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The Twistfix Blog

Twistfix Blog

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A World Beneath your Feet: Basement Conversion

Fine, rare and expensive wines. Garden Tools. An out-of-control DVD collection. Exotic reptiles. What do all these things have in common? They are among the many hundreds of everyday, weird, normal and wacky things stored or housed in basement conversions! All over the world, people are using underground spaces as an ideal way to allow their collections to grow further; who knows what is just a few metres under your feet right now? Come on a journey with us as we slip through the cracks and into a hidden world...

Membrane Fixing Plugs

Hearing from our many happy customers what they are using their new basement conversion for is always a welcome event here at Twistfix; there is a world of difference between the industrial, heavy-duty nature of the water­pro­ofing products, which we deal with daily, and the warm, human side of the pleasure these products bring when properly installed by reliable contractors. We wondered just what else people were keeping below-stairs and so we did a little bit of research, which led us discover some record breaking collections kept in cellar conversions! And here they are, our top five…

  1. Biggest Collection of Model Ambulances: Austrians Susanne Ottendorfer and Siegfried Weinert have collected 10,648 toy vehicles between them. Many of the charmingly-rendered and beautifully-detailed models have vintage credentials and some date back as far as the 1880s
  2. Biggest Collection of X-Men Memorabilia: a whopping 15,400 items bags this record for Eric Jaskolka from Iowa, USA. Wonder if he has any superpowers…?
  3. Biggest Collection of Gift Cards: Aaron & David Miller from USA and Canada have 3,215 unique gift cards in their New York basement conversion. Everyday’s a birthday in the Big Apple!
  4. Biggest Collection of Converse Shoes: American Joshua Mueller owns 1,546 unique pairs of Converse shoes, enough to wear a different pair every day for four years
  5. Biggest Collection of Iron Maiden Memorabilia: dedicated heavy-metal fan Rasmus Stavnsborg has a themed bar in his basement conversion, complete with a record-breaking 4,168 individual items

Whatever it is you’re collecting in your basement, you’re going to want to keep it protected from moisture. This means starting as you mean to go on - by accepting nothing less than pure profes­si­onalism right down the line, from the knowledge, experience and reputation of advisory bodies, like the Basement Water­pro­ofing Association, to the contractor you employ and the water­pro­ofing materials that they use.

For all your basement water­pro­ofing needs, Twistfix has the answer. Browse our range now and contact our experts for advice and information.

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Spring Into Action: Fill Those Potholes!

The winter just gone (for good, we hope!) has had its usual effect on the nation's roads, not to mention on its driveways, patios and footpaths! You will certainly have noticed this effect if you're a driver: the dreaded potholes are bigger than ever thanks to the freeze/thaw cycle. There's only one way to stop them getting worse...

It's quite simple: potholes need filling in to stop them from being a safety risk and from damaging property. Twistfix has the answer in the form of Ultra Crete Permanent Pothole Repair, a truly professional solution that is used all over the UK by house­holders, private contractors, industries, local authorities and councils alike. As you'd expect, the material makes it easy to effect an efficient and lasting repair.

Potholes really cannot be avoided, particularly in areas of heavy traffic. Vibrations create small hairline fractures, the edges of which soon work loose to allow water inside. In the best case scenario, this water will start to erode the material beneath; things progress much quicker as a result of the dreaded freeze/thaw cycle. Either way the result is the same: the cracks get wider and let more water in, progres­sively widening cracks. Further vibration adds more to the mix, damaging the surface material and resulting in the ubiquitous pothole.

Potholes are especially dangerous to pedestrians, particularly children, the elderly and those with impaired mobility. They also represent a danger to cars, which can easily become damaged as loose material is dislodged to strike the surfaces and the delicate underneath of the vehicle. Every time a vehicle drives over (and through) a pothole, that pothole becomes ever wider and thus more dangerous.

Permanent Pothole Repair from Twistfix comprises a cold-lay asphalt, supplied in a resealable, recyclable 25kg tub. It can be used in any weather conditions and provides that all-important repair to a wide variety of surfaces, including driveways, car parks, courtyards, sports courts and more, as well as those already mentioned earlier. Once in place, the repair formula helps to stop a recurrence of the damage.

