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  • Consider Environmental Impacts Of Preservative-Treated Wood Used In Construction

    Consider Environmental Impacts Of Preservative-Treated Wood Used In Construction A house can last a lifetime. If another family moves in after you move out, that’s at least 100 years or more of constant use. Regular maintenance should be a concern of any homeowner, but what about the construction process that took place long before you came into the picture? Today, preservative-treated wood is being used as a way to combat deterioration due to wood destroying insects or fungi. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the process of treating fresh-cut logs or lumber with preservatives affects the building material, transportation, agriculture...
  • Ounce Of Prevention Worth A Pound Of Cure When Mulling Impact Of Wood Preservatives

    Simple Wood Working Projects Can Create Family Treasures At the crossroads and convenience and conscious is the industry of wood preservatives, which exists to keep our houses, porches, treehouses and decks standing stronger and longer. By treating wood with preservatives, rot, fungi growth and insect infestation are deterred for many year and even decades. On the other hand, Todd Shupe says that these products more often than not end up in a landfill and the chemicals used in the treatment process are left to seep into the earth. It’s a thin line to tread and the topic is gaining more attention...
  • Todd Shupe’s Wood Science Education Put To Use During Overseas Aid Missions

    Todd Shupe’s Wood Science Education Put To Use During Overseas Aid Missions “Practice what you preach.” It’s a common refrain that, while seemingly rooted in religion, isn’t always tied back to its roots. However, this mindset is what Todd Shupe has carried around with him on a daily basis given his educational background and devotion to the Christian faith. That’s because Todd Shupe is a former LSU professor with an extensive background in wood sciences.Specifically, he oversaw a lab of four scientists at  Louisiana State University and was responsible for lab testing, contracts, final reports, working with the U.S. Occupational Safety...
  • Health Warnings From Studies On Chemically-Treated Wood Are A Wake-Up Call, Says Todd Shupe

    Health Warnings From Studies On Chemically-Treated Wood Are A Wake-Up Call, Says Todd Shupe If you shouldn’t burn it and you can’t compost with it, Todd Shupe says that should tell you that this is a serious issue. Wood that has been treated with chemicals for a variety of preservation reasons, such as being scratch-resistant or for a glossy finish, is perfectly safe to build with. However, there comes a time when you need to replace a board here or plank of wood there that were treated at some point. The effect of leaving this wood to rot in landfills has...
  • Eco-Friendly Construction Methods Are Available For Those Seeking Truly ‘Green’ Homes

    These Tips From Todd Shupe Can Help You Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood From watering the grass in the front yard to replacing shingles on the roof,  the modern home isn’t exactly resource-friendly. It takes a lot of products to keep a home in good condition. Unless you want to deal with deterioration, there are few routes available except to fix the hole in your roof, chipped paint on your walls and floors that are wearing out. Fixing these defects often means going to the local hardware and home goods store and purchasing products that were likely built out of finite...
  • Muda, Muri & Mura: The Pillars of Lean Manufacturing

    Muda, Muri & Mura: The Pillars of Lean Manufacturing As an expert in lean manufacturing and Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma (Villanova University’s Master Certificate program), Todd Shupe can add value to any company’s production system through his consulting.Todd Shupe, LSU professor, lab director, and quality manager of ISO 17025 Testing Lab from 1994-2014, has done extensive research on history and evolution of lean manufacturing, which has been derived mostly from the Toyota Production System (TPS) in Japan. Using this method of manufacturing, Toyota has grown from a small company to the world’s largest automaker.As an expert in lean manufacturing...
  • Areas of Wood Science Research

    Areas of Wood Science Research Of the many hats worn in the illustrious career of Todd Shupe, LSU professor, lab director and quality manager of ISO 17025 Testing lab (1994-2014), wood scientist is among the most intriguing.While teaching Wood Science at LSU, Todd Shupe performed proprietary third-party mechanical, physical, and chemical tests for new and existing wood-based products, biocides, coatings, etc. so that they could gain approval/re-registration from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).While wood science is extremely important for utilizing one of the world’s most widely used natural resources, not many are aware of the types of research that goes into...
  • Todd Shupe Says Steps Still Remain In Effort To Find Safe Substances For Wood Treatment

