Blog, news and press releases

Cracks in the Brick? Repair them Quick!

Cracks in walls above windows are a problem experienced by many householders after having new windows installed. The old frame, which may have fortuitously doubled as a lintel, is removed to facilitate the double glazing. The brickwork then settles onto the lightweight frame as it sags and cracks.  The Brick Arch Repair Kit provides everything required to reinforce weakened brick arches, lintels and soldier courses.  

These masonry crack repairs need to be strong and durable.  The brick re­in­for­cem­ent comprises four 3.5m helical bars formed from high-tensile 304-grade stainless steel which are bedded into walls.  The bar and grout combination works with the adjacent brick courses, forming a reinforced brick beam lintel that supports and re­dis­tri­but­es loads. In walls up to 230mm thick the deep masonry beams can carry a factored load of 2.6 tonnes over openings up to 2.5m wide.  Two bars are inserted into a pre-cut slot, forming the bottom chord of the reinforced beam, a second pair of bars forming the top chord.  Between these bars, the masonry forms the web of the beam.

The brick headers are securely pinned to the newly-created reinforced brick lintel with retrofit brick ties.  Six 305mm-long helical wall ties are supplied in the Twistfix Brick Arch Repair Kit along with an essential wall tie setting tool.  These patented self-tapping ties, driven through undersized pilot-holes, effectively securing brick arches and soldier courses to the reinforced masonry panels above them.

This comprehensive kit is incredibly popular due to its versatility.­  It can be used to repair and reinforce sagging lintels and cracked walls or can be used as a preventative measure to strengthen the brickwork prioir to window rep­la­ceme­ent.­  Supplied with the helical bars and remedial brick ties is a large tub of WHO 60 masonry repair grout, a Grout-Master applicator with innovative Hi-Flo nozzle, a Helix mixer paddle and a finger trowel.­  A spe­cifi­cati­on sheet, quick guide and vital BRE load tables for masonry beam reinforcement are available on the Twistfix website and we recommend examining these documents thoroughly prior to using the kit to repair cracks in the wall.

To complete the structural repairs to a professional standard the cracks should be filled to seal against water penetration and the damp which that may cause.  Why not take a look at our extensive range of brick-coloured crack injection solutions.

If you require further information or advice on any aspect of masonry rein­for­cem­ent, crack repair, crack stitching or remedial wall ties, please browse our detailed online guides or contact a member of our experienced and professional team.

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Ask the Experts: Live and Direct!

At Twistfix, we pride ourselves on supplying a wide and diverse range of construction and renovation materials, all of which are designed and manufactured to the most professional standard. But the Twistfix experience isn't just about purchasing the goods and our staff are not simply salespeople: we employ a cherry-picked team of experts who can give you competent advice, support and information about getting the very best from your chosen product. And now, it’s easier to contact them than ever before…

Though it is our business to facilitate the work of DIYers and professional contractors alike, we certainly don’t neglect our own housekeeping ad are always making improvements to our website, ensuring that you get the most efficient and modern browsing experience. An extremely popular new addition to our website is the Live Chat service, which allows you to instantly connect with one of our technical team.

Once you start chatting, the chat screen will remain on top no matter where you browse around the website. This means that you can have the product page open while you discuss it with our experts and navigate freely to make sure you get all of your questions answered. Our team are pretty sure that they can answer just about any question about our products and their uses; maybe YOU can give them a challenge?!

Our website is designed to be fully responsive and adaptive, so that you can enjoy a seamless online experience with Twistfix. If you’re accessing the site via mobile internet, then why not check out the Twistfix app? You’ll get a much quicker, clearer view for ordering on-the-go and there are lots of other features to discover.

The new Live Chat service is ready and waiting for you to try out. Our staff are enjoying connecting more directly with customers and we have had lots of good feedback; we would love to hear yours too so let us know how we did!

We invite you to continue the Twistfix experience NOW by checking out our current range of special offers. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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Summertime, Sunshine and... Potholes!

The summer sunshine is especially beautiful and particularly around the hours of sunrise and sunset, creates long and dramatic shadows that are often attractive to pho­tog­raphers due to their singular appearance. These shadows can also be quite revealing…

Asphalt Repair Kit

The winter created many new potholes on roads, driveways and other such surfaces which seem to show up horribly now that the sun's changing position in the sky. As the warm weather tempts us outside more, we are driving extra miles, taking caravan holidays and generally enjoying the outdoors again after a long bout of cold weather.

