When mineral-based building materials get wet, a certain amount of water is absorbed into them. This absorbed water is one of the leading causes of structural problems such as damp, frost damage, cracking and moss growth. Twistfix offer a range of products designed to safeguard against this form of damage, including Damp-Seal water repellent cream.
The Masonry Protection Cream has many advantages, which include:
- Massive reduction (over 80%) of water uptake
- Water-vapour permeability is retained at a high level
- Durability – with excellent penetration power and exceptional resistance to UV light
- Strong resistance to alkalis
- Easy application with roller, spray or brush
- Reduced chance of spalling and staining
- Strong adhesion to overhead or vertical surfaces
- Four times the efficiency of liquid water repellent
Masonry that has become damp is an ideal environment for the growth of moss, algae and lichens. Twistfix moss removal biocide provides a powerful and professional solution to the problem – just follow these simple steps.
- First, make sure you are wearing eye & breathing protection, overalls and rubber gloves
- Using a brush, remove as much surface moss as possible
- Dilute the concentrated product with water in a suitable container to make 25 litres of ready-to-use biocide
- Using a low-pressure spray, apply the product to patios, driveways, roof tiles or other masonry
- Enjoy the clean, clear and long-lasting results!
Click here to find out more... Don’t let moss be the boss or damp be the champ – fight back with Twistfix! And, if you have any questions, don't forget that you can have them answered live, instantly and expertly with our chat function.
Once found in almost everything from paint to petrol, lead is now much less commonly encountered. This is because its drawbacks and dangers grew ever more apparent in the light of new research and technology advanced sufficiently quickly for us to find more suitable alternatives.
One of the main uses of lead was as a roof covering and lead flashing (on bay tops, valley gutters and cavity trays for example) remains a somewhat effective option in this narrow field. Many older buildings, particularly churches, still have their old lead roof (though these have become a prime target for thieves over the years).
It isn’t just churches that have had their roofs attacked; many domestic properties have also fallen foul to scrap thieves. This common problem, along with the fact that lead is very heavy and well-known as a toxin, has seen the amount of lead used in construction fall dramatically, ironically increasing its potential cash value even further.
So, what’s the alternative? In a word, Ubiflex. It has all the qualities and benefits of traditional lead flashing without any of the pitfalls and you can purchase the product as part of a complete kit from Twistfix. Here are some important details…
Ubiflex is a modified compound which centres on aluminium mesh as its core component
It outperforms lead in every respect, from its complete lack of toxicity to its recyclable qualities
One of lead’s most noticeable physical properties is its spectacularly-heavy weight: Ubiflex on the other hand has a very impressive strength/weight ratio and is at least 80% lighter than a similar amount of the outdated metal
Seamless runs of up to a massive 12 metres can be easily installed and cutting the material is unbelievably easy
Tested exhaustively under an uncompromising barrage of tough conditions, including water, temperature, wind, UV and more, Ubiflex displays unmatched qualities and needs almost no maintenance
Non-lead flashings are well-known to would-be scrap metal thieves as having little resale value and so your property will be left alone
The Twistfix Ubiflex kit comes with all of the fittings and accessories you need to complete a professional installation and rolls of the material can be purchased separately if required
Penetrating damp is a term that broadly describes intruding moisture from an outside source that has breached a property. The ‘outside source; should be coming from a number of places and could require the services of an expert if the source is not immediately apparent.
Spotting Penetrating Damp
Patches of wall may become moist as the problem takes hold, leading to discolouration and damage to decorated surfaces. It will become immediately important to identify and rectify the incoming water issue at its sources it could be a leak in a pipe or even water that has permeated through structural barriers.
Identifying the Source
The most important and obvious problem is to halt the water ingress through this often proves to be the difficult part. Building envelopes develop leaks and there are many ways for water to find its way in, from defective door and window joints, leaking gutters, faulty or damaged flashings and, the invisible cause, missing roof tiles. Rainwater can reveal weaknesses, particularly in prolonged and heavy showery periods.
