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In this issue

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes!!!

Dear Friends,
At this time we wish to let you know how much we value your business and to thank you for using our products and services. Thank you for choosing our company, for your trust and for all the orders you have placed with us. Thanks to you we are growing and improving every year. May the joy, happiness, goodwill and peace of this holiday season stay with you every day of coming year.

Think "Green"

By Dirk Christian

Log homes offer the only building solution that is totally natural. This abundant, renewable resource is good for your health and the environment. Log homes are increasingly the choice of consumers interested in living “green”.

Exposure to toxic chemicals in our every day lives has led to a significant increase in skin problems, migraines, respiratory illnesses, and a number of other health related problems. It’s no wonder green living is on the minds of builders and homeowners today.

Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) is just one of the conditions caused by indoor air pollution. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that indoor concentrations of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be 2 to 5 times that of outdoor air due to the use of man-made chemicals in conventional building materials.

Fortunately, logs are completely natural and do not emit any VOCs or other pollutants. According to the Canadian Wood Council, steel requires 2.4 times the energy and produces 1.4 times the airborne emissions to manufacture than wood, and concrete requires and produces 1.7 times the energy and emissions. Therefore, logs and solid wood are the building material that generates the least amount of air and water pollution, emission of greenhouse gases and solid waste.

The miracle of photosynthesis combines natural resources to make a tree grow. Solid wood from trees is the only building material that is beautiful, biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient and renewable. Thanks to modern forestry practices, growths of new forests in North America have outpaced consumption and can remain at a sustainable level for the foreseeable future.

Log homes are also a sensible solution from an energy conservation standpoint. Studies by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have compared the energy efficiency of log homes with conventional framed homes. Results show that due to the energy efficiency gained through the thermal mass of solid wood walls, log homes are more efficient to heat in the winter and cool in the summer.

To further protect your health and the environment, only water-based, environmentally friendly stains, finishes and sealants should be used to beautify and protect a log home. Perma-Chink Systems is proud to offer a comprehensive line of green products. Contact a sales representative today for more information.

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Freeze Thaw Stability

During Winter months when water-borne products are shipped or stored they may experience cycles of freezing and thawing. Here is a list of products to protect:

Protect these products from freezing!!!
Chink Paint
Acrylic Gloss and Satin
Check Mate
Log End Seal
M-Balm and E-Wood
Shell-Guard RTU

These PCS Products are Freeze Thaw Stable:
(Exterior, Ultra-2 and Interior)
Energy Seal
Sure Shine (Gloss and Satin)
Lifeline Endure

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Lifeline Interior

Winter is a perfect season to focus on the interior of your log home. With Lifeline Interior waterborne stains you never have to worry about toxic solvents or strong odors.

Often a log home owner concentrates his or her efforts on the exterior of their home. When one considers the potential damage to logs as a result of external forces like water, snow, wind, insects, sunlight, etc., this can not be faulted. However, neglecting the inside of your home can lead to problems too. In addition to our full line of exterior products, we offer a wide variety of products to seal, protect, preserve and beautify all interior wood.

Lifeline Interior is a natural looking, transparent wood finish. It forms a breathable protective layer for your walls and ceilings while highlighting the beauty and grain of the wood. Our unique breathable formula allows natural wood moisture to escape from the wood yet provides a tough film surface that can easily be cleaned and dusted, especially when topcoated with our Acrylic Gloss or Satin clear finish.

If you use one of our colored Lifeline Interior stains, the colorants in the finish help stabilize color of the wood and slows down or prevents the fading that you may notice when removing pictures or furniture from against the wall. If using Lifeline Interior Clear, we recommend the addition of UV Boost to the first coat to help prevent this “picture frame” effect due to UV light exposure. The addition of UV Boost should also be considered when using lightly tinted stains like Light Honey and Light Natural. Since interior surfaces are not subjected to the weather, two coats of Lifeline Interior are not necessary. However, you can apply multiple coats of Lifeline Interior in order to achieve the appearance you desire.

One of the best reasons to use Lifeline Interior is that it reduces the absorption of pet, fireplace and cooking odors into the wood.

Lifeline Interior resists yellowing and is non-flammable and virtually odorless. Like all of our premium finishes, it allows the natural look and beauty of all species of wood to come through. Lifeline Interior can be used on new or existing log homes as long as the surfaces are clean and dry.

Lifeline Interior is easy to apply. It can be applied by brush, spray or pad. Lifeline Interior dries to the touch in one hour and clean-up is easy, just use soap and water.

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Sure Shine? - Sure Thing!

