Volume 50, Issue 2 (March 2005)
How Long After Waterproofing a Deck Can You Still Isolate an Ignitable Liquid?
Dried, treated wood was sealed with Thompson's WaterSeal® “Clear Multi-Surface Waterproofer” and exposed to outdoor, summer conditions. Sections of the sealed wood were then periodically tested and analyzed in accordance with ASTM methods. The WaterSeal® contained a medium petroleum distillate (MPD) as a solvent for a wax. The treated lumber contained a background of aldehydes that could mimic a dearomatized MPD if not carefully investigated by the analyst. The MPD of the WaterSeal® was detectable 14 days, but not 27 days after application with exposure to relatively hot, dry and sunny weather conditions. The test was repeated with the MPD detectable 16 days, but not 20 days after application with exposure to cooler and wetter weather conditions. The testing demonstrates the need for a thorough and complete investigation by the fire investigator and the submission of comparison samples to the laboratory.