Blog, news and press releases
The walls of a property certainly deserve an applause for all their hard work, but if they start to bow as well then it's time to get Twistfix on the situation! Bowing, bulging or otherwise leaning external walls point to a lack of lateral restraint that requires an immediate fix.
Generally, house walls are structures that are particularly slender in ration to their height; it is this fact that leaves them vulnerable to buckling forces. Restraint is usually provided in two ways; by securing external walls to floor diaphragms and by strapping façade walls to the brick-bonded buttressing partition walls that run right-angles to them.
Once again, it is older buildings that bear the brunt of this structural issue and the problems often occur when the restraint between the external walls and the floor joists and partitions are defective, inadequate or even missing altogether.
The lateral restraint tie is an incredible innovation that, like so many others, is taken for granted. The retrofit tie rods are used when the façade of a building has become disjointed from the main structure, providing reconnection and enhancing resistance to thrusting and buckling forces. Drill-tipped tie-rod systems are specifically designed to tie external walls to timber joists located in structural floor diaphragm or to stud; they can also be used with stud walls.
The range of lateral restraint systems is large and diverse, in reflection of the differences between structures. Our long-series 12mm diameter heavy duty helical ties are designed to reconnect and strengthen masonry wall junctions, which is a particularly efficient method of transferring lateral forces back to buttressing walls.
Combining various types of restraint types is noted for its benefit of forming small box-like structures within the larger structure, dramatically increasing lateral restraint and stabilising the external wall.
Check out our videos to put the strength back in your structure!
When basement conversion started to get popular, it was variously termed as a ‘fad’, ‘trend’ and ‘craze’. This has proven to be very far from the truth, however, and extending your property in a downwards direction is more popular now than ever before.
This increase in basement conversions has been driven partly by ever-increasing land/property prices and partly by improved access to better basement waterproofing technology and materials. One of these materials is Baseline 8, a high quality waterproofing membrane, which is available as part of a comprehensive kit from Twistfix.
Baseline 8 is a cavity drain membrane that allows for timber-frame studs to be attached to the waterproofing membrane’s front; this means that required services (including electrical wires) can run safely and unencumbered between membrane and studs, preventing its penetration and subsequent compromising.
Membranes are connected with strong butyl waterproofing tape, creating a watertight seal - this is especially important at the junction of wall and floor, a particularly vulnerable area. The system for draining water is then completely sealed, isolating masonry from internal finished and facilitating water disposal without the liquid ever getting near the new living area.
The Baseline 8 Waterproofing Membrane Kit includes:
- 1 x roll of Baseline 8 waterproofing membrane - choose 40m2 or 48m2
- 1 x 22.5m roll of waterproofing tape or 4 rolls of butyl rubber rope
- 1 x box of 200 brick plugs with ready-mounted waterproof seals
If you’re thinking about basement conversion then you need to check out all the facts as it is a complex, delicate task that must be managed by professionals using quality products such as Baseline 8.
A property that is not adequately damp proofed will suffer from many negative issues including mould growth, crumbling plaster and rotting woodwork. Damp proofing (a process that has several effective methods) prevents water ingress, leaving a dry, healthy environment.
Establishing the cause of the dampness is the first step and once it has been correctly identified, Twistfix can supply an apprpriate solution.
Condensation; water vapour turning back to liquid when it meets cold walls and windows.
Penetrating Damp; moisture soaking through external walls to affect internal surfaces.
Rising Damp, groundwater being drawn up the wall via capillarity.
Condensation problems, the most common cause of damp in properties, are quickly fixed by correcting the delicate balance between the generation of moisture and ambient air and surface temperatures. From condensation control fans and home ventilation systems to anti-condensation paint and mould removal kits, Twistfix supply a full complement of effective anti-condensation systems.
Penetrating damp occurs particularly in older buildings where brick is porous, but it also a problem in properties that suffer from leaks, are located below ground or where one or more elevations are subjected to driving rain by a prevailing wind. The damaging problem can be easily avoided by regular maintenance and treatment, including gutter repair to prevent water running down walls and making sure all masonry cracks are filled and walls repointed and waterproofed. Once again, Twistfix supply everything required for solving this damaging problem.
Rising damp, where walls in direct contact with soils saturated by groundwater soak it up via capillary action. This common issue is usually caused by a damaged, inadequate, unprofessionally-installed or even a non-existent damp proof course (DPC). Due to newer properties making use of cement mortars (as opposed to the lime-based mortar found in older properties), older buildings suffer most from rising damp. Various types of DPC systems are available from Twistfix, including injected damp proofing cream, chemical DPCs, waterproofing membrane and electro-osmosis DPC systems.
