Blog, news and press releases

Measure, Test and Analyse with Twistfix

Anyone who is involved in the renovation and construction industries knows that preparation is absolutely key to achieving professional, lasting results. Part of this preparation is analysis and Twistfix supply a diverse collection of analytical tools to facilitate all kinds of applications.

Measuring & Testing

Measuring & Testing

Measuring & Testing

Three of the most popular analytical tools are:

  1. The Rigid Boroscope: with superior level of image quality, this optical instrument permits fast, simple and reliable viewing in areas that are inaccessible by other mean.  It is ideal for inspectiion of wall cavities and floor voids.  A bright halogen lamp ensures enhanced visibility and the unit comes complete with battery and charger to improve cost-effec­tiveness
  2. The Wall Tie Testing Kit: designed to facilitate quality control and pre-contract product suitability for wall tie instal­la­tions, this is one of our best-selling products. Comprising a tension tester with 3.5kN capacity gauge, an adapter key and integral bridging unit, this tool utilises a load-cell and mechanical pulling device to accurately assess tension forces
  3. The Protimeter Mini: the best-selling product of its kind in the UK, the Protimeter Mini is a digital moisture meter that quickly and reliably measures moisture levels in timber. Information is displayed on an LED, colour-coded readout which can compare relative moisture equivalents for masonry

All of these products and more can be found in the 'Measuring & Testing' section of our website. Browse now!

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Lateral Restraint Ties for Structural Integrity

Our last article featured our helical structural repair ties, which are used to secure brick ​façades to perpendicular walls, helping to restore structural integrity. These crucial components go hand-in-hand with lateral restraint ties, which are used horizontally to tie façades to a buildings flooring diaphragm; together they provide a comprehensive structural solution to stabilise bowing walls.

Tying bulging brickwork to the internal structure of a floor is made quick, simple and effective with lateral restraint ties from Twistfix. Each robust, high-quality tie features a drill-like leading end, designed to powerfully cut into softwood using a standard drill. The bars are simply wound into the timber before being resin-fixes to the gable brickwork, delivering an immediate, lasting solution.

One of the most impressive features of lateral restraint bars is that they are fixed from outside of the property, meaning that a minimum of disruption occurs during installation. Determining the position of the relevant joists and ensuring services such as gas, water and electricity are avoided simply involves lifting a small number of floorboards before installation proceeds.

Lateral restraint tie bars are supplied in packs of five and there is a choice of different lengths available to suit any application. An even more economical option is the comprehensive Lateral Restraint Wall Tie Kit, which contains everything required to complete a professional job. The kit includes:

  • Five lateral restraint tie bars, each of one metre in length
  • An SDS setting tool to allow easy winding of restraint ties into joists
  • An SDS masonry drill bit
  • A pack of polyester resin with integral mixer nozzle
  • A co-axial resin applicator

For more details about these products, check out our website or call our technical team.

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The Solution to Bowing Walls

By necessity, the walls of a property are generally slender in relation to their height. This means that, without restraint, walls are susceptible to buckling forces, a fact which must be taken into consideration when building or renovating. Support must be provided and this is achieved by securing floor diaphragms to external walls and strapping partition walls to perpendicular façade walls.

When such restraint is missing, inadequate or defective, walls can start to bow, bulge and/or lean. This telltale symptom of lacking lateral restraint should never be ignored and needs swift intervention to prevent the damage worsening and even becoming dangerous. It is most often older structures that display the common issue of bulging brickwork.

When the façade of a building has become disjointed from its main structure, the insertion of a series of load sharing structural restraint ties is the easiest and most effective way to remedy the situation. Installation is simple, each retrofit tie rod delivering the required reconnection and enhancing the resistance to buckling and thrusting forces to restore structural integrity.

As all structures are different, there are many types of lateral restraint system. When used for strengthening and reconnecting masonry wall junctions, we recommend our Extra-Long Structural Repair Ties, which allow you to quickly transfer lateral forces back to the buttressing walls. Made from marine-grade stainless steel, these crucial components are guaranteed to resist strongly against corrosion, meaning they will provide active, maintenance-free service for many years to come.

Our structural repair ties are sold in cost-effective and convenient packs of 10 ties. Check the product page for more information and to place your order.

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Happy New Year from Twistfix!

As we approach the end of 2018, Twistfix would like to wish all of our customers a very happy new year. We would also like to thank you for your continued custom throughout the year and we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2019.

The time around new year always sees an explosion of construction and renovation work oppor­tuni­ties, driven partly by adverse weather conditions and partly by people wishing to revamp and improve their properties. This means that it's the perfect time for kitting yourself out, replenishing your stock and generally getting prepared for a busy and profitable new year.

Our signature low prices will continue into 2019, as we keep on delivering everything you need to achieve the most professional results, every time. Why not subscribe to our newsletter? You'll be the first to hear about product updates, trade news, handy how-to-guides, exclusive special offers and much more. You can also follow us all year round on your favourite social media platform.

See you next year!

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Crack Stitching: Our Professional Kit

Cracked masonry must be immediately repaired and there is no better way to achieve truly professional results than with the Twistfix Crack Stitching Kit. Designed to offer a comprehensive solution to cracks in block, stone and brick walls, the kit delivers exceptional value for money, making it a constant bestseller here at Twistfix.

The Twistfix Crack Stitching Kit centres on our helical crack stitching bars, which are manufactured using grade 304 stainless steel, a metal renowned for its strength, versatility and resistance to corrosion. Each high-tensile, precision-profiled bar is bonded into pre-cut horizontal slots in bed joints, stitching cracks and restoring structural integrity.

Though any building can suffer from cracked masonry, the problem is most often noticed in older properties. Crack stitching bars are the ideal solution as the retrofit brick reinforcement system creates a minimum of disruption during installation; as the bars and grout are both totally concealed afterwards, the original aesthetic and character of older buildings is easily preserved.

The contents of the Twistfix Crack Stitching Kit have been selected by remedial masonry experts. Along with the crack stitching bars themselves, the kit contains specialist WHO-60 masonry repair grout, which is used in conjunction with a Grout-Master applicator and Hi-Flo nozzle; these components are also supplied with the kit. A helix mixer paddle and brick jointer completes the contents, making this one of our most cost-effective products.

Find out more about the crack stitching solutions and other brick repair products available from Twistfix on our website.

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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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