5 Reasons To Clean Your Log Home This Weekend

 1.  Maintain the beauty and functionality of your exterior finish.

2.  Dust, pollen, and other airborne gunk provide a food source for all kinds of ugly fungal growth on your logs.

3.  If you added a contact insecticide to your exterior stain:  dirt accumulating on the exterior surface of your home will prevent bugs from contacting the treated surface and the attempt at bug-be-gone just won’t happen.

4.  Helps you spend some quality time with the exterior of your home by getting a good look at the physical condition of your logs/siding to see if there are any areas that need caulking or chinking.

5. A regular gentle cleaning of the exterior of your home can extend the life of the finish making less work for you in the long run.
Remember: A complete and regular maintenance schedule will save you money and time!

 

To find instructions on cleaning your log home and why we strongly recommend you don’t use bleach:  Cleaning Your Log Home

Helpful Hints for Winterizing Your Log Home

It’s October, and that means it’s time to winterize your log home. You may have cold weather already, or it could be just around the corner, but taking these simple steps to winterize now means your home will be protected before it gets too cold to bear!

Inspect Your Logs
If you have temperatures above 50 degrees, you can still re-coat your home and decks with stain. Follow-ing recommended maintenance schedules protects the integrity of the wood and enhances the beauty of your home. We recommend washing first with Log Wash for light surface cleaning.
Fill checks in logs, and any gaps around doors, windows, and exterior ventilation openings to prevent moisture infiltration from ice, rain and snow, and to keep indoor heat from escaping. We recommend Energy Seal, and Checkmate 2.

Inspect Your Landscaping
Trim tree branches resting on your roof or hanging too close to power lines. Heavy snow piling up can wreak havoc!
Fall is the perfect time to seal concrete driveways and patios so they hold up to damaging Winter salts and freezing temps. It’s also important to fill cracks while they’re small to prevent spreading. We recommend Seal-Once Concrete & Masonry Waterproof Sealer.
Pulling up a dock or keeping your outdoor wood furniture on the patio? Seal it with a good water-proofer to protect it from harsh elements. We recommend Seal-Once Poly Blend and Seal-Once Marine.

Inspect Your Foundation and Roof
Rake leaves and excess vegetation away from your foundation to keep unwanted critters and wood boring insects at bay. Dry, brittle pine needles are a potential fire hazard. Reduce your risk by clearing them away from your home and off your roof. If you are in an area prone to natural fires, consider protecting your home with a flame retardant. We recommend Flame Seal Wood Seal.

Whether you plan to stay in your log home through the Winter or leave and return in the Spring, properly winterizing protects your home through those cold Winter months and extends its life for many years of enjoyment.

 

Many thanks to LogFinish.com’s, Jennifer Fludd for this fantastic article!

Quick Maintenance Checklist for Your Log Cabin

Take a moment to walk around your home.

Here are some signs that your cabin may need a new coat of stain or caulking/chinking maintenance:

  1. Faded finish on South or West exterior walls
  2. Varying shades on top and bottom of logs
  3. Gray discoloration from weathering
  4. Blonde color around checks and cracks
  5. Gaps between caulking/chinking joints
  6. Presence of mold, mildew or excessive dirt
  7. Cracking,  peeling or flaking of the log finish
  8. Water repellency is an easy way to determine when it’s time to apply a maintenance coat.

To check if the stain on your home is still repelling water, perform the following simple test:

Hose down your home. If the water beads up, you still have good protection and can wait 6-12 months before your next application. If the water soaks into the wood, it’s time to reapply.

 

For more information on all things log cabins, check out our other Log Blog articles, check out www.LogFinish.com, or give us a call @ 1-888-208-2248.  We are here to help!

Product Spotlight: Seal-Once™ Total Wood Protection-Breakthrough Technology in Wood Finishes

LogFinish.com has been in the wood finish business for nearly two decades.  In all this time, there have been very few major product developments, despite changes in customer demand.  We believe we have finally found a game changer!

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection offers a state of the art approach to protecting wood surfaces.  We have  joined forces with it’s developer, New Image Coatings, and we are proud to offer you this revolutionary product proudly made in the USA.

