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Lateral Restraint: The Solution to Bulging Walls

As a property ages, it becomes more and more susceptible to structural weaknesses. Lack of lateral restraint between floor beams and external masonry can lead to the visible symptom of bulging walls: as this bulging process happens gradually over an extended time period, it is often not noticed until the damage is severe

In new build structures, walls are secured to floors during the building process and internal partion brickwork is  connected to the external walls, preventing bulging. When it comes to retrofit applications for older buildings, the traditional remedy was to run a metal rod completely through the building, connecting to point-loaded iron pattresses on the outside: an impractical, unsightly and ineffective solution in restraining the wall as a whole.

Twistfix supply a wide range of load-sharing lateral restraint products which are much less invasive than the traditional solution. It is a simple task to determine the positions of joists, pipework and wiring inside a building affected by bulging, after which Twistfix Lateral Restraint Bars can be installed, tying bulging masonry back to the internal floor structure and thus helping to restore structural integrity.

The retrofit installation of lateral restraints is carried out from the outside of the affected property, ensuring that a minimum of disruption is experienced. After the tie-bars have been wound into the timbers, polyester or epoxy resin is used to firmly bond the bar to the masonry wall.  When completed, the entire process leaves almost no visible trace, delivering strength and security to the structure while maintaining its aesthetic.

Of course, tying walls to the timber diaphragm is only part of the solution; the additional insertion of bed-joint reinforcement to strengthen the facade and retrofit wall connectors to tie it back to partition walls all serve to secure the wall in place and to prevent further bulges and bowing.

The Twistfix Bulging Wall Restraint Kit contains everything required to achieve professional results and forms part of our lateral restraint family of products. Find out more on the product pages and don;t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for updates, how-to guides, special features and exclusive offers.

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Flood Restoration: The Twistfix Flood Pump Kit

Flooding causes serious damage to properties and, the longer the floodwater remains, the greater the damage. That's why it's essential to drain floodwater from a property as soon as possible. Twistfix offer a range of flood prevention and remediation products, one of which is the bestselling Flood Pump Kit.

The Flood Pump Kit from Twistfix centres on a fully-automatic and -submersible pump which has been designed for the simplest operation. When operational, this remarkable piece of equipment is capable of discharging up to 10,000 litres of water an hour, which equates to an astounding 155 litres a minute. It can be used on floodwater with a minimum depth of 40mm and a maximum depth of 110mm.

The kit includes a super-long (20m) discharge hose with quick-fix connector. Also included is a filtered tank with integral lid: the pump can operate within this tank for added protection or independently as necessary. All of the components included within the kit are guaranteed to be robust and reliable, manufactured to the highest professional quality.

Domestic properties that are at risk from rising water table levels can use the flood pump kit as a preventative device. The pumping kit is simply stored between suspended floors, where it will automatically switch on in the presence of water.

For more information on the flood prevention, restoration and remediation products available from Twistfix, check out our website.

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Mould Removal Products: Our Professional Collection

Damp has many negative effects on a structure and one of the most noticeable of these is the growth of mould and mildew. Outbreaks of mould should be dealt with swiftly to avoid further problems and, here at Twistfix, we supply a selection of products designed to help.

Mould is a microscopic fungus that grows from spores carried in the air. The fungus, which is a dark green to black colour, grows best in damp and humid conditions, migrating deeply into the substrates of porous materials like plaster, plasterboard and masonry. As well as being unsightly, the mould will begin to rot wood and wallpaper and, if left untreated, can have serious negative effects on human health, particularly related to allergic reactions and respiratory illnesses.

For a complete solution, we recommend Twistfix Mould Remover Kit. This professional kit includes everything necessary to achieve lasting results, eradicating toxic mould and preventing it from recurring in the future.  The cost-effective kit contains:

  • 1 x 1,000ml Mould Remover Biocide Spray. The product is supplied in a ready-to-use spray bottle containing sufficient formula to treat ten square metres of wall surface
  • 2 x 100ml Fungicidal Additive. After treatment, mix 100ml of fungicidal additive with 5L of emulsion paint/10L of solvent or gloss paint and apply to the treated wall to prevent regrowth of mould
  • Gloves, Goggles and Sponge. These accessories will ensure you can work safely and efficiently.

Both Twistfix Mould Remover and Fungicidal Additive are available separately from the 'Mould Remover Products' section of our website, where you will also find information on our unique ThermalDry Anti-Condensation Coating. Don't let mould damage YOUR property: take action today!