    Todd Shupe Says Steps Still Remain In Effort To Find Safe Substances For Wood Treatment With warmer weather on the way for much of the U.S., the time-honored tradition of “spring cleaning” will soon be upon us. This means we’ll have an opportunity to get outdoors once again and assess the damage done by winter. When it comes to outdoor structures such as patios, porches, treehouses and other wooden structures, rot is almost guaranteed. This is an unfortunate fact since so much of the lumber that’s purchased to build outdoor structures – not to mention the frames of our homes –...
  • LSU’s Todd Shupe Explores Expanded Application Of Timber In High-Rise Construction

    LSU’s Todd Shupe Explores Expanded Application Of Timber In High-Rise Construction No matter the industry or specialized task, it will always be someone’s job to ensure that cutting-edge developments pass every conceivable test before becoming publicly-available. While with LSU, it was up to Todd Shupe and his wood product testing lab to ensure that developments in the wood sciences sector met certain important standards before going to market. Given his immersion in the industry and his existing consulting wood science business, continued updates when it comes to practical uses of specially-treated wood still grabs his attention.According to a November 2017 article...
  • LSU’s Todd Shupe Talks Controlling Mold In Wake Of Flooding Event

    LSU’s Todd Shupe Talks Controlling Mold In Wake Of Flooding Event A flood is a terrible event for any homeowner. A home is typically our most expensive asset and even a few inches of flood water will have a devastating effect on your house. Todd Shupe of Baton Rouge remembers his experience well and wants to recount it so others may learn.“My house was flooded in 2016 with 14 inches of water. Time is not on your side after a flood event. It is imperative that all wet material be removed from the house as soon as possible. This includes sheet...
  • Todd Shupe Discusses a Greener Alternative to Traditional Insulation

    Todd Shupe Discusses a Greener Alternative to Traditional Insulation When Todd Shupe thinks about some of his favorite research projects at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA, it was bio-based spray foam insulation. Many homeowners are aware of spray foam. For starters, it can be bio-based or not. Regardless, it is an excellent product because it creates an air seal and is a great vapor barrier. According to Advanced Foam Insulation Co., no other type of insulation creates this seal.Converting attics into a semi-conditioned space in hot climates by closing soffits, gable and ridge vents is a positive design approach...
  • LSU’s Todd Shupe Explores Importance of Wood Moisture Content in Subfloors of Residential Houses

    LSU’s Todd Shupe Explores Importance of Wood Moisture Content in Subfloors of Residential Houses Our houses are often our most valuable financial asset. Of course, nothing is more precious than children and grandchildren. Affordable, durable, and green housing are important issues for all homeowners. In the southern region of the U.S., all three of these issues are of growing importance. This area of the country has high temperature, humidity, flooding, and wind that really can test a house, says LSU’s Todd Shupe, a wood sciences expert and former lab leader.“Some houses are built on piers and elevated above the ground. I...
  • CCA-Treated Guardrail Posts, Piles and Poles: Good for the Environment and the Economy

    These Tips From Todd Shupe Can Help You Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood Our highway and interstate system is a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure and economy. These are essential for the transportation of goods and services, emergency responders, commuting to work and family vacations, says Todd Shupe. It is imperative that our highways provide safe travel for all. Highway guardrails, as you can see, are an important safety component of our highways. They typically consist of a galvanized metal rail, treated wood block, treated wood post and fasters. However, steel blocks and posts can also be used. Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has...
  • Todd Shupe Explains Significance of, and Market for, Bio-Based Spray Foam Insulation

    Todd Shupe Explains Significance of, and Market for, Bio-Based Spray Foam Insulation A viable bio-based spray foam industry is likely to lead to economic development opportunities due to the growing interest in spray foam insulation and increasing consumer demand for green products. The successful utilization of agricultural and forestry residues will benefit the agricultural producers, wood processing industries and forest landowners. These sectors combined contributed $4.1 billion to the Louisiana economy in 2013 (LSU AgCenter 2014). The state has more than 14 million acres in forests and another approximately 2 million acres in agricultural plant commodities. “Most of this land is...
  • Todd Shupe Explores the Growing Popularity of Bio-Based Spray Foam Insulation

