As a long overdue follow up to a previous post I introduced concerning the treatment of lumber using an allegedly all natural Cedar Oil established product, I am now in a position and sufficiently confident to report my findings from the research I’ve done so far on what could 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 many years now. He initially purchased it from Texas in routine shipments made up of fifty five gallon drums. Jeffrey and I always felt that although this product was good, it may be further refined and possibly improved upon. The original product lacked in back up documentation, formal registrations and any market awareness by the general public, nor did it have any real accountability or authenticity with regard to lab controlled testing and so forth. These issues were destined to be changed and to achieve these modifications, a slow and long process was started together with some controlled formulation tests and changes until finally, after all the factors and collateral criteria were addressed and satisfied, a newly designed crystal clear merchandise bottle and new brand name were launched and registered as Hartman’s Perma Shield TM. It is packaged and available in 1 gallon, 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon containers.
This is where I can give you specific details of my own personal testing of this all natural Perma Shield product. My property is located near Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada and into the back of my house I have a large areal timber deck that sits over a ravine and in the middle of quite tall mature trees and a wonderful deal of bushes and ferns. This deck faces north and enjoys a seasonal view of the Rocky Mountains across the Fraser River. From the fall of 2011, I removed the vast majority of my existing painted deck rails and spindles, most of which were showing bare wood and rotting badly. The structural articles 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, instead of renewing the 2 x 6 hand railings and 2 x 4 spindles in pre treated lumber, I decided to use the frequent SPF white timber commonly found in the big box store providers. This was a deliberate choice on my part because I knew from my experience of living here after literally every winter, the paint could be pealed from my hand rails and many of the spindles even though each Spring I had implemented a primer and at least two coats of good quality professional grade paint to everything. I wanted to construct my railings in white timber and treat them all with the new Perma Shield product as a serious product test in what I consider to be extreme conditions. During the Spring and Summer months the deck becomes direct sunshine in the early morning and then afternoon 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 to top rails and the standard 2 x 4 for the spindles. Upon completion of the construction work, I chose a nice sunny day with very little wind and I proceeded to prepare the new wood by applying cold water misting from my garden hose. I only worked on one segment ( Approximately three 8 foot panels ) in 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, using a heavier application to the very best regions of each spindle where their end grain is facing upwards. I repeated the procedure with the other areas of new railings, first the mist and then the product until all surfaces and areas were coated. After lunch, I then began at the beginning and implemented my second coat of Perma Shield, now with no misting application first. By mid afternoon the task was finished and the railings 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 started what I consider to be a tedious process of applying the paint to all areas. No particular paint was used, only a simple lace finish water based latex available everywhere. I implemented a total of 2 coats of latex and standing back to admire my work, decided that this was a great beginning point for my ongoing evaluation on Perma Shield.
Other than having to hose off some green algae deposits after each winter, my paintwork still looks like it’s only been achieved and there are absolutely no signs of rot, warping or other damage anywhere on the new white wood areas. A number of the remaining original deck planks and even the pre treated ones are showing paint peel and even 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 effort 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 tests undertaken by others, it’s been proven that lumber treated with this product provides states that enable the adhesion of paint to be increased by up to 300 times that of normal untreated lumber. What’s more, it provides conditions where the treated lumber no further expands and contracts and so become structurally stable. I should also add that my own paintwork still looks extremely new with no signs of fading or discoloration.
At precisely the 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 I had cut into two foot pieces. Each piece was fully coated including the ends and after 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 to a muddy bank where it had been almost entirely covered in slimy mud. The third piece I laid within the gutters on my back roof and the fourth piece was put into the yard like a stake, 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 timber 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 from the fresh air. There are no indications of any rust or decay of any sort on any of the pieces. I then proceeded to put each piece in my chop saw and cut them at approximately two inch intervals. What I found was that the inside of every piece was totally dry with no evidence of moisture penetration or discoloration of any kind. Using my moisture meter I noticed that the readings obtained were almost identical to the readings taken in fresh kiln dried timber straight from the supplier. I also mentioned that the wood samples revealed no signs of warping, splitting or cracking either and considering where they’d all been found for over three years; I found this to be quite remarkable.
Their results for Perma Shield TM revealed 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 noise barrier walls along highways. After treating the wood, they then top coated it with various top coat goods. Approximately 25 different painted coatings were applied, largely earth toned color paints which were previously approved for this use. After the testing, each the coatings showed no signs of any type of adhesion issue’s, including no pealing without lifting or cracking of any kind. These tests were done in an extreme weather system for more than 2000 hours in an extensive and diverse variety of temperatures and conditions. Further tests were also undertaken in an outside natural Minnesota environment test for more than 2 decades, and again these have shown NO signs of any adhesion issues in an MNDOT facility controlled research. These studies have provided documented evidence of controlled testing where all the results are quite literally far beyond any other accepted or approved treatment for timber.
During the past three years I also have used the Perma Shield in my contracting business for treating water damaged timbers in homes and also for mould remediation functions, all with great success in every circumstance. I’ve treated a plywood covered new deck that was waiting to have a fiber glass top coat applied and discovered the sudden rains that arrived next day, had no effect on the plywood and caused no harm as it generally would have done. Down in Minnesota, Jeffrey has his product completely 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 so far, I believe that this product could supply the timber industry something very unique in terms of a really safe and natural way to treat timber and stop it from rot, fungal decay, warping and splitting. Additionally, it provides some amazing benefits on timber where people wish to paint the surfaces, as the adhesion parameters are vastly increased and the need for regular repainting is all but eliminated completely.
It should also be noted that the conditions I supplied for two of the four 2 foot treated samples were more than ideal for the germination of both the wet rot fungus (Coniophora Puteana) and in one instance the true 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 have previously stated above gives me great confidence in this all natural product for numerous future applications. The product is currently under formal university test conditions in Minnesota where it’s being compared to a range of other bio based timber treatment products. In summary of a few of the advantages of treating wood structures with Perma Shield, the wood appearance is still the same as untreated. Freshly cut lumber may also be successfully treated with Perma Shield since it functions to eliminate all bound and inherent moisture for the timber, thus stabilizing it and preventing the continuing expansion and contraction. The bottom line being; in timber, where there’s not any moisture there are no problems! The product is safe to use, use and store and it does not have any detrimental effects on plant or the environment in general. 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. I personally only applied two coats for my deck railings and spindles and up to now, the results have been outstanding and most certainly exceeded my own expectations.
Protecting wood 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 all natural fluid will preserve your lumber on a permanent basis with a 1 time application and you’ll no longer have to be concerned that the beauty of your timber will deteriorate, even in harsh or extreme weather conditions.