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Wood Treatment: Protect & Preserve

Wood is such a versatile construction material that it has been used for thousands of years. As an organic material, it is strong and beautiful but vulnerable to damage in a wide variety of ways: Twistfix is proud to supply a comprehensive collection of remedial and protective timber treatment solutions to these problems, supplied as both concentrates and ready-to-use products.

Here we look at four of our most popular professional wood treatment options, two of which are supplied ready to use and two of which are supplied in a concentrate form; the concentrates require diluting with water prior to use.

No More Rot Insecticide

Specifically formulated to eradicate infestations of wood-boring insects, such as woodworm, No More Rot Insecticide is supplied in liquid form and is ready to use straight from the container.  Whether used on doors, windows, floorboards, roof timbers or any other interior woodwork, the highly effective formula penetrates wooden surfaces quickly and deeply, destroying wood-boring insects and preventing the occurance of further infestations.

No More Rot Dual Purpose

With all of the qualities of No More Rot Insecticide, this liquid timber treatment also contains fungicides that attack both wet and dry rot along with blue stain. The product can be used on internal or external timber though requires sealing with a weatherproof finish when used outdoors. Simply applied with brush or spray, No More Rot Dual Purpose is a highly effective insecticide/ fungicide that is virtually odourless for comfortable, safe application.

Microtech Insecticide Concentrate

For larger-scale projects, it makes financial sense to use concentrates. Microtech Insecticide is sold in 150g containers, the contents of which produce 25 litres of solution when diluted. The product rids timber of wood-boring insect infestations and prevents re-infestation.

Microtech Dual Purpose F/1 Concentrate

In addition to being an efficient woodworm killer, this dual purpose timber treatment is effective against fungi, wet/dry rot and blue stain. Microtech Dual Purpose F/1 Concentrate is sold in 150g containers that can be diluted to create 25 litres of effective wood preservative treatment.

Discover the full collection of wood preservative treatments on our website. Need advice on choosing the right product? Just give our skilled technical team a call.

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Remedial Wall Ties: A Brief Guide

Remedial wall ties come in a variety of forms, each suited to a particular repair application. Whilst each system works by different means, they all deliver the required result of securing the outer brick façade to the inner layer of a cavity wall structure.­  Twistfix supply a comprehensive range of these vital structural components.

Cavity wall tie failure is typically caused by the aging process of a building, whereby steel wall ties begin to rust.  As the wall ties corrode, the load-sharing capacity and stability of a cavity wall structure may be impaired.  On newly built structures, tie failure may be a result of at least some of the original 'built-in' brick ties having been omitted.  Whatever the cause, you will find the right retrofit product here at Twistfix in the dedicated 'Wall Ties' section of our website.

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Helical Wall Ties 

The Thor Helical® CD Tie is a patented one-piece stainless steel tie of superlative quality.­  Formed by a process that delivers work-hardened threads, these helical brick ties are designed to deliver fast, consistent results in all types of masonry.­  Installation is exceptionally easy; a tiny 6mm diameter pilot hole is drilled into the walls and the tie is hammered into it using the SDS driving tool.  The oversized threads cut into the masonry as the tie corkscrews into the wall, gripping the masonry on either side of the cavity and locking it in place.  Our helical wall ties have been independently tested and accredited for use in solid bricks, perforated bricks, concrete blocks, aircrete blocks and concrete.

Mechanical Wall Ties 

Our Platinum® range of mechanical ties are available with a choice of expanding neoprene or expanding brass sleeves.  The expanding mechanisms are located at each end of an integral austenitic stainless steel tie bar and a partially-threaded 'tall-nut' is attached at one end.  The ties are inserted into a 10.5mm diameter hole and a drill-powered drive-socket is used to rotate the bar to force open the first sleeve, which grips strongly to the remote masonry layer.  Once a factory-set torque level is reached the 'tall-nut' travels down the tie bar, forcing the second mechanism to expand and grip the wall to form the near leaf connection.

