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Hiring a contractor to restore, clean or stain your log home can often be overwhelming. Below is a list of questions to help guide you through the process of selecting a contractor for your log home. As a rule of thumb, ask these questions of at least two contractors and obtain at least two references from each contractor you are considering for the job.
- Are you licensed, bonded and insured? Do you have proof of insurance? May I see the proof of insurance?
- How many years of experience do you have working on log homes?
- Do you have your own team that you have experience working with or do you contract labor out?
- Do you have experience with pressure washing and cleaning log homes before staining? Can you provide me with pictures of other jobs you have completed this task for?
- What stain products do you have experience applying? Can you provide me with pictures of other jobs you have completed this task for?
- Can you provide me with an itemized bid?
- Is your bid an estimate or a fixed price?
- Can you provide me with an estimated time of beginning and ending the project?
To find contractors in your area for log home repair and finishing, head over to our Find a Contractor page.
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The best strategy when treating wood rot is to remove the rotted areas. See the options below for repairing wood rot.
For logs with significant rot damage (50% or more):
If a log on your home is more than 50% eaten away by rot, the structural integrity of the home has been compromised and it is important to move ahead with a plan to replace the rotted log. Make sure to contact an experienced log home renovation professional to replace a log. A number of such professionals can be found on the Find a Contractor section of LogFinish.com.
If you just have the beginnings of a log rot problem (i.e. a soft spot in the log) consider the below treatments:
1. Remove, Protect and Replace
- Make a vertical cut on either side of the soft spot to the depth of the soft wood.
- Then use a coal or vibrating chisel and hog out the rotted wood until you reach solid sound wood.
- Level out the area to a flat surface.
- Coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate) to prevent further expansion of rot.
- Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days.
- Using a piece of log siding or a section of whole log cut to the depth of the hole, cut a segment to precisely fill the gap.
- Fasten the section in place with Liquid Nail and caulk all edges with Energy Seal. Apply Shellguard RTU and then the wood finish you have selected.
- As water is usually the cause of rot issues, make sure that the source of the water problem gets solved.
2. Use a Epoxy system developed specifically for wood like the M-Balm and E- Wood epoxy system:
- Following the steps listed above to hog out the rotted wood.
- When you get to solid wood, coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate).
- Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days and then re-coat the area with M-Balm. M- Balm is a 2 part epoxy primer. This prepares the area to accept the E-Wood Filler.
- Fill the primed area with E-Wood and shape to the log profile. The epoxy filler will be stronger than the original wood.
- Sand the area and apply finish.
- Please note: The E-Wood has little absorbency and must be used in conjunction with film forming finishes such as Lifeline Ultra 2 or Ultra 7 , Sikkens Log & Siding or WeatherSeal. Penetrating products such as Q8 Log Oil and Seal Once Poly Blend do not work well in this situation. E-Wood has a wood tone but it may not match your homes exterior wood tone. Use multiple stain coats to minimize any blotchiness and spotting.
Article authored by Bill Frykberg, LogFinish.com