    Todd Shupe Explores the Growing Popularityof Bio-Based Spray Foam Insulation The agricultural and forest industries both produce residues or waste streams that have little or no economic value. The challenge that remains for agricultural and forestry residues is how to best utilize this material for maximum efficiency and economic profit. While at LSU, Dr. Todd Shupe received $250,000 from the USDA to examine the suitability of a rapidly-developing new technology known as continuous microwave-assisted liquefaction to convert this under-utilized material to bio-polyols for the production of spray-foam insulation. Liquefaction is a process that can be used to dissolve biomass in an...
  • Use Tips From Former LSU Professor Todd Shupe To Identify, Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood

    Use Tips From Former LSU Professor Todd Shupe To Identify, Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood The very fact that readers are looking into proper protocols when it comes to the disposal of treated wood goes to show that more of us have the environment in mind as of late. According to the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), there are local regulations when it comes to the types of wood, which chemicals it was treated with and if your municipality’s trash company will take it away. As the NPIC states, it’s best to both contact your local government to learn about how...
  • Todd Shupe Explores Frequently-Asked Question: ‘Are Wood Preservatives Safe?’

    Todd Shupe Explores Frequently-Asked Question: ‘Are Wood Preservatives Safe?’ I have worked on wood durability R&D for over 20 years and one of the more frequent questions I receive from the public regards safety. The public is interested in two-fold safety: The first, “Is this product safe for myself and my children?” and the second, “Is this product safe for the environment?” The EPA has always been concerned with wood preservative safety and all preservatives must carry an EPA label. The labeling process is lengthy, expensive and includes a wide array of testing to determine if the preservative is toxic to...
  • Wood Sciences Expert Todd Shupe Says Material ‘Is Good Medicine’

    Wood Sciences Expert Todd Shupe Says Material ‘Is Good Medicine’ I have been fascinated by the recent non-traditional means to improve patient recovery. Over the years, I have read about the benefits of natural sunlight, plants, water elements, rooms with a view of nature and even the color of the room and design of the bed. “As an animal lover, I have been intrigued by the “pet” therapy in which cats and small dogs are brought to patients to hold and pet,” says Todd Shupe, LSU’s former wood science professor who oversaw a testing lab seeking patent approvals for related products.However,...
  • These Tips From Todd Shupe Can Help You Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood

    These Tips From Todd Shupe Can Help You Properly Dispose Of Chemically-Treated Wood With warmer weather on the way for much of the U.S., the time-honored tradition of “spring cleaning” will soon be upon us. This means we’ll have an opportunity to get outdoors once again and assess the damage done by winter. When it comes to outdoor structures such as patios, porches, treehouses and other wooden structures, rot is almost guaranteed. This is an unfortunate fact since so much of the lumber that’s purchased to build outdoor structures – not to mention the frames of our homes – is treated...
  • Todd Shupe Explains Hydrothermal Processing Used On Chinese Tallow Tree

    Todd Shupe Explains Hydrothermal Processing Used On Chinese Tallow Tree Pollinator at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons. GFDLIntroductionBiomass, including degraded and partially-transformed wastes, has residual energy that can be recovered and used for human needs. Biomass transformation into chemical feedstock, product, or mixture requires that some energy be invested into the system to 1) render the physical characteristics of the material amenable to the operating parameters of the treatment, and 2) to perform chemical reactions that provide desired end products (Catallo and Todd Shupe 2003; Catallo et al. 2004). In the many approaches to biomass conversion, these...
  • Todd Shupe Says Residents Right To Be Worried About Former Footprint Of Wood-Treatment Plant

    Todd Shupe Says Residents Right To Be Worried About Former Footprint Of Wood-Treatment Plant Why worry about chemically-treated wood? Look no further than Edmonton, the capital of Canada’s Alberta province, for your answer. According to a March 17, 2018 article from the local Edmonton Sun newspaper, the community was recently warned about “soil and groundwater contaminated with a laundry list of potentially cancer-causing substances.” The source? A long-shuttered wood treatment plant that previously treated “railroad ties, poles, posts and lumber” with chemicals designed to ward off rot and insects. According to Todd Shupe, this concern is not limited to Canada and...
  • Todd Shupe Explains Termite Attack On Pressure-Treated Wood In Louisiana

