420 million to fix potholes announced in budget

Budget 2018: Local councils given £420m to fix potholes

In October’s budget announcement, Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed local councils across England would be given an additional £420 million to fix the country’s pothole riddled roads.

In what is being hailed “the biggest ever cash injection” for England’s roads, Hammond has confirmed a £28.8 billion fund has been established to upgrade and maintain the UK’s motorways and other major roads.

As part of the same announcement, Hammond revealed a further £420 million would be given to local councils to “fix potholes and carry out other repairs after a harsh winter followed by a scorching summer took its toll on the local road system.”

Whilst this much-needed funding will certainly help repair our crumbling road network, is it enough? In March 2018 Rick Green, Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance stated that “more than £8 billion would be needed for a one-time fix of potholes” and with the RAC reporting that drivers breaking down after hitting a pothole has reached a three year high, we have to ask, is this funding enough to repair the backlog of potholes plaguing our roads?

One way to help budgets stretch further is to only use pothole repair materials that are proven to provide first time permanent repairs and UltraCrete Tough Patch® Rapid has been designed to do just that.

Tough Patch® Rapid hybrid pothole repair has been rigorously and thoroughly tested and is proven to provide a first time permanent repair, eliminating costly repeat visits to the same site and helping budgets stretch further.

Quick and easy to apply, Tough Patch® Rapid can be used to repair defects in pavements, driveways, car parks and on high speed roads – it even provides a permanent repair in wheel turning locations such as junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts.

Ready to use straight from the bag or bucket, Tough Patch® Rapid requires no special preparation and can be trafficked immediately, meaning costly traffic management can be removed swiftly, keeping costs to a minimum, and allowing contractors to move on to another project quickly, increasing productivity.

Tough Patch® Rapid is just one of the many first time permanent cold lay asphalts available from UltraCrete. Every product in their world renowned range have been independently tested by a third party, can be applied in all weathers and are available in 25kg buckets or bags.

For further information on how UltraCrete can help your road repair budgets stretch further, or for additional product information, please contact UltraCrete’s team of experts by emailing potholes@instarmac.co.uk or by calling 01827 254402.


Source: ITV News, BBC News

Circular Economy The truth behind the buzzword

Circular Economy: The truth behind the buzzword

It can often feel that, every few months, we have a new industry catchword to contend with. However, with everyone under pressure to develop and deliver real sustainability and environmental promises, this buzzword is here to stay.

So what is a circular economy?

The Ellen McArthur Foundation, leading charity and global thought leader, defines a circular economy as a “framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.”

In other words, a circular economy emphasises the importance of keeping resources in use for as long as possible and once the maximum value has been extracted, recovering and recycling these resources so they can be used again.

Why is a circular economy important?

With the UK’s natural resources plummeting at an alarming rate and daily news articles reporting on the war against plastic, delivering sustainable practices are high on everyone’s agenda. WRAP, world leaders who help organisations achieve greater resource efficiency, believe a circular economy is important for a number of reasons.

As well as helping reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption in the UK, a circular economy will “reduce waste, driver greater resource productivity, deliver a more competitive UK economy” and put the UK in a strong position “to better address emergency resource issues in the future” – important features for building a truly sustainable future.

Instarmac understand the importance of a circular economy and pride themselves on the sustainability practices they have successfully implemented at their state-of-the-art premises in Staffordshire.

They provide their customers with a plastic container and pallet recycling scheme, helping to reduce waste to landfill whilst saving their customers time and money, have invested in Grey Water and Intelligent Lighting Systems as well as installing solar panels and climate control across their entire building. Furthermore, since 2014, Instarmac has boasted ‘zero waste to landfill’ which means 100% of waste is recycled.

Instarmac are proud to have had their environmental practices audited by an independent third party and have been awarded with the internationally recognised ISO 14001 for over 12 years.

For more information on a circular economy and how Instarmac can help you achieve your sustainability promises, please call 01827 254402 or email enquiries@instarmac.co.uk.

Working together towards a circular economy.

Source: WRAP, Ellen McArthur Foundation

ProSuper Grip Application

ProSuper Grip – your new favourite wall tile adhesive

UltraTileFix, part of the multi award-winning Instarmac Group plc, is home to a portfolio of high performance ready mixed and cementitious powder tile adhesives – a range that includes the much-loved ProSuper Grip.

ProSuper Grip acrylic wall tile adhesive, has been specially formulated for its non-slip, high grab properties which allow for the speedy application of standard and large format wall tiles. Suitable for intermittently wet areas such as domestic showers, kitchens and bathrooms, ProSuper Grip boasts an anti-fungal additive which prevents the build up of mould, providing a long lasting finish every single time.

Ideal for ceramic tiles and porcelain or natural stone mosaics, ProSuper Grip conforms to D1 TE EN 12004 classification, has a coverage of 6m² per 15kg and can be grouted after 18 hours. What’s more, ProSuper Grip is available in contractor and retail friendly 15kg tubs and is suitable for use on most surfaces and substrates including concrete, tile backer boards and firm and stable plasterboard.

