A local contractor is working to bring awareness about a product that he claims can save millions of dollars on road repairs. Perma-Zyme is made by the Nevada company, International Enzymes, and that company’s regional distributor is local contractor, Josh Davis. Davis, who lives at Lenore and who has been operating his contracting business – Davis Contracting & Excavating, LLC – from there since 2004, says while he was skeptical in the beginning about the claims made by the manufacturer of Perma-Zyme, that company’s product not only does everything it promises but has the potential to revolutionize the way roadways, parking lots, and private driveways will be built and maintained by government entities and private business/homeowners’ in the years to come. He said a friend in Indiana, a state which currently is using the product On a wide scale, called and told him about Perma-Zyme and explained why he (Davis) should attempt to introduce it in West Virginia and
surrounding states. Following an overture meeting with one of the company’s executives, Davis traveled to California and was introduced to the product and trained in its usage.

“I was immediately sold on the product,” Davis said. “It truly is amazing what it will do.”

Davis said Perma-Zyme is an all-natural solution made of fermented molasses and feed grains and essentially bonds the molecules in clay that exists in the soil of road bases. What results is road beds are
made infinitely stronger and will hold up to very heavy weights and temperatures, literally making them impervious to water and resulting washouts.
“Basically a paved road is on a base of soil material, and unfortunately, water gets in,” he said. “Naturally, that leads to freezing and expansion during the winter months and a contraction process during the hot summer months. Those expansion and contracting processes in the soil material lead to massive deterioration, which of course leads to deterioration of me asphalt or concrete, and that leads to continuous and very expensive repairs.” Davis said Perma-Zyme serves a catalyst between the proteins in the
clay, which ultimately acts as a bonding process that makes a tight, permanent base that’s water resistant and virtually freeze and heat resistant.

“The problem with roads, parking lots, and the like is the base,” he said. “When this product is mixed with that base material, it creates a bond that becomes as hard as a rock.”

Davis said the process of bonding begins by using a piece of machinery known as an asphalt zipper, which is still relatively unavailable in this part of the country, that essentially chews up existing deteriorated paving material into a fine mixture that easily bonds with the clay-based soil and emyme and becomes as hard as shale.

“Basically millions of years ago today’s hard and impervious shale was clay,” Davis explained. “But due to the processes of time, heat, and pressure, clay eventually turned into shale. With this enzyme, we literally can transform clay into something as hard and impervious as shale in 72 hours.

“It really doesn’t matter if it’s an unsurfaced road or not because the roadbed is almost as hard as concrete once it cures, so graveled roads
benefit from this as well. Roadbeds will not deteriorate or break off on their edges, which is where they normally
do because of water along ditch lines and adjacent streams.”

Davis, who has been the Perma-Zyme representative in this region of the country for a year now, said aside from Indiana, Perma-Zyme currently is being used on a wide scale in other eastern states like Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Ohio, as well internationally in countries like Haiti and Indonesia.

In Haiti, he pointed out, the product is being used by locals to make virtually indestructible adobe bricks for housing; and in Ohio, a man using it with clay is making and selling median road barriers to the state that are traditionally made of concrete.

Though the complete curing process takes 72 hours, Davis said the treated
roadbeds are immediately traffic-ready because the enzyme and road material are tightly compacted as they are combined and installed.

Normally, there is about a 60 percent savings attained by road departments because in some instances there is no,
need for asphalt or concrete as a topper, such as the case with many county secondary roads. And because the dust typically associated with unpaved roads is dramatically cut by 80 percent, the need to use asphalt or concrete on

these secondary roads becomes even less a necessity, he added.

While West Virginia highway officials, both statewide and county, have thus far been reluctant to buy into the product, primarily because of understandable skepticism about its legitimacy and overall effectiveness, Davis said he is planning to conduct a full-scale demonstration of the product for representatives from all of the respective road departments in hopes that once seeing the product in action it will make believers, and customers, of them all.

As part of the demonstration, Davis said he is planning to bring in an asphalt zipper and will use any 100 ft. section of road that road officials choose for the demonstration.

“There’s just no way I can fully express just how effective and money-saving this product and the entire process is without showing them firsthand what it does and how much money it will save taxpayers in the long run,” he said. “But I’m convinced once they see it in action they’re going to be sold on it.”

Davis said although he is a
contractor and can install the Perma-Zyme system himself, aside from private jobs he primarily will be selling the product to state and county road departments and training their own road crews to do the installation.

“The federal, state, and counties could save a lot of money… I’m talking millions of dollars if they would do my process of full depth asphalt reclamation,” Davis said.
“Simply patching the roads like you normally see is like putting lipstick on a pig… you still have a pig once you’ve finished.”

Davis said asphalt reclamation is far cheaper and much more efficient than patching because that process involves grinding approximately two inches of the surface, hauling that material away, and then hauling in clean material just to make a
temporary fix that, practiced over and over, is a very expensive procedure each time it’s done.

“My way you use the material that is already there, so therefore you have no haul bill for material coming in and out of the site,” he said. “It is 100 percent more durable than conventional patching because you’re actually fixing the road instead of putting a temporary band-aid on it.”

Anyone wanting more information on Perma-Zyme and its usage can contact: Davis via email a,tJosh@east
or by calling, (304) 784-4482.