For just £46.50 fully inclusive of VAT, you can get your hands on a 25kg tub of Ultra Crete Permanent Pothole Repair. For a complete package at a special price, check out our Asphalt Repair Kit too.

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ThermalDry: designed to Combat Condensation

Condensation is one of the leading causes of damp. Condensed water can seep into masonry walls, causing all sorts of damage and providing the perfect environment for mould growth which is at best unsightly and can be damaging to health. One of the best ways to prevent the problem is with the use of ThermalDry, an anti-conden­sation coating available at the most competitive price from Twistfix.

ThermalDry Anti-Conden­sation Coating is a specialised product comprising an acrylic, water-based emulsion paint. This paint incorporates small, hollow glass beads which act in much the same way as a Thermos flask, blocking thermal energy via a process of reflection.

As the thermal energy is reflected away from the walls, they are protected from the condensation that can cause so many issues. Condensation forms most easily on surfaces with a low temperature and ThermalDry addresses the problem by reducing the dew point (the temperature at which condensation occurs) via increased wall temperature.

ThermalDry is a dual-coat system; the first coat is applied horizontally and, after a drying period of between two and four hours, a second coat is applied vertically. The product can be used successfully at temperatures between five and thirty degrees centigrade.

It is essential to gently stir the paint before application, dispersing the micro-beads evenly throughout the formula. As the micro-beads are made from glass, they are fragile and so the use of mechanical stirring devices should be avoided.

ThermalDry can be successfully applied over the top of any existing paint or plaster and is ideal for use in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms. You can apply the formula directly to brick and concrete and so it is also perfect for application on external facing walls. ThermalDry is available in 2.5 or 5-litre containers and coverage extends up to five square metres per litre per coat.

When fully dry, the coating is totally waterproof and feels warm to the touch. It will prevent any mould formation, reduce the risk of condensation and ensure cost-savings in the form of reduced fuel usage, which also improves the green credentials of your property.

ThermalDry is just one of the many solutions Twistfix offer to address the problems caused by condensation and damp. Browse our range today and get in touch with our expert team for technical advice and support.

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Tower of Strength: Grade 2 Listed Building Restored

A Twistfix-registered contractor recently completed a delicate refur­bis­hment project to a Grade 2 listed building using many Twistfix products. The work was commissioned by The Victorian Society and carried out in close contact with conservation officers to ensure listed-building protocol was strictly adhered to.

The Victorian Society is a charity that champions Victorian (also Edwardian) buildings in England and Wales. Staffed by trained Conservation Advisers, the charity helps local planning authorities to make decisions about listed-building adaptation and refur­bis­hment, remaining within the law and retaining the original character of the buildings. They also spearhead various campaigns and set up events aimed at engaging the public, helping to increase the likelihood of conser­vation.

The contractor hired to restore the Grade 2 listed building was SRS Midlands. After carrying out careful surveys and liaising closely with members of The Victorian Society, a remedial plan was proposed. The building required much crack stitching and structural pinning to restore it to its former glory and Twistfix products are ideal for such projects.

All of the materials used, including a large number of extra-long helical tie pins, had to be agreed in advance with the local conservation officers. A particular area of interest was the tower of the building, which required streng­thening through extensive pinning to the turret and helical bar banding in the form of retrofit bed-joint rein­for­cement to the brickwork panels below the terracotta brickwork. Conservation officers were extremely pleased with the result and, apart from fresh lime pointing, said that they would "never have known the contractors had even been there"!

Find out more about becoming a Twistfix-registered contractor and get in touch with our team for expert technical support.

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Woodworm Season: How to Beat the Beetles

As the UK emerges from a long and harsh winter, something else is starting to emerge too: woodworm beetles! Twistfix are ready to help combat the problem with our range of professional woodworm treatment products. professional builders should be ready to deal with the inevitable upcoming contracts by having plenty of woodworm treatment in stock; if you are a property owner, then use our Find-A-Contractor service to make sure that your property is treated using Twistfix products.

