Remodeler: Leif Jackson
Company: Jackson Remodeling, Seattle
Product: Impel Rods,

In historic architecture–rich Seattle, Jackson Remodeling has won awards for its design/build work, which focuses on those classic and older homes. The company is also green — taking every opportunity to recommend environmentally friendly products and methods to their clients.

Owner Leif Jackson says that working on older homes presents unique challenges. “In working on older homes, as well as retrofitting (which deals mainly with basements and crawl spaces), we regularly encounter decayed wood. We used to remove rotted members and replace them with pressure treated lumber, or treat the damaged wood in place with copper-or arsenic-based preservatives,” he says. “But we weren't crazy about putting these chemicals into the environment, nor did we like exposing our employees to these toxins.”

The dilemma brought him to the epoxies and borate-based preservatives from Wood Care Systems. As Jackson explains, “Borates are effective insecticides and fungicides, while being basically harmless to humans and pets.” His Wood Care product of choice is Impel Rods, solid cylinders that are inserted into holes drilled into the wood. Moisture in the wood distributes the preservative throughout the surrounding material. Jackson first heard of the product when the company did a presentation at his local lumberyard.

“Clients get excited about it because we can treat their existing soft wood without costly ‘surgery' to remove and replace it, while clients and carpenters love the fact that it's nontoxic to humans, cats, and dogs.”