Environmental Aspects of How iMovR Solid Wood Products are Produced
iMovR prides itself in the use of only GreenGuard Certified, ultra-low VOC chemicals (i.e. ultra-low in "volatile organic compounds") in the production of our heirloom-quality hardwood desktops. This is good for the environment, our workers, our customers, and the longevity of the product. The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for each product used in standard production can be downloaded from these links: stains, shellac, adhesive, and sealant. After many years of testing and using these products we have selected ones that we believe offer the ideal balance between protection of the beautiful piece of wood and the reduction of avoidable VOC emissions. Using these GreenGuard Certified products may cost a little more and require more labor to apply than more emissive products used by our competitors but we put the environment and the health of those working the material and using these desks ahead of profits.
What you need to know about the curing period for solid wood tops
We are well aware that there are some people who are extremely sensitive to the outgassing fumes from a factory-fresh desktop while it is going through its final curing process, and we have developed special handling procedures to accommodate them. We provide the following information to set proper consumer expectations about the curing process, and to offer alternatives production methods for those who simply cannot tolerate anything less than a zero-emission product.
As a general rule we endeavor to ship our desks out as soon as possible after their 7-step, hand-crafted production process, so the client can start enjoying their new desk as quickly as possible. Desks are generally shipped out the day after the last production step of applying the all-important, GreenGuard Certified, low-VOC varnish. Even though we use this low-emissions product it still requires a curing period before the desktop will be completely odor-free.
Curing happens faster in an open area with low humidity, high temperature, and robust air circulation. Likewise it takes longer in colder, moister air that is relatively still. The process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on these environmental conditions.
The curing rate is on a "first order curve," meaning that the outgassing will be strongest on the first day, less so on the second day, and so forth, until the curing process is 100% complete and there is no longer any detectable outgassing or odor.
Because a freshly produced solid wood desktop will spend the first week or two of its life encapsulated in an airtight shipping carton it may appear upon first opening the box that the desktop has a more offensive smell than one would expect from a GreenGuard Certified low-emission product. This is because the outgassing has had no place to go during the transit period, when it was also curing at the highest rate, and gasses have accumulated in the box.
Highly sensitive clients will thus want to plan on opening the box in a well ventilated area (if not outdoors) and leaving the newly arrived desk in an open room with good air circulation (e.g. a garage or spare room where a window can be cracked open), until the curing process has reached the point that a smell can no longer be detected. Again, this could take anywhere from a day or to up to few weeks depending on the temperature, humidity and air flow in the room as well as the sensitivity of the client.
We will take special requests for holding the desk two weeks longer at the fabrication facility for extra curing time before being boxed up for shipment, in cases where customers really have no other choice.
The Zero-VOC Upgrade Option
We respect the fact that there are some consumers who simply cannot tolerate even ultra-low VOC products and do not want to wait longer to receive and use their new desks. We are more than happy to accommodate their needs by utilizing an alternative finishing process that will not require any curing time. We can take special orders for any "natural" (clear finish, unstained) solid wood desktop to have it produced with a zero-emission protective sealant. This is available on all hardwood species that we offer, but is not compatible with any of the stains, so we can only do this with clear finishes. Please note that while the product used in this process is zero-emission in terms of VOCs, it may have a slight of flax seed oil (AKA linseed oil) and beeswax.
If you wish to select this alternative finish, simply call us to place your order over the phone. A $60 upcharge will be applied for special handling. However, please note that when using currently-available zero-emission technology the protective strength of the seal coating is not as great, and refinishing may be required of the user if the surface ever becomes damaged due to prolonged contact with any liquid or substance that penetrates through to the wood. Our limited warranty on zero-emission finish excludes such damage; this will be the customer's responsibility to refinish the desktop. We also recommend against the zero-emission alternative if the desk is going to be used in an environment with highly variable temperature and humidity throughout the year, to minimize the potential occurrence of warping or cracking of the hardwood over time. You will be asked to sign a waiver stating that you understand these limitations to our standard five-year warranty.