Examining four common log home concerns:
Log Homes require some additional attention and maintenance however, with proper design and basic upkeep you can prevent issues from arising, and, if damage should occur, it can be fixed.
Re-treating Exterior Stain
A large portion of our restoration business is media blasting, staining and chinking repair. The key to successful restorations for these items is proper wood preparation.
A rough log texture allows stain to bond better and last longer. Media blasting holds stain better than any other surface prep. But choose your media wisely. Corncob and crushed walnut have been popular methods in the past, but aren’t the only option these days.
Corn and walnut are natural more organic, but they can also be like using a dull knife; it beats on the log until the stain lets go. An alternative often used is crushed recycled glass, which cuts like a very sharp knife, stripping the stain and removing unsound wood underneath it. The glass particles turn to dust and blow away, and because glass is inorganic, you don’t run the risk of bacteria infiltration that some natural products can.
After the logs are prepped, it’s essential to use a high-quality stain designed specifically for log homes. Stain come in both water-based and oil-based options. Time between reapplication can vary significantly based on climate, direct sun-exposure, and quality of stain and clear coat covering.
Most chinking failures are caused by the material being applied too thin. There is no good way to patch it, so if there is a cohesion (split down the middle) or an adhesion (pulling away from the logs) failure, its best to strip it out, blast and stain the logs, then reapply the chinking. This also affords protection behind the chinking, which creates a better seal.
Fixing Water Damage
Maintaining the integrity of your sealant is crucial to preventing water damage; however, if a breach escapes your attention, there are several approaches you can take to remedy it, depending on the severity of the setback.
The first sign of a water-related problem is surface mold, often identified by black residue or log discoloration. If caught early, you can brush it off and apply a borate solution to kill stubborn spores. If left untreated, it could lead to bigger issues, such as rot.
Rot can require removing decayed areas from the log. There are a variety of great epoxy products to rebuild the spots that are removed, verses having to replace sections of the logs. In extreme cases, it may be necessary to cut out a large portion of the log and re-face it. The worst-case scenario is full log replacement, which is difficult and can be quite expensive. Preventing should always be the goal.
Insect Issue Prevention
As with mold, a borate salt treatment will deter wood-boring insects, like carpenter bees or termites, from living in your logs, which, in turn, discourages woodpeckers and other birds from poking holes in weak, insect infested sections of your home looking for a meal.
It’s recommended to fill checks with textured caulk to prevent both bugs and water from settling in. The more prevention you can apply, the better off you will be!
With proper exterior sealing, routine inspections and periodic touch-ups, you can stop the majority of major log home-related issues from happening in the first place. However, if you find your home in need of repair, reach out to the experts at 888 Log Guys!