Welcome to the Avanti Blog: Grou•tol•o•gy

The Avanti Blog: Grou•tol•o•gy is where you can read stories and comments from a unique community of engineers, industry insiders, specialty contractors, municipalities, partners, and marketeers. Here you can share your thoughts, voice your opinion, give testimonials, and encourage others in their grouting endeavors. Your voice matters, and we want to hear from you.

03 June 2013

How to Choose a Grout for Sealing Mainlines and Laterals

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Daniel Magill


Below are some questions to consider when choosing a grout for sealing mainlines and laterals--before, after, or independent of lining:

  1. Cost: Cost should only be one factor. What is more important is that you are using the appropriate product for the job and the grout is applied correctly (in accordance with the 2012 NASSCO recommendation is a good start - click here to download).
  2. Cost vs. Cure Time: Grouts have different cure times. Be sure to check tech data sheets to determine how much control over cure time you will have in the field. Better yet, you can do a more thorough investigation by performing your own tests. The more catalyst you need to reach the desired goal, the more money you'll spend on product.
  3. Viscosity: The thinner the grout, the better it will permeate the soil outside the pipe. Remember, the joints are sealed by creating a gel/soil matrix outside the pipe. You want the grout to permeate.
  4. Longevity: How long will the grout last? Be sure to look up case studies and third party testing.
  5. Packaging: Some contractors prefer to keep liquid product on hand (drums), while others prefer to use granular materials (bags) in order to save on shipping costs and space in the truck.
  6. Training and Support: Be sure that you have a mentor or team of people who can teach as well as answer questions for you "after the sale has been made" and when you are facing challenges out in the field.
  7. Safety: Safety is important ANY time you are working with chemicals. When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), know what you should wear and when you should wear it. Grouting mainlines and laterals is done via remote control so the only time you need to wear chemical PPE is when you are mixing or physically handling the chemical elements, which only takes a few minutes. We sell acrylamide, acrylic, and acrylate grouts. All three require an oxidizer (hazardous), the same catalyst, and the same PPE. Some chemical grout suppliers will tell you that their grout is safe because you don't need PPE...that is not true. Any time you are working with a chemical that could splash onto your body or clothes, you should wear PPE. Read the MSDS which should be readily available for download.
  8. Easy Clean-Up: What additional chemicals does it take to clean your hoses/packers, etc., if any? Do you have to pump acetone through the pump beforehand to remove moisture from the hoses?
  9. Pump/Pump Ratio: Are you set up to pump 1:1 or 8:1? The type of pump you have may impact which grout product you'll use.

If you have any questions on any or all of the above grout attributes, let us know and we'll be glad to get you the info you need. After all, that's what we do!

03 June 2013

Joint Failure Not Always Obvious--Test Every Joint

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Daniel Magill

I visited a job site a few weeks ago and talked with the grouting operator. I found three things very cool:

  1. It was nice to visit a grout truck that was kept clean and orderly. This was a Grout Truck municipality that only has one crew responsible for each grout truck, so they treat it like their own.
  2. They air tested every joint. There is no point in grouting only the visible leaking joints and ignoring the ones that are not noticeable. The joints must pass an air test or should otherwise be grouted. If not, once you grout the leaking joints, the groundwater simply migrates to the next joint and enters there.
  3. Looking into the manhole, it was very apparent that the line they were grouting had a lot of infiltration (leaks) as the water flowing through the bottom of the manhole was clear and not murky from sewage.

31 May 2013

Miami-Dade Attacks Infiltration and Scores Major Win for the Community

Posted in Water & Wastewater

by Daniel Magill

I recently visited with Rod Lovett and Juan Bedoya with the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Miami-Dade Manhole Lid Department. It was great to see them and meet some of their crew. Last year alone, Miami-Dade invested in nine new grout trucks. After 25+ years of grouting, it is encouraging to see one of the largest municipalities in the country so committed to stopping water infiltration. As they should, they use other methods to maintain their sewer/wastewater systems, but they continue to use chemical grouts in conjunction with lining and manhole rehab

17 May 2013

Lift Sunken Concrete Slabs with a Structural Foam

Posted in Geotechnical

by Britt N. Babcock, PE

Many facility managers are unaware of the liabilitiesAV-600 SureLift associated with trip hazards in public walkways, the excess wear and tear on forklifts from uneven industrial floors, or that SLAB LIFTING is possible with minimal interruption. Traditional mud jacking methods require drilling large holes in the slab to inject a cement slurry with a long cure time adding excess weight to unstable soils. And "jacking" does not address the cause of soil failure. Avanti's AV-600 SureLift™ reduces groundwater intrusion and erosion factors, fills voids, and provides a fast cure within 1/10" of desired grade.

