Fix... Don't Ditch

Fix... Don't Ditch
The team from Elite Foam Concrete Solutions (from left to right: Willie Russell, Tyler White, and owner, Mat Wickes).
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Spray Foam Magazine – Winter 2022 – Mat Wickes is the owner of Elite Foam Concrete Solutions, LLC based in South Florida. He’s not a big fan of wearing a Tyvek suit and really dislikes hot attics. He also loves working outdoors in the Florida sunshine, so Mat decided his business should purely focus on concrete lifting. He found out about concrete lifting when he was a facility manager for a utilities company in California. Mat had to use budget-friendly applications to make repairs and, due to utilities not having large budgets, he came across foam.

“This method is a lot more cost-effective than having to break up and re-lay a new pad,” states Mat. What started as a side hustle to his day job, soon became a passion. In fact, he enjoyed it so much, he ended up ditching the corporate world and setting up his concrete lifting business full time.

The Spray Foam Magazine Team (SFMT) accompanied Mat on a job, and he guided us through the lifting process. As Mat’s rig pulled up to a house in Hobe Sound, FL we immediately noticed the advertising is straight to the point, “Don’t Replace it…Raise it.” Like Mat, these words don’t mess around. Mat knows his business well and is happy to tell us all about it.

“There are a lot of people who still don’t understand concrete lifting using SPF. I’m happy to spread the word and the basic process to encourage others to give it a try,” said Mat. He also emphasized the importance of training. He completed most of his instruction at Profoam Corporation in Rutledge, Georgia, where they have a great training school with expert advice. Mat points out that he is mechanically inclined so felt he picked things up quickly.

The owner of this particular property had spotted Mat working at his neighbor’s using concrete lifting for their repair. They were very happy with the results and therefore hired Mat for their job.

Mat and his crew of two, Tyler White and Willie Russell, were at this residence to complete a few jobs. The SFMT was there to look at how they were going to adjust a 7ft x 7ft shed. They planned on injecting a 3lb per cubic foot polyurethane foam to raise the corner so that the owner can use the shed to store all his tools.

On this job, the crew staged the job by drilling four holes into the sunken corner of the shed’s concrete floor. They then brought it up two inches with the use of NCFI’s TerraThane 24-010, a high-density geotechnical closed-cell foam. Mat uses TerraThane 24-003 if he’s working on a foundation or a seawall, but for a job like this, he always uses the 24-010.

The sunken corner of the shed floor was raised up two inches by injecting NCFI’s TerraThane geotechnical closed- cell foam under the concrete slab.

When they raised the slab, voids were created, and the crew had to fill those voids with the foam after the lift was completed. This took an injection of roughly 73lbs of foam. The crew used a PMC PX-7 gun, a PMC PF-1600 proportioner, and 100ft of hose.

Chatting with Mat about concrete lifting and how potential clients react to his initial pitch, Mat replies, “A lot of people still don’t understand the process as it’s still new. They are concerned about the longevity of it. That’s why I give them a 10-year warranty. It’s a one-time inject, meaning I won’t need to come back every year and reinject the foam. If it drops when I have completed the job, there’s a major reason why they continue to lose soil and we need to figure that out before I inject again. For example, if it’s around the pool deck, then the pool is leaking. If it’s on a driveway, it’s a downspout from the rain-washing out the sand? If so, that downspout needs to be moved before I head back to do the job. There are things that do come into play but that’s not a regular thing.”

Spending time with Mat and his crew was inspiring. They worked together like a well-oiled machine and even with the SFMT and the property owner watching their every move, they were not put off. They focused on what they were doing, and got the job done.  

A big thank you to Elite Foam Concrete Solutions for letting us follow you for a morning. Not only did we learn a lot about concrete lifting, but we also realized it takes knowledge, hard work and people skills to raise the actual concrete and meet a client’s wishes and budget.

For use by & Spray Foam Magazine

By: Danielle Macdonald on Nov 30, 2022
Categories: Concrete Lifting
Tags: spray foam magazine, Concrete Lifting, Winter Issue 2022
Issue: Winter Issue 2022

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