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Lintel Failure Repair in 10 Easy Steps

A particularly serious structural issue in buildings is that of lintel failure. Most doors and windows have a lintel above, meaning that lintel failure is a common problem whether the lintel is made from brick, steel or concrete.

Problems with lintels usually manifest themselves as diagonal cracks or step cracking in the masonry above doors and windows. Such cracking should be immediately investigated and a remedial plan subsequently developed; failing to address the problem allows it to develop further, leading to costly, intrusive and time-consuming repairs becoming necessary.

Brick lintels may be in the form of a traditional curved arch or of a straight flat arch. Both types masonry arch lintel utilise the compressive strength of the brickwork transfer vertical loads, horizontally to the brick abutments on either side of the opening.  Oftentimes the underside of the lintel is fortuitously supported by wooden or steel window frames.  When these frames are removed and replaced with UPVC units the contribution to the support is lost, causing the lintel to sag and the brickwork to crack.

Where window lintels and arches have failed, simply repairing the damage without reinforcing the brickwork can prove futile. By introducing high tensile stainless steel bars into the masonry above the opening it is possible to convert the brickwork itself into a load-carrying beam. This can be achieved quite easily by introducing a pair of Twistfix helical rods into two separate mortar joints above to span the opening and then repointing so that the helical bars are fully concealed.

Installation of helical bars is simple and rapid method of repairing failed lintels; the process can easily broken down into 10 simple steps.

  1. Cut a slot in the horizontal mortar bed directly above the first brick course above the lintel to be repaired; if a brick arch is present, this slot should be cut above the arch's crown. It is essential to cut the slot to the correct depth to suit the thickness of the individual wall.
  2. Remove any mortar or other loose debris, before flushing the joint with plenty of clean water.
  3. Mix the anchoring grout according to the instructions and load it into a pointing gun.
  4. Pump grout into the slot until it is around two-thirds full.
  5. Firmly insert a helical bar, ensuring that it extends 500mm to either side of the window or door below.
  6. Completely cover the helical bar with grout, before clearing the excess.
  7. Introduce a second bar to half of the slot depth, ensuring it is at least 10mm distant from the previous bar.
  8. Fill the slot with grout to approximately 10mm from the surface, making sure that both bars and grout are firmly packed into place.
  9. Repeat the entire process for at a higher level, which should be four to twelve courses above the first (the greater the distance the more the load carrying capacity.
  10. Fill the vertical crack with coloured mortar.
It is vital to source helical bars from a reputable supplier with the appropriate test certification in order to guarantee reliable and durable at a competitive market price. That’s where Twistfix come into the picture. Find out more about helical bars on our website and call us if you need any advice at all.
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Masonry Treatment: Defeating the Moss Menace!

As well as being unsightly, moss can be damaging to tiles and brickwork. When it occurs on floor surfaces such as driveways or patios, it can also pose a safety risk as it makes the surface slippery. Getting rid of the issue is simple with Twistfix Masonry Biocide.

Masonry Biocide

Moss forms as the result of algae and fungi working in partnership: algae nourishes the fungi which, in turn, provides shelter and moisture to the algae. This is known as a symbiotic relationship and is so incredibly successful that moss is found in abundance all over the planet.

Twistfix Masonry Biocide is a powerful and highly-effective treatment designed to completely remove moss, along with algae and lichens. Based on a unique micro-emulsion formula which includes fungicide, the product can also be used to efficiently eradicate mould and dry rot spores.

Supplied as a concentrate, Twistfix Masonry Biocide must be diluted exactly according to the instructions supplied with the product. Once diluted, the concentrate has a high rate of surface coverage and can be applied after simple pressure-spraying or scrubbing in preparation. The mixture can be applied to all kinds of masonry using a simple low-pressure spray.

As when using any construction chemical, it is essential to wear adequate safety gear including goggles, rubber gloves, overalls and respiratory protection. If you need any further advice on using this or any other Twistfix product, we invite you to contact our expert technical team.