Want to know more? View Avanti's new Slab Lifting animation here: http://www.avantigrout.com/slab-lifting. This could be the most important two minutes of your day.


15 April 2013

Crack Injection, Slab Lifting and Curtain Grouting…Oh My!

Posted in Industry News

by Jessica Williams

As Marketing Coordinator, I’m typically not in front of the product on a daily basis. But I am the one “in charge” when it comes to putting the pieces of our Urethane Injection School together, by transforming into event coordinator, caterer, and photographer.  While keeping the event organized and flowing, I get to experience the same value that our Grout School attendees do. Since I’m not out in the field, having the chance to watch how the products work and interact, and seeing how issues can arise at the drop of a hat is intriguing to me. It’s remarkable to sit back and watch the hands-on sessions that allow the attendees to get a real-world feel. Watching the reactions of our guests was great. During the demonstration on slab lifting, one attendee said “I’m sold!”, and that’s a reassuring feeling when it comes to how our products work.

Click here to see the slideshow of pictures from our April Urethane Injection School.

Jessica Williams
Marketing Coordinator

05 March 2013

Act Responsibly. Think Safety First.

Posted in Industry News

by Charlie Lerman

The military may ask you to lay your life on the line at times. A number of us here at Avanti are prior military. But risking your life waterproofing in a confined space is just silly and avoidable. Did you know that in a low oxygen environment, people will act normally at first, but will then abruptly feel dizzy and black out in a matter of seconds?

So whether it's a tank or a manhole, you need to think safety first. Get certified to enter a confined space. Classes are cheap, easy, fast, and can even be done over the internet. Sniffers and gas detectors are a must. A tripod and hardness system is more than a good idea, especially since many municipalities are removing ladder rungs from their manholes. Personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and safety glasses may not be fashionable, but should never be overlooked.

Be safe out there!


25 February 2013

Selecting the Right Product Saves Time, Money, and Headaches

Posted in Industry News

by Daniel Magill

Chemical grouts are used before, during or after construction in a variety of applications including groundwater control, soil stabilization, void filling, encapsulation and structural lifting of concrete slabs. Because there are many kinds of chemical grouts it is important to review and match the needs of the project with the specific characteristics of the grout. For example, some resins are designed to permeate soil, rock or superfine cracks and cure with no expansion. Others are designed to fill large voids and expand up to twenty times their original volume. Some are shipped to the job site as a liquid which requires less mixing before injection, or in a granular form in order to maximize space on the jobsite and reduce shipping costs. Most of this caliber of information is available online, but consultation with the producer or a grouting consultant is recommended to insure the most appropriate product is selected. Occasionally grouting may be the primary goal of a project as it was in the Oak Ridge case study, but typically the use of chemical grouts are simply a means to an end; so that the project or construction can continue as planned. The injection of chemical grouts may be the only way to achieve the desired result (reduce permeability to a predetermined lugeon, or fill voids without adding extra weight to the soil, etc). Selecting the right product for the project will save the contractor from considerable head-aches and save the owner significant time and money.

14 December 2012

Chemical Grouting Tips from Someone Who Knows

Posted in Industry News

by Jim Gentry


Take it from someone who’s been behind the trigger injecting urethane grout in all the right places, for all the right reasons.

Charlie Lerman heads up the Field Services team for Avanti and earns my respect every day. The caliber of coaching and consulting he provides is grouting industry state-of-the-art. Charlie shared these important reminders with a contractor performing crack injection. I thought it worthy of repeating to our larger community.

Never lose man hours over the simple stuff!

  1. Have extra Zerk® couplers onsite in case you gum one up.
  2. Line your grout buckets with thick mil garbage bags. This makes clean up easy, saves the pail, and prevents the grout from being contaminated.
  3. Get a socket wrench to install packers. It really speeds up their installation.
  4. Have extra drill bits on site. It is easy to hit rebar and snap one.
  5. Have a lot of disposable gloves because they are just going to get grouted up. Don't waste money on expensive gloves.

To you, these may appear like common sense ideas, but they’re not always common practice. Charlie says they should be and I believe everything he says. You can too.


21 November 2012

Was it Teaching or Adding Depth to Different Perspectives?

Posted in Industry News

by Don Rigby

The two-day Urethane Injection School November 13-14 was a rich learning experience for everyone including Avanti team members. The talent pool in the audience ranged from owners of multi-disciplined construction companies to engineers from Mexico to presidents seeking to expand their services. So how do you advance the individual skill-sets within a group so widely diversified? Answer: See, Touch, Experience.

Seeing the business opportunity, Touching each product in action and Experiencing what its like to actually solve the problem does wonders for anyone's perspective. And that was one of our goals. As a teaching team, we did not execute flawlessly, but we absolutely know how to refine one of four workshops for our next session.