    Todd Shupe Explains Termite Attack On Pressure-Treated Wood In Louisiana The introduction and spread of Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) (FST) in the southern United States have increased the need for preservative treatments to protect wood products from termite attack (Todd Shupe and Dunn 2000). Of particular concern is the protection of framing lumber used in residential and commercial structures. Because of their large colony sizes and aggressive foraging patterns, FST are considered to be a greater threat to wooden structures than the native (Reticulitermes spp.) termites (Todd Shupe and Dunn 2000). The FST are also thought to be somewhat...
  • Sticker Stain – A Problem When Drying Lumber

    Sticker Stain – A Problem When Drying Lumber Sticker Stain One of the more common drying problems today is a dark area noted on dried, planed lumber.  This discolored or stained area runs across the width of a piece of lumber and is at the same location where a sticker was located during drying.  Typically, the stain is not seen in rough lumber:  it is only evident after planning.  The defect is known as sticker stain and is much easier to detect in “white woods.”  The term white woods generally refers to spruce-pine-fir (SPF), beech, hard maple, cottonwood, etc.  These are light colored...
  • Understanding Chemical and Iron Stains on Lumber

    Understanding Chemical and Iron Stains on Lumber Chemical stains include a variety of discolorations that occur in wood during drying but are typically not noticed under the drying process is over.  A previous blog focused on sticker stain so this blog will address other chemical stains. Interior Graying This is most common in southern oaks, hackberry, maple, and ash, but can also occur in many other wood species. Brown Stain (Coffee Stain) This stain is most common in white pine and thicker boards of any pine species. Chemical Stains Chemical stains develop when naturally occurring chemicals in wood react with air (known as an enzymatic oxidation reaction)...
  • End Coating Logs Can Maintain Value

    End Coating Logs Can Maintain Value Costs and Benefits We can avoid many log and lumber related problems if we simply process the logs into lumber as soon as possible.   Rapid utilization will minimize or prevent end checking, insect infestation, stain, and decay for both hardwood and softwood logs.  The biggest reason is the longer we wait to process a log then the greater the odds that the lumber from the logs is losing value. Logs can be end-coated with a wax-based coating to stop checking and maintain value.  Losses from stain or splitting have been estimated at approximately $10 per inch of...
  • Application of End Coatings for Logs and Lumber

    Application of End Coatings for Logs and Lumber End Coatings Are Not Paint End coatings are products that can stop or minimize end checking on logs and lumber.  It is important to understand that end coatings cannot reverse checking that has already occurred.  Most commercial end coatings consist of paraffin wax or micro-crystalline wax, water, and a surfactant.  Many people confuse end coatings with paint.  End coatings will reduce the moisture loss from the ends of logs and lumber.   Paint cannot do this. Application End coatings can be spray or brush applied.  To increase the effectiveness of the coating for logs, it should be...
  • Iron Tannate Stain

    Iron Tannate Stain Iron tannate stain is a result of a chemical reaction between tannins, moisture, and iron.  The stain can look like mildew. Iron stain is most common in red oak wood and can ruin the aesthetics of flooring, paneling, furniture, kitchen cabinets, etc. made from this species.  It is a problem both during kiln drying and also secondary (value-added) processing. The Cause Red oak has tannic acid in it. Iron tannate stain is a chemical stain which occurs as tannic acid oxidizes with the iron fragments from the steel wool. Steel wool fractures and leaves minute particles all over the wood....
  • Rotten Exterior Wood Trim

    Rotten Exterior Wood Trim The ProblemI have lived in my house in Baton Rouge, La for over 20 years.  One thing that has been as consistent as hot weather, fire ants, and mosquitoes is rotten exterior wood.  I can usually expect to replace a section of rotten soffit and facia about every 2-3 years!  The problem areas are always on the back of the house or garage, which faces east.  I have spent 20 years trying to figure out the cause of the moisture intrusion.  My overhang is good, roof and drip edge are both fine, and there are no problems...
  • Wood Sector Commits To Sustainable Building, But Todd Shupe Says Target Preservatives

