Improving Indoor Air Quality = AFM Safecoat ® Hardseal Wood Sealer!

Serving my Client as a “Butler On Call” the challenge was presented to improve the indoor quality of a Family’s ski chalet.  The youngest son in particular must deal with chemical sensitivity health concerns (MCS and EHS Electro Hyper Sensitivity).

My interaction with AFM Safecoat and CBR Products prior to this allowed me to use my knowledge about sealers and how AFM Hardseal was the least toxic sealer.  My Client, who herself has knowledge about chemical engineering, studied the MSDS information (Material Safety Data Sheet) and made her decision to proceed with this building project.

I recommended two coats for the walls and ceiling surfaces of the cedar shakes and for the doors and wood trim with an extra coating to be applied to the cedar beams owing to their rough surface areas.  My Client increased this amount and ordered an additional coating on top of these recommendations.

AFM Hardseal Sealer: The Results!

All systems go – time to pump the economy!

The Process Of Applying AFM Hardseal Sealer On Wooden Surfaces:  It’s easy to do! This is the process we used to successfully complete this project.  Here’s a list of supplies you may need.

Large Durable Sponge  (Sponges):  We exhausted a few sponges while coating the rough surfaces of the beams so it is a good idea to hedge for a few extra – not an expensive item and always good to have extras in the toolkit. Productivity Tip; Since I am fortunate to have two arms and hands I liked to work two sponges at one time – it’s like an aerobics class.

Bucket:  EXTRA CAUTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO NOT BUMPING INTO AND TIPPING THE BUCKET OVER.  Always know where the bucket is and keep this as a center point in your mind.  While spills of this water-based solution can be cleaned up – they are in general, so time consuming

Drop Sheets:  From thin plastic film to old bed sheets to industrial canvas drop sheets most anything with do.  It is good to have plastic film as a base below any cloth in case of spills.

Safety Goggles or at minimum Safety Glasses:  The MSDS information regarding “Eye Contact: Liquid splashed into the eye may cause transient eye irritation”. Especially when coating ceilings you want to protect your eyes at all times from splash occurrences. “Emergency & First Aid Procedures: Splash (eyes): Flush immediately with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting upper and lower eyelids occasionally.  Take to a physician for medical treatment.”  Luckily no splash occurrence happened during this project yet it is always best to be prepared for unforeseen occurrences.

Hand And Arm Protection:  This is my specialty: I used to be an account manager for Canada’s largest industrial glove manufacturer. Gauntlet dishwashing gloves would be sufficient.  Some people like to make a cuff at the end of the gauntlet opening to catch any drips down the glove. I found the nitrile impermeable 16” dishwashing glove to work best.  Nitrile has the greatest abrasion resistance which served well when coming in contact with the rough surfaces.  This style of glove also gives one the dexterity to work the saturated sponge into any and all crevices. This type of glove is available in un-lined and flock-lined styles with the latter adding to comfort.

Dust Mask / Respiratory Protection:  Did you know that your nose hairs do just as good a job as a disposable dust mask that has ONLY ONE STRAP.  What you will want at minimum is an N95 rated dust mask with TWO STRAPS. Even though AFM Hardseal may well be renown for being the least toxic wood sealer (as per being Doctor recommended for those with chemical sensitivity) it’s a good idea to open the windows whenever possible when applying Hardseal. Although the MSDS Information does not call for the use of respiratory protection I use whatever resources and knowledge to maximize the overall efficiency of the outcome.  The MSDS does mention Inhalation-spray mists may cause mild respiratory irritation” and that for “Emergency & First Aid Procedures: Inhalation: Remove from exposure.  Provide plenty of fresh air”.  My Client, since I have helped guide several building projects, gave me a gift of a three-quarter face respirator with HEPA filters: very comfortable.  Important to remember is that to achieve a good face seal men should be clean shaven.

Armed with these resources and my supply of AFM Hardseal I set about the task of sealing the wood surfaces.

The logic of the sealer function is to create a thin membrane to lock in the offgassing. For this reason when applying the sealer you will want to ensure that “every nook and cranny” has been covered.  For corners I would squeeze some Hardseal into the area and dab it into the corners. You want to pay special attention to being as thorough as possible. As this project involved four bedrooms, a rec room, a mud room, two hallways and a bathroom I was able to complete each coat and start the subsequent coating with there having been ample time for the coatings to dry.

Does AFM Hardseal help to improve indoor air quality? From my previous experiences of working with this least toxic building product I believe it does, and while my other Clients also agree, what is most important is that this Client believes it does and has become another AFM Safecoat, AFM Safechoice and CBR Products fan and supporter.

Her proof was that her son’s health condition improved.   We could have invested in scientific devices to support this claim (as we have done with other AFM Safecoat building projects) yet for this mission it was all about her son being able to live without discomfort.  It should be noted that since we had applied such a thick membrane less than a week later she could smell the Hardseal although no adverse reactions were experienced by her son. On the Families subsequent visit a week later no residual smell was present. And they are all living happily ever after.

This entry was posted in Building & Restoration News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Improving Indoor Air Quality = AFM Safecoat ® Hardseal Wood Sealer!

  1. R says:

    I am looking for a way to get rid of the offgassing from a minwax wood finish stain marker dark walnut which my son is very sensitive to as he is chemically sensitive. Is there a way to get rid of the smell. Apparently it was applied to three doorways or wood areas where small knicks were present. How long would it take to go away or for the solution to take hold so that he could live there safely?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *