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Spring Cleaning

Well once again spring has come upon us. For those who own a log home, this means it is cleaning and maintenance time.  I know just the sound of that evil word “maintenance” can make some of us cringe, but if you become proactive with the maintenance of your home, it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. So let’s take a look at what maintenance may consist of.

First, you need to make a simple diagram of the home. Label each side of the diagram to correspond with each wall. Such as north, south, east, and west walls. Count how many courses of logs are on each wall, and simply show that on your diagram by drawing a line.

Now we will need to gather up a few small tools. You will need a roll of masking tape, a spray bottle, hammer, and possibly a thin bladed screwdriver. 

Now we can start the task. The first thing you will need to do is make sure you are looking at a clean surface. Perma-chink Systems Inc. offers a product called Log Wash. Log Wash is a wood cleaner specifically designed for cleaning your log home. Its unique formulation has a pH that is very similar to the pH of most species of wood, so there is no worry of a chemical reaction taking place. Simply mix one cup of Log Wash with one gallon of water and spray it on the home using a pump style garden sprayer. Let it sit on the wood surface for about ten minutes and thoroughly rinse it off with a garden hose or a pressure washer on low pressure setting. (600-800 psi). After the washed surface has had time to dry we can start our inspection process.

Remember the masking tape we mentioned earlier? You are going to use it to test the adhesion of the finish. You will want to pull off about a six inch piece of the tape. Press it firmly on the logs. Now remove the tape. If greater than fifty percent of the tape is covered with stain, then it may be time to consider removing the finish from the home and starting fresh. Repeat this process multiple times across every wall on the home.

Once you have finished testing the adhesion of the finish on your log home, you can do the water absorption test. Use a spray bottle and thoroughly wet the wood in various areas around the whole home. If the wood is turning dark under the finish, that means water is getting through the finish to the wood itself. This means that it is probably time for a maintenance application of clear coat, stain, or stain and clear coat, depending on what type of stain system was used on your home.

While you are in the process of moving around the home checking the adhesion of the stain and doing your water absorption test, you can  use the small hammer to check for signs of wood decay. Simply tap on the logs and listen for a hollow sound. If you happen to come across an area that sounds hollow, gently tap the thin blade screwdriver into the wood. If the screwdriver goes into the wood with little or no effort then you may have some wood decay issues to take care of.

Please remember that many repairs to log homes can be done by yourself, but there are some things that in my opinion must be left to the professional. Major wood decay issues such as log replacement and log re-facing should be done by a profession. The reason is because these things could potentially cause structural issues with the home. Media blasting a finish off of your home is another one that it is best to let a professional do. It is possible to do a severe amount of damage in a very short period of time with a media blaster. When I say a short period of time, I mean a matter of seconds.  When choosing a log home professional, in my opinion if is best to find one that is very familiar with all aspects of construction. DO NOT hire the local painter who stands in the aisle of the paint store looking for business. Log homes require much more attention to detail than a stick-built home with stucco or block walls. Each log on your home has its own unique characteristics. Only a log home professional will have the knowledge and ability to make your log home look like your DREAM HOME.

If you have any questions about log home restoration or info on buying products for your log home, don’t hesitate one moment to contact Danny Beamer of Beamers Better Builders. I have been doing business with him for nearly 5yrs now. He is my number one choice when someone asks me about an experienced log home professional.


Sealing air leaks in your Log home

It is always a good time to sell the air leaks in your log home.  It is important to form an airtight seal around the windows, doors, attic fans, roof vents, between the log rows and any and all openings.  Not only does this keep heat in and the cold air out it also prevents water infiltration which causes log rot and extensive damage.   

One old timers test for air infiltration was to take a candle and slowly move up and down near windows, doors and walls to see if the flame went out or flickered.  This is a good sign that the area is allowing air into your home.  Remember to always extinguish the candle properly when you are finished.  There are modern test which may be cost prohibitive for you so this quick trick will do a good job on a budget.  

We recommend that all windows and doors be sealed properly upon installation. This is one of the biggest mistakes we find when working on log homes.  Often the windows and doors are not properly insulated causing air leaks and water infiltration.  If you are limited to time or money and in need of sealing your log home try working on small sections at a time.  Each month set aside a couple of hours to do one area of your home, maybe the doors first, then the windows, then the walls.   You decide what area you feel is priority and work on that area first.  

When you are finished you will be so glad you took the time to give your log home the extra TLC it deserves along with energy savings for you.  After all, logs are the most efficient insulation for a home when compared to other building type so why not make sure they are sealed properly to reduce your monthly energy costs.  

Call us with any questions you may have.   We are here to help.

Connie Beamer

The Log Home Super Center


Cleaning your log home stain.

This is a great time of year to get out and do a basic cleaning of your previous stain work.   A quick simple wash without using a pressure washer will preserve your stain for a few extra years.  Simply order some Log Wash from our sister site at follow the directions, rinse well and repeat as needed to remove dirt, dust, pollen and grime from your log home.   

Thanks to everyone for your referrals and repeated business this year.   We appreciate you giving us the opportunity to do business with you.  

CALL US AT 276-755-3094 if you are in need of log home repairs and we will do what we can to help you with your project.   

HAVE A GREAT SUMMER.  God Bless you all.