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In this issue

A message from our president:

" I'm Rich Dunstan President and Founder of Perma-Chink Systems and my job is to make your home the most beautiful, well maintained home in the State.

Our Lifeline Ultra-2 exterior stain with Lifeline Advance Satin or Gloss clear coat is the most beautiful finish system on the market and will outlast anything else you can buy. The Lifeline Ultra-2 selection of colors is made with 27 years of experience fulfilling the dreams of home owners around the World. It will make your home one of the warmest, most distinguished homes in any neighborhood.

For new construction or maintenance coating, specify any of the enticing Lifeline Ultra-2 tones and prepare to accept nothing but compliments for the foreseeable future."

What Makes Your Log Home Beautiful

By Vince Palmere

What is it about log homes that make them so appealing to so many people? We can talk about thermal efficiency, building with a renewable resource or living a log home lifestyle, but the main reason people are attracted to log homes is because they are beautiful. The question we must ask ourselves is what makes a log home beautiful?

Design, style and architecture all play a role but what really makes a log home stand out is its finish. Years ago protecting the exterior of a log home was almost an after-thought. People would apply substances like used motor oil, turpentine and linseed oil, transmission fluid and a host of other liquids on the exterior of their homes. Their goal was to protect the wood, not to make a home beautiful. These materials turned log homes black and did a very poor job protecting the wood. But it was what they had and used.

In the 1960s colored semi-transparent wood stains began appearing on the market and by the 1970s log home owners finally had available options other than having a black, gray or painted log home. The problem was that the color only lasted a couple of years and the protection provided by these finishes was negligible at best. We’ve come a long way since then. Our Lifeline Ultra-2 finish system combines all of the protective attributes of a high performance finish system with the beauty one would only expect to see on an expensive piece of furniture. When we first introduced our Advance Gloss and Satin topcoats we were told that no home owner would want their log home to look like their dining room table. But what we discovered was that log home owners do want their homes to look as beautiful as their dining room table. And they want that beauty to last. That’s why we have seen such incredible growth of our Lifeline Ultra-2 finish system. So although we at Perma-Chink Systems built our reputation on performance, beautifying your home is our business.

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Mixing and "Boxing" Lifeline Finishes

"Stir well before use". This term or its equivalent appears on every container of Lifeline finish we sell. It is there for a good reason. Most of our finishes are formulated with low viscosities making them easy to apply with an airless sprayer and go on in thin layers. Any pigments they contain are heavier than the liquids so over time they may settle to the bottom of the pail.

If the container is not stirred and the pigments are not uniformly distributed throughout the product, the color may change as the Lifeline is applied. This situation is easy to avoid with proper mixing both before the Lifeline is used and occasionally during use. What should you use to mix our products? Just about any type of paint mixer that fits into a cordless drill will work. I prefer one called a Jiffy Mixer since it has a ring around the stirring blades that prevents chipping plastic buckets and its design prevents air being forced into the product.

Another thing we recommend is “boxing” containers of stain as they get close to empty. When a container gets down to about ¼ full, you should mix up the next container you plan to use and pour about 1/4 of it into the previous container, mix them together and then use the mixed stain to continue. Although we take great strides to maintain consistency within and between lots, boxing containers ensures that there will be no noticeable color difference as you go from one container to the next. This is especially important if you are using a combination of left-over stain along with new material.

Since our Lifeline Advance, Acrylic and Sure Shine Gloss and Satin topcoats are clear and colorless some people think that they do not have to be mixed before application. These clear coats consist of several components that may stratify in the container over time. Even though you may not be able to see the different layers, they need to be mixed together for use. Always stir clear coats well before applying them and occasionally mix them again during use, especially if you are using a satin product. The flatting agents contained in satin clear finishes have a tendency to settle and need to be dispersed uniformly throughout the product. However, since clear coats are colorless it is not necessary to “box” containers.

In addition to manufacturing the best log home finishes you can buy, one of our commitments is to give you the information you need to do a truly professional job. Please, if you have any questions give us a call. When you make a purchase from Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. along with it comes the best customer support and service in the industry.

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Breathable Films

By Vince Palmere

One of the features of our Lifeline finish systems is their ability to breathe. But what exactly does this mean? To understand it takes a little bit of chemistry and physics but the concept is fairly simple. Technically, for those of you who want to impress friends, the scientific term is vapor permeability, the ability of water vapor to permeate through a film.

Polymer films are composed of long chains of molecules that are bound together in a three dimensional matrix. This matrix in films like polyurethane and alkyd coatings is quite dense and there is not much space between the polymer chains which prevents small water vapor molecules from making their way through the film. On the other hand Lifeline finishes form a less dense matrix with room enough for water vapor molecules to penetrate through the film but not enough space to allow liquid water to make its way into or through the film.

