Log Home/ Cabin Restoration Services
We begin with a log home inspection to see what items will need restoration and repaired. We provide log restoration services to home owners, commercial properties such as resorts, hotels and other commercial buildings. Below are some of the recognized restoration services we provide.
- Clean & Stain
- Cobb Blasting
- Chemically Cleaning
- Bug Treatments
- Deck Cleaning & Sealing
- Cedar Siding Cleaning & Staining
- New Construction Cleaning & Staining
- Log Home Chinking
- Log Replacements and Repairs
Choosing the right stain for your log home!
Latex vs. Oil-Based Stains
Choosing a log home stain can be one of the most important decisions to make with your log home or cabin. If the wrong materials are applied, it can become very costly to remove and start over. Always use a good quality stain that is made for log homes. It needs to be able to sustain all the movement in the logs caused by temperature change and not crack or peel from it. NEVER use paint on your log home. Paint does not allow the logs to “breathe” like latex stain does. Oil based stains are also not recommended for the same reason.
We recommend using Life Line stain from Perma Chink™. We have used it for over ten years, and when it is applied correctly and maintained properly, it will last for many years. The key to any log home finish is keeping up on the maintenance protocol from the manufacturer. Most finishes require some clear coat or maintenance coat every three to four years. Be aware of some oil-based stains that have color in their maintenance coats. Every time you apply, it will get darker. After two or three times, it will loose its original look and have become quite dark.
Another thing that will help maintain the finish is giving your log home a light bath every year. Removing any dust, dirt or tree sap that has accumulated on the logs will help keep the finish from breaking down. Apply Log Wash at a low pressure to soak for a bit. You may have to scrub with a soft brush for heavier soiled areas and rinse. You can use a power washer for this process but stay back 10-20 feet so that you are just misting it for rinsing purposes.
When preparing a new home or cabin to stain, sand all rough spots, splinters, and marks left from the construction process. A light bath with Log Wash from Perma Chink™ is then recommended to remove the dirt and sawdust. You should always apply a good quality borate treatment before staining to help stop log rot and keep any wood-boring insects from entering the wood. Borate can only be applied to bare wood, so once you have stained; it is a waste of time and money to try to put it on your home.
There are several types of borate. One is a powder that is mixed with warm water and applied. This kind of borate offers excellent protection for bugs but minimal protection for rot. Then there are the pre-mixed solutions that also give good bug protection and a little better rot protection.
Finally, there are the glycol-based, mix-it-yourself-type solutions that will provide the best wood penetration toward rot protection and insect control. The drawback to this mix is that it can take up to two weeks to dry before the home can be stained. The more moisture content in the wood, the deeper these solutions will penetrate. All types of borate mixes should be applied to the point of run-off. Always follow the label instructions. When preparing a log home that has an existing finish, the old finish should be stripped off if it is peeling, cracking or has black mold growing under it.
Corn Cob Blasting
We recommend corn cob blasting since it is a dry process that will keep your logs dry and ready to stain the exterior immediately. Dry logs are happy logs! Moisture is your enemy with a log home and the less water, and moisture applied the better. DO NOT power wash old finishes. It will drive the water so deep into the wood fiber, that it will never dry out properly and may cause black mold to grow under your new stain over time.
Using a power washer to try and strip finishes will work great on the dry, broken down stained areas, but will drive the water into the wood. Under the overhangs, porches and up in the peaks of the gables where the stain is still in good shape, it will not remove the finish well enough to stain, and will likely cause a blotchy look after the new stain is on. If you do have to corn cob blast, we recommend that you hire a professional for at least this portion of the project.
Get Reference Samples
Always get references! Most log home stains are semi-transparent to show off the wood grain. Remember too, the darker the stain you use and can enjoy, the longer it will hold up to the sun’s UV damage. If you want a more costeffective approach, you can use a solid color latex stain. It looks like paint, covers like paint, but still has the stain breathing qualities. It also holds up against the sun for years, if applied properly. If this is the route you take, we recommend Sherwin Williams Woodscapes Latex Stain.
Water and Pest Solutions
We can help you pinpoint water and pest problem areas as well as consult with you on solutions for correction. If necessary, this can include the installation of Borate solutions.
In the days on the early 1900’s, Chinking consisted of anything that was jammed between two logs to keep the moisture and air out. Rocks, mud, horsehair, rope, mattress fillings, grass, moss and newspaper all made those first winters a little more bearable. Sure, these chinking materials were better than nothing but doesn’t begin to compare to the effectiveness of permanent chinking used today. Chinking progressed to mortar, which was much more effective but is still somewhat of an obsolete material due to its unsightliness, cracking, lack of flexibility and lack of permanent bonding characteristics.
In order to protect your log home from potentially damaging water intrusion and irritating insects, Perma Chink™ can be the permanent answer to costly air infiltration and lower utility bills.
Remember, the smallest of gaps between your logs can lead to extensive air transfer and more expensive utility bills. Having numerous 1/16” voids (between the horizontal logs and corners) and unsealed gaps where the logs terminate up against the window and doorjambs can be no different than having a window or two wide open on a breezy, bitter cold December evening.
Perma Chink™ Systems revolutionized the log home weatherization process in the early 80’s with their elastomeric, flexible chinking which emulates traditional mortar. It’s the most popular and widely used chinking in the world. It was introduced to replace mortar chinking, which did a reasonable job but was considered unsightly by many. Mortar also won’t permanently bond to wood, and obviously doesn’t stretch to accommodate any log movement. With a strong presence from Alaska to Arizona, from Canada to Russia, Perma Chink™ has proven to be an effective, permanent sealant in any climate.
Available in 8 popular colors, it is packaged in 11-ounce and 30-ounce tubes, and the most popular cost effective packaging, 5-gallon pails. It never hardens once it cures; it always remains pliable and does a great job at retaining its color. It takes a stain and will not come off wood unless it’s applied on wood that has a coating of something (oil, ice, dirt, etc.) that would prevent it from adhering in the first place. Perma Chink™ has very little, if any maintenance once applied.
For those “chinkless” style homes that traditionally aren’t chinked, keep an eye on the joints. It isn’t uncommon for the joints to open up a bit after years of settlement. If you don’t want to pronounced appearance of Perma Chink™, Energy Seal could be your choice. It’s applied in the same manner as Perma Chink™, offers the same benefits but will blend it the wood much better as it doesn’t contain the sand Perma Chink™ does.