On the properties of ProSuperGrip, Alan Collins, Technical Training and Site Support Manager for UltraTileFix, commented: “ProSuper Grip is a fantastic adhesive and a firm favourite amongst many tilers. Contractors who use ProSuper Grip can benefit from exceptional grip and anti-slip properties with the convenience that comes with using a ready mixed product.”

ProSuper Grip, along with every other product in the UltraTileFix range, boasts a Lifetime Guarantee, giving you complete confidence that their adhesives, grouts, levelling compounds and ancillary products are designed to last.

For further product information, pricing enquiries, or to place an order, please contact the UltraTileFix Sales Team by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Committed to Quality, Committed to Service, Committed to You.


It’s a crime not to prime

Priming is an important part of any paving installation but is something that is often overlooked. Neglecting to include a primer, such as UltraScape pro-prime slurry primer, can have disastrous consequences for your project and as a result the reputation of your business.

Traditionally, paving elements would be laid directly onto the bedding mortar, but due to ever-increasing traffic loading, street cleaning and general  wear and tear, paving often breaks away from the mortar, resulting in many high profile, costly failures and associated litigation.

The weather also plays a significant role in the destruction of paving. However, the additional bond a primer provides will help protect your paving from damage and de-bonding caused by the cold, heat, wet and freezing weather conditions.

The addition of a priming layer between the paving element and bedding mortar, yields an extremely high bond strength which prevents these types of failure, increasing the life expectancy of your paving and reducing ongoing maintenance costs.

British Standard 7533 was modified to reflect this change and now states all paving installations should have a bond strength greater than 2N/mm², double the previous requirement. This can only be achieved by using a priming agent such as UltraScape pro-prime.

UltraScape pro-prime is a slurry primer manufactured to meet the demanding requirements of BS 7533. Suitable for use with all paving types including stone and porcelain pavers, UltraScape pro-prime is simple to use and is proven to increase adhesion, preventing failure and prolonging the life of your project.

What’s more, UltraScape pro-prime has been NBS Plus Registered which means you can add this BS 7533 compliant slurry primer to your specification with just one click. To find out more, and to view a complete list of UltraScape’s NBS Plus Registered products, please visit instarmac.co.uk/services.

UltraScape pro-prime is just one of the products in UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System – a system that guarantees compatibility and reduces split liability. Also available is UltraScape eco-bed, a high performance bedding mortar which contains 20% recycled material and world renowned flowable grout, UltraScape flowpoint.

Prolong the life of your installation with UltraScape pro-prime  slurry primer. For further product information, pricing enquiries, or to request a visit from a member of their experienced team, please contact UltraScape by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Flowpoint: 10 years on

In November 2007, Instarmac International’s Norwegian partner, Betomur AS, installed 11 pedestrian crossings throughout Odda using UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System. Earlier this year, Betomur AS revisited Odda and were delighted to find the pedestrian crossings still looked as good as new, even after a decade of heavy and constant trafficking.

The original project involved the installation of 350sqm of natural stone paving across 7 raised and 4 flat pedestrian crossings. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration Odda Division awarded Odda Municipality with the contract, who chose to use UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System to bed and joint the chosen pavers.

Supplied by Betomur AS, UltraScape’s Mortar Paving is made up of tested, trusted and proven materials including Pro-Bed HS bedding mortar, Pro-Prime slurry primer and Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout.

Pre-blended for ease of use, Pro-Bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. It can be laid from 10mm – 75mm, is shrinkage compensated and can be opened to foot traffic in just 12 hours, allowing contractors to move on to the next part of the project quickly.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout was used to joint the selected natural stone pavers.

Flowpoint has been developed over a number of years to provide a durable finish which will not crack or stain even when subject to long-term heavy trafficking, a feature that was certainly put to the test and proven in Odda.

Flowpoint is  a flowable grout which allows for large areas of paving to be grouted quickly. The flowable nature of the product means it is equally suited to grouting small cobbles on a driveway as it is large paving tiles in urban regeneration projects. This also makes it the ideal product for grouting uneven areas, which was essential for the raised pedestrian crossings throughout Odda.

What’s more, Flowpoint can receive foot traffic in 1 hour and vehicular traffic in 4 hours keeping disruption to motorists and pedestrians to a minimum.

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System is available throughout Norway through Betomur AS. To contact Betomur please call 55 59 44 50 email firmpost@betomur.no or visit betomur.no.

For further information on Flowpoint and the the other materials in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving, please email international@instarmac.com or call Instarmac’s International Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.

UltraFloor provides first class treatment in healthcare sector

UltraFloor has a long and successful history of subfloor preparation projects within the healthcare sector and with a superior range of smoothing underlayments and ancillary products on offer, it’s easy to see why.

