As a long overdue follow up to a previous post I introduced concerning the treatment of lumber using an allegedly all natural Cedar Oil based product, I am now in a position and sufficiently confident to report my findings in the research I have done to date on what can only be referred to by me as a much improved version of that previous product.
A business colleague and very close friend of mine, Jeffrey Hartman has worked with and researched the Cedar Oil based timber treatment fluid for several years now. He originally purchased it from Texas in regular shipments composed of fifty five gallon drums. Jeffrey and I always felt that although this item was good, it could be further refined and possibly improved upon. The original product lacked back up documentation, formal registrations and any industry awareness by the general public, nor did it have any real accountability or credibility with respect to laboratory controlled testing and so forth. These issues were destined to be altered and to attain these changes, a long and slow process was started together with some controlled formula tests and changes until finally, after all the factors and collateral criteria were addressed and satisfied, a newly designed crystal clear product bottle and fresh brand name were launched and enrolled as Hartman’s Perma Shield TM. It’s packaged and available in 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon containers.
This is where I can provide you with specific details of my personal testing of this most natural Perma Shield product. My property is located close to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada and into the back of my house I have a large areal timber deck which sits over a ravine and in the middle of very tall mature trees and a great deal of bushes and ferns. In the fall of 2011, I eliminated the vast majority of my present painted deck railings and spindles, most of which were showing bare wood and rotting badly. The structural posts were still structurally sound other than just one which I replaced using pre treated timber. As you can imagine, the humidity and general moisture levels around this deck are equally high and somewhat extreme. However, rather than renewing the 2 x 6 hand railings and 2 x 4 spindles in pre treated lumber, I chose to use the frequent SPF white timber commonly found in the big box store providers. This was a deliberate choice on my part for I knew from my experience of living here after literally every winter, the paint would be pealed in my hand railings and lots of the spindles even although each Spring I had applied a primer and at least two coats of good quality professional grade paint to everything. I wanted to construct my railings in white wood and treat them all with the new Perma Shield product as a critical product test in what I consider to be extreme problems. Throughout the Spring and Summer months the deck becomes direct sunshine in the morning and then day and evenings. The sun here in BC can be very hot especially from early to late summer months.
First of all I constructed the new bottom rails, spindles and top rails, again using 2 x 6 for top rails and the standard 2 x 4 to the spindles. Upon completion of the building work, I chose a nice sunny day with little wind and I proceeded to prepare the new timber by applying cold water misting from my garden hose. I only worked on one section ( Approximately three 8 foot panels ) at a time otherwise the water would be dried out before I could apply the Perma Shield. I then proceeded to brush on a reasonably even coating of this product to all surfaces, with a heavier application to the very best regions of every spindle in which their end grain is facing upwards. I repeated the process with the other regions of new railings, first the mist and then the item until all surfaces and areas were coated. After lunch, then I started at the beginning and applied my second coat of Perma Shield, this time with no misting application first. By mid afternoon the job has been finished and the rails were touch dry along with the pleasant aroma of cedar oil lingered for most of the day. The product needs to be provided about forty eight hours to fully cure before applying paint or stain. I began what I believe to be a tedious process of applying the paint to all areas. No special paint was used, just a simple lace finish water based latex accessible everywhere. As I did the spindles and rails in a two tone , this job was slightly time consuming but at the end of the day well worth it. I implemented a total of 2 coats of latex and standing back to admire my work, decided that this was a great starting point for my ongoing test on Perma Shield.
Other than having to hose off some green algae residue after each winter, my paintwork still looks like it has only been achieved and there are absolutely no signs of rot, warping or other damage anywhere on the white wood regions. A number of the remaining original deck planks and even the pre treated ones are showing paint peel as well as wet rot in a few areas, especially around joints and end pieces. Each year since applying the treatment, I have regularly tried scratching the handrail surfaces in an attempt to remove what may have been slack or prepared to peel paint but nothing has ever moved or even shown any indication of damage. From evaluations undertaken by others, it has been proven that timber treated with this product provides states that allow the adhesion of paint to be raised by up to 300 times that of normal untreated lumber. What’s more, it provides conditions in which the treated timber no longer expands and contracts and so become structurally stable. It stops the painted finish from cracking, splitting or peeling. I should also add that my own paintwork still looks extremely new with no signs of fading or discoloration.
