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.
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.
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.
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.
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.