Tag: log home restoration

Refinishing and Restaining Log Homes

restoring log homes

Log homes require different maintenance from conventional homes and that includes refinishing and restaining. Water damage is a concern as well as wood rot and borer insects such as carpenter ants/bees and powder post beetles.

Restoring a log home involves steps such as surface preparation, staining, caulking and applying borate preservatives. Performing these processes correctly will help prevent many issues from cropping up later such as air and moisture infiltration, mold, mildew, fungus and UV breakdown of the wood. For more information, click here at https://richardsonloghomes.com/.

Preparation

Log homes require restaining about every 4 to 6 years depending on exposure, sunlight and climate. If your log home is exhibiting faded or darkening areas, moldy spots, wet and rotted logs or timbers, the most likely cause is ineffective stain or coating. Re-staining with a similar product won’t help if the problem is deeper than the surface, so refinishing or restoration work is required.

Most homeowners can re-stain their log home with the right product and proper application, but the wood surfaces must be clean, bare and dry to achieve long term results. Using a pressure washer or chemical strippers is a quick way to remove old stain and coats but it also can be damaging to the logs, especially if the nozzle or pressure is too high. A gentle spray of water at a low pressure is the best approach to cleaning a log cabin.

A more comprehensive and efficient method to clean a log home is media blasting, or “sandblasting”. This process eliminates the old coatings, UV damage and exposes the natural beauty of the logs, which is often hidden by other products. Once all absorption restricting barriers are removed, oils and finishes are able to deeply absorb into the logs and work as they should. No other restoration method can compare to this.

With a blaster fitted with the correct media, we will spray the logs and any other woodwork that needs to be cleaned, including porches, decks, windows and doors. This is done quickly and efficiently, resulting in minimal cleanup. Tarps, plastic and towels are removed and any debris is swept up, bagged and disposed of properly.

While this step can be an expensive one, it is the most important part of a successful log home restoration. It is often overlooked by homeowners but without this vital step the new stain will not last long and you could end up re-staining your home over and over. After the house is clean, a visual inspection can be made to see what level of restoration is needed – if any. This includes a check for large cracks and checks that can allow rain to penetrate to the inside of the log and create wood rot.

Staining

Log homes need to be stained on a regular basis. This will help keep them protected and looking beautiful for years to come. If you’re thinking of staining your log home, it’s important to do some research to find a company that specializes in this type of work. They will have the expertise and knowledge to ensure that your log home is treated properly and looks great for years to come.

Before a new stain can be applied the old one must be removed. This can be done by either sanding or media blasting. If you choose to use sanding make sure the grit is not too coarse, as this can cause damage and inconsistencies. It is also recommended to use a vacuum system to remove the sanding dust. This helps to prevent re-sanding and maintain a consistent profile.

Once the old stain has been removed the logs must be thoroughly inspected and prepped for a new application. It is important to check for any areas that may be rotted or in need of chinking, as this can cause major issues with the integrity of your log home. Also, it is important to check for any areas that have had water damage or mildew growth. This is a sign that the stain has been compromised and needs to be repaired before it can be re-stained.

Next the logs need to be cleaned with a cleaning product like Sashco’s CPR or an oxygenated bleach cleaner. This will help to lift dirt, mold and mildew from the surface of the logs and studs. After the cleaning process is complete, the logs should be rubbed down and then pressure washed again to remove any remaining dirt or debris. This is a critical step in the restoration process to help protect your investment and extend the life of the stain.

Once the logs have been cleaned and prepped they can be restained with either a water or oil based stain, depending on what was originally used on your log home. Our preferred stain is Capture or Transformation, both of which are a water based stain and offer the best color retention for your log home. We do recommend using a clear top coat when you use either of these stains, as this will extend the life of your stain and protect it from UV breakdown.

Sealing

When log homes are properly sealed, they provide a barrier against moisture. This prevents the rot that occurs when water enters the wood and makes it susceptible to mold, mildew and infestation.

The sealing process should be on your log home maintenance schedule, along with chinking, caulking and other repairs. It is also a good time to perform a thorough inspection of your cabin to address any issues that might be present.

Before you can apply any sealant, it is necessary to remove the old finish and clean the logs. This is typically done with a power washer and chemical stripper. If you’re planning to do the stripping yourself, it is important that you read up on proper technique. Be careful not to gouge the logs or apply too much pressure.

Once the logs are dry, you’ll want to tape 6 mm heavy polypropylene to all glass and window frames, electrical outlets, junction boxes and aluminum flashing. This is a critical step in the restoration process, preventing leaking from affecting the interior of your log home and protecting the new stain.

It is also important that you inspect the exterior of your log cabin for any signs of rot and insect infestation. Some common indicators are fungus growth, soft spots in the wood and sawdust (called frass) on the lower logs of your home. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can eventually lead to structural damage and mold problems.

The last part of the restoration process is applying a quality sealant to the entire surface of your log cabin. This will help protect it from the elements, including UV rays that can damage wood and lead to cracking, abrasion and decay. It will also prevent moisture from entering the wood and causing mold, mildew, rot and insect infestations.

Aside from annual inspection and completing obvious repair issues, this is probably the most important part of restoring your log home. The right type of sealant will not only protect your home from rot and mold, but will also help to retain its natural color, while allowing the logs to breathe. It is recommended that you reapply your sealant at least every other year.

Maintenance

Log homes are truly unique and a beautiful way to live but they do require special care in order for them to look and stay in good condition. This includes routine inspection and maintenance to prevent problems from arising, which can lead to costly repairs later on.

The first step in the process is a general inspection of the log home and cabin to locate any areas that may need to be repaired, caulked or chinked and to determine the overall condition. This is a great opportunity to notice any rot, mold, mildew, insect or rodent damage and weather and UV degradation of the wood in your home.

Once the inspection is complete and any necessary repair work has been completed, it is time to start cleaning and staining. We usually recommend a high quality breathable stain that contains UV inhibitors to protect the wood from damaging sun rays and slow down the deterioration of the logs over time. A breathable stain will also add to the beauty of your log cabin and help it to maintain its character.

A breathable stain will also keep the moisture level of your logs in check which helps to prevent rot, mold and mildew. It is important to remember that your log home will absorb more moisture than a traditional home because of their natural construction. This is why it is essential to keep the moisture levels in check, or else your logs will begin to rot and will need to be replaced.

One of the best things you can do to keep your logs in good shape is to clear any overgrown vegetation around your cabin. This will help keep dirt, bugs and other debris away from the logs, making it easier for them to dry after rain storms. It is also a good idea to hose down your exterior logs once or twice a year to remove any dirt that could be eroding the sealant on your logs. The microorganisms in the dirt can eat through the sealant and cause damage to your home.

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