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Home and Dry: Tanking Membrane from Twistfix

All too soon, summer has given way to autumn and the rain has already made its unwelcome appearance! Heavy rainfall is often cited as a cause of basement leaks but the fact is that it usually just reveals an existing problem. Twistfix supply a wide range of professional basement tanking solutions, including cavity drain membranes.

Baseline Mesh Membrane Kit

All underground spaces must be properly protected against the ingress of moisture, which can cause all sorts of structural issues as well as posing a danger to health. When a basement is to be used as a working or living space, the need to protect the area from water is more important than ever.

Basement conversion is a popular method of increasing space. Other options, such as upgrading to a bigger property or extending into outdoor areas, can be costly and impractical; converting a basement is a simple and cost-effective alternative.

Cavity drain membrane is a necessary aspect of basement conversion. The system creates an air-gap between the wall/floor and the membrane itself, allowing water to pass behind it into a drainage channel and pump-housing sump. Water never comes into contact with the interior of the basement, ensuring the conversion is protected.

Installation is simple and involved fixing the membrane in place before overlaying it with battens or other framing system. Plasterboard can then be successfully applied to provide an area ready for finishing and decoration. Along with the membrane, Twistfix can supply all of the necessary ancillaries including waterproof plugs and plug seals, allowing for the most professional installation.

For a limited time, you can make big savings on one of our most popular basement tanking products: the Baseline Mesh Membrane Kit. Find out more details on the product page...

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Gutter Cleaning: Our Step-by-Step Guide

Looking after the gutters of a property can save lots of time, work and money. Blocked gutters can create all sorts of problems, including penetrating damp; it is easy, quick and cost-effective to use Twistfix gutter guard to prevent such issues occuring. Before installing the product, it is important to properly clean the gutter and here is the Twistfix step-by-step guide to getting it right.

  1. Making sure you're safe and protected is the number one priority. Start by donning heavy-duty rubber gloves and checking that your ladder is in prime condition. Empty your pockets of any sharp objects. If at all possible, have someone with you at all times.
  2. Make sure you have something to put debris and mulch into. Bin liners or rubble sacks are ideal. Do not attempt to carry a bucket up the ladder with you as this can be dangerous. 
  3. Set your ladder at an arm's length from the wall and climb with caution.
  4. The first step is to start removing the larger pieces of debris. Never reach more than an arm's length to get hold of pieces of debris as this is very dangerous; clear the area you can easily reach before descending and moving the ladder along. Drop filled bags or larger pieces of debris to the ground, being careful to make sure that nobody is beneath.
  5. Then go back along the gutter and remove the buildup of mulch. This is not a particularly pleasant aspect of the job but persevere, it will be well worth it in the end.
  6. The final stage in cleaning the gutter is to wash away any residue. This is best accomplished with the use of a garden hose. Don't forget to spray wayer through the downspouts as well as the main length of guttering.x

Now that your gutter is clean, you can safely and successfully install Twistfix Gutter Guard. This innovative product helps to keep your gutters clear and allow water to flow quickly through, preventing many problems later on.

Find out all the details about Twistfix Gutter Guard on the product page and give our technical team a call if you need any advice.

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The Mould Remover Kit from Twistfix

Damp in properties creates the ideal environment for mould colonies to form, which can be extremely damaging to health. VPS, a major property management specialist, recently issued a warning about the problem which, like asbestos, is classified as a Category 1 Health Risk.

Mould Remover Kit

There are several types of invasive mould, each of which carries its own health risk. One of the most dangerous is aspergillus, the primary component of mildew; if spores are inhaled, a condition called aspergillosis can seriously affect health. This condition affects the lungs and sinuses; around 50% of people who contract aspergillosis do not survive.