Masonry walls absorb water naturally and can do so without hassle under normal circumstances. It the walls are subject to constant or near constant rain water attack, particular from driving rain or the saturating effect of a leaking downpipe, the absorbed moisture can saturate brick or block to its limit, the excess appearing as penetrating damp.
Bricks in particular paos a problem as their fine capillaries mean that water is transported around the internal structure at a rate tenfold that of other materials. Hairline cracks are common as water takes its erosive path at the mercy of gravity.
Solid walls are more likely to be affected than cavity wall construction by this type of penetrating damp. This is not to say that the cavity wall is a perfect solution as they can become blocked, which has the reverse effect of allowing water to bridge the gap. Cavity walls retrofitted with insulation foam also have a tendency to allow water percolation.
Treating the Issue : Simple Steps
Immediately, locate the source of the water intrusion. If you can't get someone to help you; your landlord or local council might be a good bet. Knowing where your water stopcock is will help ease panic in emergencies, too.
Once stopped, it is simply a matter of keeping up good regular building maintenance by carrying out such tasks as checking roof coverings and flashing for water tightness, keeping gutters clear of any obstructions and making sure they are leak free, checking windows and door frames for potential gaps.
Safeguarding masonry requires keeping wall cavities if they exist, clear of obstructions and checking regularly. ANy eroded or defective mortar joints should be immediately repointed and any cracks and crevices kept filled. Finish with Twistfix high strength masonry water repellent for a lasting result; it;’s 100% vapour permeable lines rather than blocks masonry pores, allowing evaporation and preventing a damaging freeze/thaw cycle from beginning.
Any construction or renovation project requires the same basic three things to have a chance at success – careful planning, quality materials and knowledgeable users of these materials. When attempting renovation work on an older building, the same things apply except you have to really up the careful factor to maximum! Luckily, the experts at SRS (Midlands) know their stuff inside out and, using products supplied by Twistfix, recently carried out a complete, large-scale overhaul of an historic church.
Many contractors will happily say ‘no job is too small’ but the staff at SRS (Midlands) are equally used to saying ‘no job is too big!’. Lesser men would have baulked at the mammoth task but for Senior Projects Manager Mike Cooper and his dedicated, cherry-picked team, it presented an exciting, unique and absorbing challenge, to which they rose admirably. The benefit of many years of practical experience combined with their implicit trust and confidence in the quality of Twistfix products meant they knew they could get the job done, and get it done right.
Cambridge Road Methodist Church in Kings Heath, Birmingham, was completed back in 1903 and, in the intervening years between then and today, had understandably lots some of its former glory. The work list was extensive and included:
- A full overhaul and upgrade of the structure inside and out
- Restoring the stability of the structure, particularly the turrets and spire base, which had suffered from extensive movement and resettlement
- Stabilising several masonry separations using Twistfix helical bars wrapped around the tower , like hoops around a barrel. Crack stitching products were then installed to reconnect cracked brick panels
- Intricate securement of all side turrets, roundels and terracotta arches using Twistfix retro-fitted wall ties. Working with the terracotta required extreme delicacy and so ended up being the most time—consuming part of the two-month project — main engineers Worrall & Associates instructed SRS (Midlands) contractors to remove all of the old terracotta mortars to the miniature spires on the turret tops, before grouting them using a resin mortar before a full repointing scheme, which fully concealled the structural masonry repairs.
Main contract Trendgrey Ltd were extremely satisfied with the results and the grand church is once again restored to its previous magnificence, thanks to the dedicated work of Twistfix-registered contractor SRS (Midlands) and the consistent professional quality of our masonry repair products, systems and solutions.
Find out more about the range of masonry repair products available NOW from Twistfix at the most competitive price.
A long, particularly cold winter that has extended well into the spring has left many roads, driveways and footpaths riddled with potholes which, unless attended to, will continue to get worse and possibly present a safety risk. The professional solution comes in the form of the Ultra Crete Asphalt Repair Kit, available from Twistfix now at a very special price...