There are several types of insects that live and breed within timber (the most common being the aptly-named common furniture beetle), these insects and their worm-like larvae are collectively referred to simply as woodworm. Furniture is not the only type of timber at risk and the insects readily infest rafters, floorboards and skirting boards too.

Several signs can indicate a woodworm infestation, including:

  • Holes in timber. Wood-boring insect larvae burrow deep inside timber and can remain therein for up to three years, munching their way through the internal timber structure. They then pupate, emerging as adult beetles during the breeding season (April/­September). The adult beetle then exits the timber to start the breeding cycle once more, leaving behind a small hole as it does so.
  • Frass. This is a fine powder resembling sawdust and is created when the adult beetle eats its way out of infested timber. The presence of this powder close to exit holes shows that a wood-boring infestation is active.
  • Weak, damaged timber. During its extended stay within timber, the larvae are continually eating through the wood. The tunnels it leaves in its wake weaken timber, often causing it to become brittle and its surface to flake away when touched.
  • Visual confir­mation. It is possible that you will see live beetles as they emerge from the timber though it is more common to find dead beetles in the infested area.

Our collection of woodworm treatments is centered on a micro-emulsion insecticide, which is supplied as a concentrate. It quickly, safely and efficiently eradicates infestations of all wood-boring insects and also includes a wood preserver to help prevent re-infestation. As with any insecticide, it is important to use proper safety equipment and wear protective clothing during application. The product is registered for use only by professional builders and, due to health and safety restric­tions, can only be supplied to locations on UK mainland.

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6-a-side Football

6-a-side Football

I recently entered a 6-a-side football league with friends, it was my brothers suggestion after he received an email from someone asking if he would like to enter a team. He called me and asked if I would like to play, I thought why not..?

We have been playing in it now since the start of June, and lost most weeks. Our team changes week in week out due to people dropping out and most weeks we’re getting beat by around 7 goals, sometimes even double digits. I have been made manager as people must think I am awful at playing. Most week’s better players are being drafted in. I wonder if you could do a better job than us. We could do with a defender?

Putting football aside because I’m sure it’s not to everybody’s taste I should mention I have recently been using Twistfix’s damp check mesh membrane kit this product contain 10sqm of membrane for lining walls above ground to stop moisture and dampness from affecting the plaster surface. The kit also includes plugs for fixing the membrane to the wall. I tend to buy kits quite a lot as they are packed with everything needed to install so work out better value. I used to buy all items separately such as ties and membrane and soon realised that buying the items this way I wasn't getting the best deal. Now I always buy a kit as it helps me on the job. I believe this would be most people’s preference.

How do you buy stuff from Twistfix? 

DampCheck Mesh Membrane Kit

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Who's best to help?

Ask the Expert

Before embarking on any DIY job at home or for somebody else it is always best practice to ask the expert first and foremost.

My best advice is to never ask a ‘know it all’ some who thinks they know everything but doesn’t. Let’s be honest we all know someone like that! I find it funny when arguments break out over “who knows more” or “who knows best”. My mate messed up on a DIY job he was doing in July over not asking the proper experts! He should of come to me..or Twistfix. I think his stubborn side go the better of him and he decided he didnt want to ask me.

Twistfix can provide detailed explanations on all their products over the phone or via email. That’s why I like to phone them up every now and again for help on certain things. Be it Damp Proofing, Wall Ties or Fire Paint. They know! Whatever is next on your list of things to do, don’t fret about it. Also I have been taking a look at the new products on the Twistfix website. Have you seen them? Twistfix now have in stock Fire Rated Foams and Sealants. If you get chance this weekend please do check them out because I think they’re awesome and it’s nice to see them adding to their Fire Product Range. I am looking forward to using it this year and so on.

Meanwhile I have been so busy with just about everything the past few months, while enjoying the finest parts of summer. Shame I never got to go away anywhere but have been to a few gigs including a gig I have been offered a spare ticket to on Tuesday in Manchester.

What have you been up to recently? 

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Ask the Experts: Live and Direct!

