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housewarming

By Seth Murphy
Papadiy.com

Owning a home is a big part of the American Dream: a place to call home, where your family grows and thrives. Being a homeowner however, has its fair share of responsibilities and it’s a year round job. As you prepare for winter and ice storms, there are a few must do’s to ensure your family’s peace of mind. Every homeowner is inevitably faced with the possibility of having to hire a professional to do home repairs and maintenance. However, there are plenty of DIY maintenance tips that can keep your house in tip top shape so you can save the most complicated jobs to the professionals.

Friday, 27 October 2017 00:00

Is Chinking Cosmetic or a Sealant?

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Is Chinking Cosmetic or a Sealant?

Perma-Chink has evolved into an elastomeric compound that has been specifically designed for use in log home sealing applications. Perma-Chink adds to the overall integrity of the structure by not only preventing water and air from entering the home, but also adding greatly to the overall effectiveness of the entire building envelope - keeping heat and air from escaping during the heating and cooling seasons. While it looks fantastic when properly applied, Perma-Chink is most definitely a sealant first and a cosmetic product second.

It should also be mentioned that a properly applied chinking compound will help keep out unwanted insects and other nuisance pests. In the case of a “chinkless” style home, many homeowners often desire to add a chink line for cosmetic purposes to differentiate the home from a smooth-sided home. Or oftentimes on a full log wall system Perma-Chink is used as a contrast in the color of the chosen finish.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:00

Ladybugs & Boxelder Bugs

asianladybeetle

In many areas of the country when cool, fall days arrive, Asian lady beetles (ladybugs), Harmonia axyridis, and boxelder bugs, Boisea trivittatus, congregate on exterior walls. They typically choose the south and west facing walls since these walls are the warmest. Once on the wall they look for nooks, crannies and other dark openings where they can hibernate over the winter. Log checks, gaps between butt joints and corner openings provide ideal wintering sites for these insects. If any opening leads to the inside of the home, they can become a real nuisance, especially if they enter in large numbers. An effective method to handle them inside is with a vacuum cleaner. Spraying them with pesticides is unnecessary and unhealthy.

The best way to keep them out of your home is to block their entry points with a sealant, screening and weather stripping. Using high quality sealants like Energy Seal or Woodsman will help prevent these and other insects from entering your home for years to come. When sealing, pay special attention to window and door frames. That's where openings typically appear as a home settles and logs season.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:00

All About Wood Decay and How to Prevent It

wooddecay1More wood is replaced each year because of decay damage than all other factors combined! Commonly called rot, wood destroying fungi need three things to survive: air, water, and food. Since we can't eliminate air and their food is the wood in our homes, the only mechanical control mechanism available to us is the elimination of water. Water is the enemy of wood! Although we've all heard the term "dry rot," dry wood will not rot!

There are three basic categories of wood-destroying fungi: soft rot, brown rot and white rot. Soft rot fungi are typically found in wet wood showing the first signs of decay. Wood infected with soft rot can become quite soft and spongy. Other than the softness of the wood and perhaps discoloration of the surface, there may be no apparent signs of a soft rot infestation.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 00:00

Fall Log Home Maintenance is not Just Cleaning

fall smMost people are accustomed to spring cleaning, but if you are a home owner, you know that your house needs attention year-round. Fall maintenance is much like spring house-cleaning, but more preventative and less “cleaning.” And it’s much easier to do it now rather than wait until the weather turns nasty.

leaves medFrom The Top

Fall means leaves—and plenty of them. You will certainly need to clean out your gutters. A word of caution: most of the automatic guard systems only screen out large leaves while allowing gunk and small sediment to accumulate. You still will have to routinely clean the nasty rotting gunk out of your gutters! So an alternative is to have your roofer regularly come and clean your gutters every fall. You should make sure that the drainage area around the downspout is functioning properly as well. The roof area should also be checked for any leaks around the flashing at the chimney and around the vents for the heating or sewer system.

While inspecting the roof area it’s important to check for any holes or access spots where squirrels, raccoons, or bats can enter your home and make themselves a vacation home for the winter. Clear away all debris from around the foundation of the house.

Caulking around all exterior areas is a must. You probably won’t find but a few areas where the caulk needs replacing, and it’s not a big job to replace old caulking with a fresh bead where needed. Weather stripping also should be examined and replaced if you find any that is curled or coming loose. Neither the caulking nor weather stripping replacement is a heavy job. It just takes some care and close examination. This can usually be done in a day for a moderate-sized home.

Thursday, 21 September 2017 00:00

Seal Your Home With Energy Seal

Have you noticed your heating bill increasing year after year? It could be that your home has cracks that let heat escape, costing you money. Seal up cracks and seams before the weather turns cold and it’s too late to do anything about it.