In many cases dampness can be attributed to more than one source, so Twistfix have come up with an all-cure solution in their Total Waterproofing Kit. The kit comprises BBA accredited damp injection cream to combat rising damp and a waterproofing membrane that forms a barrier between walls affected by penetrating damp and the internal surfaces. Another advantage of the membrane is that when plastered or plaster-boarded the wall is warmer than when plaster is applied directly to brickwork and accordingly the potential for condensation is reduced.
Wall tie anchors are much easier to instal than most people give them credit for; the process can actually be broken down into three very simple steps. The extra-long, heavy duty wall ties we supply have been designed by Thor Helical to provide the most professional results every time, whether used in brick, block, stone or concrete walls. Visit the product page for a special surprise discount.
A feat of technology and engineering, all Thor Helical remedial wall ties from Twistfix benefit from twin-start helical blades with a reactive interface angle, allowing and extremely accurate self-tapping penetrative path to be formed when they are hammered into the masonry element. Each of these heavy-duty wall tying anchors has a diameter of 12mm and is manufactured from marine-grade stainless steel for superior resistance to corrosion.
The helix consistency and driving configuration aspects of Thor Helical wall ties are patented. Traditional ties involve clamping the wire at one end while the other is turned, developing a helix with a varying pitch across its length, Thor helical ties use advanced twisting die technology to control this pitch more precisely, forming tightly-mating threads that guarantee superior interlock performance.
At the driving end, the patented arrangement (Pat GB2439633) guarantees safe, controlled installation at close quarters and low cost tooling that allows the operator to keep both hands on the drill throughout, making it easier during insertion.
Helical wall ties have been used for more than 25 years and are recommended in B.R.E. Digest 329 (Table 5) as being “suitable for use in all remedial situations”, irrespective of the buildings substrate or its fire performance criteria. The long-series 12mm diameter ties have been subject to intensive independent testing programmes and are CE marked to be reliable in all types of masonry strapping applications including; tying facades at 'T'-junctions, stitching walls at cracked corners, reinforcing parapet walls and pinning masonry or brick arches. The 12mm ties have twice the strength of any other hammer-driven helical ties of similar design or function.
The interlock anchorage of the wall tie does not exert expansive stress and does not or rely on adhesives, enabling it to be used in sub-zero temperatures and without the use of cement grouts. The structural anchorage continues to provide its support throughout temperature extremes, including fire, without being affected. The dry fix mechanical wall connectors are 10 times faster to instal than cement-grouted structural pinning systems.
In cross-sectional profile, the tie reveals a wide portion which is there to maximise grip and a narrow portion responsible for accommodating natural building movements and vibrations. When under load, the helical blades impart an accumulative cone of stress at tangential angles to the helix; this means that the load is evenly spread across the length of the wall anchor. Our long-series 12mm wall tie anchors are available in 8 standard lengths ranging from 610mm (24") to 1670mm (66").
The 3 Steps
DRILL a small pilot hole using a light hammer drill. Make sure to stop the rotation of the drill before drilling the remote wall layer to prevent whipping.
Using a lightweight hammer drill and SDS settiing tool, HAMMER-DRIVE the tie into the masonry.
Once the self tapping tie is recessed beneath the wall face, FINISH the job by disguising the entry bore with suitable colour-matching mortar.
We want to ensure a 100% success rate to our customers and our team are always available to help you get the very best from your purchase. Call us today and find out what makes our products a cut above the rest.
Newman Building Solutions have recently completed a structural masonry reinforcement project on a grade II listed building on the outskirts of London. The combination of their expert knowledge and Twistfix products ensured that the project was a complete success, restoring Mymms Hall to its full former glory.
Mymms hall is located in north London and dates back to the 16th century. Over the years, many additions have been made to the main structure, including an annexe which was built in the late Victorian era. The main structure, along with these later additions, had fallen into a state of disrepair and full refurbishment became necessary.
Newman Building Solutions specialise in this kind of remedial work and so the company was contacted in the initial stages of the planned refurbishment. They were asked to create a feasible repair and restoration scheme that combined a modern approach with sympathetic techniques suitable for such delicate work.
The first stage involved carrying out extensive soil investigations, which showed that the building foundations were inadequate; this is a common issue with buildings of such an age. Structural engineers agreed that an underpinning or piling scheme would cause too much disruption and possible damage and so a superstructure reinforcement scheme would be preferable.
Almost every lintel throughout the building had failed, leading to stepped diagonal cracking and separation; the cause of the lintel failure was found to be excessive ground movement along with increased loads. Pointing faults had been aggravated by root ingress from ivy, adding to the overall instability of the structure.