At precisely the exact same time as constructing the new deck railings, I also treated a single 8 foot length of 2 x 4 with the Perma Shield TM that I had cut into two foot pieces. Each piece was completely coated including the endings and once they were dry I put one in the creek that runs through my yard and weighted it down with some heavy stones. I put the next piece into a muddy bank where it was nearly completely covered in slimy mud. The third piece I laid inside the gutters on my rear roof and the fourth piece was put into the yard like a bet, with about four inches left sticking up above ground. Now at the end of January 2015 after three full years and winters, I retrieved the four pieces of wood for review. After collecting them all, I needed to wash them down to eliminate green algae and slime and then I let them dry a little in the fresh air. There are no indications of any rust or decay of any kind on any of the pieces. I then proceeded to place each piece in my chop saw and cut them at about two inch intervals. What I found was that the interior of every piece was completely dry with no signs of moisture penetration or discoloration of any kind. With my moisture meter I noticed that the readings obtained were almost identical to the readings taken in new kiln dried timber right from the supplier. I also mentioned that the wood samples revealed no signs of warping, splitting or cracking either and considering where they had all been found for over three years; I found this to be rather remarkable.
Their results for Perma Shield TM revealed that it completely out preformed ALL of the current treatments previously approved by the MDOT. The Perma Shield™ was used to deal with the same timber required by the MNDOT sound barrier walls along highways. After treating the wood, then they top coated it with various top coat products. Approximately 25 different painted coatings were applied, mostly earth toned color paints that were previously approved for that use. After the testing, all of the coatings showed no signs of any sort of adhesion issue’s, including no pealing without lifting or cracking of any kind. These evaluations were performed in an extreme weather machine for more than 2000 hours in a broad and diverse variety of temperatures and conditions. Further tests were also undertaken in an outdoor natural Minnesota environment test for more than 2 years, and these have shown NO signs of any adhesion issues in an MNDOT facility controlled research. These studies have provided documented proof of testing where all of the results are quite literally far beyond any other accepted or approved treatment for lumber.
During the past 3 years I also have used the Perma Shield in my contracting business for treating water damaged timbers in houses and also for mold remediation works, all with fantastic success in every case. I’ve treated a plywood covered new deck which was waiting to have a fiber glass top coat applied and found that the sudden rains that came next day, had no effect on the plywood and caused no harm as it usually would have done. Down in Minnesota, Jeffrey has his product fully registered and trademarked and better still, it’s been accepted and registered on to the US Government’s Bio Preferred program. From my own experiences to date, I believe that this product could offer the timber industry something very unique with respect to a really safe and natural way to treat lumber and prevent it from rot, fungal rot, warping and splitting. It also provides some incredible benefits on timber where folks desire to paint the surfaces, since the adhesion parameters are significantly increased and the need for regular repainting is all but eliminated completely.
It should also be noted that the conditions I provided for two of the four 2 foot treated samples were ideal for the germination of both the wet rot fungus (Coniophora Puteana) and in 1 case the dry rot fungus (Serpula Lacrymans) and yet, no evidence of either fungus was found even after three decades of constant exposure. This, coupled with all of the other benefits I’ve previously stated above gives me great confidence in this natural product for numerous future applications. The product is now under formal university test conditions in Minnesota where it’s being compared to a range of other bio based timber treatment products. Although these tests aren’t fully completed yet, at the time of writing this article the Perma Shield has shown up well in the lead in most situations compared to every other product being tested. In summary of a few of the benefits of treating wood structures with Perma Shield, the wood appearance remains the same as untreated. Freshly cut lumber may also be successfully treated with Perma Shield since it serves to eliminate all bound and inherent moisture to the lumber, thus stabilizing it and stopping the continuing expansion and contraction. The bottom line being; in timber, where there is not any moisture there are no issues! The product is safe to use, apply and store and it does not have any detrimental effects on vegetation or the environment generally. For a complete and thorough treatment of heavier timbers, it’s advised that the three coats are applied in total, with each coat being applied before the previous coat has fully absorbed. The timbers should be clean and given a light spray with clean water before use of the product, as it uses the moisture to draw itself into the timber. Personally, I only applied two coats for my deck railings and spindles and so far, the results have been outstanding and most certainly exceeded my own expectations.
Protecting timber from rot, fungal attack, insects, decay, mold and more has always been a significant issue but no longer. For all types of wood, this unique and natural fluid will conserve your lumber on a permanent basis with a one time application and you will no longer need to be worried that the beauty of your lumber will deteriorate, even in harsh or extreme weather conditions.