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection is a high-performance water-based, non-toxic waterproofer and wood sealer that incorporates nanotechnology to provide a unique, long-lasting protective coating for all wood surfaces.  It is available in clear and tinted formulas which penetrate deep into the wood’s surface.  As it cures, it forms an interior film that prevents water from infiltrating the wood.

Seal-Once protects wood against water, mold, mildew and UV damage.  It is non-flammable, contains no V.O.C.s, toxins or irritants, and it exceeds current eco-requirements.  Best of all, Seal-Once lasts for up to 6 years on horizontal surfaces and up to 10 years on vertical surfaces.

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection has proven excellence in field performance.  Give it a try for your next project; you will not be disappointed!

Also, check out Seal-Once Marine for docks and piers.  This one-of-a-kind formula is safe for use directly over water without harming aquatic life or polluting the environment.

 

Check out how Seal Once™Total Wood Protection works in the video below:

 

For more information on this breakthrough in wood finishing technology click here

 

What You Should Know Before Using a Clear Wood Finish

Our customers often ask us for a clear or “natural” finish that will protect their wood.  The truth is, clear finishes may provide water repellency, resistance against mold and mildew and insecticidal properties.  However,  clear finishes do not  protect your log home from UV rays that cause weathering and graying of your home’s exterior, decks and rails.  With most clear finishes you will notice graying wood within 1-2 years of initial application.

Why will the exterior of your home turn gray if you only use a clear finish to protect it?   UV rays break down the lignan fibers in the wood which in turn causes the wood to gray.  

Semi-transparent, tinted wood finishes provide your wood with UV protection.  Different stain brands contain various UV inhibitors, but the rule of thumb is the darker the tint of the stain, the better the UV protection for your house.  If your house is located in a high sun area, where it is fully exposed for hours at a time, LogFinish.com recommends going using a finish with a medium to dark tint.

If your deck or wood exteriors are weathered and gray and you are looking to clean them up, re-stain and bring the wood back to it’s natural color, we recommend using an oxalic acid based product like X-180 Weathered Wood Restorer from American Building Restoration.  This product is a wood cleaner and brightener and will take the gray out of lightly to severely discolored wood.

Another option for cleaning gray, weathered wood is oxygen based detergent and brightening cleaners like All Wood Cleaner from New Image Coatings.  This is cleaner has very low environmental impact, can be used safely over water and will not harm plants.  All Wood Cleaner harnesses the power of oxygen to clean and brighten wood without harsh chemicals.

When cleaning your deck or exterior wood we do not recommend using bleach.  Bleach can cause streaking, spotting and even break down wood fibers.

 

Product Spotlight: Flame Retardant For Your Home

Wild fires were devastating to many homes, families and businesses all over the the United States last year.   The following product spotlight focuses on Flame Seal’s Wood Seal™ Class A,  a revolutionary product that can mean the difference between a home or business to return to or a pile of ashes.

What is Flame Seal Wood Seal ™ A?

Flame Seal Wood Seal is a clear, water based, penetrating product designed to be applied to all unfinished wood surfaces inside and outside the home prior to final finishing. With Flame Seal’s Wood Seal treatment, your logs are transformed from a flammable material into a “flame resistant” material. If logs are exposed to a flame, instead of growing into a destructive fire,  in most cases the flames will simply burn themselves out, and the exposed surface of the logs will only be discolored or charred. Most non-flammable finishes can be applied over Wood Seal but check with your manufacturer before using.  Wood Seal meets most commercial building code requirements, giving structures a Class A fire rating.   Wood Seal is  non volatile, non-toxic, and contains no petroleum derivatives.

What woods work best with Flame Seal Wood Seal?

Softer woods such as Fir, Pine and Cedar work best and allow for maximum penetration of the Wood Seal product.  Harder woods such as Oak will not absorb as much Flame Seal, and therefore might be less resistant to fire.  

What wood finishes work best with Flame Seal Wood Seal?

