Lifting It Up
Spray Foam Magazine – Winter 2020 – Concrete lifting is becoming increasingly popular due to people starting to recognize the benefits of this technique. Adding or adjusting to a SPF business model takes planning and focus. Here are a few tips and FAQs learned through experience of adding concrete lifting to a spray foam business.
Team up with a reputable supplier
In the beginning you will need tons of support, and these are the guys that are going to help you. If you don’t have responsive support and a solid product, you’re automatically starting off on the wrong foot.
Begin with all the necessary tools and equipment
Be prepared from the beginning! There is nothing worse than telling a customer that you can’t fix their issue, having them be disappointed and knowing you can’t charge them for the work you just performed.
Switching equipment back and forth
You can begin your venture into this business by switching equipment back and forth on your current spray foam rig, but this isn’t how you’ll want to continue running your concrete lifting business. Always be forward looking and have your goals set on a dedicated concrete lifting rig. You really need all of your tools for this service permanently on one rig. Plus, there are costs associated with having to move tools and equipment around from one rig to another and changing out materials. An easier way to swallow that pill is to keep your eyes peeled for a good deal on a used rig that you can fix up over time to serve your purpose as a concrete lifting rig.
Before (top) and After (bottom) concrete repair by Elite Concrete Lifting
Educate yourself first
Learn your equipment and the entire concrete lifting process for yourself by doing the first year or more of jobs yourself. This learning process is absolutely invaluable. You will not only always have these skills, but you’ll be able to properly train your future employees on your equipment. Most employees have a different level of respect for bosses that know exactly what is going on and have no problems performing their work.
Not all consumers know what polyurethane concrete jacking is, or that it’s even an option to fix their problems. Consider a well-planned advertising campaign that includes taking full advantage of social media marketing and advertising. It can be extremely effective in getting your name out and what exactly it is that you do. Eventually, a well-planned local TV commercial will be worth its weight in gold and really bring you some serious business. Seeing your rig out working will tie all your advertising together and soon people who have never even used your services will recommend you to their friends.
Use your current contacts and relationships in the building community from your SPF business to your benefit. Make sure you reach out and form relationships with concrete suppliers, concrete finishers, concrete refinishers and excavators. Once these guys know what you can do, and how well you do it, they will send tons of work your way.
Concrete lifting offers a fast and affordable remedy for commercial and industrial sunken concrete problems and works with both interior and exterior spaces. Becoming an expert in concrete lifting will enable SPF contractors to expand their business range and save their potential clients the expensive costs involved in concrete replacement.
Concrete Lifting FAQs
Q: How do you know when to stop and what if you lift it too much?
KW: Experience will tell you when to pull the trigger and when to let off. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t nervous as hell when I first started pulling the concrete lifting trigger for this exact same reason. This is precisely why it’s so important to align yourself with a reputable supplier with techs that can “hold your hand” for the first few days of projects. In the same respect, it is important for you to get hands on and learn this skill for yourself, on your own equipment. In some situations, there is just no room for error, so you’ll put various forms of controls and monitoring systems in place to make sure that you do not
lift too much. Other times, it may be as simple as slightly lifting the adjoining concrete slab to match.
Q: Is it the same material as spray foam?
KW: Although you can use the same equipment, in most cases, the materials used are not exactly the same as spray foam insulation and require a slightly different gun set up. Usually, a mechanical purge spray foam gun is recommended with some front-end modifications specific to pour foam. Geotechnical concrete lifting foam is a water blown closed-cell pour foam specifically designed for this purpose. There are different types of geotechnical foams for different applications.
Q: Will it shrink or settle?
KW: When the proper product for the application is chosen, properly processed, and applied correctly, it will not shrink or settle. That said, there are various other factors that may cause the concrete to settle again. A good concrete lifter will learn to recognize water drainage and soil issues and be sure to discuss those with a potential client.
Q: How much weight can it lift/hold?
KW: With a combination of various methods of mechanical lifting, and different densities/blends of geotechnical foams, the options are fairly limitless.
KW: What about mud jacking?
A: Much like SPF is superior to antiquated fiberglass methods, polyurethane foam jacking is far superior to mud jacking. Primarily due to the fact that it is unaffected by water (unlike sand-based mud) and it’s injected through much smaller 5/8” holes.
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