The Ultra Crete Asphalt Repair Kit is the choice of professionals all over the country, from private contractors to large industries, councils and local authorities. Efficient, safe and reliable, the kit contains everything required for a lasting repair and comes with the usual Twistfix guarantees of effectiveness.
Potholes are unavoidable; the surface fatigue experienced during general usage causes vibrations which lead to tiny hairline fractures. The edges of these begin to work loose and water gets inside which, when it freezes, expands and widens the crack. This lets more water in and the freeze-thaw cycle is set in motion, progressively widening the cracks until the surface material begins to come apart.
Potholes can be dangerous to pedestrians who can easily trip on the unlevel surface, particularly if the light is low. They are also an impediment to driving. Damage to cars is often experienced as loose stones from the pothole are dislodged, an issue that also makes the pothole even larger. Repairing them immediately they are noticed is clearly essential and there is no better way to do it than with Ultra Crete.
The kit contains a cold-lay asphalt and delivers swift, lasting repair to a number of surfaces, including driveways, courtyards, roads, car parks, footpaths, patios and sports courts. It can be used in any weather condition with equal effectiveness and the permanent repair helps to prevent damage occurring again.
You can now save a cool £45 when you buy the Ultra Crete Asphalt Repair Kit from Twistfix. For just £141.48 fully inclusive of VAT, you receive three 25kg tubs (resealable and recyclable) of cold lay asphalt plus 750ml of bitumen cold joint sealer to guard against the dreaded freeze-thaw cycle.
This is a limited-time offer so stock up now and start filling in those potholes!
Cracks in brickwork are an extremely common structural issue and the effects can become serious if the cracks are not immediately attended to. Getting the job done doesn’t have to be a stressful or difficult process: just follow the simple Twistfix guide and you’ll be repairing cracks like a pro before you know it!
The main issue with cracked brickwork is that the cracks provide the perfect route for wind-driven rainfall to penetrate masonry walls. When the weather is cold, water within the openings freezes and, as water expands by around 10% in volume when it turns into ice, the cracks are widened by the resulting pressure. The tiniest hairline cracks can thus become much larger very quickly, allowing more water to penetrate each time. More water means more expansion and the freeze-thaw cycle is set in motion, progressively worsening the issue and causing more damage to the bricks.
An effective filler, properly utilised, will get rid of any fissures and crevices that may have developed. When filling cracks in mortar joints, the process involves mechanically widening the cracks in order to allow for repointing of the wall at a sufficient depth using new mortars.
Cracks in brickwork require a purpose-made injection system to make sure that they are filled to an adequate depth.
PREPARE the cracks by using a vacuum or air-line. This is essential to remove loose or friable particles as the substrate must be free from dust, dirt and other contaminants if a long-lasting, successful repair is to be achieved.
MIX the injection mortar in strict accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Be aware that mixing adhesives causes an exothermic chemical reaction and the generated heat can limit workability of the product, meaning it has to be applied within a short time of being prepared. Users should therefore have everything they are going to need ready before this stage.
TRANSFER the injection mortar to a caulking cartridge that is fitted with a nozzle suited to the width of the crack to be filled. Nozzles are available that can inject resin into cracks a single millimetre wide.
INJECT the crack sealant as deep as possible, ensuring that the opening is completely filled from base to surface.
MATCH the colour of the repair to the substrate while the sealer is still tacky, using tinting agents or brick dust.
Twistfix supply all of the materials and tools required for repairing cracks in brickwork and, as always, we offer the most competitive market price. Order your crack sealing products from us today; browse the collection.
Spring has most definitely sprung and everyone is happy to feel a bit of warmth in the weather along with enjoying the bursting out of new life everywhere. Much of this new life is in the form of flora and those of us with gardens and/or allotments are being kept extremely busy!