Resin-fix Teplo-Ties

Designed with thermal efficiency firmly in mind, Teplo® Ties are manufactured from a composite of basalt fibres.  Basalt fibre is a thermally efficient alternative to stainless steel replacement wall ties and are suitable for use in remedial resin-fix applications. This tie has an extremely low thermal conductivity of only 0.7W/mk, making it an ideal option for those looking to insulate the cavity after the walls have been re-tied.­   The tie is resin fixed into 10mm diameter holes to provide an adhesive grip in both wall layers.  By removing thermal bridges, Teplo ties dramatically improve the insulation abilities of masonry while simul­ta­ne­ously reducing carbon emissions. Teplo ties are regarded as the most thermally-efficient replacement cavity tie available.­ 

Screw-in Cavity Ties

Tiger Screw-In Wall Ties are used when the only repair option is to re-build the outer layer of a cavity wall.  The tie has a neoprene expanding mechanism at one end with a traditional triangular shaped tie-wire at the other.  To fit the stainless steel tie you simply require a drill and 8mm drill bit.  The neoprene end is inserted into the hole and the tie is turned by hand to tighten the expanding mechanism.  The triangle end is simply laid into the mortar beds as construction of the outer layer proceeds.  These are the quickest and easiest ties to use in partial rebuild applications and require no special tools for installation.

Find out more about our comprehensive collection of remedial wall ties on the website. Need help choosing the correct tie? Get in touch with the Twistfix Wall-Tie-Guys for clear, expert advice.

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Comprehensive Weed Control: Our Professional Collection

The combination of longer hours of daylight with those dreaded heavy April showers means that all forms of plant life are currently enjoying a growth spurt in the warmer, wetter conditions.  While this has the definite upside of beautifying our gardens and outdoor spaces, it also hails the beginning of every gardener's worst nightmare: the invasion of the weeds!

Weed control is serious business and requires the use of professional-grade solutions that have been specifically designed for use by profes­si­onals. That's what you'll find here at Twistfix in the dedicated 'Weed Control' section of our website.

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Roundup ProActive

The gardener's go-to solution for many years, Roundup ProActive is designed for general use on hardy weeds. One such weed is ivy which, with its quick growth and tangled root and stem system, can damage buildings and trees. Roundup ProActive makes short work of ivy and other hardy weeds growing on hard ground.

Roundup Provantage 480

A more-advanced weedkiller containing glyphosate, Roundup ProVantage 480 can be used to control perennial and annual weeds. Though a powerful formula, it is safe and non-toxic to humans and animals as it disables enzymes only found in green-leaved weeds.

Knotweed Control Treatment

Ground-invasive plants such as hogweed and Japanese knotweed stand no chance against this formidable opponent, supplied in a cost-effective kit containing three packs of weed killing formula. It is essential that such weeds are quickly treated: hogweed causes severe burns and Japanese knotweed is so pervasively damaging that it is illegal to leave it untreated if it is on your property. Use with our specially-designed knotweed injection gun.

Tree Stump and Root Killer Plugs

Tree stumps are at best unsightly and can even pose a danger from tripping if concealed by fresh growth. These highly-effective components comprise a nylon Eco-Plug capsule which, filled with granular glyphosate, are pushed into pre-drilled holes (calibrated drill bit supplied) in the tree stump. The chemical migrates to the root system and destroys it, with no adverse effect on surrounding vegetation.

Find out all the details you need in the 'Weed Control' section of our website and do not hesitate to contact our skilled technical team for further information and usage advice.

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Damp Proofing: The All Cure Total Kit

There is lots of damp proofing work currently available to professional builders and so it's the ideal time to stock up on all of the essential materials you're going to need. Twistfix supply a comprehensive range of damp proofing products, one of which is the All Cure Total Damp Treatment Kit.

The All Cure Total Damp Treatment Kit is used to treat damp walls that are above the level of the ground. As suggested by the name, this product can be used to successfully treat all kinds of damp, its 3-in-1 formula stopping rising damp in its tracks, blocking penetrating damp and reducing condensation, which is the leading cause of the issue.

The All Cure Total kit includes six damp injection cream cartridges, which together contain sufficient formula to treat ten linear metres of solid wall or cavity brickwork.  Also included is 10m of mesh membrane which is 1m high: this membrane features 3mm air-gap studs, providing a physical barrier against penetrating damp caused by high pavements of blocked cavities, protecting plastered finishes.

A nylon mesh is incorporated on one face, allowing for plaster or dot-and-dab dry lining to be directly applied. The result is a warmer wall surface, which will better resist the formation of condensation.

There are lots of how-to guides available from Twistfix so check out our website and YouTube channel.

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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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