About Midwest Perma-Column
Midwest Perma-Column was established in 2004 as a manufacturer of pre-cast concrete columns for the Post Frame Building Industry previously referred to as Pole Barns. Our belief, and reason for existence, is that Perma-Columns are a forward looking product that takes the Post Frame Building Industry to the next level. However, to have a vision for the future, we must first review the lessons of the past.
Round Cedar Poles
The first record of using post frame type structures occurred in the 1930's using readily available round cedar poles and usually in agriculture buildings - therefore the name "pole barns". This construction method allowed for quick, affordable and temporary structures. The problem is that temporary soon became permanent and along with it demands for affordable quality building materials including the search to find a better pole foundation.
Round Creosote Poles
The cedar poles soon gave way to the round creosote poles which had a much longer life span in the soil. Creosote poles were soon accepted as being superior and became the industry standard. Creosote round poles adapted well to livestock and agricultural "cold storage" applications where the buildings went largely unfinished but time never stands still and soon the winds of change were blowing again.
As demand grew for uniformity in building construction, round poles by their very nature became problematic - they vary in size, straightness and are tapered from top to bottom - leading the way to the use of square or rectangular foundation posts. Even more questionable was the environmental issues with chemically treated wood preservatives which soon resulted in the discontinued use of creosote in residential applications. Environmental concerns with wood preservatives continue to haunt the building construction industry to this day.
Penta Treated Posts
Penta replaced creosote as the wood preservative of choice in the 1960's but in 1978 was found to have caused cows to die in Michigan. The phase out of Penta wood treatment and the introduction of CCA preservative had begun.
Diversification and acceptance of Post Frame Building construction methods into commercial applications along with the size and scope of structures put additional pressure on the use of solid posts. In the mid 1980's laminated columns started replacing solid posts because better engineering values were achieved, less twisting than solid posts and the need, in most instances, of using only CCA treated wood in the lower portion of the column that is in ground contact.
Wood Treatment Troubles
In 2002, arsenic was found in a playground and the CCA treatment came under question causing the wood treatment industry to once again retool. In 2003, ACQ wood treatment became the standard for residential use and within a year CCA treatment was banned from all but foundational use. Along with all the environmental concerns of chemically treated wood preservatives comes the nagging question as to how long wood foundations last before the integrity of the structure is compromised?
Both of the issues confronting wood foundation columns - longevity and environmental concerns - are answered with the introduction in 2004 of pre-cast concrete columns for the building industry. Perma-Columns retain the efficiency of Post Frame construction, give the customer a concrete foundation and remove any environmental issues with chemical contamination.
Perma-Columns make the future a reality today - The Permanent Solution.
Although Perma-Columns remain our primary focus, Midwest Perma-Column, Inc. continues to add other building products to our line-up - Concrete Anchor Brackets, Specialty Columns, Concrete Bases and numerous other products that meet our customer's specific requests.
President - Doug Streitmatter brings a lifetime of construction experience in the Post Frame Industry to the business. He retains part interest in EB Buildings & Supply - a lumber yard and construction company.
Vice President - Phil Ehnle adds production and maintenance skills acquired in 30 years experience with Caterpillar, Inc. He remains active in the agricultural field which includes the Beef Industry.
Secretary - Ray Blunier took an early retirement from Honeywell to round out our engineering and accounting needs.
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