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Dealing with Damp? Help from the Experts...

Help from the Experts...

At Twistfix, there isn’t much we don't know about damp. In fact, we are pretty sure we know all there is to know about this pesky problem and, if you're reading this, then chances are you have come into unwelcome contact with it and need some help. Or perhaps you are one of the ‘be prepared’ types and want to avoid the problem before it happens. In any case, you're going to need our how-to guide on damp proofing walls, the Twistfix way.

Dealing with Damp? Help from the Experts...

Your Problem

Rising damp, the inexorable and persistent movement of groundwater upwards through permeable masonry, that is to say, walls. Water is funny stuff with many odd properties (including expanding as it freezes, unlike all other liquids) and one of these is capillarity, an electroc­he­mical process in which water molecules are so attracted to the mineral surface that they overcome gravity. The result: damp walls leading to all sorts of other issues with the structure and the growth of moulds that are extremely harmful to human health.

Your Solution

A Damp Proof Course, or DPC for short. There are two types: one is a barrier impervious to water which is usually laid directly along bed joints during building construction. This is complemented by the remedial chemical DPC, which can be used successfully in a retrofit application by trade specialists and other competent structural workers and DIYers.

Usually, damp proofing chemical product is applied along the base of affected walls, lining the pores though not forming an impervious physical barrier. The aforem­en­tioned tendency of water molecules to be attracted to masonry is prevented as the chemical neutralises the charge attraction of the masonry pores.

The Process

The chemical DPC system chosen should be specifically designed for introduction to mortar joints, as it is the mortar that offers a continuous passage through which water can rise; DPC introduced into single bri9ck or block units will not prevent this rising. A height of at least 150mm above external ground level and beneath ground floor joists internally is required by BS 6576:2005: as close as possible to the floor is acceptable if the joists are solid. Incom­pati­bility issues require the services of a professional and our trained staff are always available to help out.

At 100-120mm intervals, holes are drilled into the mortar in preparation for DPC cream to be dispensed. Migrating fully and rapidly, the cream will penetrate deeply and create the damp proof course. Any additional injection holes require vertical drilling, following a zigzag pattern through the mortar-line up to a height of one metre. The holes should then be injected with DPC cream, forming the vertical DPC that will effectively prevent damp transmission from any abutting wall.

The Product

High pressure injection fluids have been superseded by more effective DPC technology, readily available from Twistfix. The thickening agents relied upon by older creams are no longer required to turn the product into a workable mixture with the right viscosity; our Damp-Cure DPC, with its silane.­siloxane formula, is thickened purely by emulsi­fica­tion. This means that the remarkable cream is 100% active, compared to the previous generation of DPC’s which boasted a pitiful 60% active ingredient content at best and sometimes as low as 10%.

The Finishing Touch

Groundwater that has risen through masonry pores will have left nitrates and chlorides behind. These salts are hygroscopic, which means they can absorb moisture from the air around (a quality that increases with humidity). Even when the water source has been eliminated, the absorbed salts will continue to attract airborne water vapour, meaning that damp continues to be an issue even after the DPC installation. Replastering the wall after the job is complete is therefore not only an aesthetic issue but an integral part of the process; indeed, replacement of wall plaster after the installation of a DPC is a requirement of BS 6576:2005 (the Code of Practice for Installation of Chemical Damp Proof Courses).

Seeing is Believing

We have put together a video with lots of details and information about damp proofing walls and you can watch it. Defeat Damp the Twistfix Way!

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Don't Start A Good Job With Bad Tools


Rigid Boroscope

Wall Tie Testing Kit

Any repair, renovation or construction project first requires extensive analysis in order to ensure the correct tools and products are used. Twistfix supply a comprehensive selection of analytic tools and instruments that are guaranteed to provide accurate results on most environmental factors.

The Protimeter Mini is a digital moisture meter with such a superlative level of quality that it has become the best-selling product of its type in the UK. As the first selection of many surveyors and damp proofing profes­si­onals, the Protimeter Mini is expertly-designed to accurately measure the levels of moisture before displaying this essential information to the user via a clear, concise LED display which also features colour-coding. In addition to this display numerical scale effectively reads the moisture content of wood, showing this as a percentage figure that compares with a relative moisture equivalent for other materials such as masonry and brick walls.

