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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Log Home Restoration, Renovation, and Maintenance
1.I am thinking about buying a log home,should I have a inspection done pertaining to the condition of the exterior stain,caulking or chinking?
2.When we built our log home we were told that the stain would last 10 years, it has not, why?
3.Do you provide log home stain removal?
4.What method of log home stain removal do you use?
5.Why do I have logs showing decay?
6.Does stain penetrate the surface of media blasted logs better than smooth logs?
7.I have been told that the moisture left behind from pressure washing the stain stripper off the logs damages the logs, therefore media blasting is the only safe way to remove existing stain.
8.Is there any other prep work needed before applying new log home stain?
9.Why should we put so much emphasis on future maintenance?
10.What kind of log home stain do you use?
11.When should I contact you for a inspection, consultation?
12.What is the difference between log home maintenance and log home restoration
13.Will I have to replace my log chinking when you restain?
14.Do you take care of log caulking and log chinking and their repair?
15.Some log home manufacturers state that their log homes do not have to be caulked. Is this advisable?
16.Do you provide log replacement services?
17.All of the questions so far have pertained to exterior log home maintenance and log home restoration. What do I need to do to the interior of my log home?

1. I am thinking about buying a log home,should I have a inspection done pertaining to the condition of the exterior stain,caulking or chinking?
Yes. For a few hundred dollars we can provide you with with a professional assessment along with a written quote in contract form for any work that may need to be done. Additionally you may be able to use this information to better leverage your position when making your offer.

Log Home Pre-Purchase Inspection.

2. When we built our log home we were told that the stain would last 10 years, it has not, why?
Log home stains typically do not last that long. A lot of times the exterior of the new log home is an after thought. Some log home salesmen down play the importance of the exterior finishes as a unecessary cost or as something that can be done later so as to help them close the deal.

3. Do you provide log home stain removal?
Yes. Most log home restoration, renovation requires that the old log home stain be removed.

Stain Removal

4. What method of log home stain removal do you use?
That depends on what kind of log stain was used and what kind of shape the stain is in. With the exception of a few log stains we have had very good luck using eco friendly strippers. The few that do not respond must be removed by blasting using either corn cob, sodium bicarbonate or ground glass as a medium. We feel that the two major draw backs to blasting are, 1) the cost and 2) the extremly rough texture of the logs after they have been blasted making future maintenance much more difficult.

Stain Removal

5. Why do I have logs showing decay?
The one and only cause for decay or rot is moisture; without moisture wood cannot decay. Moisture infiltrating your logs can be traced to a number of things.

One of the most common that we see is the break down of the stain and or the protectant coat and log caulk or log chinking failure. Then there are poor design and construction issues, inadequate roof over hangs, improper roof to side wall flashing, improper deck to wall flashings, no gutters, logs to close to the ground and improper window and door trim especially the sills, just to name a few.

There also can be, unknowingly, home owner negligence, stacking wood or other objects against the logs, trees and other plantings to close to the house, water splashing on the house and railings from sprinkling or watering, again, just to name a few issues.

6. Does stain penetrate the surface of media blasted logs better than smooth logs?
The waterborne stain that we prefer to use actually lay on the surface of the logs thus providing a protective breathable film. Likewise a lot of your oil based stains actually lay on the surface also, therefore the roughness of the wood as far as stain penetration may not be a valid point.

7. I have been told that the moisture left behind from pressure washing the stain stripper off the logs damages the logs, therefore media blasting is the only safe way to remove existing stain.
While it is true that we are introducing some water to the logs, we do make sure that the logs are thoroughly dried out before we buff the logs down and re-stain. All things considered, the irreversible damage done to the logs by media blasting, by far out weighs the risks, when done properly, associated with the stain removal process that we use.

8. Is there any other prep work needed before applying new log home stain?
Yes. We buff the logs down to eliminate the the old mill marks, construction marks and any raised grain caused be washing of the stripper. Buffing the logs while saving all of the character and exposing the grain gives you a nice smooth surface for staining and makes future maintenance much easier. Conversely it is almost impossible to buff out the rough pitted texture of the logs that have been blasted.

9. Why should we put so much emphasis on future maintenance?
Weather you are building a new log home or log cabin or are restoring a log home or log cabin getting the job done right the first time is key. You will be amazed at how straight forward, simple and affordable the continuing maintenance will be. The pay back is a log home or log cabin which looks like the day it was built. That is added value.

Future Log Home Maintenance

10. What kind of log home stain do you use?
We do not sell for or represent any one particular log home stain manufacturer. That said we have had very good luck with some of the latex based log home stains when the are properly applied and maintained. This is not to say that we would not use an oil based log home stain or we wouldn't apply a log stain of your choice, if that's what you want.

11. When should I contact you for a inspection, consultation?
Sooner rather than later. Once the elements have worn into the pigments of your log stain you maybe a little late. It is so critical to keep a fresh top coat for protection over the log stain. Remember your goal should be log home maintenance not log home restoration.

12. What is the difference between log home maintenance and log home restoration
Basically, log home restoration is the process of removing the existing stain, possibly the log chinking or log caulk and replacing or refacing any decayed logs, etc. Log home maintenance is the much easier process of preserving your homes stain, sealant, log caulking or log chinking.

13. Will I have to replace my log chinking when you restain?
No. If your chinking is sound it does not have to be replaced however, if your chinking was a contrasting color it will have to be repainted after the logs have been re-stained.

14. Do you take care of log caulking and log chinking and their repair?
Yes we do. The vast majority of log chinking and log caulk failure can be traced back to improper application the first time that it was done.

Log Home Chinking and Log Home Caulking

15. Some log home manufacturers state that their log homes do not have to be caulked. Is this advisable?
Again this is a sales ploy. All log homes need to be calked or chinked to complete the seal between the individual courses just as all lateral up cracks and cracks that run to the corner copes need to be sealed.

16. Do you provide log replacement services?
Yes we do. Having a log home construction division allows us to preform these tasks in a very timely fashion. We also take care of any railing work that may be needed.

Log Repair and Replacement

17. All of the questions so far have pertained to exterior log home maintenance and log home restoration. What do I need to do to the interior of my log home?
Here are a few of the things that we have found.

1) Log texture. Contrary to what your log home salesman tells you, if for no other reason than cleaning, the interior logs should be buffed or sanded before staining or sealing. Can this be done later? Yes, but it creates a huge mess.

2) Interior log stain. Again you will hear things like "you do not have to do any thing to the logs, most people just leave them natural." You will find that at the very least a light coat of stain before you seal the logs will help blend the wood tones eliminating the sharp contrasts that you get with the changing light.

3) Interior caulk. Yes another pitch from your log home salesman, you do not need that either. Caulking the interior of your log home does add the final finishing touch. There a couple of exceptions,not enough care given to the color of the caulk that you have chosen and a poor job of caulking. You do not need a big bead of caulk smeared all over, there are techniques that will make the caulk virtually disappear. Of course if you have a chink style log home you do not have to worry about interior caulk. Remember log homes are all about detail, detail, detail.
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