Log homes exude rustic charm and timeless appeal, but to keep them looking their best, proper exterior treatment is essential. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the steps and techniques to ensure your log home remains a picturesque haven for years to come.
When to stain your log home.
You should stain your log home every 3-5 years depending the location, type of stain used, type of wood, and location. Staining your log home will help your log home will help protect the logs and ensure that your log home last a very long time. Check How long will a log home last?
How to treat your log home exterior:
- Inspect your log home:
Inspecting your log home will help you determine the treatment that you need and help you catch any problems that need your attention. Somethings to look for are log rot, carpenter bees, water stains, and other damaged areas. Here is how to tell the difference between Checks & Rot. If you do have rot in your log home, you will want to replace the damaged logs. Here is how to replace rotten logs.
- Clean your logs:
A big part of treating your logs for your log home is cleaning your logs. Cleaning will remove debris and also help you discover problem areas. We recommend using a log cleaner to remove debris, mold, mildew and bugs. Here is our complete guide to washing your log home.
- Choose your stain:
Before you choose your stain, it is important to know which stain was used before. Oil and water based stains are very different. It is typically best to stick with the same type of stain. You can use different shades… but if you used oil it is best to stick with oil. If you do not know what type of stain was used it is best to use oil or to cob blast before staining.
Oil based stains: Oil based stains do not require a clear coat and can go over water based stains. Oil based stains penetrate the wood. Oil stains typically require two coats.
Water based stains: Water based will require a clear coat finish and do not penetrate the wood. Water base cannot go over oil based stains. If the previous stain was oil… you will need to use cob blaster to take off a layer of the log. Most water based stains require three coats including a clear coat.
- Prepare for stain and strip logs:
Now that you know which stain you are going to use. It is time to prepare the logs for stain. If you are using the same type of stain or oil stain, you can use a pressure washer at around 3,000 psi to deep clean and strip the logs down. If you need to go further or are switching from oil to water based, you will want to cob blast your log home. Here is our guide to stripping your log home. In most cases, a basic cleaning will work for re-staining your log home. As you clean remove any damaged caulk or chinking. You will want the stain to be applied to these spots. Also be sure to tape anything that you don’t want to have stain on it. Make sure to do a last rinse to remove any debris.
- Apply stain to your log home:
It is important to know the basics before treating your log home with stain. You will want to make sure that you have enough stain and extra buckets to mix your stain in. Choose a day when you will have at least 3 days without rain and temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Double check for any bad chinking that needs to be cut out. You want the stain go cover these areas before you replace the chinking. When staining your log home, start from the top and work your way down. If you are using a sprayer, it is a good idea to use a brush as well to ensure the stain penetrates the wood. Make sure that you do an entire wall at a time. Stopping mid-wall could cause a variant. If you have different batch numbers with your stain, you can mix them in your extra 5 gallon pails. This will make sure that it all blends together.
- Repair Chinking and Caulk:
Now that your first coat is on. You can go ahead and replace the damaged chinking and caulk. The point of waiting was to have an extra layer of stain underneath the chinking. This helps protect against moisture.
- Apply final coats:
After 24 hours you will need to apply your second coat. If you are using oil, this will be your last coat. If you are using water based, you will typically apply three coats. Water based stains for log homes will require a clear coat finish.
- Protection Against Insects and Decay:
Incorporate insect repellents and fungicides into your log treatment plan to safeguard against pests and wood decay. These additional measures can extend the life of your log home.
- Trim and Landscaping Considerations: Pay attention to landscaping around your log home. Trim overhanging branches to prevent excess moisture and sunlight exposure. This proactive approach can reduce the likelihood of log deterioration.
- Set a regular maintence schedule:
Setting a regular maintence schedule will help protect your log home in the future. Regular inspections will also help you catch problems early. Log rot can and will spread. Pests can be silent in their attacks. We recommend writing down your maintence schedule and what it is you use. This is something that is great to have incase you decide to sell your log home.
Treating your log homes exterior is the single most important thing that you can do. A properly treated log home can last generations. It is also much cheaper to pay for maintence rather fix problems.