With an innovative optical system that boasts superior levels of precision, the Twistfix Rigid Boroscope allows simple, rapid inspection of ties buried within cavity walls. The product also effective for viewing in other areas where access is restricted and this quality is further enhanced with the addition of a powerful halogen lamp. The unit is supplied with a rechargeable battery and charger, making it one of the most cost-effective and essential choices available within our extensive surveying selection.

Particularly suited to the quality control of cavity wall tie installations and pre-contract product suitability tests, the Twistfix Wall Tie Testing Kit is one of our most popular products. The kit comprises a high quality tension tester engineered with a 3.5kN capacity guage and an adaptor key specifically designed for testing Twistfix helical ties. Utilising a load-cell in conjunction with a mechanical pulling mechanism, this tensile testing kit accurately measures tension forces and features an integral bridging unit.

Please enjoy browsing our 'Measuring & Testing' section and do not hesitate to contact our expert team on  0845 123 6007 or email for further information and assistance.

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Dont Drive my Car!

Do you ever use your phone at the wheel? Yesterday I was reading how police had cracked down on the amount of people using their mobile phones at the wheel. 

Around 8,000 fines and penalty notices were handed out in exactly just one month, that’s an increase on previous years! In September the amount of points and the fine doubled. The correct thing for me to say here is not to use your phone ever while driving, yes not even the most important calls. I’m a little confused if using a Bluetooth headset is acceptable or not. Let’s be honest this is massively important. I am not sure of the number of accidents on this one but what I am sure of is this will cause accidents most times these will be serious. I not talking about taking calls over the phone but this can include things like, texting, tweeting or even ordering from Twistfix while at the wheel. Cant that test message reply wait?

Because I do a lot of Wall Tie, Damp Proofing and Basement Waterproofing jobs all over the country I am often travelling up and down, north and south in the van. I find myself constantly observing and commenting on other people’s driving habits. One thing that often irritates me A LOT is when people fail to indicate, not only will this irritate me the driver but also a pedestrian who is trying to cross the road. Now this is being enforced we will easily see a decrease in the amount of people using a handheld mobile while driving. This is good news and will mean we avoid road traffic accidents. How about drink driving? Well we all know how that ends…

Stay safe on the roads. Remember to indicate. We should all be fine.

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Defy the Damp! We Show You How...

Damp comes in many forms and, though probably the most well-known, rising damp is thankfully the least common. When rising damp occurs, it is essential that the problem is corrected as soon as possible.

Moisture, particularly groundwater, will naturally and gradually seep into porous masonry, rising into the wall via capillary action. Water becomes water vapour as moisture evaporates from the wall in a continuous wetting and drying cycle. As it evaporates, chloride and nitrates (hygroscopic salts) dissolved within it are left behind on the wall surface, building up and having potential to draw in further moisture from the atmosphere. It is generally thought that moisture will rise to a height of about 1metre before evaporating and leaving behind a salt band. The deposited salts and a clearly visible tidemark of moisture are the two most obvious signs that rising damp is present within a wall.

Rising damp is most commonly found in buildings to which a damp proof course has not been applied. It can also occur in buildings where a damp course is present but has failed. There are many possible causes of DPC failure but 'bridging' is the most common reason for a damp proof course to stop functioning. The simplest cure for damp caused by bridging is to remove the bridge and allow the DPC to function correctly.  This may involve reducing external ground levels and/ or clearing blockages from cavities. Where this is not possible or practical a new DPC can be injected. Removing the salts is essential to break the cycle in which more and more moisture is drawn to the masonry, exacerbating the damage. To repair this insidious form of damp, it is important to select damp proofing products of the highest quality to be utilised by a competent person.

The Twistfix Rising Damp Kit contains everything required to effectively damp proof 30m of single-leaf wall or 15m of 9" walls. At the core of the kit is three litres of high-quality DPC injection cream and five litres of waterproof plaster additive. Formulated with the use of an innovative emulsi­fica­tion process and without the use of thickening agents, the 100% active silicone-based damp proofing cream is designed to rapidly migrate throughout the pores of damp masonry, quickly forming a complete chemical damp proof course. The plaster additive, when diluted and added to the render mix, acts as a salt-inhibitor to restrict the movement of salts as the moisture evaporates and the wall dries out.