    Wood Sector Commits To Sustainable Building, But Todd Shupe Says Target Preservatives The popularity of exposed wood as a construction material has seen a recent resurgence for those seeking a rustic appearance at their home or business. However, it almost goes without saying that the “rustic” theme they seek has its roots within log cabins and other primitive structures. That gives us hundreds of years’ worth of wood-based construction practices on the books, with some of the earliest industrial applications including the coating of telephone poles or railroad ties with preservatives. Time would tell that some of the chemicals we were...
  • Simple Wood Working Projects Can Create Family Treasures

    Simple Wood Working Projects Can Create Family Treasures The two images in this blog are of a bird house that rests on the mantle in my living room.  One is an overview picture that shows the complete birdhouse, and the other is a close up that shows the exit holes of powder post beetles that attacked the wood and came and went many decades ago.   This birdhouse is in a prominent location in my house, and I see it every day and it reminds me of my father who has since gone on to Glory.   Many years ago after he had retired,...
  • Should I Use Nails or Screws?

    Should I Use Nails or Screws? One of the most common questions I have been asked over the years is “Should I use nails or screws?”  Nails and screws are the most common fasteners which are most commonly used for wood-based construction and general wood working projects.  Most people are confused, which is better for joining materials together, nails or screws? When selecting fasteners, you need to consider the nature of the job and the materials that are involved. Generally, nails are more popular among carpenters because they are easy to work with and can be rapidly shot from a nail gun....
  • Heating Your House with Firewood – Part 1: Getting Started

    Heating Your House with Firewood – Part 1: Getting Started Global Wood Use Most people do not realize that the primary use of wood in the world is not for building materials or paper but rather as an energy source for cooking or heating.  This is particularly true in developing nations that are highly populated and have limited availability to other sources of energy.   I have seen extreme, wide-spread poverty in my trips to Central America and Asia.  The use of wood for cooking and heating was fundamental for living.   In the US, we are blessed to have wood as an option for...
  • Heating Your House with Firewood – Part 2: Drying

    Heating Your House with Firewood – Part 2: Drying Importance of Drying In Part 1, we discussed the importance of wood moisture content on energy generated from burning wood (Btu).  Freshly cut firewood will have a higher moisture content (MC).  Therefore, the wood must be dried (or seasoned) to reduce the moisture content and increase the yield of Btus. The most common method to dry firewood is to stack the wood outside and allow it to dry with time. Drying times will depend on geographic location, method of splitting and stacking, wood species, and protection from rain and snow.  In general, it takes 9...
  • Heating Your House With Firewood: Part 3

    Heating Your House With Firewood: Part 3 Importance of 20% MC In Part 2, we discussed the importance of drying to bring down the wood moisture content (MC) and increase its Btu yield.  The longer the wood sits, the greater its risk of attack by insects.  This is particularly true as long as the wood is over 20% MC.  Most, but not all, insects that attack wood will do so if the MC is greater than 20%.  So, we essentially have two groups of insects to contend with here:  (1) those that attack green wood and wood with a MC greater than...
  • I Love to Paint

    I Love to Paint! I love to paint.  No, not the Pablo Picasso or Leonardo da Vinci type of painting.  I enjoy painting interior walls or exterior siding, soffit, and trim.  A nice paint job is usually the last step in a home improvement or repair process.  So, the paint can make the job look really good or really bad.  Below are some old, but still relevant, tips and insight on wood paint from the USDA that I recently ran across in my files.Paint is probably the most common exterior finish in use on wood today. It appears somewhere on practically...
  • Wood Decks Part 1: Design Considerations

    Wood Decks Part 1: Design Considerations Wood decks provide a warm and inviting living space to any home.  I have seen all types of wood decks from small and basic to large and elaborate.  Regardless of the deck design, it is important to select the proper building material to ensure long-term enjoyment.  However, it is important to realize that decks, just like homes, need periodic maintenance. Naturally Durable Wood The wood of some tree species is naturally durable.  However, a few words of caution are necessary.  First, only the heartwood, the dark, inner portion of a log, can be naturally durable and not...
  • Wood Decks Part 2: Maintenance Considerations