These combining factors make potholes ever more noticeable and it’s the ideal time to get them fixed up; Twistfix provide the solution in the form of our Pothole Repair Kit, which is designed to suit a wide and diverse array of surfaces from public roads and pavements to driveways, patios, sports courts, car parks, paths and more.

Potholes begin due to fatigue of the surface caused by ordinary use. Tiny hairline fractures develop, gradually widening as the edges work loose and and picked out. Water is the worst enemy because once it gains access to the cracks it readily fills them, beginning the process of erosion. Such tiny amounts of water freeze easily, which widens the crack slightly and permits more water to enter.

This is the dreaded freeze and thaw cycle. It is extremely damaging and is the reason that so many potholes form in winter and early spring. They will continue to get worse without attention and can pose a health and safety risk as well as becoming an eyesore, particularly on sunny days.

 Potholes are responsible for many accidents, especially among cyclists and pedestrians; of this latter category, it is young children, the elderly and those with mobility problems who are most at risk.

Providing an instant lasting repair to tarmac and asphalt surfaces, Twistfix Permanent Pothole Repair is of highway-quality and guarantees the most professional result. Bought as part of a com­pre­hen­si­ve kit, the formula prevents further cracking and water ingress to ensure that the freeze thaw cycle won't start up again.

Find out just how competitive our prices are on this product!

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That's not Weed, It's KNOTWEED!

As we welcome back warmer, drier weather (at least that’s what we all hope!), it is important to remember that we aren’t the only ones - early spring is the time when Japanese knotweed started its invasive growth cycle and so now many people are just starting to realise the chain of events that has been set in motion The weed causes an array of problems if it’s growing on your property so check out our guide to identifying it and then make sure to chose a contractor who uses products you can trust..

From Japan to the UK

The intrepid explorer Philipp von Siebold was the first European to come into contact with knotweed and was very much taken with the way it appeared to resemble bamboo. He took specimens back to his native Holland, from where some was brought to London for exhibiting at Kew Botanical Gardens. Little did anyone know the destructive chain of events that they were setting in motion.

How to Spot Japanese Knotweed

The plant is now on the list of the world’s most invasive plant species, as compiled by the World Conservation Union. Knowingly allowing it to grow on your property or spreading any plant material is against the law and surveyors now regularly check new properties for signs of the issue - many mortgage applications have been thus refused. You can spot Japanese knotweed by its:

Hollow stems, which feature a distinctive pattern of raised bumps similar to bamboo

Excessive height of up to 4m in extreme cases

Oval leaves

Small, cream or off-white flowers

The Effects

The tough, complex root system of Japanese knotweed is easily able to severely damage masonry, road/­pavement surfaces and building foundations, as well as the vital flood defences that have been tested to and beyond the limit recently up and down the UK. There are few, if any, herbaceous species that can survive the onslaught and cutting the weed down only causes vigorous resprouting.

A Professional Solution

As it is so aggressive, invasive and hardy, Japanese knotweed requires professional removal by a specialist, qualified team and they need to be using reliable materials. Use our find-a-contractor service and say sayonara to Japanese knotweed.!

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Thermal Efficiency and the Super 7

Maximising the thermal efficiency of a building is essential and installing warm roofing is a great way to achieve it. Roofing work is high on the list of priorities at the moment so make sure you have everything you need to meet demand including Thor Helical Super-7 Warm Roof Batten Fixings. If you haven’t heard of them before, then here is our essential point-to-point guide…

Warm roof batten fixings super 7

Thermal Efficiency and the Super 7

Complete your kit by ordering Thor Helical Super-7 Warm Roof Nails. As with all Twistfix products, you are guaranteed the most competitive price teamed with our impeccable customer service. 