Along with the damp proofing cream and plaster additive, the Twistfix Rising Damp kit also contains two professional SDS drill bits, an injection extension tube and a heavy-duty caulking gun. To ensure the product is used safely, a pair of protective gloves is also included within this comprehensive rising damp treatment kit.

For information on rising damp treatment available from Twistfix, please contact our expert technical team.

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Gone in a BANG!

Yesterday in China, in a large scale building demolition 19 big buildings were completely and totally demolished in just 10 seconds.

It took a whole load of explosives to bring them all down. As with any demolition it brought down the whole structure, glass, concrete and steel. This is making way for a new business hub in China which will include a tall 707 metre sky scraper. This happened in the city centre of Wuhan, so they had to be extra careful of the surrounding areas. Something like this can be planned and prepared but the results can be unpredictable and often uncon­trol­lable. It all happened late at night. Approx 11:50pm. Using explosives is the best method to use when destroying building’s like these. It is both time and cost effective not having to take building down part by part, piece by piece this would have took many days. It’s funny to think that something that would of took quite a while to build can be brought down in seconds! When being constructed these would of taken some time to put up. Thankfully there was no damage to anyone or to anywhere nearby.

Watching buildings be demolished is not always to peoples liking, as they may be upset to see a certain building they may have liked or even loved fall to the ground. This could also have been someone’s home and they have to move out to allow demolition of their home. Someone of my favourite places from my hometown are no longer there anymore, however new buildings now stand where they used to be. Sad, but it happens. I do see some buildings that are ruined, wrecked and unoccupied but still standing…how about dismantling and getting rid of them?  they’re all eyesores.

Time for them to now build fresh, new and beautifully designed buildings to stand in their place. The ever-changing scene of our towns

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Unlucky for Some - Friday the 13th

This Friday is Friday the 13th a supposedly unlucky day, it’s not quite Halloween (that was a few months ago). Friday the 13th will happen twice this year, falling again in October.

How much do you read into days like these, or like me do you think it’s all a load of rubbish? To think that certain things will go wrong due to it being a certain day in the English calendar is rather foolish, however you do get superstitious people.  Often people complain at me when I’m working up high from a ladder and the only way to get past is to walk under it. I simply tell them to get a move on. Politely of course. For one person I had to come down and move the ladder!

Walking over cracks in the pavement is a thing that lots of people avoid as they believe doing so will heap bad luck upon them. How about having a crack in your brick walls? Any type of crack is bad news I would say that’s pretty unlucky. Somebody I used to do work for thought that their building defects were down to bad luck, come to think of it maybe they were right. I was there quite often. It stemmed from Friday being considered as an unlucky day and 13 being an unlucky number. I don’t get that because I tend to like Fridays, a lot more than Mondays anyway. How can anyone not like Friday! You could view bad luck as something small such as when I lose my keys to the van or something more major, having your van stolen.

Yes this happened to me, but not on a Friday and not on the 13th. Bad luck can happen at any time.

I do hope you enjoy the rest of your week and I wish you the best of luck on Friday. 

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Crack, Crack! Who's There?

Cracked masonry is one of the most common structural defects. The problem is particularly common in older buildings and, to avoid further damage and the possible collapse of the structure, any cracks must be quickly repaired to restore the safety and structural integrity of the property. Helical crack stitching bars are the best way to repair cracked masonry, quickly providing the much-needed support required to give the building a continued service life.

crack stitching bars

Crack Stitching Bar Helical

The process of repairing cracked masonry using helical crack stitching bars is simple yet delicate and must be carried out by trained and trusted contractors to ensure the job is completed to a safe and professional level. Helical bars are retrofitted directly into the masonry, reconnecting any cracked areas which are then grouted over to form a tight, lasting seal. The innovative helix shape of each bar is designed to enhance flexural and tensile strength within the masonry, fully redis­tri­buting load forces along the full length of each bar. This increases the stability of the structure and guarantees that any further sagging, movement or cracking of the walls will not occur.