A common sight (and smell!) for gardeners at the moment is a peacefully-smouldering bonfire but, as is well-known, fire has a habit of getting out of control when you least expect it…
A simple, fast and inexpensive job that could end up saving you a lot of time and money (not to mention cutting your risk of personal injury) is the application of a fire retardant treatment to any timber that could be at risk of burning, whether the risk is from a garden bonfire or anywhere else.
Twistfix are proud suppliers of the ThermoGuard system, which is one of the products on our April Special Offers section and is therefore available at an even more competitive price than usual.
What’s in the box?
ThermoGuard is a triple-protection system and comprises intumescent varnish base, preliminary activator and main top coat in three separate containers. Together, the formulae will coat around twenty square metres of timber, though this will vary according to the porosity of the wood.
How does it work?
In the event of fire, the intumescent base expands in size dramatically to create a strong, fire-resistant carbon char. This insulates the timber from the hottest flames, holding back smoke into the bargain. Stringent independent has ensured that the product meets all applicable health, safety and quality standards.
What are its aesthetic qualities?
All layers of ThermoGuard dry clear, letting the natural beauty of the timber shine through. You can choose from satin or matt and both provide UV protection as well as a durable surface perfect for anything from external cladding to internal woodwork.
So, it turns out that fighting fire with fire isn't such a good idea, at least when it comes to actual flames. Instead, use the triple-protection Thermoguard fire retardant varnish system, available now from Twistfix. Order now at the reduced price!
Remedial wall ties are much easier to install than most people give them credit for; the process can actually be broken down into three very simple steps.
The 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.
A feat of technology and engineering, Thor Helical remedial wall ties from Twistfix benefit from twin-thread longitudinal blades with a reactive interface angle, allowing and extremely accurate self-tapping penetrative path to be driven into the masonry element. Each wall tie has a circumscribed diameter of 9mm and is extremely resistant 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 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 have been subject to intensive independent testing programs. As 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 ties represent an engineered upgrade on earlier designs and are CE marked to be reliable in all types of masonry.
The interlock anchorage of the wall tie does not exert expansive stress or rely on adhesion, continuing to provide its support throughout fire and temperature extremes without being affected. In cross-sectional profile, the tie reveals a wide portion which is there to maximise grip and a narrow portion responsible for accommodating differential movement in any and all directions. Migration of water across cavity is prevented by the deep, continuous helical troughs.
When under load, these helical troughs 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 tie.
The 3 Steps
DRILL a small pilot hole using a light percussive hammer drill. Make sure to stop the rotation of the drill before drilling the remote wall layer to prevent whipping.
Using a lightweight roto-hammer drill and SDS support tool, DRIVE the tie into the masonry.
Once the took recesses the tie beneath the wall face, FINISH the job by disguising the entry bore with suitable filler.
Cracks in masonry walls are a common structural defect and, upon being noticed, should be immediately remedied to avoid the problem worsening. So, how do they develop and how do i get rid of them?
The masonry materials of your property can only tolerate a slight amount of movement and there are many factors that can cause this movement. Variations in moisture content of the ground and the masonry itself, fluctuations in temperature and chemical reaction are common causes though vibration from living near to busy roads or railways can cause the issue.
The cracks are most likely to develop in corners or at window or door openings because it is at these points that the masonry is most stressed and least restrained. Some of the movements that cause the cracks are permanent but some are cyclic and can be reversed.
This is notoriously difficult for the untrained and can only really be achieved by observing and monitoring the cracks over a period of time to determine if they are active (increasing in size), passive (not increasing in size) or cyclic (opening and closing seasonally). Of course, you don’t want to spend all this time observing as the problem will be getting worse all the time! It’s best to call in the experts who can do a proper survey.
How do I repair the cracks?
Passive and cyclic cracks of less than 5mm in width can be easily repaired with simple brick stitching, a technique that will improve the masonry flexural and tensile strength, allowing it to tolerate these small movements. Active cracks that have exceeded 5mm in length need looking at by a structural engineer. Used alone, a masonry crack stitch system of repair is not reliable enough to solve active crack problems and will require further specifications.
