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Do you think your utility bills are too high for the size of your home? Is your home drafty or uncomfortable? Does water condense on the inside of your windows? Have spiders, ladybugs and other insects invaded your living areas? The first step in resolving all of these issues - and more - is an energy audit conducted by a trained professional with the proper tools and equipment. But is it worth it?

Whenever the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees lower than the temperature within a home, it’s a good time to find any gaps that may be leaking air. All you’ll need is a small pail of warm water, a piece of chalk, and a perhaps a ladder  depending on how high the ceilings are. If you dip your hand in the water then run your wet hand over the interior walls, keeping it about 6”-12” away from the surface, you will easily feel any cold air leaks that are coming through the walls or around the windows. As you move your wet hand closer to the wall you can pinpoint where the leak is located. Be sure to mark those leaking areas with the chalk.

Can Lifeline™ Interior stains be used to finish interior floors? Technically the answer to this question is yes, but we rarely recommend them unless whoever is going to be finishing the floor fully understands the characteristics of water-based, transparent stains and knows how to apply them.

Flavonoids are colorful compounds that are present in most plants. They are what make red beets red, and blueberries blue. They are also responsible for giving flowers their broad range of colors.

Trees, too, contain flavonoids, with some species containing more than others. In some types of wood, these flavonoids are apparent right from the start. The wood may be yellow, red, or other color, depending on the species. But in several species of wood, these colored flavonoids may not become visible unless the wood is exposed to some type of acid.

Porch and deck handrails present a real challenge to film forming finishes, especially if they are new. Here’s why. Round handrails are typically fabricated using green wood. Once in place and begin to dry, handrails shrink, crack, and develop fissures to relieve the stress due to shrinkage. There is no way to prevent this from occurring. If a finish is applied before these fissures open up, and once they do open, they provide a path for water to soak into the rail behind the finish. When the sun comes out and the rail heats up, the water turns into water vapor which may exert enough pressure to actually push the finish right off the wood. In winter months, the water in the wood will freeze and expand and that, too, can pop the finish off the surface.

Applications of all Perma-Chink exterior finish removers, cleaners, stains, topcoats and sealants can be a bit of a challenge in extremely hot weather, i.e. over 90°F. However, if you know what to expect and avoid you can easily cope with applications during the hot summer months. We’ll address each of our product lines individually. And for all our products, we recommend keeping the product pails out of the direct sun on hot days to minimize the heat build-up.

applyingborates2Ever since Perma-Chink Systems introduced borate treatments to the log home industry over 20 years ago, its products have been the preferred method of protecting log homes from wood-destroying insects and decay fungi. We are still the world’s largest supplier of borate-containing preservatives for log homes, and although there are other borate-based products now available, most are based on technology developed by Perma-Chink Systems back in the late 1980s.


For many years the product of choice for cleaning bare wood surfaces was a solution of chlorine bleach and water, perhaps with some detergent or TSP (trisodium phosphate) added to help clean the wood. When correctly applied and well rinsed, bleach solutions can work fairly well most of the time. However, household bleach does not come with a set of directions for using it on wood, and even within the log home industry there is no agreement as to how to properly use bleach.

Drying times and curing times relate to two entirely different processes that occur in water-based polymer systems. All water-based products, be it stains, paints, or sealants, contain a percentage of free water, hence their description as water-based.

Many people are under the impression that the winter months are hard on their logs and finishes. To some extent that’s true. In cold climates where the exterior log surfaces may be covered with ice and snow for several months can be damaging if the logs aren’t properly finished. But even then, the most damaging effects of weather on wood and coatings actually occur during the hot summer months.

One component of sunlight is ultraviolet light, commonly referred to as UV light, or UV rays. UV light is responsible for most damage to exposed wood because it changes or destroys the wood’s lignin, a component of wood that hardens and strengthens the cell walls. In more scientific terms, this process is called photo-oxidation.

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