A clear topcoat is an integral part of a log home’s exterior finishing system. Not only does it extend the life of the stains color, but it also significantly improves the look of your home by enhancing the color, clarity, and depth of the finish. When applied properly, a topcoat helps keep the surface clean. The very nature of a pigmented stain makes it susceptible to dirt pick-up through adhesion or impregnation. Since the clear topcoat is designed to form a smooth, strong film, it makes it much more resistant to dirt. In addition, the smooth surface makes it easy to clean off dust or pollen that may accumulate on the surface of the logs. A simple application of a professional log wash and a rinse with a garden hose, and you will easily be able to remove the dirt and grime from your logs.
Another feature a smooth topcoat provides is a greater mechanical resistance to the growth of mold, mildew, and algae. In addition to water, these organisms need something to grip onto. If the spores land on a tough, smooth surface that rapidly sheds water, they won’t have an opportunity to germinate and spread. So, the surface of your logs stays free of unsightly mold spots and patches of algae. An additional beneficial feature of a clear topcoat is the protection it provides to the color coats against degradation by airborne contaminates like sulfur dioxide, ozone, and particulates.
All that said, the most performance enhancing feature of a clear topcoat is that it reflects sunlight. Sunlight is composed of several components, including ultraviolet (UV) light. It is the UV that is responsible for fading colors and, in the case of wood homes, damaging wood fibers through a process called photo-oxidation. The more UV light that is reflected off the surface, the slower the color coats will fade. Wood fibers will also be exposed to less photo-oxidation, thus extending the life of the entire finish system.
Although satin finishes reflect a significant amount of sunlight, gloss topcoats reflect more, which is why car finishes are shiny and not dull. The same holds true for a log home’s exterior finishing system.
A properly applied, professional grade, topcoat plays a key role in the performance of all exterior finishing systems and the longevity of your logs. If you need advice or assistance applying or reapplying your topcoat, give the experts at 888-LOG-GUYS a call.