Tired old cliches have often earned that status. And so it's true with a wood home and the cliche that urges you to avoid a pound of cure.
“Every log homeowner should adopt the ‘ounce of prevention’ philosophy,” says John. Yearly check ups on chinking, cracks, holes and discolored areas can give you a heads-up on future trouble. “The stains and treatment products that are on the market are more effective than in the past,” says John. Not only do they let the logs breath and release the moisture from the log, they are environmentally safe and less irritating to work with.
Some preventative measures John recommends are:
UV Boost – “A new product on the market is a UV Boost that you put in your stain that will add extra protection to a regular can of stain.” John says. “This is especially helpful for southern and western exterior walls that take a beating from the sun.”
Impel Rods – Another product John recommends is borate impel rods. This plug-type product chemically stops fungal decay when the rod comes in contact with moisture. First, the rotten area is removed from the log and the inside treated with a borate solution and filled with flexible wood filler. “A pilot hole is then drilled near the damaged area where the impel rod is then inserted, caulked in and topped with a wooden dowel. “ These rods can be as small as ½” long and ¼” wide all the way up to 3” long and are relatively inexpensive. However, the labor and time needed to install them that can be costly.
Clear Coat – Most stain systems include a final clear coat that works with the stain and provides the first line of defense against moisture. These flexible and breathable finishes are formulated to fight off the elements while enhancing the depth and clarity of the stain. Keeping this topcoat in good working order will preserve your stain from wear and tear and will extend the need to re-stain.
Regular Washing – The spring and fall are perfect times to inspect your home. “Twice a year you should thoroughly wash down your home with a hose and a product made to clean and brighten logs. Make sure to hit trouble spots,” says John “If you notice that the water is not beading up when you spray water, it might be time for a touch up of topcoat.”
Plan ahead – Plant bushes two feet or more away from exterior walls. “Bushes can create a damp area near the foundation, which makes a perfect home for wood & moisture loving bugs,” says John. Also, choose stone mulch over wood. Not only does this deter insects, but it also helps drain water away from the lower logs.
Trees should be far enough from your home so that logs can stay dry, but close enough to prevent the sun from damaging the finish. Keep gutters clean and in good working order to keep water away from the foundation.
A good quality stain system may be more expensive, but will pay off in time and money in the long run. John recommends this especially to new homeowners who are staining for the first time. “Some people panic during the final construction phase of the home – they begin to run out of money so when it comes time to stain they cut corners. Just like rust-proofing on a car, what you apply in the first place will set the stage for the longevity of your investment.