“Maintenance should not be viewed as a chore or just an expense, it should be considered as an investment in your home’s longevity and value. Properly cared for log homes will appreciate in value, rather than depreciate. “ -Tony Huddleston, Perma-Chink Systems.
Wood homes require more maintenance than painted or vinyl sided homes. When you have a wood home it is important to know that you are working with a natural material that will sunburn (graying of the wood) and dry out if not properly maintained over the years. Most log finish manufacturers will give you a time frame during which you should apply a maintenance coat. Some don’t. The tips in this article will help you know when it is time to apply a maintenance coat.
- Every log or wood sided home is different. Each home has a variety of factors that influence when you will need to apply a maintenance coat. Some of those factors include the age and porosity of the wood, how the wood was maintained before it was stained, if the wood has been sanded and what type of weather elements the wood is exposed to on a regular basis.
- It is important to wash your home annually. While washing with a wood-specific cleaner like Log Wash, take the time to evaluate your wood home wall by wall.
- Wall by wall evaluation before applying a maintenance coat makes sure you will avoid excess build up of previous coatings. Know that if a manufacturer recommends applying a maintenance re-coat every 3-5 years, that one wall could need re-staining every 3 years and another every 5 or more years depending on exposure to elements.
- For penetrating finishes like Seal-Once Poly Blend and Outlast Q8 Log Oil, watch for fading, cracking or checking of the wood and reduced water repellency as indications of when to apply a maintenance coat.
- For film forming finishes like WeatherSeal, Perma-Chink and Sikkens Proluxe Log & Siding, look for fading, chalking, flaking, cracking or checking of the wood and reduced sheen. Do not wait until these finishes peel because it is likely that the surface will need to be stripped before re-application.
- Make your maintenance checklist a yearly to-do. Again, take some time to walk around your home and assess the wood. Do you see fading or reduced water repellency? Wood that looks dry? Reduced sheen? All these symptoms indicate it is time to re-stain.
- Regular maintenance and inspections can save you money over time. With a little time, attention to detail and knowledge you can maintain your home on a regular basis with little worry on what to do and when.
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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.