To Control or to Kill?
TCM have been in this industry many years and are market leaders in the eradication of invasive weeds, particularly Japanese knotweed. We have commented in the past about the level of service you can expect from contractors with little or no experience, but have not yet expressed our surprise that when you look closely that these contractors are not actually even claiming to get rid of the weed for good. What use is that to the clients and homeowners?
tr.v. con·trolled, con·trol·ling, con·trols
1. To exercise authoritative or dominating influence over; direct.
2. To adjust to a requirement; regulate
3. To hold in restraint; check
4. To reduce or prevent the spread of
If we look at the definition of control we can clearly see that to ‘control’ (a weed) is ongoing and infinite. Simply controlling a weed will not solve the problem. What we must do with Japanese knotweed is kill it. That is through eradication or removal and is exactly what the industry should be offering.
So when choosing your expert it would be wise to ensure that you avoid those who claim they can control Japanese knotweed. Yes, they probably are capable of controlling the spread of it which is indeed helpful but your infestation is likely to return and then where do you stand if controlling it is all they claimed to do in the first place?
A contractor is capable of gaining the legal qualifications all to spray quite easily yet as there is no requirement specifically for eradicating Japanese knotweed, how do they know how much to use?, what technique to use?, how many visits?, will spraying be the best option? A simple spray job can actually make the situation worse if carried out incorrectly. The answers to these questions can be found with research, experience and demonstrated successes so unless the contractors are trained and working under the supervision of specialist companies don’t risk it.
It will be interesting to see how many contractors update their websites and marketing to promote eradication once the customers wise up to those who can only control. However then still remains the dilemma of which companies can actually do what they say.
Look for a complete solution and make sure that you do your homework. Go with experience as a simple play on words and an apparently good deal could leave you in a much worse position in the future.
TCM R&D Efforts Pay Off and a New Treatment Method Is Identified
TCM R&D have for many years been working with a leading chemical manufacturer to develop new and effective products for use in eradicating invasive weeds.
Through a great deal of personal investment of both time and money, TCM R&D have achieved success and created and tested a product capable of killing Japanese knotweed with a single application.
Years of Research and Development has led to TCM R&D identifying a perfect amount of chemical to create the micro herbicide spray and to also find the best technique for application with an atomiser designed to expel the correct amount of mist.
Studies have shown that with the even coverage of the mist and the levels of chemical applied that this creation is enough to kill a Japanese knotweed plant after just one treatment.
Howard Downer, MD of TCM comments; “TCM have always invested heavily in research and are thrilled with the results of our most recent efforts. This method of application will reduce operation costs which we can then pass on to clients. Once our new technique is proven in the industry and to the clients we work for, we would expect to see this used much more than our existing treatments which can require revisits for many years in cases where herbicidal treatment is the only option or where budget is restricted. The more Japanese knotweed we can eradicate the better so the quicker we can achieve this the more areas we can cover.”
TCM Get the green light for Railway work
After years of working closely with local developers & Network Rail, TCM have successfully secured a contract to undertake railway sidings work in Bury St Edmunds.
Howard Downer, Managing Director comments; “We are so pleased to have been awarded such a prestigious contract from a major company. We look forward to working with all the parties involved and demonstrating a variety of our skills to the industry. This contract has proven that TCMs hard work and determination over the past year has paid off and we hope to secure many more like this in the future. ”
TCMs Success with 150th Mortgage approval for clients with Japanese knotweed
TCM have recently completed a Japanese knotweed project on a residential property allowing the owner to overturn his mortgage refusal. This will take the number of successful Mortgage approvals resulting from the work TCM have carried out up to 150.
The property in Upminster owned by Mr Hewitt was deemed unsuitable for a mortgage by his chosen lender and so he had to take action to eradicate the Japanese knotweed to enable him to move forward.
Mr Hewitt explains; “Once I realised the extent of the problem and that I needed help, I employed a Japanese knotweed contractor to tackle the plant, however I soon realised that by doing this I was not solving the whole problem and needed specialist advice.