Engineers at Newman Building Solutions designed a scheme that utilised more than half a kilometre of Twistfix helical bars as retrofit bed joint reinforcement. This was used to create helibeams within the damaged masonry, increasing the load bearing capacity of the brickwork by distributing structural loads right across the building facades. As repointing was to be carried out with lime putty to match the original materials, grout or resin could not be used; this would create hard spots that would lead to further movement and cracking.
The project is now complete and will ensure that this beautiful building can carry on standing proud for many more years to come. Twistfix are proud that our masonry repair products have been used to preserve and strengthen this historic building.
All the information about our reinforcement products is available on the website so browse now and find the perfect combination for your project.
Unsightly, unhealthy and damaging, the negative effects of rising damp are well documented. Damp walls provide a unwelcoming environment and the increased conductivity of the walls leads to heat loss, creating uncomfortable conditions and unnecessarily wasting vital money and power resources. Although more common in older buildings due to the porous lime mortars and often the lack of a damp course, rising damp affects many newer buildings as well; if inferior materials have been used or a careless bricklayer employed the problem can affect almost any property.
We are surrounded by natural moisture, both in the air as vapour and in the ground as liquid. This moisture naturally seeps into porous mortar and brick or stonework. Groundwater in particular can contain soluble salts which collect on the wall surface as moisture evaporates; these salts then draw further moisture from the atmosphere, aggravating the problem. The water rises through the pores of the masonry by capillary action until, unless it evaporates, gravity cause it to sink again. This height varies but does not generally exceed 1.2 metres; the deposited salts and clear line of demarcation are classic signs of rising damp.
Rising Damp Injection Cream is a low-cost, low-waste way to create a damp proof course. Twistfix supply a professional option which is a silane formula without the addition of any thickening agents,delivering a highly active solution in the form of a cream that utilises advanced emulsification technology to achieve the required consistency.
The Damp Injection 8000 Box is a refill pack designed with professional builders in mind. This genuine, reliable, BBA-approved product contains 8 litres of the injection cream and is supplied in a compact, recyclable box. As is the case with the Twistfix trademark, you can also expect to pay the most competitive market rate as compared to any similar product that meets the same standard.
Find out the tech specs of the Damp Injection 8000 builder’s refill pack on the product page. If you need advice on this or any of the other many products available on our website, then simply give our experienced team a call to receive prompt, reliable and expert attention.
The NHBC (National House Building Council) carry out detailed inspections of new properties, in order to ensure everything has been built and finished to a safe, habitable standard. If inspectors discover any issues, the new properties are considered to have failed the inspection and must be brought up to standard before being deemed acceptable for habitation.
A new housing estate in South Wales recently fell foul of an NHBC inspection, which found that the timber frame wall ties in the properties were inadequate. The developers of the new estate got in touch with us here at Twistfix; our experts were quick to recommend one of our long-term, regular customers (NBS) as the best contractor to rectify the situation.
The new estate comprises 160 timber frame properties; these were found to be structurally unsound due to their brick facades being ineffectively secured to the frame. Instead, the facades had simply been nailed to adjacent plywood sheeting, necessitating the installation of high-quality timber frame wall ties.
Perhaps surprisingly, this is a common defect encountered with newly built timber frame properties; the main structure of the building effectively forms a self-contained frame discrete from an external brick facade. These two elements must be joined securely by installing timber frame wall ties at regular intervals; this ensures structural stability and prevents bricks falling away from the building and posing a health and safety hazard.
Contractors at NBS are highly experienced in this type of remedial work and make full use of the Twistfix product portfolio to facilitate their professional work. The company know that they can trust the consistent high quality of our diverse array of Twistfix materials, tools and ancillaries to get the job done and our specially engineered, self-tapping stainless steel wall ties are no exception to the rule.
Experts at NBS describe Twistfix timber frame wall ties as ‘incredibly efficient’ and as ‘the most flexible available on the market today’. CE Marked and fully compliant with all relevant health, safety and quality standards, the tried and tested wall ties provide an extremely secure connection between the brick facade and timber frame, with the added benefit of being an invisible remedy and thus not affecting the aesthetic of the new properties.
There is already a taste of winter in the air, with darker nights quickly drawing in and a bracing, exhilarating chill in the air. It won’t be long before that chill becomes biting and breathtaking so it’s time to check your insulation and make sure you have a warm home throughout.
Insulation is one of the basic components of a well-built house yet it is surprising how little many people know (or seem to care!) about the type of insulation they currently have and how effective that insulation really is. In just a few simple steps, you could make sure you have the answers to these questions - and extremely pleasing answers they are too.
