Shortage of OSB in UK – Alternate Window Boarding Solutions

Is There a Shortage of OSB for Window Boarding in the UK?

OSB (oriented strand board) is arguably the most common material used to board up and make safe broken glass windows. There is however a huge shortage of timber products in the UK at this time including OSB. The Timber Trade Federation reports that OSB imports fell by up to 50% due to the ongoing global pandemic. This then begs the question, ‘Can I use an alternative to OSB to board my broken windows?’. Maxam’s answer is a resounding, ‘YES!’.

What is OSB?

Picture of OSB (oriented strand board)-min

OSB is an acronym for Oriented Strand Board. OSB is constructed from ‘strands’ or longer chips of wood that are mixed with adhesives and waxes, aligned in perpendicular alternating layers, and pressed into panels. (see image above for an example of what OSB looks like) 

What are the Alternatives to OSB for Making Safe Broken Windows?

There are many alternatives such as:

  • Plywood
  • Steel sheets
  • Plexiglass or Perspex
  • Composite boards
  • Glass repair film

The alternatives are many, but there is one solution that stands out: Glass Repair Film.

The Ultimate Alternative to OSB

Maxam 175 Glass Repair Film solves a multitude of challenges with the traditional OSB boarding method of making safe a broken window.

Some of the drawbacks or challenges of OSB Boarding are:

  • Unsightly – if your window is street facing, having a raw OSB board over your window will look unpleasant.
  • Non-Translucent – once you have boarded your broken window with OSB, if that is the only window in the room, no natural light can enter the room.
  • Destructive – in order to secure the boarding, the board has to be screwed in to the window frame or surrounding wall.

Maxam 175 offers solutions to all these issues and more:

  • Translucent Film – this takes care of point 1 and 2 above. As is translucent, it is basically invisible making it instantly more visually suitable and allows light to enter as if it were glass.
  • Adhesive Backing – As this is a film, you simple apply it to the broken window without any penetration of the frame or surrounding walls.
  • Can be applied to moving objects – As it is a film and has flexible properties, Maxam 175 can be applied to vehicles, trains or construction site vehicles. Read the case study on Virgin Trains to see how Maxam 175 was their ultimate solution.
  • Cost savings – one board of OSB costs about £25 on average and can be used to cover one window. Include the time, the fact it takes 2 persons to board a window and that cost quickly increases to more than £50. With a 3M roll of Maxam 175 handy for less than £50, you can fix multiple windows, one person to carry out the work and only use exactly what you need.

Maxam is Here to Help!

the team at Maxam have been providing innovative products to clients in social housing maintenance, public transport, education facility managers, hospitals, facilities managers and builders merchants for over 25 years. 

With our experience and a desire to answer and solve your questions and challenges, we would be glad to hear from you. You can contact us via email at sales@maxam.co.uk call us toll-free on 0800 0922 923 or via our contact page

We look forward to hearing from you soon! 

Visit the DURA+ Demo Event at Travis Perkins Haddington

Where & When?

Head over to Travis Perkins in Haddington next Wednesday 9th June for free samples, free refreshments and free expert advice.

What is Dura+?

Dura+ all-in-one adhesive and sealant can be used on a huge range of tasks from fixing leaks to instant sealing even in the toughest conditions. A food safe, solvent free, flexible, and waterproof product, you will find that Dura+ allows you to replace a veritable galaxy of mastic, silicone sealants, caulks, and adhesives with just the one product.

Possibly you have already heard of a ‘wonder product’ for the construction, maintenance, and facilities management trade talked up to the skies, only to be disappointed once the money has left your account?

Not with DURA+! 

Please do come along to see this for yourself, meet our down-to-earth guys and chat over your challenges and – very importantly – take a free sample tube away to try for yourself.

Dura+ is available in several colours for all your construction and repairs needs.

Venue: Travis Perkins Haddington – 2A Hospital Rd, Haddington EH41 3BH

DURA grouped white background

Need Samples or More Information?

What Materials Can Hybrid Adhesives Bond?

Is Hybrid Adhesive the New MVP of Sealants and Adhesives?

One of the best things about hybrid adhesives is that because they stick well to so many surfaces, an adhesive bond is possible between otherwise incompatible substrates that previously would have required mechanical fixings.