  •  Expert engineering has led to Super-7 fixings taking over from traditional inskew fixings
  • With a cross-section 20% larger than traditional fixings, Super-7s have a dramatically increased ability to resist bending forces; these have increased due to the popularity of thicker insulation material.
  • The original Helifix inskew was created more than 30 years ago and Super-7 fixings were invented by the same designer
  • Installing the fixings requires the use of an installation alignment jig. This patented technology makes sure that nailing is easy, safe, accurate and effective, without regard to the thickness of the insulation material
  • The components work seamlessly with all types of insulation material
  • Security and strength is guaranteed as the fixings are held deep within both the counter-batten and rafter
  • Thor Helical fixings ensure a tight seal between panels; this is essential to ensure that the benefits of the insulation are felt, both en­vi­ron­men­tally and financially
  • The increased performance means that less fixings can be used to achieve a professional result, saving precious time and money
  • Safety is guaranteed; the fixings meet all NHBC technical requirements and adhere closely to BS and Eurocode standards
  • Over-rafter warm roof fixing systems need to withstand wind loads, a function of location and exposure, and resist sliding loads, a function of tile weight, roof pitch and the gap between rafter and counter-batten.  Use our BRE approved calculator to find out how many Super-7 warm roof nails are needed for your project.

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Use Your Membrane!

Since its introduction to the Twistfix product portfolio, the Damp Check Mesh Membrane Kit has been a staple of the professional waterpro­ofe­rs array of solutions. It’s instant and lasting popularity comes down to just two factors: pure product quality and consistently competitive pricing from Twistfix.

Damp Check – Mesh Membrane Kit

Damp Check – Mesh Membrane Kit

Damp Check – Mesh Membrane Kit

Not discovered the kit yet? Prepare for a revolution in your working practice…

After a remedial damp proof course has been installed, there is a risk of damage to internal finishes from salts and water vapour that are drying out of the walls.  This is a particular problem when the area is intended for living purposes and so using a membrane is recommended to help avoid the issue.

Mesh Membrane from our compre­hen­si­ve kit immediately creates an effective moisture barrier, and one which is plenty durable too.  As soon as the DPC is installed and the membrane follows, re­in­sta­tem­ent of wall plaster can begin: no more waiting around for weeks and spoiling your efficiency.

Everyone loves a nice hot shower and lots of people are opting for the luxury of a full wet room; it’s just like a shower except it’s the whole room!  Mesh membrane is perfect to accompany this process. The product features a mesh face which will readily accept a wide range of tile adhesives, cement renders or plasterboard dabs; the reverse side is fitted with stand-off studs separated by air gaps, letting the wall breathe naturally and keeping liquid away from it behind the membrane.

The mesh membrane kit is your best option to make sure that you’ll have everything you need to carry out the most professional and 100% successful instal­la­ti­on.­  It contains 10m of membrane along with a matching 10m of butyl rubber wa­ter­pro­ofi­ng tape and 100 quality hammer-in fixing plugs. Open the box and you're ready to start; no special tools are needed to modify the membrane and ordinary scissors/­knife can be used to cut it to size.

Don’t risk failure by using inferior materials. Trust Twistfix to deliver the best every time and preserve your reputation. 

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2 Top Tips

Hello and welcome to July, if now isn’t the time to get working on the DIY job I don’t know when is the best time! 

I recently just bought a new mattress for my bed, I was astonished at how fast it was delivered. It wasn’t as fast as twistfix’s delivery service. I carried it upstairs and put it across the bed. I had brought a memory foam mattress so was aware that I couldn’t sleep on it for at least 24 hours. I knew I was facing a night on the settee. I would of slept in it straight away that night but I had been advised by a good friend not to bother as I need to allow the mattress to expand to its full depth. I’d say I got a decent night’s sleep that night on the settee. I am now back in my bed and my mattress is lovely thanks for asking. Whether I get enough sleep in it is another question. I hardly ever lie in.

I have recently been using a lot of the Insofast fixings from Twistfix. They are fantastic. Especially when you use the SDS Hammer Adaptor to install either the Plasterboard or Roof Fixings. It really did speed things up. I was finished on time and everything. Even had chance to pop to the butty shop for lunch (or dinner whatever you like to call it). If my neighbours took my advice I gave him, he will of bought some also. It is easy to remember how many fixing are needed per full size board (that’s 12!) and only 3 if you are using adhesives.

