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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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Death Watch at Hampshire Haunted Mansion

Fancy being on the 'Death-Watch' and meeting a choir of spectral nuns?  How about being manhandled by cold, ghostly hands?  Or maybe listening to the whispering of unseen children as the temperature plummets to unnatural levels?  Us neither!  Employees of Perma-Fix Ltd, a Twistfix-registered contractor, showed extreme bravery recently as they took their chances with these frightening forces...

The story starts way back in the 11th century, when Wymering Manor was built in Portsmouth, Hanpshire.  Records show the first owner of Wymering Manor was King Edward the Confessor in 1042, then after the Battle of Hastings, it fell into the hands of King William the Conqueror until 1084.  With a confirmed entry in the Domesday Book, the property is reckoned to be the oldest house in Portsmouth and is a Grade II Listed Building valued at £375,000.  But Portsmouth City Council have been unable to sell the property due to many reports of 'hauntings' going on within its walls.

The council took possession of the property in the 1960s, leasing it to the Youth Hostel Association until 2006. Since then, the property has been on the market but has failed to attract a buyer. Jeremy Lamb is a chartered surveyor, one of several who has tried to sell the spooky property. He said, "It's certainly a unique house. It attracts lots of people who are intrigued by its levels of paranormal activity; they refuse to work alone there at night."

Wymering House was finally placed in a property auction but failed to meet its reserve price and therefore did not sell. Portsmouth City Council then took the decision to donate the house to the Wymering Manor Trust, who plan to restore the house and open it as a tourist attraction.

When completed, repair works, including the substantial woodworm treatment, will have cost an estimated £500,000. To help get things going, Portsmouth City Council have provided a £30,000 donation and Perma-Fix Ltd were contracted to assist with a chronic woodworm problem in the hard-wood timbers of the property. Using Twistfix products, to achieve a truly professional eradication of the deathwatch infestation, the timbers were treated quickly and effectively.

To attract mates, these wood-boring insects create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard from within the hard-wood structural timbers of old buildings on quiet sleepless summer nights. They are named after the vigil beside the dying or dead, and by extension those of a  superstitious nature have seen the deathwatch beetle as an omen of impending death.­  Thankfully, no ghost sightings were reported by the Perma-Fix team!

A haunted house is certainly not what anyone wants to live in. But the fact is that woodworm could turn out to be a much more serious problem, particularly Death-Watch Beetle. Luckily, Twistfix are here to help with our professional woodworm eradication products. We may not be ghost-busters but we are definitely woodworm-busters. Check out our products NOW.

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You Need the Twistfix App: Here's Why...

Most people are now familiar with using a mobile device to access the internet and purchase goods. Doing so via an app rather than by mobile internet is the best way to do it for lots of reasons and so Twistfix have created our very own mobile app for your convenience. Why download? Read on to find out….

It’s FAST. Time is of the essence. Time flies. Time is money. These expressions haven't taken root in our language for no reason and time continues to be the most important thing in our lives! Saving time is therefore always a good thing and the Twistfix app helps you to do just that with its fast browsing and purchasing experience

It’s SAFE: your online security is as important to us as it is to you. We have worked closely with our digital agency to ensure payment systems are as secure as possible online, with the latest, most effective software protection in place

It SAVES: downloading the app costs nothing and only takes a moment. App users can then enjoy an across-the-board 2.5% discount on our products compared to online prices

It’s FUN: app users will be able to join in exciting competitions to win cool tech prizes such as the Apple iPad mini and Sport Watch we have given as prizes in the past.

It’s CURRENT: we will continue to work with our digital agency to ensure you get the most modern experience, updating the app where necessary. We want to make things as smooth, practical and aesthetically pleasing as possible to optimise your time spent using the app. Product updates will happen automati­cally, meaning you always get the most accurate information at your fingertips.

It’s INFORMATIVE: we have worked hard to create a complete set of how-to guides that facilitate your work with our products. Clear, competent and reliable, these guides are immediately accessible through the Twistfix app.

It REMEMBERS: will store your invoices and accounts as long as you want it to, helping you keep track and stay in control

Get the Twistfix app today and start enjoying YOUR unlimited 2.5% discount.

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Exclusive: Special Offers on Damp Proofing Cream

Whatever the season, one thing is guaranteed in the UK Climate: rain. This increases the level of ground water and necessitates a damp proofing course in many structures (a physical damp proofing course is a waterproof layer built into wall bases to prevent absorption of this groundwater). Where this damp proofing course is missing or otherwise rendered ineffective, damp proofing cream can be injected to prevent rising damp; Twistfix supply a wide range of damp proofing creams, all of which are currently available with attractive price reductions.

Damp proof courses can be rendered ineffective in a number of ways, including:

  • Paving, concrete or soil being located at a level whereby the damp proof course (DPC) is bridged
  • Mortar pointing or render coats being extended across the DPC
  • Wall cavities becoming blocked and building up to a higher level than the layer of waterproof material
  • Alterations to the building that break the continuity of the DPC; this continuity can also be broken by structural movement

Twistfix damp proofing creams are BBA Approved and deliver many benefits, including:

  • Quick, simple and effective installation. Injection cream is installed up to a full 4 times faster than high-pressure injection systems; after injection, the powerful water-repelling cream percolates along mortar beds, lining capillary pores and preventing rising damp
  • Clean, safe handling. The creams carry no hazard classi­fica­tion and so hassle-free disposal of containers is possible. The consistency means that there is no risk of spillage or mess
  • Competitive price. No special equipment is necessary and even more value can be gained by choosing one of our complete kits

Twistfix are market leaders in the supply of damp proofing products and our expert team can also provide clear, competent technical advice. Call our helpline today for all the information you need. Order NOW to take advantage of our price reductions!

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Lateral Restraints - Take a Bow

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!

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News /

Baseline 8: First Choice for Cellar Tanking

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.

Find out all the information on the technical aspects of Baseline 8 on our website and do not hesitate to get in touch with our expert team if you need advice. Get it right first time with Twistfix.

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Damp Walls: The Causes and the Solutions

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.

To discover the best solution for your particular property, call Twistfix today on 0845 123 6006 or email.

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Three Steps to Structural Success

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.

The Design

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.

The Quality

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 Benefits

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.

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Grade II Structure Restored to Former Glory

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.

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