The Log Home Restoration Process
A great many log homes lose much of their physical appeal before they should, simply because they aren’t properly maintained. If this happens to you, there’s no need to panic because it’s very possible to restore your log home to its initial glorious-looking appearance. All that’s really necessary is to undertake a four-step approach which will have your log home looking like the first day that you walked through the door. These four steps include surface preparation, log home preservation, staining, and sealing. Once you’ve carried out these four steps, you will be amazed at how new-looking your log home is, and what a dazzling appearance it presents to the neighborhood.
This is one of the most work-intensive steps involved with restoring your log home, but it’s extremely important because it will ensure that the stain and sealant you apply will have the maximum effect and appeal. All the logs of your home need to be clean and dry, or that new finish just won’t look right. The surface preparation step calls for analyzing your specific location and identifying where there might be moisture problems, mold or mildew, air leakage, log deterioration, and improper caulking or chinking that requires repair.
You may have to do some stripping if there’s any kind of film or coating on the logs, or if you have a buildup of prior finishes. If the old finish is cracking or peeling, that’s another reason for you to do some stripping, and if you have a glossy finish on your house that will also need to be stripped off. If you don’t have any of these situations in effect, you can just go ahead and pressure wash the exterior, so as to give a thorough cleaning to the logs. When pressure washing, avoid the use of bleach or detergents, because these can destroy the cellulose in the wood, and they are also sometimes difficult to wash off.
Preserving the wood
Any restoration process for log homes must include preservation, especially when you have areas of bare wood showing. The best preservatives for logs are borates, because they resist mildew, mold, and rot, and they are also deadly to insects. This treatment will make the wood toxic as a food supply for any kind of pests which normally feast on wood. Your best bet is to apply a water-repellent finish over wood that has been treated with borate. Apply borates to the log home when it’s dry, so that the glycol preservatives have the best opportunity to fully penetrate and be absorbed into the wood. Borates are very inexpensive insurance which can keep your log home free of all pests and insects.
It’s never a good idea to use paint on your log home, because that prevents the logs from breathing, and it promotes the development of cracks in the surface. Log home staining is the most popular option for this application. There are a great many types of wood finishes on the market today, and they serve a variety of functions. Many of these finishes include solid materials, and these are the active ingredients which get left on the wood once the finish dries. They are agents such as pigments, binders, fungicides, and resins. You should choose a wood finish which has over 60% solids in its composition, because this kind of high-quality finish will protect your wood for years before retreatment is needed.
The last step in your log home restoration should be to apply a sealant, which can prevent leaks around walls, windows, doors, and corners. All these areas must be sealed from the outside using some kind of high-quality chink or caulk. Caulking and chinking can either be applied in Contractor Grade, or in Professional Grade. Generally speaking, you should do your chinking or caulking with Professional Grade, because it will last longer and will protect your home better against weather elements.