Selectwood Perspectives

Exterior Trim: Wood and Composite

Wood Fights Back With New Treatment Technologies:

At Selectwood we are constantly evaluating new building products. This is especially true for exterior trim and siding applications. These products include natural and treated wood, wood composites as well as composites without any wood content such as cellular PVC. In addition to initial cost we try to anticipate how long the product will perform. Additionally we try to evaluate the cost to maintain the product over its anticipated life expectancy.

Even with the success of the newer composite products it is gratifying to see researchers not giving up on improving the performance of wood, particularly coated wood products. The success of composites especially cellular PVC has put intense pressure on the wood industry to improve. Considering wood is a very “green” material we continue to be encouraged with the results of this research.

The advancements in treatment technologies allows for the utilization of wood species, typically different species of pine, that are not inherently rot and decay resistant to perform superbly in hostile environments. In this Selectwood Perspective we’ll examines two products lines we currently sell to achieve a longer lasting painted surface and substrate. The first product line we’ll highlight is P-5 Pine which uses an advanced safe internal treatment process along with a factory priming system to change Radiata Pine’s ability to cope with environmental forces that lead to finish failure and ultimately decay.

 The second product employs Ze-Vo Coating Systems which can be applied to a variety of wood species. Ze-Vo used no internal treatments for the wood fiber but instead improves the coating protection system to prevent moisture and decay causing fungus from invading the surface cell structure of the wood. If the internal wood fiber can be kept dry then the wood can perform  as if it was indoors.

P-5 Pine

During the past three years, Selectwood has sold FSC Certified plantation grown P5 Radiata Pine from New Zealand. P5 Pine has several advantages over other pine competitors. P5 Radiata Pine boards are almost free of knots along with a higher yield a higher percentage of long lengths which builders prefer. Unlike other versions of pre-primed Pine, P5 Pine resists environmental decay and termite attack. All this is achieved without caustic treatments.

The P5’s success is attributable to state of the art treatment process to stop natural degradation. P5 Pine is pressure treated with an environmentally safe advanced LOSP (Light Organic Solvent Preservative) formula. The process occurs in carefully controlled factory conditions to ensure thorough impregnation of the LOSP treatment. The LOSP process becomes permanently fixed in the wood fiber and is insoluble in water. It will not leach out even if the wood is later exposed to harsh environmental conditions.

After LOSP treatment is added the Radiata Pine has superior decay resistance. All boards are then factory coated with two applications of specially formulated alkyd wood primer. P5 guarantees its process is so safe after treatment it can be used in interior in addition to exterior applications. Additionally projects using P-5 Pine can qualify for LEED points due to its FSC Certification of the plantation grown Radiata Pine. P-5 Pine carries a 30 year limited warranty against rot, decay and termite attack. P5 Pine can do all this by applying modern scientific techniques to plantation grown Radiata Pine to create superior results.

ZE-VO Systems

Forest Product Laboratory studies have proved that wood intended for exterior painting will suffer serious long term performance damage unless it is completely primed on all surfaces prior to installation. At Selectwood we have witnessed the performance improvements of pre-primed products regardless of the wood species. Taking pre-finishing a step further the coating scientists at Ze-Vo Technologies are now proving their proprietary techniques in pre-finishing can further mitigate problems with moisture absorption, deterioration and finish failure on exterior coated wood.

 ZE-Vo Systems achieves superior long term performance on just about any wood species. Ze-Vo improves wood’s performance while emitting zero V.O.C.’s (Volatile Organic Components). Their factory priming/finishing process incorporates Z-Life Protection and Water Blockage Technology. Z-Life Protection, the first step applies a patented formula that surrounds the surface wood cells and creates a barrier to stop rot-causing fungi from growing.  The second process Water Blockade works by penetrating the wood surface and binding with the wood fibers to create a barrier that is difficult for moisture to intrude. If moisture passes by the Water Blockade barrier, the Z-Life formula is also present to further protect the wood.

As a final step a Z-Film top coat is applied to add more protection and act as a binding coat for the final coat that is typically field applied. Z-Film is tough enough to provide a durable finish against the elements until the final field coat is applied. The result is a superior system which protects the wood substrate more effectively than traditional factory priming. An added benefit of Ze-Vo technology is its ultra-low impact on the environment. All the patented stages in the Ze-Vo System emit almost zero V.O.C.’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) to the environment. No other systems can make these claims. Speaking of Green, Ze-Vo also makes it possible for less naturally durable local wood species to perform  outdoors. All this comes with a 10-year coating warranty along with the 23-year warranty on the wood substrate against rot and decay.

A very Green benefit to P-5 Pine or wood products protected with Ze-Vo Coating Systems allows wood to be used from species that normally cannot perform satisfactorily by today’s standards outdoors. Both P-5 Pine and Ze-Vo systems include long term warranties to back up their performance claims. Additionally both systems pretreat their products in environmentally safe factory conditions In order for these warranties to apply proper construction practices must be used. These practices include adherence to allowable time frames for final field top coats, fastening methods, flashing techniques etc. None of these requirements are unreasonable and should be considered part of proper construction practices. When appropriate installation methods are used with P-5 or Ze-Vo Systems we expect our customers to be satisfied with the performance and value that still can be realized from real wood.