Flame Seal’s Wood Seal works best with water based interior finishes such as PermaChink’s Lifeline Interior.  For exterior applications Flame Seal Wood Seal works well with water-based exterior systems such as Perma-Chink’s Lifeline Ultra-2 System  and Seal Once Poly Blend. Flame Seal Wood Seal also works well  with alkyd resin systems such as Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding and WeatherSeal. Check the Flame Seal product page for information on what class fire ratings are achieved when using the above wood finishes over Flame Seal.  Flame Seal’s Wood Seal is not compatible with penetrating log finishes such as Q8 Log Oil.

Are Test Results Available Which Prove Flameseal Woodseal’s Class A Fire Rating?

Yes. Click Here for Flameseal Wood Seal Test Results.

Will Flame Seal Wood Seal Protect My Home In All Fire Situations?

Wood Seal flame retardant cannot provide 100% protection against all fire situations. The product makes it difficult for a fire to start, or spread, which will defeat many fire situations.  Flame Seal will always increase the time that you will have to escape or take action to put out the fire. Flame Seal’s Wood Seal will protect your home against 95% of the common causes of house fires that can, if left unchecked, destroy your home.

How Do You Apply Flame Seal Wood Seal?

  • Always remove any mill glaze from milled logs or siding.
  • Apply a light initial coat of Flame Seal, followed by two heavy saturating coats.
  • Flame Seal  can be applied with a brush, roller or spray equipment to any clean unfinished raw wood surface.
  • Apply Flame Seal to saturation so that it is running off the surface of the wood.
  • Allow Flame Seal Wood Seal to dry for 24 hours before applying your compatible log finish.
  • Do not dilute Flame Seal: it must be applied full strength to yield full protection.
  • For exterior applications, apply your log finish within 24-72 hours after the Flame Seal application.

 

What is the coverage of Flame Seal’s Wood Seal?

Depending on the porosity of your wood, Flame Seal’s Wood Seal coverage will range between 750 and 1750 square feet per 5 gallon pail.

Who Developed Flame Seal’s Wood Seal?
Flame Seal’s Wood Seal was developed and is manufactured by the Flame Seal Corporation.  Flame Seal is a leading supplier of flame retardant coatings for the commercial aircraft industry.

Here is an amazing testimonial LogFinish.com received from a satisfied FlameSeal customer in Tujunga, CA the site of the Station Forest Fire in 2009.

I have been wanting to tell you about the successful use of your Flame Seal fire retardant on our forest cabin. In May of 2009 we refinished our deck, and since our home is in a fire prone area inside a National Forest, we wanted to use a fire retardant. We selected your Flame Seal and treated the wood on the deck with a generous amount of it before we put on the top coat.

It turns out this was a lucky, or perhaps prescient, move on our part. Four months later, on August 29, 2009, the Station Fire consumed more than 50 of our neighbors’ homes. This fire eventually became the largest blaze in Los Angeles County history. While we watched the devastation we didn’t have much hope for our cabin, but two days after the fire ran through, we were allowed to return and see to our amazement that our house was still standing! There were a thousand tiny burn marks all over the surface of the deck where embers landed, and the back of the house, which was also treated with Flame Seal, had bubbling paint and a warped plastic thermometer, but none of the ignition points sustained burning. We were so pleased, we bought another five gallons to seal the entire surface of the house, which had to be repainted after the fire.

This stuff works! We will tell all of our neighbors who rebuild and who still live in the area about your product.

Mark  T., CA

 For  more information or some friendly help with the product call 1-888-208-2248.  

How to Pick the Best Exterior Stain or Finish for Your Log Cabin-Part 2

1.  Have you treated your logs with a wood preservative?  If not, you can use an all-in-one wood preservative and wood finish  by applying Q8 Log Oil.  Other finishes such as Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding, and Lifeline Ultra 2 and 7 require a borate wood preservative before applying  the finish.

 

2. Are you concerned about making sure your logs are flame retardant?  If you live in a fire-prone area or you just want to protect your log home from the unthinkable, think about applying a flame retardant like Flame Seal which gives your home a Class A fire rating.

 

3. Would you like the finish to be film-forming or penetrate into the logs?  Outlast Q8 Log Oil  is a penetrating finish that soaks into the logs.  Sikkens and Perma-Chink products form a satin or gloss film on the wood to protect it.

