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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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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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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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Crack Stitching the Twistfix Way

The Twistfix Crack Stitching Kit is the perfect solution for any contractor repairing cracks in brick, block and stone walls. Containing everything required to achieve professional results every time, the kit offers incredible value for money and is one of our best-selling products.

At the heart of the crack stitching kits are our helical crack stitching bars. Fabricated from high-grade (304) stainless steel, the high-tensile precision profiled bars are strongly bonded into horizontal slots that have been pre-cut into bed joints, stitching the cracks and restoring structural integrity. The retrofit brick reinforcement solution causes minimal disruption and is permanent once installed and will continue to evenly redistribute tensile forces across the structure, guaranteeing its stability.

Crack stitching bars are a particularly popular solution to the cracks that become apparent in older buildings, thanks to the minimal level of disruption caused while installing. Also, upon completion, both the bars and the grout used to cover them will be completely concealed, retaining the original character and aesthetic of the structure.

The Twistfix Crack Stitching Kit's contents have been specially selected by experts in the field of remedial masonry work and centre around 10 helical crack stitching bars of 1 metre in length; two thicknesses are available (6mm and the stronger 8mm) to suit the project at hand. Along with these, a tub of specialist WHO-60 masonry repair grout is included in the kit, with a yield of approximately 3L of smooth, effective polymer-modified product. The grout is used in conjunction with the supplied Grout-Master applicator which features a unique Hi-Flo nozzle. To allow for ease of use, a Helix mixer paddle and brick jointer are all supplied in this comprehensive kit. A mini crack stitching kit is available for smaller jobs.

All kits are available singly at a most competitive price or, to further enhance their cost effec­tiveness, in wholesale packs of 6 or 12. Please contact us for details regarding larger orders.

For more information on our range of crack stitching solutions for brick, block and stone walls, please contact us on 0845 123 6006 or email sales@twistfix.co.uk.

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Damp Proofing: Your Summer Project

Though the warm weather means that damp is probably the last thing on our minds, the summertime is in fact the best time to carry out damp proofing work. With the walls and the ground beneath at their driest levels, damp proofing work can progress with more rapidity and success.

Rising Damp Kit

Ground water at the footings level of a structure is absorbed into walls via capillary action. The level of the water usually tops out at around one metre high, leaving a tell-tale line; this is the classic symptom of rising damp. As water evaporates, it leaves salts behind which draw more and more moisture from the air, exacerbating the problem.

The warm weather means that groundwater is down to its lowest levels. A lack of moisture allows the walls to dry thoroughly, making conditions perfect for installing damp proof courses. Shorter drying times mean that painting and plastering can be carried out quickly after the damp treatment is implemented.

Treating rising damp is made easy with the Twistfix Rising Damp Kit. Our specialist damp proofing cream is fabricated using an emulsi­fica­tion process before being separated into handy cartridges for your convenience. Once applied, the cream migrates quickly and evenly into the pores of damp walls, delivering an effective, lasting chemical damp proof course. Plastering additive is included in the kit and acts as a salt-inhibitor.

For more information on rising damp and how to prevent or treat it, please contact our expert team on 0845 123 6006 or by email sales@twistfix.co.uk.

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Potholes, Doll's Heads and £1m per Month

Damage caused to vehicles by potholes in the road is an expensive business. The AA recently released shocking statistics about the problem, which revealed that drivers and insurers are collectively spending over a million pounds EVERY MONTH on pothole damage to vehicles, prompting the motorist's organisation to declare that the UK is suffering from a 'pothole epidemic'.

The first four months of 2018 have been the worst on record, with the number of pothole-damage claims equalling those for the whole of the previous year. The 'pothole epidemic' was said to be a 'national embar­ras­sment' by the AA, who attributed the shocking rise in claims to government spending cuts that cause councils to neglect essential road maintenance.

Janet Connor is the Director of Insurance for the AA and was quoted as saying that "local council budgets have been squeezed to the extent that competing priorities mean they don't have the resources to keep their roads up to scratch". She also pointed out that the AA received a large number of pothole-damage claims in which the car was described as 'severely damaged and un-driveable', a description that was unheard of in the previous year.

The estimated figure of £1m a month referred only to claims made, masking the true extent of the real figure. Many drivers with comparably minor damage (such as a ruined tyre, for example) would not have made a claim as it would not be worth paying the excess and losing no-claims bonuses.

Reactions to the claims have been generally angry, with most drivers and insurers pointing the finger of blame squarely at the government. In a bizarre yet effective campaign in terms of publicity, one driver highlighted potholes by filling them in... with the heads of dolls!

Twistfix don't recommend the doll-head method; aside from being completely ineffective at repairing the pothole it seems mighty cruel on the poor doll! Our Tarmac Pothole Repair formula, which is an extremely versatile and tough cold-lay asphalt, is much more suited to the job and it won't give nightmares to small children.

Check out the product page to find out all the benefits of Tarmac Pothole Repair from Twistfix!

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Confirm your Details and Win an Apple Watch!

After several years of debate, the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has been ratified by the EU and will become part of UK law later this month. The new legislation has been designed to offer enhanced protection to any EU citizen who has their data stored by companies and organisations anywhere in the world.

Data protection is of serious importance and is currently covered by the UK Data Protection Act. The GDPR enhances this protection in several ways, ensuring that data is kept safer than ever before and also allowing customers access to such data. After viewing data that is kept on them, customers can demand that it is deleted or altered if they so wish. As well as covering directly-identifiable personal data, such as email addresses, the GDPR also legislates indirect forms of identifiable data such as cookies and IP addresses.

Data storage and retrieval systems will be vastly upgraded In order to be as robust as possible; any breaches to systems must be promptly disclosed to customers. Powerful new encryption software will ensure that data is non-identifiable and an appointed data officer will carry out regular tests to all systems in order to ensure full compliance is maintained.

If you are a subscriber to our newsletter, you will need to re-confirm that we can continue to use your data to get in touch with you. We will shortly be sending out information on how to do this. It is vital that you give us this confirmation or we will have to delete your data and you will no longer receive our newsletter unless you re-subscribe.

All Twistfix customers who confirm their data with us will be entered into a special prize draw to win an Apple Series 3 Watch. This smart piece of kit features Built-in GPS and GLONASS, a fast dual-core processor and W2 chip, heart-rate sensor, barometric altimeter, accelerometer and gyroscope. Water resistant and equipped with the latest Bluetooth capability, this versatile device could be yours simply for clicking the confirmation link; look out for information on this coming soon. Get in touch with our expert team for clear, competent advice and information.

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