In conjunction with the effectiveness of Thompson Water Seal, Tom Hunt and
Roger Turk suggested referring to Consumer Reports. The June 1998 issue
discusses tests that were made and also refers to some previous tests that
were aborted because in a short time the protection performed so badly .
The report considered several different standard, well-known manufacturers,
each of which also listed several different products designed for
protection purposes. My conclusion on reading the report is that no one
manufacturer had products that were consistently effectiive. That is, some
products from each manufacturer were rated from "fair" to "poor". Almost
none seemed to be consistently rated as "good" .
I really do not know what to make of the report and tend to question the
test results since I would not expect similarly labelled products from the
same manufacturer to be markedly different. Rather, I would expect that in
some cases the products would be almost identical and the differences would
be primarily in the labelling and advertising.
Consequently it is not clear to me if there is an inexpensive, reliable way
to protect exterior timbers. The Abatron company products might do the job,
but they are not inexpensive.