Anthony Owen is the Managing Director of VPS. He said: "Everyone knows that most mould comes from excess water, but what many people don’t realise is that the types of fungi that grow give off mycotoxins that can make people ill. It is classed as a Category 1 health risk, the same class as asbestos.”

Getting rid of mould is easy with the Mould Remover Kit from Twistfix.  It contains our effective biocide spray and also fungicidal additive to protect against further growth. The kit also contains protective gloves and goggles to ensure safety.

Find out more about Twistfix Mould Remover on the website and get in touch with our technical team for further advice and support.

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File… Dont Hesitate to Insulate!

As the weather becomes colder, sales of roofing insulation products are increasing in both the professional and domestic sectors. Twistfix supply a comprehensive collection of insulation products, two of which are explained in more detail below.

SuperQuilt Multi Foil Insulation

Resin-&-FoamSuperQuilt Multi Foil Insulation is a unique, innovative way to keep indoor temperatures at their optimum levels. The product comprises no less than 19 separate layers of foil, brought together in one single, lightweight sheet. Offering unmatched thermal resistance, SuperQuilt effectively reflects infrared heat, keeping out the cold during the winter months. As an added bonus, the product is also effective at keeping out heat during the summer.

The thermal insulation layer is extremely easy to handle, making installation a matter of simplicity. Both quality and user-safety levels are guaranteed thanks to Building Control Certification and a barrage of independent tests. Ideal for either new-build or renovation projects, SuperQuilt Multi Foil Insulation is both versatile and cost-effective.

Roof Loft Insulation Spray Kit

Super-quiltThis comprehensive kit contains everything you need to create a fast, efficient insulation seal. The product comprises a closed-cell polyurethane formula designed to efficiently reduce condensation and heat loss, enhancing the level of thermal performance and protecting against the slippage of tiles.

Both polyol and isocyanate formulas are included in the kit, along with all of the required ancillaries such as nozzles, hoses and a professional-quality dispensing gun. Twistfix also supply a tanks-only kit for re-orders. Protective clothing should be worn when using this product and all usage instructions must be strictly adhered to.

For more information on the insulation solutions available from Twistfix, please call or email our technical support team.

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Condensation Confron­ta­tion: ThermalDry Paint

Damp can become an issue in all types of properties and for many different reasons. One of the most common causes is condensation and Twitsfix offer a range of solutions to the problem, including ThermalDry Anti-Condensation Coating.

ThermalDry Anti-Condensation Coating is a purpose-developed product which comprises a water-based acrylic emulsion paint. The formula incorporates myriad small glass beads, each of which is completely hollow; these beads allow the paint to act like a Thermos flask, using a reflective process to block thermal energy.

When thermal energy is reflected in this way, the masonry walls are protected from damp-causing condensation. Surfaces that are generally at a low temperature, such as walls, are more prone to condensation; ThermalDry fixes the issue by lowering the dew point by increasing this temperature.

Two coats of ThermalDry must be applied to create the most effective barrier. The first coat is applied in a horizontal fashion then, after up to four hours of drying time, the second coat is applied perpendicular to the first. Before applying the formula, it should be gently stirred by hand to disperse the glass beads evenly.

As well as protecting against condensation, ThermalDry also delivers an effective barrier against mould formation. It can be applied to internal or external walls, directly onto brick or concrete and over existing plaster and paint.

ThermalDry forms part of our portfolio of anti-condensation products. Find out more details on our website!

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Combat Winter Weather with Twistfix

Recent gale-force winds have been causing havoc all over the UK, damaging structures and necessitating many different types of repair. Twistfix supply a comprehensive collection of structural materials designed to combat the problems caused by strong winds and now is the time to make sure you're prepared.

Slip Ties

Slip TiesWe are proud to supply Ancon PPS Slip Ties, which are specifically designed to be used at movement joints. Once installed, slip ties effectively protect masonry from the forces created by lateral wind loads while still allowing panels and walls to contract and expand naturally as necessary.