    Wood Decks Part 2: Maintenance Considerations In Part 1 we discussed some of the design considerations for wood decks.  Research has shown that home owners are building larger decks now.  Larger decks will provide more living space but will also come at an increased cost.   The key to long term performance of a wood deck, or any outdoor wood structure, is regular, periodic maintenance.  If we can identify and correct small problems before they become large, we can extend the deck life and keep problems from getting out of hand.Maintenance ConsiderationsA deck should get a good spring cleaning...
  • The Christian Legend of the Dogwood Tree

    The Christian Legend of the Dogwood Tree For the joy set before him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). There is one unique area in which my knowledge of wood science and faith in Jesus intersect and that is the cross of His crucifixion at Calvary. The True Cross is the name for physical remnants to which Christ had been nailed, and on which He had died. It became the object of a special respect and worship for Christians. According to the sacred tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church the True Cross...
  • Fun Facts Regarding Black Walnut Wood

    Fun Facts Regarding Black Walnut Wood One of my favorite hardwoods is black walnut.   Its primary native region is the Midwest and east-central United States.  It was a common tree to find in the woods as a boy growing up in Illinois.  It is easily identified by its unique leaves and bark.  The leaves are compound and alternately arranged on the stem and 1–2 ft long.  The leaves are overall dark green in color and are typically hairy on the underside. The bark is typically grey-black and deeply furrowed into thin ridges that provides a unique diamond shaped pattern. The fruit is highly prized by wildlife and...
  • Trees of the Bible

    Trees of the Bible Did you know that 37 specific names of trees are mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible? While most of the trees spoken of are native to Israel, some were brought by travelers who passed through Israel along their trade route between Asia Minor and Egypt.Acacia: (Acacia sp.) was called Shittim wood in ancient times. This was a very significant wood in the Bible. It is said the Ark of the Covenant and many tabernacles were made from this wood.Today, the most commonly used acacias are Hawaiian koa and Australian blackwood. Koa has been a prized...
  • Mildew on Exterior House Paint

    Mildew on Exterior House Paint What is mildew? Mildew is a common discoloration on the surface of house paint.  Mildew is a surface-fungi that can easily be identified as a patch of gray or even white fungi that on the surface of a moist area.  It will not damage the siding, but it will decrease the aesthetics of your house.   Mildew fungi are most common in warm, humid climates. Mildew is easily treated with any retail-purchased cleaner and a scrubbing brush.  I annually use a pressure washer at my house to remove mildew from my Masonite siding.  It is important to apply enough...
  • Failure of House Paints from Moisture – Part 1: Causes

    Failure of House Paints from Moisture Part 1: Causes Most wood problems can be traced to a moisture issue.  The same holds true for paint problems on a wood substrate.  When too much water gets into paint or into the wood under the paint, the paint may blister or peel.  Understanding the causes of these failures will help homeowners to diagnose the particular problem and take corrective measures.  This is a four-part blog series.  Part 2 will deal with controls to the problem.BlisteringMoisture blisters should not be confused with temperature blisters.  Moisture blisters usually contain water when theyform or...
  • Failure of House Paints from Moisture – Part 2: Controls

    Failure of House Paints from Moisture - Part 2: Controls The first step in solving a house-paint moisture blistering or peeling problem is to determine the source of the water that is doing the damage.  In the next blog we will examine solutions to the problem. Outside Water Clues It can occur on both heated and unheated buildings It only occurs on surfaces that can be wetted by rain and dew. It will be most pronounced at edges and ends of boards and where water is held on the surface. It occurs after rain or heavy dew and is associated with a...
  • Failure of House Paints from Moisture – Part 3: Solutions

    Failure of House Paints from Moisture - Part 3: Solutions We have reached part 3 of our 4-part series on failure of house paints from moisture.  We are now ready to solve the problem and implement solutions.  We will conclude with tips on repainting in the final blog.Outside WaterIf outside water is getting in, the following steps will block its entry:Apply a water-repellent preservative to all joints before repainting. Repaint with a nonporous primer and top coat.Calk or putty open joints and cracks after treating with water-repellent preservatives and priming.Repair any and all roof leaks.Check eave troughs and downspouts...
  • Failure of House Paints from Moisture – Part 4: Repainting

