Usually with enough force to determine the strength or pliability of the chinking, fingers leave evidence of attraction in the form of small depressions. Occasionally female fingers are magnetically attracted to Perma-Chink. In their case, the amount of applied pressure is usually considerably less since it is more a matter of feeling the texture. In either case, if the Perma-Chink has been freshly applied, evidence of their chinking inspection will be permanently imparted into the chink joint.
So what is the best way to protect freshly applied chinking until it cures? You can always try a “DO NOT TOUCH” sign, but from our experience it appears that most chinking inspectors can not read or it is taken as an invitation to touch. This means that you need to place some type of physical barrier, i.e. plastic or cardboard, between the finger pokers and the chinking. Just be sure that there is enough space between the barrier and chinking so that air can flow to facilitate the drying of the chinking.
The length of time you will need to leave the barrier in place depends on the weather. If it is warm and dry, the chinking will probably be cured enough in three to four weeks to resist finger poking. However,
if it is cool and damp, it may take two to three months before it is safe to remove the barrier. In any case, the effort spent in protecting the chinking is worth the time in preserving the aesthetics of a great looking chinking job for many years.