At Twistfix, we pride ourselves on supplying a wide and diverse range of construction and renovation materials, all of which are designed and manufactured to the most professional standard. But the Twistfix experience isn't just about purchasing the goods and our staff are not simply salespeople: we employ a cherry-picked team of experts who can give you competent advice, support and information about getting the very best from your chosen product. And now, it’s easier to contact them than ever before…

Though it is our business to facilitate the work of DIYers and professional contractors alike, we certainly don’t neglect our own housekeeping ad are always making improvements to our website, ensuring that you get the most efficient and modern browsing experience. An extremely popular new addition to our website is the Live Chat service, which allows you to instantly connect with one of our technical team.

Once you start chatting, the chat screen will remain on top no matter where you browse around the website. This means that you can have the product page open while you discuss it with our experts and navigate freely to make sure you get all of your questions answered. Our team are pretty sure that they can answer just about any question about our products and their uses; maybe YOU can give them a challenge?!

Our website is designed to be fully responsive and adaptive, so that you can enjoy a seamless online experience with Twistfix. If you’re accessing the site via mobile internet, then why not check out the Twistfix app? You’ll get a much quicker, clearer view for ordering on-the-go and there are lots of other features to discover.

The new Live Chat service is ready and waiting for you to try out. Our staff are enjoying connecting more directly with customers and we have had lots of good feedback; we would love to hear yours too so let us know how we did!

We invite you to continue the Twistfix experience NOW by checking out our current range of special offers. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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2 Top Tips

Hello and welcome to July, if now isn’t the time to get working on the DIY job I don’t know when is the best time! 

I recently just bought a new mattress for my bed, I was astonished at how fast it was delivered. It wasn’t as fast as twistfix’s delivery service. I carried it upstairs and put it across the bed. I had brought a memory foam mattress so was aware that I couldn’t sleep on it for at least 24 hours. I knew I was facing a night on the settee. I would of slept in it straight away that night but I had been advised by a good friend not to bother as I need to allow the mattress to expand to its full depth. I’d say I got a decent night’s sleep that night on the settee. I am now back in my bed and my mattress is lovely thanks for asking. Whether I get enough sleep in it is another question. I hardly ever lie in.

I have recently been using a lot of the Insofast fixings from Twistfix. They are fantastic. Especially when you use the SDS Hammer Adaptor to install either the Plasterboard or Roof Fixings. It really did speed things up. I was finished on time and everything. Even had chance to pop to the butty shop for lunch (or dinner whatever you like to call it). If my neighbours took my advice I gave him, he will of bought some also. It is easy to remember how many fixing are needed per full size board (that’s 12!) and only 3 if you are using adhesives.

So from this month my top tips for you are to use the Insofast fixings for Plasterboard aswell as for a Warm Roof Deck. Another top tip is to buy a memory foam mattress, that way we can all get a good nights sleep. 

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My Favourite Songs

Recently a lot of good music has been released. I do like music and spend around 60% of my time listening to music, it is always on when I’m working assuming that I remember to take my radio!

I also regularly attend gig/concerts for bands and artists, some who are well known and others that are not. Listening to music is a massive hobby for me. 

The other day while fitting around 40sqm of the slimline mesh membrane in a home I was happily listening to an album called “This is all yours” by alt-J (go listen its good). The homeowner came and politely asked me to turn it off. Maybe they didn’t like it however I think they thought it would affect my work. I don’t think it does and I beg to differ. I had to oblige. It led me to think of while builders/­contractors are working what is the overall opinion on the use of music. Maybe this is a question for the homeowner? What do you think? Music is great, not everybody shares the same music taste that’s what makes it great. People aren’t willing to listen to new stuff if that’s not what they are into. So now I have made it common practice to ask before I play any sort of music on a job to avoid a repeat of last week.

I get the frustration. I’m in your house and I’m playing my music. It’s not a problem for those that are out all day. In the meantime I’m looking forward to summer and with it comes lots of outside job. Roofs, Damp Proofing, dealing with weeds in the garden. Twistfix as always my number  1 place for Roofing Materials, Damp Proofing Cream and Roundup.

I think it’s the perfect time for my sort of work. 

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