By Randy Adamson

Last April, I spent lots of hours down on my knees. No, I wasn’t praying, though at times the thought did cross my mind! Instead, I had summoned the courage to step a bit outside my comfort zone and tackle a home improvement project that turned out to be a lot easier and looks a lot more beautiful than I ever imagined. I want to tell you about my experience of using Perma-Chink’s SURE SHINE to refinish the hardwood floors in my own home. I need to start out by stating for the record that no, I’m not a painter, a builder, a contractor, etc. I am just a beancounter. Okay! All right, I guess I am the head beancounter for Perma-Chink Systems, but a beancounter nonetheless. I sit at a desk for a living, not refinish floors.

Getting Started
Contrary to my genetic wiring (I am a man, after all!), I did start this project by sitting down and actually reading the instructions for SURE SHINE! As with any home project, planning and preparation are key to a good outcome. I made sure I had the necessary tools and supplies on hand to do my project:

  • Sandpaper, fine grit between 150-200 (180 is just right, but harder to find).
  • Small portable palm sander and/or hand sandpaper block or holder. Orbital sanders are okay if you know what you’re doing, but they can get too aggressive. For a refinish job, the palm sander is the best way to first sand only the old clear finish and not get down into the stain (I learned the hard way – more later!)
  • Vacuum cleaner or shop vac to clean up dust during and after sanding. My palm sander had a neat setup for attaching the hose directly from the vacuum cleaner, which really cut down on dust.
  • A tack cloth for final cleanup of the micro dust particles.
  • A synthetic paint pad (7” wide is a good size) with an adapter to screw in an extension handle. I discovered that a broom handle works just fine, which made an amazing difference in cutting down on my “hands and knees” time.
  • SURE SHINE floor finish: your choice of Satin or Gloss finish. My wife and I blended the two together to achieve just the right level of sheen that we liked best. It’s easy to do, but just remember to use the same proportions each time.
  • A good, bright work light, like a halogen lamp. It’s a lot easier to back brush the SURE SHINE and work it into the floor when you can see what you’re doing!
  • And oh, yes! A good, foam pad for those precious knees. You will still spend quite a bit of time down on them!

The Key Step – SANDING!
We bought our newly-built house in 1991 and had literally done nothing to the hardwood floors for 15 years. While raising two active kids during all those years, the floor’s finish had naturally dulled and picked up all those little scuffs and scratches that one would expect. We loved the oak color underneath and it still looked great. Except for a small area that had been water damaged and discolored right in front of our fridge’s ice water dispenser, the rest of our floors needed only to be lightly sanded and refinished with SURE SHINE.

For brand new unfinished floors, or for older floors with lots of scratches or color damage, SURE SHINE is still the best clear finish to use. But prior to that, you need to sand or strip away the underlying color coat back down to bare wood. Then a new color coat would need to be applied before using SURE SHINE. (Contact your Perma-Chink sales specialist to determine if you can use either LIFELINE Interior stain or some other product for your color coat). Note that SURE SHINE is only meant to be a clear, non-yellowing top coat – it cannot be tinted. So, since my project was to just sand and reapply the clear finish, sanding was my key step. And it’s actually pretty easy. The only tricky thing I found (and my only mistake of the whole project) was to sand a little too deep.

I guess we beancounters like new gadgets, so I was really going to town with my new palm sander, happy as a clam! But what I couldn’t tell was that I was sanding past the clear finish and down into the color layer underneath. I ended up with a few (well, 47 actually!) little spots about the size of a quarter that only showed up once I put the first coat of SURE SHINE on and I noticed that they were ever so slightly a different color. It was right about then that I really thought I was in over my head. Maybe I should have gone ahead and paid that floor refinisher the $3,000 he bid to redo my floors (and hang visqueen everywhere and move my family out of our house for 3 days)!

But instead of panicking, I called my friendly co-workers in the technical service department of Perma-Chink and described what I had done. After a while, once they finally stopped laughing, they reassured me that this was easy to fix (even for someone like me!).

With some masking tape and elbow grease, they instructed me to crop out around the spots and then sand them all the way down to bare wood to remove the old stain finish. Then, armed with and old sock and two sample bottles of LIFELINE Interior stain in Light Honey and Dark Honey colors, I am proud to say that I expertly matched the color of every one of those spots back to that of the surrounding floor. This is also the way I repaired the water damaged area in front of my fridge, though I also used some OXCON wood brightener to lighten up the damaged area before applying the colored stain coat. It really wasn’t that bad and boy, did I breathe a big sigh of relief to fix all those spots! But I learned my lesson – Sanding is the key!