Dura+ hybrid adhesive is one of the most advanced and versatile fixing products in the construction industry, combining all the best qualities of silicone sealants and grab adhesives and outperforming both of them.

What can Dura+ Hybrid Adhesive Sealant Stick/Bond?

With a cartridge of Dura+ in their toolkit, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, fitters and decorators can quickly and permanently bond surfaces together, fix stuff in place, fill gaps and make a waterproof seal. All with one product.

As Dura+ is solvent-free, it is also compatible with substrates that would be softened by grab adhesives, which contain solvents.

Providing the contact surfaces are stable and free of dust or grease, Dura+ will bond most surfaces – even when wet – including:

  • Wood – unplaned timber; planed square edge (PSE) timber
  • Metal – stainless steel, aluminium, copper, lead, etc.
  • Plastics – hard PVC, polycarbonates, polyurethane, polystyrene, fibreglass (GRP), ABS and Perspex
  • Porcelain, ceramics and glass – sanitaryware, wall and floor tiles, glazing, shower screens, mirrors, etc.
  • Stone, brick and concrete
  • Cured plaster and mortar
  • Surface coatings – paint, varnish, powder-coating
  • All roofing materials including bitumen paper

What Will Hybrid Adhesive NOT Stick/Bond To?

You might ask, what doesn’t Dura+ stick to? Like all hybrid adhesives, it won’t stick to cured silicone sealant, so this must be removed and the area washed down with isopropyl alcohol (IPA), rubbing spirit or similar alcohol before reapplying Dura+. It also won’t bond with surfaces that have a high wax or oil content – lookout for this particularly in products used to preserve exterior timber such as fencing and garden furniture.

If you have an unusual application and are unsure if Dura+ will work, you can ask our experts on 0800 0922 923 for professional advice – we’re just a phone call away!

Maxam Products Now Available on Amazon!

Due to the high demand and our products and the MAXAM brand becoming a household name, we have taken the decision to offer our innovative products for general use through the most popular online shopping platform: Amazon.Co.Uk!

Everyone can now use MAXAM products for DIY home repairs or even if you just prefer to shop from Amazon!

Maxam Amazon Shop Page

Our Product Range Available on Amazon

Click the links below to go directly to the relevant Amazon shop page!

Our flagship emergency glass window repair product that makes broken windows safe in seconds. Maxam 175 comes in 3 convenient sizes.

The newest innovation from MAXAM, DURA+ Hybrid Polymer All-In-One Adhesive & Sealant. Just as effective, strong, and flexible as the leading brands of hybrid polymer adhesives, but not as hot a price! Adhesive, Glue, Decorators Caulk and Silicone Sealant: All in one convenient tube with superior performance. Learn more about DURA+ Here and read the comparison here to popular brands!

With COVID-19 still a threat to society, we supply a range of anti-bacterial products which includes:

    • Anti-Microbial Surface Cleaner – This Non-Alcoholic, Non-Bleach, No Fragrance spray kills up to 99.9999% of harmful bacteria, viruses and fungi and will last for up to 7 days on surfaces.
    • Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitiser Gel – Tired of your hands drying out and cracking from using alcohol-based hand sanitisers? The PURA+ AF Hand Gel is your answer and will last up to 8 hours protecting you from germs.

All our emergency roofing repair and weatherproofing products are also available on Amazon for your convenience.

  • Maxam Jetseal – an instant waterproofing sealer in a 400ml aerosol for easy access to awkward areas and tight spots.
  • Maxam Wetseal – a trowel on roof and gutter repair compound that is instantly weatherproof and can be applied in all weather conditions.
  • Maxam Seek-N-Seal – The ultimate emergency roof leak repair solution. A unique formulation of microporous natural material which flows with the rain, to the location of the leak. As it flows, Seek-n-seal gradually swells up to 15 times its original size effectively sealing off the leak until a more permanent repair can be made.
  • Maxam Maxseal – Maxseal is a solvent based cold applied bituminous compound that acts as a very effective general purpose roof coating. Maxseal can be applied between -10c to +50c to Felt, Lead, Zinc, Asbestos, Cement, Concrete, Galvanised Steel and Iron.
  • Maxam Maxcrete – a high strength concrete repair compound that can be applied down to 0c and can be driven over in 2 hours for the least downtime in high traffic areas.