So from this month my top tips for you are to use the Insofast fixings for Plasterboard aswell as for a Warm Roof Deck. Another top tip is to buy a memory foam mattress, that way we can all get a good nights sleep. 

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My Favourite Songs

Recently a lot of good music has been released. I do like music and spend around 60% of my time listening to music, it is always on when I’m working assuming that I remember to take my radio!

I also regularly attend gig/concerts for bands and artists, some who are well known and others that are not. Listening to music is a massive hobby for me. 

The other day while fitting around 40sqm of the slimline mesh membrane in a home I was happily listening to an album called “This is all yours” by alt-J (go listen its good). The homeowner came and politely asked me to turn it off. Maybe they didn’t like it however I think they thought it would affect my work. I don’t think it does and I beg to differ. I had to oblige. It led me to think of while builders/­contractors are working what is the overall opinion on the use of music. Maybe this is a question for the homeowner? What do you think? Music is great, not everybody shares the same music taste that’s what makes it great. People aren’t willing to listen to new stuff if that’s not what they are into. So now I have made it common practice to ask before I play any sort of music on a job to avoid a repeat of last week.

I get the frustration. I’m in your house and I’m playing my music. It’s not a problem for those that are out all day. In the meantime I’m looking forward to summer and with it comes lots of outside job. Roofs, Damp Proofing, dealing with weeds in the garden. Twistfix as always my number  1 place for Roofing Materials, Damp Proofing Cream and Roundup.

I think it’s the perfect time for my sort of work. 

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Spray, Seal, Safeguard. Simple!

When mineral-based building materials get wet, a certain amount of water is absorbed into them. This absorbed water is one of the leading causes of structural problems such as damp, frost damage, cracking and moss growth. Twistfix offer a range of products designed to safeguard against this form of damage, including Damp-Seal water repellent cream.

Masonry water repellent creamThe Masonry Protection Cream has many advantages, which include:

  • Massive reduction (over 80%) of water uptake 
  • Water-vapour permeability is retained at a high level
  • Durability – with excellent penetration power and exceptional resistance to UV light
  • Strong resistance to alkalis
  • Easy application with roller, spray or brush
  • Reduced chance of spalling and staining
  • Strong adhesion to overhead or vertical surfaces
  • Four times the efficiency of liquid water repellent

Masonry that has become damp is an ideal environment for the growth of moss, algae and lichens. Twistfix moss removal biocide provides a powerful and professional solution to the problem – just follow these simple steps.

  • First, make sure you are wearing eye & breathing protection, overalls and rubber gloves 
  • Using a brush, remove as much surface moss as possible
  • Dilute the concentrated product with water in a suitable container to make 25 litres of ready-to-use biocide
  • Using a low-pressure spray, apply the product to patios, driveways, roof tiles or other masonry
  • Enjoy the clean, clear and long-lasting results!

Click here to find out more... Don’t let moss be the boss or damp be the champ – fight back with Twistfix! And, if you have any questions, don't forget that you can have them answered live, instantly and expertly with our chat function.

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Time to Vote again.

Yet again we find ourselves facing another vote, this time a snap general election. Next month we’ll have to go and vote for who we want to run our country.

After last year’s referendum and before that the Scottish referendum, which I’ll admit didn’t affect me.

I speak to quite a lot of people who are really fed up of needing to vote, all the run up and campaigning political parties do etc. Then there’s the problem that people don’t know who to vote for, young and old a big percentage of people are undecided or could easily be swayed. Labour say they want to build more homes, as do the con­ser­vati­ves. Which do we trust? Which do we believe? Unless of course your lifelong supporters of a certain political party and vote for them each time. If that’s the case campaigns are really ‘flogging a dead horse’ when they explain how there method is best for the country. I’m pretty clear on my views which I won’t go into on this blog as I don’t want any of you to think that Im trying to persuade you to vote one way or another. This blog will remain impartial

What I want to do is express the big need to vote. So many people don’t turn up at the polls and your vote is wasted. Register to vote before 22nd May, Vote on June 8th.

In the meantime I have been doing a few Damp Proofing jobs in Wales this past month. I’m literally living there now. I remember a few years ago when I was called regarding a job to rebuild part of a wall on a school. It was December and cold, I went to take a look but it never materialised however I’m back there now and pleased its warmer!­ 

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