I was introduced to Howard Downer, Managing Director of TCM and explained the situation I was in. Howard’s knowledge on the matter soon put me at ease and he was able to come up with a plan to not just eradicate the weed but to also reassure the lenders that the property would be safe from harm in the future.
Once the plan had been determined it opened up a network of lenders who were willing to approve a mortgage application on my property and I didn’t struggle to pass the application.
I would like to say how professional TCM were and their experience was obvious from the first visit. I would highly recommend their advice and urge people in my situation to contact specialists who have been in the business for many years and have the respect of the lenders.”
TCMs knowledge of the plant and also the market is what ensures our customers that they are in the best hands when appointing us. The Team at TCM are proud of their record of helping property owners with what seems like a hopeless situation and will always look for the most effective way to treat the cause in terms of time and cost.
TCM Recruits Extra Workforce As Business Is On The Up
TCM are pleased to introduce two new members to the team as a result of the increased workload the company is faced with. Business is definitely booming at TCM and to continue the excellent level of service given to its customers a call for extra pairs of hands was required.
Sophie Forde has joined TCM on a part time basis to offer her support to business. As well as taking responsibility for managing the training needs of staff at TCM, Sophie is helping with day to day enquiries received.
Harriet is the most recent addition to TCM and is currently wading through the work that would otherwise risk being sidelined. Harriet is enjoying offering her support to the business and being a part of such a close knit team.
Although the busy season in the invasive weed industry is coming to an end TCM are aware that they need to keep in touch with their client base and also promote services that people may not be aware that are offered in the winter months. Harriet is taking responsibility for contacting customers alongside helping with day to day duties.
TCM are definitely benefitting from the extra help and are running much more efficiently as a result. All at TCM are pleased that they can stay such a personal business yet give customers the level of service expected by the largest of companies.
If TCMs success continues as expected it is likely you will see more additions to the team in the future. The difference Sophie and Harriet have made is greatly appreciated and no doubt you will be speaking with them soon!
Another Successful Year In Trap Fencing
The range was designed with both ecologists and developers in mind and has only ever received excellent feedback, not only for the site specific solutions TCM can offer but also the sustainability and the environmentally considerate design of the range.
TCM joined forces with the UK’s largest recycled plastic manufacturer to offer a range of solutions and installation options that were based on practical knowledge of both the ecological sector’s needs and plastic and membrane manufacture. This allowed the company to guarantee their clients a product which was at all times fit for purpose whatever the site conditions.
This year alone, TCM have installed over 4500 metres of the reptile fencing across the UK. Looking back it is clear that the investment in quality and sustainability has been well worth it and the reusability of each panel has been proven.
TCM are pleased that they can still see the quality of their products and services demonstrated in their longevity and are confident that it will last for years to come.
What to look for when choosing your Japanese knotweed specialist.
Japanese knotweed has long since been recognised as a problem due to its invasive nature and ability to affect the structures of buildings. It has a growing reputation for being difficult to eradicate and is often misunderstood.
More recently the property market has felt the effects as lenders are reluctant to lend on properties contaminated by the weed. Mortgage lenders have been understandably cautious but slow to release national guidelines on how to best handle its treatment and the market is currently undecided on regulating the companies offering eradication solutions.
Many invasive weed experts are involved in helping to shape the guidelines that will give lenders the understanding and confidence they need to proceed with investing.
TCM have been involved in the early stages and have offered their advice to those who simply wish to find and asses the most secure advice and outcome, generally suggesting long experienced companies.
Japanese knotweed has many characteristics that make it more difficult to tackle than more common native weeds although it can be done quite easily with the correct knowledge and experience of most “specialists”. There are various options depending on the individual infestation and any companies with proven track records some of who have conducted extensive research into the weed will be able to achieve complete removal. We recommend to lenders and surveyors, when looking for a service that they consider the following points. How long a company has been treating Japanese knotweed? How many sites have they been involved with? How many years’ experience do the operatives have? Perhaps ask for case studies, historic references and demonstration of competencies.