The Maxam Commitment

As we continue in our commitment to providing high-quality, innovative and cost saving products to the construction and property maintenance sectors we are glad to offer these products to all with the highest convenience.

If you have a charity that you like to support, be sure to login to smile.amazon.co.uk and choose your charity to automatically support as you purchase your Maxam Products!

Have a question or need help? Please feel free to email us at sales@maxam.co.uk or call us on 0800 0922 923.

Happy Shopping!

White Silicone Supply Issues in UK – Alternative Option to Consider

The Global Silicone Sealant Supply Challenge

With global construction markets booming despite the COVID-19 pandemic, raw material shortages are starting to negatively influence product supply, including silicone sealants.

In March 2021, a well-known construction sector market research group in Europe, Construction Market Experts, published a blog mentioning that the pandemic has caused global shortages of Siloxanes, which is a key base component in the manufacturing of silicones.

This month, May 2021, we have got market feedback from major construction retailers and builders’ merchants that there is an ongoing and worsening shortage of silicones, and in particular, white silicone in The UK.

White Silicone in Use on a Sink
DURA grouped fan 1

A Solution to the Silicone Supply Shortage

Maxam have for years been providing solutions to challenges in the construction market and this continues to be the case with the newest addition to our range of products.

Dura+ Hybrid Polymer Sealant has been launched in early 2021 as Maxam’s answer to overpriced hybrid sealants on the market and as a solution that will reduce the reliance on silicones by providing a superior product.

Not only does Dura+ far exceed the properties and performance of silicone, but it can also be used as caulking as it is paintable and will not crack after setting.

Why carry around 4 tubes instead of one? Many construction workers use 4 different tubes of sealant or adhesive. A tube of caulk, a tube of adhesive (Gripfill or similar), a tube of silicone and a tube of glue (Unibond No More Nails or similar).

With Dura+, the advantages and savings are massive for everyday users of adhesives and sealant. Not only from the convenience of having your tool belt lightened from 4 tubes to 1, but also from a cost perspective.

Cost Comparison Between DURA+, Silicone and Conventional Products

Cost Comparison Graph For Silicone vs Hybrid Adhesive

DURA+ - The Obvious Alternative to Silicone

As is evidenced here, one tube of Hybrid Dura+ Adhesive Sealant replacing all 4 separate tubes would save more than £3 per tube or 23.29%. When extrapolated to commercial use quantities, this becomes a major saving.

The other point to be considered is that many times, due to only a small quantity needed of one particular type or colour of caulk, glue or silicone, a high amount of wastage occurs.

With Dura+ the ‘type’ variable is removed only leaving colour as the variable which could reduce your wastage and overall costs by a large amount across multiple projects.

With 5 popular and versatile colours to choose from, Dura+ is the obvious choice to reduce your costs and your environmental impact via reduction of wastage. Dura+ is available in White, Clear, Black, Brown, and Grey.

Our Conclusion

So, we don’t think that the rumours, or reality, of a white silicone shortage (or any silicone shortage) should be a concern. It is rather an opportunity to challenge the status quo of adhesive and sealant usage and find opportunities for cost savings, environmental impact reduction, and freeing up of stock storage space.

If you are interested in these savings, a Maxam team member would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and get you set up with a supply of Dura+.

Please contact us on the form below, via email at sales@maxam.co.uk or give us a call on 0800 0922 923.

Need Help Choosing the Correct Adhesive Sealant? We are Waiting To Help!