Applying the SURE SHINE
Right after sanding, I vacuumed up all the dust I could see, then used a tack cloth to get up even more of the dust I couldn’t see. I mixed my desired solution of SURE SHINE Gloss and Satin together in clean flat bowl big enough to use with the paint pad. I was careful not to shake the gallons, but to stir them well so as not to cause excessive foam.

With my bright work light on the floor and my broom handle extension in the paint pad, I began to apply the finish in the same direction as the wood grain in smooth, even strokes. Thin coats are recommended and I found that working the pad back and forth several times over each area really helped work the finish into the wood and removed little dust specks or air bubbles that might otherwise be visible.

The coverage rate for SURE SHINE is between 600 and 800 square feet per gallon. It dries in less than 1 hour, but it’s recommended to wait at least 2 hours between applying additional coats.

Applying Additional Coats
After the previous coat is dried, then lightly (key word: lightly) sand with fine sand paper. Since you only want to lightly scratch up the top coat so that the next coat will have good adhesion, I would recommend to only hand sand from this point on. Again, use vacuum and tack cloth to remove all dust before applying each coat.

A minimum of 3 coats of SURE SHINE is recommended for interior surfaces. I applied 3 to 5 coats, depending on the amount of foot traffic by area. Light traffic (stocking feet in our house!) may be allowed within 8 to 12 hours. Avoid placing rugs or moving furniture over the finish for about a week. As a waterborne polyurethane finish, SURE SHINE reaches its full cure hardness within 1-2 weeks.

What I Learned
Aside from my lesson in power sanding, I really enjoyed this experience and learned first-hand some of the great features of SURE SHINE:

  • It dries fast, allowing me to apply 2-3 coats in a day. Low odor water-based
  • Finish; I didn’t have to open all my windows or move out of my home for a few days.
  • Cleans up with soap and water; friendly to our environment.
  • It’s tough as nails, very abrasion resistant.
  • It was easy; definitely a do-it-yourself type project, even for a beancounter!
  • Best of all, my floors now look absolutely beautiful!

I would strongly recommend using SURE SHINE for your hardwood floors. This is the time of year when many homeowners are unable to do much work on their home’s exterior due to the weather. So remember that Perma-Chink has SURE SHINE and many other interior products to help you take care of your home’s interior. Let us help you keep your home well--maintained and looking beautiful – inside and out!

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AGoodbye Bleach!

By Vince Palmere

Over the years we have often recommended the use of bleach and water solutions, sometimes with the addition of detergent or TSP, to prepare log surfaces for a new coat of stain or topcoat. This system works, however more than half of the complaints we receive regarding discolorations under the stain, adhesion problems, etc. end up being the result of using too high a concentration of bleach or inadequate rinsing of bleach solutions.

With this in mind we started looking at a number of products to replace bleach and water as a final cleaning procedure. To our surprise, diluted Log Wash outperformed every other chemical and combination of chemicals we tested. One of the reasons is that Log Wash is a low pH cleaner. Since wood itself is slightly acidic, contact with a solution that is also slightly acidic does not upset the pH balance of the wood whereas contact with a high pH solution like bleach can destroy wood fibers as well as bring wood components like dark colored tannates to the surface.

In addition to having less negative impact on the wood, the use of Log Wash provides some other benefits as well. As opposed to bleach, Log Wash solutions will not kill plants, grass or shrubs, although it is still a good idea to rinse them down if they get any solution on them. Log Wash has virtually no odor and is not caustic to your skin. Lastly, Log Wash does not bleach the wood white. It leaves the wood its natural color leaving the distinguishing characteristics of your logs showing through our transparent stain systems.

So, on bare or finished wood what will Log Wash do? It does an excellent job cleaning off any dust, dirt, pollen and mold from the wood leaving a nice, clean surface to stain. Although it brightens the wood it will not remove grayed wood or other imbedded discolorations. That’s what Wood ReNew and OXcon are for.

Does Log Wash still have to be rinsed off? Absolutely! Residue of any type of cleaner left on the wood presents a risk to the performance of a finish. The use of pH strips to verify adequate rinsing is always a good idea and is highly recommended.

We have revised the Log Wash label to include this new use. For preparing the surface for a new coat of stain or topcoat we recommend the addition of two cups of Log Wash concentrate per gallon of water. One cup per gallon is still recommended for maintenance cleaning. We realize that this is a major change in what we have been recommending for a good many years and it will take us awhile to revise all of our literature. But the sooner we can get you, our customers to make the change away from bleach, the fewer surface preparation problems you will experience.

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D o n' t M i s s O u t
Application Workshops Winter 2006

  • January 27 Stevensville, MT
  • February 10 & 24 Rice, MN
  • February 24 Rifle, CO

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.

Website Calico Communications & CG