Taking measures such as these should steer you on the right path. Unfortunately it is too easy for inexperienced people to set up businesses and gain accreditations with only the basics which can leave you disappointed when the Japanese knotweed returns.
TCM announce a warranty increase from 5 to 10 years
TCM have decided to offer its customers a 10 year guarantee as standard to replace the existing 5 year warranty it currently issues. Having being in business for over 12 years and investing heavily in research and development throughout this period TCM feel that the warranty should now reflect the experience of the company.
Work we have undertaken to eradicate Japanese knotweed over 10 years ago has been a proven success and developments in eradication strategies since then means we can confidently say to our clients that we now guarantee the sites for an extra 5 years.
The news will be welcomed in the residential mortgage market as it gives lenders the extra reassurance that properties are safe from infestations for a substantial period of time. Homeowners will benefit from the ability to instruct TCM to undertake the work with the peace of mind that the warranty ensures there is no come back and properties can be bought and sold with certainty.
Most work within the construction industry has long since offered 10 year warranties and TCM feel that it is fair to match the length of time the site is guaranteed.
The decision has been made purely because the company believe in the work that they do and is not simply a marketing tool to convince clients to choose them over others in the industry.
As the longest serving invasive weed specialists TCM have found it difficult to understand those who offer warranties for longer than the length of years they have been trading. It seems unreasonable to promise any client a result which has not been tried and tested. TCM have made their decision after years of careful thought and with the knowledge to back it up.
The experience the company has and its proven track record speaks volumes and TCM would like to pass on its success in the form of the extended warranty, to reassure those affected that Japanese knotweed can be dealt with efficiently and without the doubt that it will continue to return.
The Clue is in the Title
TCM were invited to survey a site recently attended by another ‘specialist’ in the industry.
Our surveyor was first taken to an area of what they had been told was Giant hogweed. This is shown in the first photograph. The client was informed by our expert that the original surveyor was mistaken and that this is in fact Common hogweed.
On closer inspection further down the banks of the river TCM discovered what is an area of Giant Hogweed! Take a look at the second photograph and see if you can spot the difference.
Here at TCM we are baffled at how an expert in the field of invasive weeds can advise a client that common hogweed is Giant hogweed especially when there happens to be comparable Giant hogweed on the same site. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the larger of the two is the giant variety.
Thinking things couldn’t possibly be any worse our surveyor was then shown the area of Japanese knotweed that had been previously treated by the same company. The image shows that only a small area of the infestation has been treated and a large volume of the plant still remains.
Unfortunately it seems today that these kinds of mistakes are all too common. TCM are consistently picking up work to re treat sites that have been incorrectly managed by the first ‘specialists’. Not only is it frustrating for the client, it is much more difficult to treat weeds that have already been disturbed creating more costs and increasing the time it takes to eradicate them.
We urge you to choose the experts that are proven to be just that. Experts!
Message from the MD
“I’ve never been one for getting drawn into a public debate over Twitter or for writing a blog to comment on the work of a competitor. At TCM we like to keep a level of professionalism and have always felt that our reputation and quality of work speaks volumes for us. On occasions I will take the opportunity to have my say if there is something being discussed which we could clarify.
There has been a slight misunderstanding about the Mini screener TCM have recently been promoting. The equipment is built in Tiptree, local to our Head Office and was indeed purchased by us. However TCMs knowledge of eradicating Japanese Knotweed has allowed us to convert the screener to better suit the needs of the business.
Always keen to keep one step ahead with new techniques for invasive weed eradication we are already in the process of a patent application for the product with its adaptations.
To date, the TCM Mini screen has been successfully used on 6 projects and a further 9 weeks of work is scheduled. If anybody wishes to visit us and see the equipment in action just give me a call.
We also are preparing to launch a smaller screener particularly suited for use in the smallest of gardens. I look forward to updating you with its progress and introducing the equipment on sites very soon.”
Howard Downer, MD of TCM