Brick stitching involves bonding shaped, twisted stainless steel rods into walls at regular intervals, much like the stitching done with a needle and thread in fabric. Once installed, the rods cause the cracked wall to behave as an integral, reinforced and non-fractured unit. Stitching rods have a helical configuration which physically interlocks with bonding agent; this gives them a strongly resilient torsional quality, causing them to act like a spring and allow wall movements without cracking and other brittle failure.
It’s a simple and straightforward process. After cutting a horizontal channel into the masonry, preferably at the bed joint to allow for easier disguising of the repair later on, the slots are flushed with clean water to remove loose material and reduce the porosity if the brickwork, then filled with WHO 60 cementitious grout. Don’t forget to leave room for repointing and matching.
The high-performance, shrink-compensated bonding agent is then ready to have the stitching bars encapsulated within, leaving 500mm on either side of the crack dispersing loads evenly throughout the structure of the wall. Make good to disguise the slot and the job’s done.
Can I use resin to bond helical bars?
This would generally be discouraged as resin does not bear shear forces very well when perpendicular to the rod so unless the load potential on the helical bars was totally axial (parallel to the helical rods) then it’s not a good idea. Any potential for cross-plane movement requires high quality cementitious grout.
Our video can help you even further with cracked masonry issues. Don't forget that a major cause of stress in masonry is water, which expands by 9% when it freezes and makes cracks worse so sealing them as soon as possible is essential.
The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire! Oh, it’s alright actually — the rain will put it out. You might not be making hay while the sun shines but you SHOULD be sorting roofs out ready for the next nasty turn in the weather. Get insulated perfectly — use our insulation fixings for the very best, most reliable and strongest support.
These expertly-engineered fixings are rapidly taking the place of the old standard 6mm inskew-type fixings, which are limited in their ability to cope with greater bending moments as insulation materials became increasingly thicker. The robust Super-7 upgrades have been designed by W. H. Ollis, the original designer of the Helifix Inskew over 30 years ago. Thor Helical Super-7 Warm Roof Batten Fixings have been available in the UK for more than 13 years and are sold through Ancon Building Products and Twistfix; features and benefits of these superior Warm Roof Batten Fixings include:
Versatility – A patented alignment jig ensures perfect nailing through a wide range of insulation thicknesses supplied by popular brands including Celotex, Kingspan and Eco-Therm, ensuring a secure fix into the centre of the rafter every time
Environmental Awareness – A building installed with warm roofing will use substantially less energy than before, reducing carbon footprint
Cost-effectiveness – Designer W. H. Ollis mentions the ‘dramatic reduction in costs’ experienced when using stiffer Thor Helical fasteners due to the fact that less nails are necessary to strongly resist sliding loads. An insulated building, requiring much less power to heat properly, also means lower energy bills.
Rigorous Testing – The Thor Helical system has been independently tested to adhere strictly to the technical requirements of the NHBC (when used with Helicalc, a unique, free online software approved by the BRE and used to accurately calculate necessary sizes and quantities for specific projects) along with appropriate safety factors, Eurocodes and BS standards.
These robust insulation fixings are designed to improve substantially on galvanised Suretwist Big Twist fixings and, once again, deliver a wide range of useful advantages. Providing superior protection when professionally installed, our Insofast 18 stainless steel flat roof fixings:
- Are available in five sizes - our 245mm length was launched recently and its extended size allows it to be safely and successfully used with insulated ply decking composite with a thickness of up to a generous 210mm
- Feature a helical shank topped with a dome-strengthened head
- Work perfectly with OSB composite or insulated plywood
- Are fabricated from stainless steel, a metal which, compared to standard mild steel Suretwist fixings with zinc plating, deliver a reduction in cold bridging of a massive 80% - this is due to a combination of stainless steel’s low conductivity (four times less than ordinary galvanised carbon steel) and an ultra-low engineered CSA of just 9mm²
- Protect strongly against interstitial condensation and corrosion
- Save around 80% in cold bridging potential and reduce nail costs