UltraFloor’s range of high performance floor levellers includes Level IT Super Flex 30 fibre reinforced flexible smoothing underlayment, Level IT Super30 rapid setting smoothing underlayment and Level IT Smooth high performance fine flow smoothing underlayment. Each of  these outstanding products boast a number of capabilities which make them ideally suited for use within the healthcare sector.

Level IT Super Flex 30, Level IT Super30 and Level IT Smooth are all protein free, reducing the risk and spread of disease as the types of dangerous and contagious bacteria that thrive in protein are eliminated, and are low odour providing a pleasant environment for both contractors and recovering patients.

What’s more, each of these superior smoothing underlayments boasts a high compressive strength which makes them perfect for environments subject to constant use – an important feature for hospitals and healthcare centres where floors receive daily traffic from hospital staff, patients, visitors and heavier items such as wheelchairs, hospital beds and equipment.

Subfloors prepared using Level IT Super30 can receive foot traffic in as little as 30 minutes, unbonded floor coverings after 45 minutes and bonded coverings in 90 minutes. This feature was particularly appealing for specialist flooring contractor, Blackheath Flooring Ltd., who used Level IT Super30 at Dulwich Hospital in London.

It was important that downtime was kept to a minimum at Dulwich Hospital as work had to be completed during weekend evenings when the hospital was at its quietest. Level IT Super30 was applied on Friday evening with the chosen flooring installed the following day. The rapid set time of Level IT Super30 meant these parameters were easily achieved.

Sheet flooring such as vinyl and lino are common floor coverings within the healthcare sector as they are easy to clean and maintain. Installing sheet flooring requires a smoothing underlayment that will dry with an extremely smooth finish, as any bumps or lumps can cause serious safety issues.

UltraFloor Level IT Smooth has been specially formulated to do just that. Pump or trowel applied, Level IT Smooth has an extremely smooth finish and boasts a superior flow – a feature experienced contractor, Newlay Floors, certainly benefitted from when they used Level IT Smooth in the Children’s OPD Department at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.

Completing UltraFloor’s portfolio of subfloor preparation materials is a range of ancillaries which includes Grip & Grab IT multi-purpose adhesive.

Grip & Grab IT has been designed for a variety of applications and is the perfect adhesive for fixing stair noses to the vast number of stairs often found in large healthcare buildings. Quick and easy to apply, Grip & Grab IT boasts high strength giving you confidence that once cured, the adhesive will not fail – an essential feature for ensuring the safety of hospital staff and frail and poorly patients.

For further information on how UltraFloor can assist on your next healthcare project, please contact their team of technical experts by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Potholes blamed for AA profit decline

The freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and flash floods we experienced throughout the long and harsh winter has led to the severe deteriorating of our road network, resulting in an increased number of drivers requiring breakdown assistance.

The AA have recently reported that during the first 6 months of 2018, the number of breakdowns ‘increased by 8% to 1.9m and to meet demand, the company had to call on third-party patrols’. On this alarming statistic, AA boss, Simon Breakwell commented: “The severe weather caused a ‘pothole epidemic’ which led to breakdown callouts hitting a 15 year high”. This unpredicted rise in callouts resulted in the AA’s pre-tax profits declining by 65% to £28 million.

With weather patterns predicted to become more severe year on year, a solution to the ‘pothole epidemic’ has never been needed more.

UltraCrete, part of the award-winning Instarmac Group plc, have spent the last 40 years developing and perfecting a range of independently tested and approved cold lay asphalts, ideal for repairing potholes and asphalt defects in a variety of environments.

For the repair of potholes in roads, driveways and car parks, UltraCrete recommends the use of world renowned Permanent Pothole Repair. Suitable for both planned and reactive repairs, Permanent Pothole Repair boasts a Skid Resistance Value (SRV) of 88 and can be used at depths of 10mm – 100mm.

UltraCrete’s cold lay asphalt range also includes UltraCrete Instant Road Repair®. This superior asphalt repair material is available in two grades – 6mm and 10mm – providing you with the perfect repair material for every type of environment. Their 6mm grade is the ideal product for repairing potholes in footways, footpaths and cycle tracks with their 10mm designed to provide a permanent repair in type 3 & 4 roads.

Completing the range of Tough Patch® Rapid, a hard wearing, fast setting hybrid pothole repair. This innovative pothole repair has been designed to provide a first time permanent repair in high speed roads and in wheel turning locations such as junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts.

Every product in UltraCrete’s range of cold lay asphalt concretes are available in 25kg resealable tubs, eliminating wasted product, can be trafficked instantly, minimising disruption to pedestrians and motorists as traffic management can be removed quickly and are suitable for use in all weathers – work doesn’t have to stop because of poor weather conditions!

For more information on how UltraCrete’s world renowned cold lay asphalts can help you provide a solution to the pothole epidemic, please contact their experienced sales team by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Source: BBC News.