Taking Care of Your Log Home
If you are planning to build a new log home, do not get intimidated by the stories you hear, as maintaining your log homes is not as horrifying as some people might make it sound. The only thing that stands in the way of a well-maintained log home and one in a deplorable state is neglect. The main idea is to grasp a basic knowledge of wood up keeping and planning ahead in advance. By incorporating the following in your log home maintenance regimen, you can proactively spend a minimum amount of money and time on its maintenance.
Maintenance of Log Homes
Washing your log house annually increases the life of sealants and stains. Washing helps to get rid of:
- Insect egg sacs, webs and remains
- Bird droppings
- Pollen and dust
After you have properly washed the home, it is a good idea to let it dry. If the log stains are oil based, the checks and knots on the wall will have a blondish tinge signifying the wearing off of a finish and stain coatings will be required. In case of latex coating (waterborne), you will notice that the otherwise glossy surfaces have dulled out requiring a maintenance coating. Look for signs of caulking failures and wood chinks. The particular problem areas in most log houses are:
- Walls – which receive a lot of sunlight (these areas are probably degraded by the UV radiation, breaking the fibers of the wood and allowing empty crevices for moisture and insects to creep in).
- The breezeways, deck, balconies and extended log corners – they do not have much protection from wind, sunlight, dirt and rain.
- Areas where the logs and the roofs meet.
After identifying these areas, identify the proper sealant or staining material, and apply a maintenance coating.
Preservation for Rotting Wood
You must immediately respond if you discover signs of rotting wood. Unfortunately, you cannot easily determine these with naked eyes as the rot mostly occurs at the core from the inside. So, tap the wood every few strides and if you hear a dull thudding sound, instead of a clear reverberation, it means that the wood is rotting. The best line of defense that you have in this regard is borates. Whilst borates are quite harmless to human beings, they simply diffuse inside the wood and are efficient against termites, fungi, beetles, etc. If your house touches the ground, then it needs borate treatment every five years at most.
Cleaning Dirty Wood
Cleaning of dirty log sections can easily be done by mixing some detergent with water and adding bleach in it. But instead of using homemade bleaches which are difficult to rinse off and cause harm to the wood cellulose if applied inappropriately, it is a better idea to procure a wood cleaning solution from the market. These market brought bleaching products have got buffers which allow the wood to be rinsed more easily after the application. Use products which have the following ingredients for cleaning wood surfaces with mildews:
Calcium or Sodium Hypochlorite
Sodium Per Carbonate
Use a cleaner with oxalic acid if there are no visible signs of mildew and only slight discoloration. This helps to restore the color of the wood. Then use pressure washing technique (2500 psi max) to rinse off the wood cleaner from the surface.