Each tie comprises a stainless steel body which has a plain and a perforated end. They come complete with a debonding sleeve which fits over the plain end, allowing for the expansion and contraction of brickwork.

Used in conjunction with conventional cavity wall ties at either side, the slip tie system provides effective and lasting protection. Sold in economical packs of 20 ties, this product is extremely cost-effective.

Dry Ridge System

Roof-repairsThis comprehensive kit comprises 6m of ventilated ridge roll and a stainless steel fixing pack of superior quality. Suitable for use on all types of clay and concrete ridge tiles, the system features unique ratchet unions and high-strength nylon clips to ensure durability, enabling results that last as long as the roofing structure itself.

The Twistfix Dry Ridge System negates the need for repeated bedding and pointing, delivering a complete mechanical fixing solution. It can be installed in any weather with no special tools required, providing a water- and wind-resistant finish with its mortar-free and vapour-permeable construction.

Bonding is made permanent with a self-adhesive super-strength butyl strip and the product is lightweight, easy to work with and safe.

These are just two of the products we have available that are ideal for use during the winter months. Find out more details on the product pages and get in touch with our experienced technical team for further information and advice.

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DriMaster: Condensation Control Made Easy

Condensation, one of the major causes of damp within properties, becomes a more likely occurrence during the winter months. One of the most effective solutions is to install a positive input ventilation fan and Twistfix are proud suppliers of just such a product: the Dri-Eco-Heat-HC.

The Dri-Eco-Heat-HC positive input ventilation fan can be quickly and easily installed in any property with internal roof space. When operating at ordinary temperatures, the fan uses heat in the loft to take advantage of solar thermal gain; if the temperature drops particularly low, it is a matter of simplicity to activate the integral heating facility, distributing fresh, warm and filtered air.

The installation of the Dri-Eco-Heat-HC delivers immediate benefits, one of which is its ultra-low power consumption. An intelligent system, it monitors evidence of condensation and, if none is detected, automatically goes into standby mode to save even more energy. The unit operates at a whisper-quiet level to avoid disturbance and is supplied with a comprehensive 7-year warranty.

Air quality within a property equipped with a Dri-Eco-Heat-HC is significantly improved. The unit encourages movement of moisture-laden air, directing it out of and away from the property, reducing air pollutants and helping to combat damp caused by condensation. Complying strictly with Parts F & L of Building Regulations Ventilation requirements, the Dri-Eco-Heat-HC is currently available from Twistfix at the extremely competitive price of just £325.01 exclusive of VAT.

For more information, please visit the product page, where you will also find a user guide and installation instructions in PDF format.

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Mesh Membrane Kit: A Twistfix Bestseller

Since Twistfix introduced the Damp Check Mesh Membrane Kit to our portfolio of products, it has been a key element of the professional waterproofer's kit. Its consistent popularity rating comes from a combination of excellent quality, 100% reliability and always-competitive Twistfix price.

Following the installation of a remedial damp proof course, the internal finishes of a room are susceptible to damage from any water vapour and accompanying salts given off as walls dry out. The Damp Check Mesh Membrane Kit contains materials to create an immediately effective moisture barrier that will protect against this problem.

Mesh membrane is absolutely ideal to accompany the process of creating showers and wet rooms. It features a mesh face designed to easily accept a wide selection of adhesives, plasterboard dabs and cement renders. On the reverse side, the membrane has stand-off studs which, separated by protective air gaps, allow natural 'breathing' of the wall while still preventing water ingress.

Achieving professional results is easy with the Damp Check Mesh Membrane Kit. As well as 10m of mesh membrane, each kit contains 10m of butyl rubber tape and 100 hammer-in fixing plugs, allowing you to create the perfect waterproof seal. The material can be cut  to size easily by simply using a standard knife or pair of scissors: no other special tools are required.

Discover more about the Damp Check Mesh Membrane Kit on our website!

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