Twistfix Helical Crack Stitching Bars are manufactured in the UK to patented engineering tolerances. Rendered in high-tensile 304-grade stainless steel to provide the ultimate in strength and corrosion-resistance, the products have been rigorously tested in order to ensure they meet and exceed every official specifi­cation, including conditions for CE Marking. The bars are available in a choice of three sizes and in packs of ten; installation will require the use of masonry repair grout along with accessories, all of which are also available from Twistfix separately or as part of a comprehensive kit. Look out for a news article detailing our masonry repair and crack stitching kits soon.

Our helical crack stitching bars form an integral part of our masonry repair systems and solutions. For more information on our comprehensive range of products, including remedial wall ties, please contact our dedicated technical and customer service team.

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Do you take Contactless?

Just this weekend while out doing my shopping for the first time ever used contactless on my debit card, a simple tap on the screen of the card machine and I had paid. How simple.

It also felt quite weird, after using chip and pin to pay for card purchases for so long and now it would seem I would never have to do that again. Well that was until the next day I was out shopping again and was told I would not be able to use contactless as the shop did not take it! I’m sure soon every shop will have methods to pay this way. A lot of you are as I am aware unsure on using a contactless card, what if you lose your card and is picked up by someone else who then that person wouldn’t need your pin to make a purchase up to £30 (the limit was £20 up until September 2015). I think this will most likely increase with time. For this reason many people refuse to use contactless.

You can also tap in and out in a similar way with an Oyster Card on the tube this has banished the need to ever que to buy a ticket, however ques are still around a mile long just to go through the barrier (when they are not on strike that is). I’m starting to embrace using contactless out and about and I believe more and more people will, old or young.  It allows me to be tech savvy in this new day and age. Maybe soon contactless will be the only option and chip and pin will be no longer.

Let’s see how often I use it this week for day to day things. Which is your preferred method of payment?  

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Dont pack your bags just yet...

Announced just this week are plans to build 14 new Garden Villages across England

Sites from both up North and down South have been chosen. These plans have been introduced to hopefully build lots more houses away from huge towns, this will create small and large new communities. Perfect for people who don’t like the hustle and bustle of city and town life. On paper this sound like a great way of building more homes set in a picturesque environment where most people would like to live. People have come out and voiced their displeasure at these proposed sites, how they will ruin the ever dwindling countryside that we have when the Garden Villages are built. Another matter would be house prices and how this affects them, this will have an influence on both buyers and homeowners.

Sure your opinion on this matter may vary dependent on whether you are for or against the current government’s policies. The population continues to rise so homes will need to be built. I believe that an increasing population also has a negative effect on environment with the damage people cause. Do you see these potential homes as a plight on UK green areas? These ideas will continue to be discussed. As always people are bound to have varying issues and questions, if anything these are a long long way off. I believe thought needs to be put into these for them to be successful, there is always the worry that they won’t be.

If I was you I wouldn’t pack my bags just yet. Of course these plans have only just been announced and everybody should know homes are not easily built. Maybe it won’t even happen. Can it be delivered? 

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Not so January Blues

Welcome back! We have taken a big leap into 2017 and not much is different thus far, except the Twistfix website. (It looks as though Twistfix got a new website for Christmas) I noticed the fresh, clean and trendy new website, which is really nice and easy to use. It has made buying Twistfix products an even better experience. They have even given me time and space to write this blog. 

I hope you had an enjoyable time over the holidays. Everything has been at a standstill with public transport not running and shops closed it’s been hard if you have needed anything or wanted to get anywhere. On New Year’s Day I had to put up with a train cancellation and then a replacement bus service home later on that night! They still have the cheek to put fares up by 2.3%. Transporting around by car is costly, as is public transport nowadays.

So while I have eaten too much and done very little this week marks the return to the day job. I have quite the backlog of request for works needing to be done. First of all using the Twistfix website I can order the goods I will need before I commence, I am certainly going to need quite a few Remedial Wall Ties. I have been called upon to install some wall ties in a property this should be no trouble at all. Installing the Wall Ties is fast, straight forward, for me it will be plain sailing. So as I get back into the swing of things this job is a good way to ease back in.

It may seem a pain to be back waking up at 5am but 2017 has the potential to be a very good year. So what are we waiting for…

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