    Silicone Adhesive Sealants and Alternatives

    The evolution of silicone adhesive sealants over time

    When English chemist F.S Kipping introduced the word silicone in 1940, the
    synthetic product appeared to be of no commercial use, and the world
    continued with natural rubbers, resins and wax. But from simple commercial
    beginnings in the 50’s to widespread use in the 80’s, silicone has become a
    very valuable and versatile adhesive or sealant, and numerous versions have
    been developed. You can now easily obtain a silicone sealant or adhesive
    adapted to stick, seal or cement for virtually any application.

    silicone adhesive sealant
    dura water 2

    Hybrid Sealant Adhesives - the next generation

    After the abundance of silicone adhesive sealants and polyurethane glues and sealants, Hybrid Sealant Adhesives emerged, combining the positive performance attributes of many types, to produce a high-strength, durable sealant and adhesive.  These new products have a number of advantages, and generally do not contain silicone, solvents or isocyanates, scoring well on the environmental front. This lack of solvent also means they do not shrink or crack through curing, making them very valuable for caulking and gap-filling, as they retain their stretch or elasticity.  A major weakness with regular silicone sealants is that they usually require a dry surface to bond to – in real life this can be difficult to achieve. The next generation, sometimes called Hybrid Polymer Sealant Adhesive, can even cure under water. 

    Which Sealant Adhesive do I need?

    The answer to this will of course depend on your task, but unless you do exactly the same task all the time, or are only expecting to do one task, a product that performs excellently in as many situations as possible makes an obvious choice.  Well known names such as CT1 or Dura+ offer very good bonding strength, at the same time as excellent indoor or outdoor durability and flexibility. The qualities for adhesives you would look for are high initial grab strength and temperature stability. For sealants, it would be ability to seal in damp conditions, long-term flexibility, resistance to shrinking, cracking and discolouration and mould or mildew protection.  Of course you often need a waterproof product, and if used outdoors it should have UV resistance.

    DURA grouped fan 1

    Are silicone sealant alternatives expensive?

    A basic tube of economy sealant or adhesive may only cost £2 to £4 each. Combined (Hybrid) alternatives would probably start around £9 to £10 for small quantities, which would appear to be expensive at first glance.  However, for a proper comparison, you need to consider two other factors. Firstly, will you need several tubes of sealant and adhesive to cover each different situation you work with?  Secondly, with a variety of different tubes open or on the shelf, you are more likely to find they have dried out or past their best by the time you need them.  Silicone sealants in particular are time-sensitive and you must carefully check the date on the tube. Of course, if you factor in the time or cost of re-doing a job because the sealant or adhesive did not suit the particular situation, your supposed cost saving with a cheap silicone disappears.

    Still Confused? Need Help Choosing the Correct Adhesive Sealant?

    Yes, it can be confusing and you may have many questions that are not answered here. But, that’s ok, we are only a phone call away or can be contacted via email to answer these remaining questions. 

    At Maxam, we have built a reputation for personalised, friendly service that puts the customer first. We have been manufacturing high quality and innovative products for the construction and property repair trades since 1971. We would be glad to answer any questions or concerns about your sealant or adhesive needs. 

    If you would like to discuss your sealant or adhesive needs or find out more about our full range of products, call our friendly, knowledgeable team on 0800 0922 923, send an email to sales@maxam.co.uk or send us an enquiry. Or if you’d rather, browse our complete product range and call us when you’re ready to talk – we’re here to help!

      7 Clean Home New Year’s Resolutions

      Once the Christmas decor has been put away again in the new year, it might be months until you consider the annual spring clean. But the lockdowns of 2020 have meant that it’s likely the clutter around the home has slowly been gathering without you noticing, and the new year is a good time to resolve to sort and clean your home sooner rather than later.

      With many people continuing to work remotely, it’s not just the home that will benefit from cleaning and tidying, decluttering your home office will help make you more productive and happy during your workday.

      Here we have a list of easy, no-nonsense New Year’s resolutions for your home (and office!) that will keep your place clean all year round.


      1. Declutter your most used space at the start of the year

      To develop decluttering habits, first, you need to start doing some actual decluttering. To get going, start with the most lived-in room or area of your home. Whether it’s the kitchen, living room, or bedroom, get to work by considering each item in the space and asking yourself if you love the item, or if you use it regularly.

      If you answer ‘no’, then recycle, donate, or get rid.


      2. Use what you have before buying more

      To avoid both excessive waste and having multiples of similar or same items, make a point to finish what you have first.

      Before you start filling your cabinets and drawers with multiples of the same item, make a point to finish everything you have first. With just this one habit change, you’ll waste less, consume less, and bring less clutter to your home.