A special thank you goes out to our guest expert, Christopher Hamilton, President and Project Engineer for I-TECH Infrastructure in Atlanta, GA. He delivered classroom evidence and real-world proof of performance by lifting and leveling 12" concrete slabs weighing 1,000 lbs. each. Kudos to Christopher and his team members: Jim, JJ, and Chris.

Be on the lookout for the next Urethane Injection School on April 9-10, 2013. SAVE THE DATE and look for further announcements.

Don RigbyUrethane Injection School

22 October 2012

In Grout Education, Preparation is Everything

Posted in Industry News

by Charlie Lerman

This week, I'm in Webster, TX building the work centers and demo units for our Urethane Injection School scheduled for Nov. 13-14. Don Rigby, our marketing guy, and I are going to great lengths to re-create real world scenarios so the hands-on learning experience prepares each participant for in-field problem solving.

Everything we do at Avanti is built around a Perpetual Improvement Process and our education initiatives are no exception. I'm excited with our new teaching platform. For each of the 4 skill-building pillars (Crack Injection, Slab Lifting, Curtain Grouting, Soil Stabilization), we've created a 30-minute Primer, 90-minute Hands-On, and 60-minute Classroom Training. This is how we connect learning with all the senses and begin to introduce intuition with these life-long, income-generating skills.

For those planning to attend, you'll not be disappointed. For others interested in more information, click here. In my opinion, this training session is idea for proactive municipalities and specialty contractors who want to grow.

10 September 2012

Creativity—Sometimes the Most Important Ingredient

Posted in Industry News

by Charlie Lerman

PLACE: Tacoma, Washington
PROPERTY: Oil Recycling Station
PROBLEM: Retaining wall with 10 access holes and two 8" HDPE pipe penetrations less than 4' from railroad tracks. 

The engineering drawing called for "Flexible Material" surrounding these pipe penetrations, but provided no recommendation or specification. Avanti Field Services visited the site and noted the high probability of pipe deflection and movement as tanker cars went over them. This conundrum required a creative solution.

SOLUTION: A form was built around the pipe penetrations on both sides of the retaining wall. The 2'x1'x1' space was filled with 1/4-1/2" stone (#67 pea gravel) and wet down. AV-248 (Flexseal) was added, agitated, and allowed to expand and cure in 30 minutes.

RESULT: A long-lasting, flexible solution with tensile strength responsive to the weight extremes of the rail cars. Often, out-of-the-box thinking is a requirement. The Field Service team enjoys pushing boundaries to earn the title "specialty grouts" for Avanti.

29 August 2012


Posted in Industry News

by Frank Aguilar

This industry does not operate with an  8-to-5 mentality. Nor do we. Between the overnight hours of 5:00 pm and 7:30 am next day, progress continues on the jobsite, in planning and preparation, by customers and partners. When you need us, we want to be there.  Going forward, here’s what you can expect.

For questions that cannot wait until the next business day, Avanti personnel are available 24/7/365. Urgent calls are defined as jobsite questions and you can expect a 30 minute call-back until 7:30 next morning. Non urgent calls are acceptable between 5:00-9:00 pm (central) for engineers needing assistance on a spec, contractors working on proposals, municipalities and distributors with product/performance questions.

Being there when you need us is important. After hours and on weekends, simply call 800-877-2570 and dial 1 to access 24/7 Tech Support. This free service puts substance behind our Promise-to-Customer: Helping you move forward.


31 July 2012

EDUCATION - The Way Forward

Posted in Industry News

by Don Rigby

A unique partnership exists between 3 companies working as 1 to serve communities large and small. By educating Public Works departments why maintenance & repair operations are the first to prioritize versus the first to cut and save, communities are reducing costs, saving operating capital and minimizing wasteful spending. Tall order? Not when your underground sewer systems are in good working order.

Ground water infiltration into sanitary sewer systems cause municipal and county governments to manage up to 50% more flow into their treatment facilities than necessary. Since the cost to treat is higher than the cost to repair, common sense suggests Proactive Repair & Maintenance pays dividends.

Some communities choose to outsource this function to specialty contractors. Others view it as a necessary core competency and take ownership of the inspection and correction activities. It does not matter whether the work is completed by the municipality or a contractor as long as the infiltration is stopped.

The 3 companies working as 1 are members of NASSCO, founding members of ICGA, and believe strongly education is the way forward. Aries Industries, Logiball, and Avanti International have hosted 11 Grout Boot Camps over the past 7 years and have graduated over 150 participants. The 12th Boot Camp will be hosted by Avanti on January 9-11, 2013 in Webster, TX (just south of Houston). Here’s a link for more information:

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