    Failure of House Paints from Moisture - Part 4: Repainting We have reached part 4 of our 4-part series on failure of house paints from moisture.  We are now ready to repaint after correcting the water problem. Spot Painting If the general condition of the paint does not require a complete repainting, it is best to spot paint the areas of wood laid bare by failure.  First, scrape away the loose paint.  Apply one coat of water-repellent preservative to the bare wood.  Then use one coat of primer and a matched topcoat. Complete Repainting If the entire house needs to be repainted, then perform a thorough...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 1 – Wood Properties

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 1 – Wood Properties Introduction Wood possesses a variety of properties that make it a highly desirable flooring material in residential and public buildings.  In addition to these unique properties, wood flooring can be installed in various distinctive patterns such as parquet and herringbone.  Furthermore, wood floors are attractive and serviceable.  As a result, the popularity of new wood floors as well as interest in refinishing old ones continues and has even increased in recent years. Wood Species Wood possesses several physical properties which are important to its use as a flooring material.  For example, the species of wood selected...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 2 – Surface Preparation

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 2 – Surface Preparation Introduction Care must be exercised in preparing a wood floor since finishing will accentuate any defects, irregularities or roughness.  Even irregularities that can scarcely be seen before finishing become conspicuous afterward.  Nothing can be done later which will make up for the defects of a poor sanding job.  If much time passes between the final sanding and the application of the finish, some roughness may develop from raising of the wood grain (especially with hardwoods) because of changing moisture content.  Floors should be sanded shortly before finishing is started.  Floor sanding can be...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 3 – Old Surface Preparation

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 3 – Old Surface Preparation Sanding If an old finish cannot be satisfactorily repaired, a complete sanding of the surface and then application of a new finish may be necessary.  Most flooring is ¾-inch thick so it can withstand a number of sandings.  In these cases, make certain that all nails are countersunk and that the floor is as clean as possible before sanding.  Use an “open face” paper to remove the old finish.  The heat and abrasion of the sanding operation may make the old finish gummy and will quickly clog normal sandpaper.  Once new wood...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 4 –Selecting a Finish

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 4 –Selecting a Finish Introduction Finishing a wood floor is perhaps one of the most critical but rewarding steps.  Finishes are applied to wood for two principal reasons.  First, a finish should protect the wood from damage such as stains, moisture, and mechanical wear.  Second, a properly applied clear finish will accentuate the natural beauty and color of the wood.  Penetrating seals (sealers) and surface finishes are the two main types of protective coatings used on wood floors.  Either will give good performance if applied correctly. Penetrating Seals Penetrating seals are probably the most common finish on residential floors. ...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 5 –Finish Application

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 5 –Finish Application Introduction Proper selection and application of the appropriate finish for a wood floor is essential for maximum performance.  Failure to properly apply the finish can give unsatisfactory results and even require a complete refinishing job.  Regardless of the type of finish applied, certain precautions should be exercised to improve the ease of application and the quality of the final finish. Precautions Dust and dirt are an important factor in causing a rough surface. When applying the first coat of finish, be certain that the wood is absolutely clean and free of dust, dirt, and any...
  • Finishing and Maintaining Wood Floors Part 6 –Protecting and Repairing the Finish

    Finishing and Maintaining Wood FloorsPart 6 –Protecting and Repairing the Finish Protecting the FinishFor the final touch of beauty and to protect the finish, apply one or more coats of good wax recommended for use on floors.  Use either a liquid buffing wax/cleaner or paste wax.  Use only brands that are designated for hardwood floors and if a liquid, be sure it has a solvent base, not a water base.   Apply the wax after the finish coat is thoroughly dry and polish it with a machine buffer.  The wax will give a lustrous sheen to the floor and form a protective...
  • What is the Significance of Acacia Wood in the Bible?

    What is the Significance of Acacia Wood in the Bible? “Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the Lord has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze;  blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather; acacia wood olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece” (Exodus 35:4-9 NIV). I was recently blessed to...

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is the President of DrToddShupe.com and is a well recognized expert on wood-based housing and building materials, wood decay and degradation, and wood science. Shupe worked as a professor and lab director at LSU for over 20 years. He is active in several ministries including his Christian blog ToddShupe.com. Todd is the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men, and Board Member for Gulf South Men and a Team Leader for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.