You can think of it in terms of a film with a bunch of small holes or pores that filter out large objects but allow smaller objects to pass through them. In chemistry these types of films are known as semi-permeable membranes but in our industry we call them breathable. Another factor that influences vapor permeability is the thickness of the film. The thicker the film, the more difficult it becomes for water vapor molecules to make their way through. That’s one reason we encourage you to apply our finishes in thin layers. When applied too thickly even acrylic latex films can have difficulty breathing.

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Shell-Guard RTU - Permanent Treatment

By Vince Palmere

Back in 1988 Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. developed the first borate-based liquid concentrate wood preservative in the country. With the introduction of Shell-Guard in 1995, we made some improvements to the previous product by replacing toxic ethylene glycol with a more user-friendly propylene glycol and making it easier to mix and apply.

For over ten years Shell-Guard Concentrate has set the standard for protecting log homes against wood rot, carpenter ants, termites and wood boring beetles. Now we’ve developed an even more convenient form of Shell-Guard that does not require measuring and mixing before you use it. Shell-Guard RTU is a ready-to-use liquid formulation that contains the same active borate ingredient and glycol carriers that have proven so successful in Shell-Guard Concentrate.

Like Shell-Guard Concentrate, Shell-Guard RTU is colorless, odorless, has a very low level of toxicity to people and pets and is just as effective for preventing wood decay and insect damage to interior and exterior wood members. But since it is ready-to-use, you can pour it right out of the container into your pump-up sprayer without the fuss of measuring, mixing and stirring. And if you are not able to complete a job in a single day, don’t worry. Just pour any unused product back into its original container, put the cap back on and it’s ready to be used the next day, next week or next month. Besides its convenience of use, another advantage of Shell-Guard RTU is its relatively quick drying time. Your logs will be ready to stain within one to three days after a Shell-Guard RTU application.

Best of all, like Shell-Guard Concentrate an application of Shell-Guard RTU is a PERMANENT treatment. You will never have to go back and do it again. The unique formulation allows the active borate ingredient to penetrate deep into the wood thus protecting your home from wood destroying insects and decay for years to come. Shell-Guard RTU can be applied with any pump-up garden type sprayer and the application rate is an economical one gallon to 150 to 250 square feet of wood surface area.

Annual Inspection

By Angela Vogel

One of the most overlooked steps in maintaining any home is frequent inspection. If you can catch small issues they are much easier to fix! It helps to make a diagram of the home so that you can mark areas of concern. Keep the diagram for next year so that you can revisit these areas. Take pictures that you can show us; it helps us make better suggestions.

* Are there any logs contacting foliage, organic mulch, or the ground? This includes landscaping that may have grown up against the house or soil grade that has become too close to the sill (bottom) log. Also, keep firewood away from the house!
* Does the current finish pass an adhesion test? If you don’t want to strip off the current finish, you may be able to just recoat. Press a piece of masking tape onto the log ensuring good adhesion. Rip it off like a band-aid. If a lot of stain came off with the tape you should remove the finish before applying anything new. Try this in a few different spots as some areas wear faster than others.
* Are there any discolored areas? Does it seem to be underneath or on top of the finish? If it’s under the finish you will have to decide if you want to remove the finish to get at it.
* Wash with Log Wash: Is the current finish repelling water? Look at the color. Often times, simply removing dust and dirt reveals that the color is still even and bright.
* Are there insect holes or frass? All log homes will have a few insect holes, but most, not all, insects are only interested in wood that has a high moisture content. The best thing to do is to clean out any existing holes and seal them with Check Mate 2 or EnergySeal to prevent moisture form getting in. You will also have an easier time of noticing new ones.
* Are there any soft, decayed areas? Probe log ends, upward facing checks, under windows, and the lower few courses of logs with something like a screwdriver. Also, try to figure out where all the excess moisture is coming from, then remove sources of moisture.
* Are there any areas where the sealant is torn or separating from the substrate? Small tears in the chinking are usually very easily repaired by applying more over it and tooling it in.
* Are there any gaps that have developed due to settling and shrinkage? This is a greater concern on homes that are less than five years old, but regular soil settling and erosion can occur around a home of any age.

Once you know what areas of your home need a little extra attention it is much easier to find a solution. Frequent inspection and cleaning will ensure that your little concerns don’t turn into big problems.

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D o n' t M i s s O u t
Application Workshops Summer 2008

* June 14 Show Low, Arizona
* June 14 Hayesville, North Carolina
* July 12 Garden City, Utah
* July 19 Rifle, Colorado

If you would like a referral to an experienced contractor to perform an inspection, contact your nearest Perma-Chink Systems office.

If you like to request a copy of our newsletter for your friend, relative or neighbor, please call us, send an email to

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Copyrighted 2006.

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