 

4. Would you like a flat matte finish or a shiny satin/gloss finish?  Some people like a matte finish which gives wood  a natural, textured look.  Others like the sheen or shine created by satin or glossy finishes.

 

5. How often are you willing to retreat the home in the following years?  Some finishes require re-application in 2-3 years, after the initial coat.  Others require application every 3-7 years.  What are you willing to do?

 

6. Is a warranty on the finish you purchase important to you?   Perma-Chink Systems offers a 3-5 year warranty on their Lifeline Ultra 2 and Ultra 7  products when applied to their standards and proof of purchase is provided.

 

7. What is your budget?  Exterior finishes can range  from $1.75 a square foot to $8.50 a square foot including labor.

 

8. Are you finishing the house yourself or are you hiring someone to do the work?  Different finishes require different methods of application.  It is important to apply finishes according to the product label.  Sometimes hiring an experienced person to do the work is best, since they may already have the special equipment needed for application.

 

9. What is the weather?  Most stains need to be applied between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit in dry weather.  Products should always be applied at temperatures specified by the product label.  Many finishes should not be applied in direct sunlight.  Some finishes dry in a couple of hours, others dry overnight and still others take several days to dry.

 

So, end the end, keep in mind that there is no “best” finish, just the best finish for you and your log home. If you have any questions about the information we have posed please do call us at 1-888-208-2248.

How to Pick the Best Exterior Stain or Finish for Your Log Cabin-Part 1

Over the years we have had one question that our clients have asked us over and over again.  That question is “What is the best finish you have available?” In reality there is no “best finish”; there are many great finishes available. The real question is “What is the best finish for you and your log home?”.  Here is the first of  several key questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best finish or stain for your log home:

1. Would you like an oil-based or a water-based finish?    There are many different  finishes, but this  question encompasses all of them.  Here are some pros  and cons about each category:

Petroleum  Based  Products

Brand names you recognize like Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding  and Outlast Q8 Log Oil are oil based finishes that contain some type of petroleum.

Pros

  • Petroleum  based stains like Q8 Log Oil will keep wood from drying out because it penetrates deep into the wood  therefore minimizing cracking and checking.  Outlast Q8 Log Oil is also an EPA registered wood preservative and has a built-in pesticide called Copper 8 quinolinolate.
  • A high solids products like WeatherSeal and Sikkens Log and Siding provide excellent UV protection.

Cons

  • Petroleum oil based products are subject to major price increases on a regular basis because of the rising cost of oil.
  • Petroleum oil based products can be tough to clean up and some have high VOC (volatile organic compound) levels.
  • Once you use an oil based penetrating stain it can be tough to switch to a different product because  it soaks deep into the wood and can be very hard to remove.

Plant Oil Based  Finishes

Pros

  • Plant oil based stains and finishes are very environmentally friendly.  
  • These stains are all natural and  can be applied in a much greater range of temperature than petroleum oil based stains.
  • Plant oil based products generally have very low VOC’s.
  • Very safe to work with and have easy, non-toxic clean up as compared to petroleum oil based stains.

Cons

  • Plant oil based stains and finishes can often require  more coats to finish the exterior of your house, therefore creating the need for more application time and a larger initial product purchase.

 

 Water Based Acrylic Latex Finishes

Pros

  • Water-based  stains are easy to clean up, usually only requiring warm soapy water.  
  • Very low VOC’s,  so they often have very little smell.  
  • Water-based stains are usually more environmentally friendly than their petroleum oil based counterparts.
  • These stains and finishes often provide a better color variety and options for satin or gloss finish.  
  • Water-based stains like Perma-Chink Systems Lifeline Ultra 2 and Ultra 7 and Seal-Once offer up to a 5 year warranty when applied to their standards.

Cons

  • Many water based finishes require an additional top coat to finish the application.

 

So, there you have it.  Hopefully this article has taken you one step closer to finding out what stain or finish to use on your home.  For extra help or questions about products give us a call at 1-888-208-2248.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Cleaning Your Log Cabin

Why should you clean the exterior of  your log home?