      3. Clear your surfaces

      Coffee and dining tables, nightstands, dressers, desks, and kitchen countertops can be magnets for clutter. Pick one surface to begin with, and clear everything off. Once you’ve used surface sanitiser, before you start putting things back, determine what you actually need or want, and get rid of anything you don’t.


      4. Put your clothes away every night

      Before you go to bed each night, instead of leaving your clean or worn clothes on the floor or chair to deal with in the morning, put them away or in the laundry basket. The more often you do this, the quicker it will become second nature.


      5. Throw away your trash

      Every home has a collection of gift boxes, ‘nice’ shopping bags, and other such clutter that is really meant for the recycling bin. Don’t let them build up. Unless you have an immediate use for it, toss them out as soon as possible.


      6. Spend five minutes tidying every night

      Before you head to bed (and put your clothes away), spend five minutes to quickly tidy. Pick up any rubbish, do the washing up, gather any used mugs, plates or glasses, tidy the coffee table – all of which take mere minutes, in which you’d just be scrolling through Instagram or Facebook.


      7. Clean during commercial breaks

      Or while waiting for the kettle to boil, or your Uber to arrive, or waiting for your significant other to get ready. There are so many simple tasks that can be accomplished in just a couple of minutes.


      If you need heavy-duty cleaning wipes to thoroughly clean and disinfect your home or office, then visit our online store today.

      What Causes Blocked Drains?

      A very common problem in both commercial and residential properties is blocked drains but this can actually be avoided relatively easily if you’re mindful about what you put down the drain in the first place.

      Used cooking grease and fat, for example, are often washed down the kitchen sink but you should actually scrape dirty dishes and pans into the bin or use a fat trap to help prevent the buildup of fat and grease in the pipe network.

      A big part of the problem when grease and fat find their way into the drains and sewer system is that they can contribute to the creation of fatbergs, some of which can be huge and cost thousands of pounds to sort out.

      Wet wipes are another culprit that can easily lead to a blocked drain and you should always avoid flushing these, even if the packet says it’s fine to do so. They too can clog pipes and obstruct drains, so make sure they go in the bin instead, or perhaps invest in reusable cloths and avoid using wet wipes altogether.

      It’s also important to make sure that you keep an eye on the exterior of your property, as well as being mindful about what you send down the drains when you’re in the home.

      Leaves and other debris from trees can be washed into drains and cause obstructions in this way, so make sure you clean the garden regularly and build a compost heap for leaves to keep them out of the drain network.

      However, wet wipes are in fact the biggest culprit, it would seem, with recent research from Water UK (the trade organisation that represents all the main water and sewerage companies in the country) revealing that these products make up 93 per cent of the material that causes sewer blockages.

      Apparently, there are around 300,000 sewer blockages each and every year, which costs the country £100 million, money that could be used in other ways, such as improving services or reducing bills.

      Water UK’s director of corporate affairs Rae Stewart said at the time: “There are things that water companies can do, such as improve education about what should and shouldn’t be flushed.

      “There are things manufacturers can do, such as make labelling clearer on non-flushable products. And, of course, there are things individuals can do – which is bin the wipes rather than flush them.”

      If you find you have a blocked drain, you’ll need to find out if the blocked pipework belongs to your water supplier or if it’s your own private drain.

      If it’s the former, the supplier will come out to clear it for free and try to find out the cause of the blockage, but if it’s your own drain you’ll need to sort it yourself, whether that’s by attempting to unblock it on your own or by calling out a professional to help.

      Looking for drain unblockers right now? See what we’ve got in stock in our online shop.

      How Office Drains Are Blocked And How To Solve It

      One of the most annoying, disruptive and unpleasant issues you can have in an office is blocked drains. It can be difficult to tell where the issue comes from, where there is an issue in the system and how it can be fixed.

      The good thing about it is that for most blocked sinks, drains and pipes, dedicated drain unblocker products are straightforward, hygienic and fast working.

      As your business will pay for the water, its drainage and call-out costs in the case of any issue, solving issues as soon as possible will save you a lot of money in the long term.

      Here are the most common causes of blockages and how you can solve them.


      What Are The Signs Of A Blocked Drain?