Specifically designed for milled and scribed log homes, Energy Seal is a revolutionary product offering superior binders that effectively seal all interior and exterior gaps and cracks.energyseal category

Energy Seal is a 100% acrylic polymer sealant formulated to provide a long-lasting and resilient barrier for any chinkless log home. Since logs constantly twist, turn, swell, and shrink during the life of a log home, annoying gaps can appear. These gaps promote the retention of moisture, which can lead to log decay and damage, as well as seepage of air and water.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 00:00

Hurricanes, Floods, and Log Homes

By Paul Peebles

paulp

Paul Peebles is Perma-Chink System's West Coast Director of Sales, and has over 20 years experience in the log home industry. As a log home owner, his first-hand experience helps customers get the right products and correct solution to maintain and protect their homes.

 floodedhome

What to do if your log home was flooded?

Since I actually had my log house flood in 2010, I think I can answer any questions about how to clean log homes after flooding. My heart goes out to all of these people whose homes became victims to flood as I have been in their muddy shoes and boots. Here is what I learned the hard way.

Log homes are actually more durable than traditional homes, and are more likely to survive natural disasters, including flooding. The clean-up and repair of a log home after flooding is also much easier; follow these steps...

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 00:00

All About Linseed Oil

All About Linseed Oil - And Why It's No Good For Wood

We occasionally get calls about the exterior of a home that has turned black.

Almost without fail it's the result of using an oil-based stain that contained linseed oil.

mold

Linseed oil is a yellowish oil derived from the dried seeds of flax plants, and is also known as flax seed oil. Linseed oil is used as a carrier in many brands of oil-based paints and stains. Since linseed oil is organic, many varieties of mold fungi thrive on it. Over time mold can proliferate to point where the coated surface can turn dark brown to black. One way to tell if the darkening is due to mold rather than UV damage is inspecting areas protected from direct sunlight like under eaves and overhangs; it will be the same dark color as the rest of the wall.

Thursday, 24 August 2017 00:00

Log End Seal

End Grain

Why is it so Critical to Seal Exposed Ends of Log Homes?

Wood is a hygroscopic material, which means it naturally absorbs and releases moisture from the environment. Logs can safely absorb large quantities of water before reaching moisture content levels that will be inviting for decay fungi.

Some of the most vulnerable areas of a log home are the corner log ends. This is because the cross section end grain is exposed and the ends often stick out beyond the walls allowing sunlight, wind, rain, snow and ice to wear away the stain and expose bare wood.

The exposed end grain acts like small straws sucking water into the log, giving rot and decay an opportunity to start eating away the wood. In addition, wood cracks and checks are prone to start at the ends. If left unprotected long enough, log or log corner replacement may eventually be required.

Being aware of the susceptibility of log ends to weathering, rot and decay, we developed Log End Seal, a clear polymer finish that prevents water from penetrating into log ends and provides a layer of protection against log end damage. Although it is a sealer, Log End Seal is designed to allow moisture already in the wood to slowly escape. This helps reduce those large checks that often form on log ends.

Friday, 28 July 2017 00:00

Tips from the Field - Borates

By Paul Peebles

paulp

Paul Peebles is Perma-Chink System's West Coast Director of Sales, and has over 20 years experience in the log home industry. As a log home owner, his first-hand experience helps customers get the right products and correct solution to maintain and protect their homes.

 

There are two kinds of wood – wood that is rotten, and wood that one day will be rotten. This statement may seem a bit extreme, but it is a fact. Wood is a product of nature and its nature is to return to the earth in a natural process. As professional log home contractors, it is our job to ensure that wood used in the construction of log homes lasts for many years.

Borates have been used to preserve wood for many years, and because people have lately become more concerned with the toxicity of products used in their homes, it has steadily grown in popularity. This newsletter will discuss the use of borates to preserve log homes in detail.

What are borates and how do they work?

Simply put borates or borax are naturally-occurring water-soluable salt-like acids. They are about as toxic as table salt to humans and pets but kill wood-consuming insects like termites, powder-post beetles, and old house borers. More importantly, it kills the wood destroying microorganisms that cause rot.

Rot in log or conventional homes causes hundreds of times more damage to homes every year than damage by insects.

For borates to be effective, they must be actually eaten by an organism. Borates are not effective against carpenter bees because they do not actually consume wood – they just chew it. Interestingly enough, consuming borates does not instantly kill termites or other wood destroying insects. It does however kill the bacteria in their digestive system. These bacteria actually help the insect digest the cellulose fibers that make up a piece of wood. Without these bacteria, the insects die of starvation. Funny how nature works.

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