Archives for May 2016

Log Home Staining and Chinking Products for Your Historical Cabin

Owning a cabin or log home with a storied past is a very special opportunity, and if you are lucky enough to be able to call a historical cabin home, or have access to one through your business, it is important to take care of it and keep it in great condition so that it will last for many years to come. Most historical cabins need to be renovated at some point to accommodate modern innovations, and they will also need continual upkeep to stay in great condition. Here are some essential log home products for staining, chinking, and just generally maintaining your cabin.

log-cabin-day1-e1433926023111-804x382

Chinking or Log Jam

These are two of the most popular acrylic polymer chinking materials on the market, although any acrylic polymer will be suitable for chinking touch-ups. These brands sell their products in both 5-gallon buckets and smaller tubes, so you can buy the exact amount you need for either major chinking overhauls or just minor touch-ups. You will always want to have at least a little bit of this on hand in case you notice any cracks or holes in your sealant – you’ll want to eliminate those right away.

Wood Stain

Staining products not only make your logs look healthy and new, but they can also protect them from the elements, which is especially important in cold climates. There are a variety of different staining products on the market for both the interior and exterior of your home. Stains protect against damage from water, wind, heat, and sunlight, all of which can cause logs to decay over time, causing structural damage and unsightly discoloration and even mold or fungi.

Backing Rods or Strips

These are essential if you are doing a major overhaul on the chinking in your cabin. Backing rods are placed between logs before chinking is applied to give it a surface to stick to and give it shape. Most backing rod is water repellent, and will reduce the amount of chinking needed, saving you time and money. If your cabin is drafty, consider redoing the chinking with backing rod – they also add a bit of extra insulation.

Chinking Applicators and Finishing Tools

If you are using just a small bottle of chinking, you should be able to apply it directly from the nozzle, with no additional tool needed. However, if you are using the sealant from a larger bucket, you will need to use an applicator bag. These are very inexpensive, relatively easy to use, and can be found online. After your chinking has been applied, you will need to smooth it down with some tool. If you are in a bind, you can use a kitchen spatula, but ideally, you should use a trowel or a spatula made for this specific purpose. Smoothing down the chinking is essential because it helps the chinking lay flat and set properly.

Staining Brushes

You will need high-quality brushes for applying log staining products. These can be purchased online and are relatively inexpensive. They come in different sizes, so you can purchase one that fits the shape of your logs.

Wood Cleaner

No matter how clean you are, your wood is going to get dirty over the course of time. To keep your logs looking fresh, use a wood cleaning solution. This will not only keep the surface of your logs looking bright and shiny, but will also get rid of any debris or other contaminants that may have settled on your logs over time. Look for a gentle cleaner that is specifically formulated for logs.

Tips for Preserving a Log Cabin

Log cabins are beautiful and interesting structures, but they also can be very volatile and can show their age over time. To help your log cabin last as long as possible and stay in fantastic shape, you will need to actively take steps to preserve it. With the right tools and materials, you will be able to keep your log house look amazing and in structurally sound condition for years to come.

Take preventative measures to avoid future damage. 

When you first construct or buy your log cabin, you will want to look for weak spots that may be prone to wear and tear in the future. By identifying sections of your cabin that could be exposed to high amounts of water, the wind, or heat, you can take steps to protect them. Water is the most likely to cause rot and decay in your logs, so you will want to ensure that your cabin has an appropriate drainage system to keep your logs dry. You will also want to ensure that the ground around the cabin is clear and that it won’t hold excess moisture, which could cause your foundation to decay.

Regularly touch up the chinking.

No matter how high-tech your chinking is, it is still likely to shift a bit over time, which can cause structural problems. Learn how to apply new sealant if you don’t already, and check the entire home once every year or so for any part of it that needs to be touched up. Ensure that any new log home sealant is given at least a month to cure properly – this means it shouldn’t be touched!

Apply sapstain control products. 

It is crucial to use treatment products to your logs to prevent mold and fungi. This is especially important for peeled logs, which is especially susceptible to fungi growth. Sapstain control products should be applied to logs that are off the ground, away from grass or dirt, and have plenty of air circulation to allow the product to fully penetrate the wood.

Beware of bugs.

Insects can cause a surprising amount of damage to your log home. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent common bug-related problems. If you have carpenter ants, make sure to use borate-infused foam panels in your log walls instead of regular ones. If you have beetle holes, fill them up with chinking before other kinds of bugs, such as bees or spiders, build nests in them.