1. Maintain the durability and appearance of your exterior finish.

2. Dust, pollen, and other airborne contaminants provide a food source for fungal growth on your logs.

3. If using a contact insecticide, dirt accumulated on the exterior surface of your home will prevent bugs from contacting the treated surface and render the insecticide ineffective.

4. Helps you get a good look at the physical condition of your logs/siding to see if there are any areas that need caulking or chinking.

5. A regular gentle cleaning of the exterior of your home can prolong the life of the stain/finish on your home.

Reasons Not to Use Bleach Or Ammonia Based Products:

  • Destroys lignan in the wood.
  • Can permanently remove color.
  • Residue is a carcinogen once it falls to the ground.
  • Bleach is tough to rinse off and you will find that the finish may look spotty after washing.
  • May cause streaks to develop on the surface of your wood.

What You Need to Clean Your Log Home:

  • A liquid log cleaner like  X-180 (oxalic acid) or Log Wash (detergent).  The reason we recommend a cleaner specifically for logs is that the PH of the cleaner needs to be very close to the PH of the wood in order to work effectively and not damage your wood.
  • A garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle or low-pressure washer (no more than 500 psi).
  • A pump up garden sprayer.
  • A long handled, soft bristle brush.

 

How to Clean Your Log Home

1. Pick a small area.  Work only an area big enough so that the cleaning solution is on the wall for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Wet down the wall with mist from your garden hose.

3. Apply cleaning solution with a garden sprayer, starting at the bottom of the wall and work your way up.

4. Scrub. Gently scrub the wall with your brush.

5. Rinse. Use a gentle setting on the hose nozzle and thoroughly rinse the cleaner from the top down. This will help prevent blotches and drip marks. If you are going to use a pressure washer set it to deliver at 500-800 PSI to avoid splitting the wood fibers.

 

More questions about cleaning the exterior of your log home?  Call us at 1-888-208-2248 for some friendly help.  Want to test out some of the products mentioned in our blog?

 

New Exterior Stain from Perma-Chink Systems

 Perma-chink Systems, Inc., has released a new two-coat only exterior wood finish that is amazing for many different reasons.

Appearance+Longevity

1. Ultra 7‘s state-of-the-art resin ensures that the seal is continuous, providing protection from holes and gaps that might otherwise develop with a lower-quality finish.  What is a polymer resin?  A polymer resin is a clear liquid plastic product that hardens to create a thick, durable, glossy coating. Once hardened, polymer resin is fade-proof and water-resistant (1).

 2. Ultra-7’s water-resistant film breathes just like Gore-Tex® to allow trapped moisture to evaporate from your logs.

 3. Ultra-7 includes transparent oxides (sunscreen for your wood) and mildew inhibitors to protect against UV degradation, color fading and mildew collection on your home.

  •  Value+Environment

1. Ultra-7 can be used in nearly every application around your home, making it a great one-stop shop product for all of your finishing needs. It works on exterior walls, decks, railings, siding, while also being compatible with all existing Lifeline coatings to help streamline your maintenance routine.

2. Perma-Chink Systems is offering up to a 5-year warranty against UV exposure when applied to bare wood and covered with Lifeline Advance clear topcoat. Click here for more details.

3. Easy clean-up!  The tools you use to apply your home’s finish need only soap and water for clean-up, eliminating the need for any harsh chemicals during the initial application or maintenance.

4. Ultra-7  meets and exceeds all standards for low-VOC exterior finishes in the most restrictive regions in North America.

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So there we are.  Lifeline Ultra 7 is supported by a 3 year warranty against UV degradation, it is a two-coat only system finishing with a one coat of Lifeline Advance gloss or satin which increases durability, and can be used for multiple applications around the home!  Whats not to like?  Please let us know your experiences with Ultra-7 in the comments below so we can develop a good understanding of the performance and usage of Lifeline Ultra-7 in the industry.  Please keep in mind that you do need to register your home with Perma-Chink Systems, Inc., in order to qualify for the warranty.

 

Thank you to Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. for providing information for this post.  Want to see Lifeline Ultra 7 colors and read more? Visit www.LogFinish.com or give us a holler for some friendly help at 1-888-208-2248.  Ready to finish your home?