Judging by the high volume, reliable consistency and repeated sales of SuperQuilt, our customers can’t get enough of it! This is due to its many impressive features and benefits, which include:
Simplicity: installing SuperQuilt is so easy and provides immediate effectiveness. Lightweight, flexible and convenient to work with, the insulation is a DIYers dream
Efficiency: SuperQuilt comprises 19 layers of insulation material to provide one of the most effective thermal barriers available on the market today. When installed with air-gaps of 25mm, a thermal resistance of at least 2.50m2K/W is achieved
Versatility: whatever the temperature outside, SuperQuilt keeps on working. Infrared heat is continually reflected, meaning warmth is kept in during winter and out during summer. Ideal for both refurb and new-build projects, this product will be with you all the way
Economy: by reducing the need for artificial cooling or heating in a property, SuperQuilt multi foil insulation saves you money and improves your green credentials too. Don’t forget our 23% discount, only available for for a limited time!
Reliability: the innovative insulation solution has been independently tested and has received Building Control certification so you can order with complete confidence from us
A warm, welcoming home is always inviting but becomes even more so when you’re arriving there after a day spent shivering! Faulty, old or even non-existent insulation is not an option during the winter. What are you waiting for? Order SuperQuilt today and start saving straight away!
The essential process of masonry crack repair is facilitated with high-performance grout, which is often specified for its superior quality. Twistfix are proud suppliers of WHO-60 grout, used to effectively bond retrofit helical bars into position. Our products are the only proven bar and grout combination with load tables issued by the BRE (Building Research Establishment) following extensive testing.
When crack stitching bars are installed into walls and brickwork, they must be firmly anchored into place. This calls for the use of WHO-60, which has an innovative formulation of polymeric resin powder/liquid components combined expertly with cement to produce a cohesive, smooth and easily-worked grout.
WHO-60 masonry repair grout is thixotropic, meaning that its viscosity prior to solidifying decreases with stress, for example when stirring and applying. This makes it incredibly easy to work with and, as such, it can be effectively applied with trowel or mortar gun.
When mixed according to the given specifications, the WHO-60 brick stitching grout supplied by Twistfix renders three litres of product. As with all of the masonry repair, damp proofing, cellar tanking and insulation solutions we offer, all necessary precautions should be taken when using WHO-60 masonry stitching grout.
Through our many years of experience, we have learned to recognise that speed is often key in renovation and construction work and so we endeavour to deliver all of our products, including WHO-60 masonry grout, as quickly as possible. WHO-60 masonry repair grout is included in many of our 'everything - you - need' kits including our Arch Repair Kit, Brick Pinning Kit and our best selling Crack Stitching Kit.
A regular purchaser from Twistfix left a review after buying this product that states they ‘ordered stitching grout one day, received (it) the next’. This swift and efficient delivery also led the reviewer to add that we were ‘spot on’ with our service!
Contractors all over the UK are gearing up for the annual increase in orders for waterproofing and insulation projects that are caused by the onset of cold, windy and wet weather. Make sure your business is ready with two of our best-selling professional solutions — Super-7 and Insofast.
The Super-7 Warm Roof Fixing was specifically engineered to be used in thicker layers of over-rafter insulation and is the strongest, most cost-effective helical fastener available on the market. It is also the only warm roof batten fixing to be assessed and approved independently; this thorough testing was carried out by CERAM and the results applied to a BRE-approved design method.
Designed to give optimal performance while reducing materials and labour time, up to 40% fewer Super-7 helical fasteners are required in comparison to standard 6mm helical fixings when calculated using the BRE-approved HeliCalc software. Fixing specifications provided by this calculator comply strictly with BS:6399 Parts II and III and have the relevant Eurocode safety factors applied, putting an end to the risk of choosing a manufacturer that delivers specifications based on unpublished design criteria and test data.
Making expert use of the Super-7 helical system, Insofast flat roof insulation fixings are primarily used to secure laminates above roof deck rafters. Each fixing is based on a Super-7 helical shank which has a dome-reinforced head welded above. This allows the fixing to be easily and accurately driven using an SDS driving tool or ordinary hammer, strongly affixing insulation boards to the deck joists of the roofing structure. The innovative fixing is available in either a stainless steel or zinc-plated carbon steel format and can be supplied in a comprehensive selection of lengths ranging between 145 - 225mm.
Whether protecting a flat or pitched roof, a rigid foam or mineral fibre insulation material, we can quickly supply your firm with professional quality solutions at the most competitive price. Get ready for the Winter with Twistfix and make those roofs water tight.
Want to find out more about how you can raise your company profile by working with Twistfix? Call us now!