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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.

When this occurs, washing with Log Wash alone may not be enough to remove all of the discoloration due to mold growth. We recommend to first use Wood ReNew, along with some scrubbing, in order to remove the visible mold. Once the surface is cleaned with Wood ReNew, use Log Wash to help remove any residual linseed oil.

mold

We don't recommend blasting alone as a method of removing a heavy growth of mold. Linseed oil penetrates into the wood, and although blasting may remove most of the surface discoloration, there may be enough residual linseed oil remaining in the wood to support mold growth under the finish. If the home has been blasted, it will be necessary to give the home a good washing with a two cups of Log Wash per gallon of water solution before applying Prelude.

The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid the use of any product that contains linseed oil. No Perma-Chink Systems finishes contain linseed or other types of organic oils.

For more information, read these technical tips:
Cleaning with Wood ReNew and Log Wash Technical Tip
Why we recommend (and produce) water-based products

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-soluble salt-like acids. It is about as toxic as table salt to humans and pets, but kills 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 cause far greater damage to homes every year than damage by insects.

For borates to be effective against insects, they must be eaten by an organism. Interestingly enough, consuming borates does not instantly kill termites or other wood destroying insects. It kills the bacteria in their digestive system. The bacteria help insects digest the cellulose fibers that make up wood. Insects die of starvation without these bacteria. Funny how nature works.

What can you fit inside a log?A hollowed out piece of timber on your home might make a convenient storage space for sports equipment or toys, but it's a problem. Before you panic and list your home up on Zillow or Redfin, let's take a look at the situation.

How much decay have you found? If it's not halfway deep through the log, or less than a couple of feet lengthwise, odds are it can be repaired easily. M-Balm and E-Wood from Perma-Chink Systems are specially-formulated epoxies designed to repair decay and soft spots in homes.

The biggest threat to log homes is decay damage, caused by moisture-loving fungi. The three basic categories of wood-destroying fungi are soft rot, brown rot, and white rot. Preventing rot begins with preventing as much contact as possible with moisture, which breeds fungi. The best prevention is using borate preservatives, which destroy wood fungi and protect against decay.

If you do discover decay in your logs during inspections, most likely it can be mitigated and eliminated, without the need for a costly log replacement. If the decay does not exceed more than half the depth of the log, or only a few feet lengthwise, using M-Balm and E-Wood products can replace the decayed wood with an epoxy replacement that can be cut, sanded, and finished like real wood.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 00:00

Things to Know About Carpenter Bees

Every spring we get lots of calls about carpenter bees drilling into logs, fascia boards, eaves, decks and other unpainted wood surfaces. Carpenter bees are big black solitary bees that look similar to bumble bees but have bare, shiny backs whereas a bumble bee's back is hairy. Unlike honey bees that reproduce in hives, carpenter bees drill into wood in order to lay their eggs. Their holes are perfectly round and about 1/4 inch in diameter.

 c bee

Although carpenter bees prefer softwoods such as cedar, redwood, or cypress, they happily attack pine and most other species of wood. Even pressure treated wood is not immune from carpenter bee attack. As the bee drills into the wood, coarse sawdust may be seen coming out of the hole and piling up beneath. Since it only takes a couple of hours for a carpenter bee to drill a hole a few inches deep, lots of holes can appear over a fairly short period of time.

Most carpenter bee activity occurs in early spring when male and female bees emerge after spending the winter in old nest tunnels. Once they have paired and mated the female bee drills into a suitable site while the male stays nearby to ward off intruders. Male carpenter bees often frighten people with their aggressive behavior but since they have no stinger they are essentially harmless. Females have a stinger but only use it if molested.

Once the initial hole is drilled through the surface, the bee will make a turn and excavate a tunnel along the grain of the wood. This tunnel, which may run for several inches, becomes the cavity where the female deposits her eggs. Several eggs are laid in individual chambers separated by plugs of pollen on which the larvae feed until they emerge as adults during the summer months. In addition to making new holes, carpenter bees also enlarge old tunnels and if left unattended for several years, serious damage to a wood member may result.

Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

Pressure Washing Your Log Home

By Jeff Kyger
Northwest Log Home Care
www.northwestloghomecare.com

 

Pressure washing (also referred to power washing) is the function of using highly pressurized water to remove mildew, mold, dirt, pollens, UV graying, etc. You’ll hear different recommendations whether or not pressure washing your logs is the best cleaning method.

pressure washing log video

Generally speaking, pressure washing is the quickest and least expensive choice.

One fallacy is that you’re saturating and “damaging” your logs with water as a result of pressure washing. This simply isn’t true. On hard, sound, rot-free logs, you’re only introducing water into the top fibers of the wood.

Friday, 10 March 2017 00:00

What is Quality Log Home Finish?

What are the benefits of using a top quality finish on a log home?

ext4Whether you’re currently building your dream log home or simply checking off tasks on your annual home-maintenance “to do” list, we’re always looking for ways to skimp on expenses around the house. But when it comes to putting your best foot forward with a beautifully stained home that’s also protected from the exterior elements, you might want to think twice before being lured in by the lower price tag of a middle-of-the-road finishing product.

Think about it: Not only does a stain and finish define the aesthetic appeal of your log home, enhancing the striking beauty of the wood’s grain and natural color, but it serves as a shield for your home’s most precious building blocks – the logs. Because of this, it makes sense to spend the extra money upfront on a high-quality finish for your home. And, as it turns out, if you can swing the higher cost for the first application, you will save yourself oodles of cash over the lifetime of your log home.

What are the qualities to look for in a top quality log home finish?

To ensure a successful and long-lasting result, you’ll also need to consider factors like wood protection, maintenance and, of course, appearance.

Appearance: In addition to building a quality home, you want to build a beautiful home, which is why the finished appearance of your logs is so important. By spending a little bit more upfront, you’ll get a distinguished looking wood finish that will set your home apart from the rest.

Monday, 20 February 2017 00:00

Log Home Spring Inspection

How To Prolong the Life of Your Home?

One key for keeping your log home in tip-top condition is to take an hour or so once the weather turns nice to inspect the exterior of your home for signs of potential problems.
 log home inspection
Before we start discussing the inspection process, here are a few tips:
  
  1. Make a diagram of your home that you can carry with you while you conduct your inspection. It does not have to be fancy, just a simple plan that you can use to note where something needs to be done
  2. If you have a digital camera, take it with you during your inspection. It's amazing how something you see may disappear when you go back to look for it. Use a checklist of things that are relevant to your home. It's easy to forget what to look for by the time you get to the third or fourth wall.
  3. Give your home a wash down with Log Wash before you start your inspection. It's difficult to determine the condition of a finish when it's covered with a layer of winter dirt.
logwash
log wash application
log wash rinse 

The Inspection

Friday, 17 February 2017 00:00

Choosing A Log Home Contractor

Two Steps and Four Questions

Are you a real do-it-yourselfer when it comes to maintaining your home? If so, every product we offer is made with you in mind. User-friendly products, common sense labels and application guides, plus our experienced team of customer service and technical support staff – all these are at your convenience.

application and removal step by step guideaNow, for those of you who maybe just don’t have the time, physical ability or even the confidence level to do the work yourself – Perma-Chink Systems offers an extensive referral list of log home contractors from coast to coast. Most of these contractors are self-employed and none are affiliated with Perma-Chink Systems, but they do have experience and training in using our products on log and timber homes.

Step 1 – Get Smart

A very important first step before interviewing any contractor is to educate yourself. Perma-Chink Systems can help you better understand the steps and nuances of your project. You can attend one of our free homeowner workshops, read through our literature and application guides or call one of our log home specialists to walk you through the process and related products. Better yet, go online and register for a private webinar with our experts. The more you know about your upcoming project, the better you can ask the right questions and understand the answers from the contractors. So please don’t overlook this important step!

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