundwater infiltration.  This high-pressure injection of grout was able to stop the water in about fifteen minutes.  The polyurethane grout used was SealGuard II, dual component material that reacts in 1-3 seconds to create a rigid foam.  SealGuard II is manufactured by SealGuard, Inc. and the injection was performed by Sub-Technical, Inc.

  9. Earthen Dam Repair

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    Earthen dams losing water can be injected with polyurethane grout to seal the leak paths.  Here holes were drilled along the crest of the dam which enabled lances to be inserted.  The lances were then hooked up to a pump and injected with Hyperflex.  Hyperflex is a single component polyurethane grout that is moisture activated.  Hyperflex is also NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 approved for contact with potable water.  This method is less invasive and more cost effective than tradition repair methods.  Grouting was performed by grouting contractor Sub-Technical, Inc.

  10. Creek Draining into Abandoned Mine Creating AMD

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    This dry creek bed was created by the water draining into an abandoned mine below.  Not only was this creating a dried-up creek, but the water also leaving the mine at another location was creating acid mine drainage.  To prevent the water from entering the mine, the creek bed was injected with polyurethane grout.  The grout, Hyperflex, sealed off the leak paths and will help keep the water on the surface.  Hyperflex is a single component, moisture activated material that is NSF/ANSI/CAN 61 approved for potable water.  Hyperflex is manufactured by SealGuard, Inc. and was installed by grouting contractor Sub-Technical, Inc.