      Figuring out the cause of a blocked drain is critical, but the first step is seeing the warning signs of a potential blockage.

      Once you get these signs, but before you have a serious problem is the time to bring in preventative measures and fix your drains.

      The first sign that you will likely get reported is an unusual and often rather unpleasant smell emanating from the drains. This means that a significant amount of build-up has emerged.

      Other signs include unusual water rises and overflows from your toilet drainage, which suggests that the process is being blocked by something, sinks taking longer to clear, and odd gurgling sounds from the plughole, which suggests it is taking longer for water to flow.



      Oils and grease can be common in your canteens or kitchen sinks, but when washed down the sink or the drain it hardens as it cools and can cause blockages and bad smells.

      Thankfully, the solution can be as simple as pouring boiling water down the drain, which will help melt the grease and allow it to be disposed of safely.


      Plants, Dirt and Leaves

      A particular problem for outdoor drains leaves that fall or are blown off trees that blow into drains and can cause blockages. This can be the most frustrating to clean as it often involves more physical methods than bleach and drain cleaners.

      Using protective gloves, remove dirt, soil and leaves from the system and wait to see if that helps the system.


      Hair and Toiletries

      The former is more of an issue in offices with showers, but hair can block drains and cause major issues. Thankfully, this tends to be an easier issue to fix immediately by pulling the hair out of the drain using a hook.

      Toiletries such as baby wipes should never be flushed down the toilet, as they soak up moisture, get bigger and can block water flow, They can be a nightmare to fix, sometimes needing a plumber’s snake or a plunger to dislodge.


      Broken Pipe

      Broken pipes cause either blockages or leaks depending on the nature of the fracture.

      When an older pipe fracture it becomes easier to block compared to a newer piece of pipe, so if you are worried about this or blockages have become more common, get in touch with a plumber or other professional.

      How Does The Lighting In Our Homes And Offices Affect Our Bodies?

      We are all spending more time than ever before in our homes and, particularly in the winter months, it can feel as though you have artificial lights on for most of the day even when it’s light outside.

      One study conducted in Australia and shared by the Sydney Morning Herald has highlighted the issues we face from having too much artificial light in our properties.

      According to the research, the average home in Australia was so bright that it suppressed melatonin production by almost 50 per cent. Why is that important? Well, melatonin is what naturally controls our sleep patterns.

      Before the introduction of artificial lighting, our melatonin levels would rise when the sun went down, sending us to sleep, and lower as the sun rose, waking us up. The introduction of artificial light has altered how our bodies produce melatonin, however.

      Natural light is, therefore, an important aspect that should be considered in the construction of new homes and offices, as it has such an impact on our bodies and how they function.

      As the Irish News explained recently, some architects are looking at housing design differently and, instead of sticking to the idea that houses should have standard sized and equally spaced windows, they are looking at how to maximise the natural daylight that enters a property.

      The publication noted that well-designed architectural homes “employ windows and modern, energy-efficient glazing of all shapes and sizes, in locations to either let daylight flood in, capture a view or bring the outside exterior space into the home”.

      The use of energy-efficient glazing is essential, because if you have larger and more windows, you need to ensure that your home isn’t going to lose excessive amounts of heat during the colder months of the year, or get too hot when it’s warmer.

      Offices, too, have transitioned towards providing people with more natural light and larger windows, but without the correct glazing products there can be a similar issue in terms of heat loss and solar gain.

      Fitting a solar reflective glass film, either to your home or business property, can mitigate many of these problems, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of more natural daylight without the potential downsides that come from having larger windows.

      As the Irish Times noted, there is yet another benefit to providing sufficient daylight in all of our buildings – it saves energy.

      “Effective day lighting means less reliance on electricity to provide artificial lighting while sunlight can contribute towards meeting some of the heating needs through controlled passive solar gain,” the publication stated.

      In terms of how our lighting is impacting our bodies, the researchers in Australia have recommended that we darken our homes before we go to bed to improve the quality of our rest. This can be particularly beneficial for anyone who is suffering from sleep problems, they suggested.

      We also know that a lack of exposure to daylight in the winter can contribute to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), so creating homes and offices that do a better job of introducing natural light could benefit a significant number of people.