Copper Based Wood Preservative Treatments
Log homes and wood framed homes with wood siding can be strikingly attractive and unusually inviting. However, protecting all those wood surfaces with nothing more than transparent stain can pose a serious challenge, unless the wood is solid ipe or teak. And while woods that exotic in massive quantities may be possible for a few, the rest of us will need to search carefully for the right wood preservatives, if we expect these homes to remain attractive.
Fortunately, some very good solutions exist for protecting exterior wood surfaces from boring insects like termites and powder post beetles, wood ants, bees, as well as molds and other microorganisms which love to munch on wood. Two of these have become very popular in the log home community. One is a borate and one is a copper compound.
If you study and compare the copper compounds used to protect wood from insects and molds which can destroy it, you'll read a lot about copper naphthenate, which the USDA's Forest Products Laboratory has recommended. While there's no denying this material functions well as a wood preservative, many find its strong greenish tint and lingering odor rather unpleasant. And while these factors may fade in time, if you select this for your home, you will probably find yourself wondering if an equally effective wood preservative with less odor and a more neutral color exists.
Fortunately, such a product does exist in the form of Copper-8-quinolinolate. Even more attractive is its EPA approved availability for sale to home owners as an ingredient in exterior wood stains formulated for log homes. Approved for sale and VOC compliant in all 50 states, this material is also approved by the FDA for use on picnic tables and other wood surfaces which may have incidental contact with food. Copper 8, as it's more commonly known, has proven very effective at preventing decay from molds and fungus. It's even found use in hospitals as a fungicide to combat Aspergillus which has caused serious outbreaks of lower respiratory infections. Besides its effective use as a fungicide, Copper 8 is also very effective at preventing termite infestations, as well as infestations of wood ants, powder post beetles, and dozens of other wood boring insects.
Currently, at least two exterior wood stains with Copper 8 are available.
The first is Outlast Q8 Log Oil.
The second is Woodguard with Copper 8.
Both are are oil-base stains available in six transparent colors. Paste those product names into your favorite search engine and read the reviews, compare stain colors, instruction sets, product claims, and prices. Both have been selected in an alternating sequence by the nation's largest log home manufacturer, so it's likely that both are comparable.
The copper 8 in both of these products exhibits a pale greenish hue, which is more noticeable in lighter stain colors. However, both manufacturers say that after the treatment has cured in three or four weeks, this green tint will oxidize and fade away. For critical comparisons, it's possible to buy one gallon samples for testing.
If you have further questions about the best interior and exterior finishes for EZLog cabins and homes, please feel free to call anytime, or stop by for a visit. You'll find our phone numbers and addresses for both locations at the bottom of this page.
Additional information about copper 8 can be found on these websites:
US Environmental Protection Agency - epa dot gov
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission cpsc dot gov
U. S. Food and Drug Administration fda dot gov