The internet is a wonderful resource, but when it comes to log homes there is a lot of misinformation posted on various web sites that claim to be experts about log home construction and maintenance.

Many people do not understand film-forming stains and how they adhere to wood. Much of this misunderstanding relates directly to the term “stain.” In the past, staining wood meant that the wood fibers themselves became impregnated with color and that the color penetrated into the top layer of wood. Even today most oil-based stains work in this manner. Once stained, if the surface is rubbed or scratched, the color of the stain still remains since the solvents carry the colorants into the top layer of wood which make the fibers beneath the surface the color of the stain.

Centipedes, millipedes, pill bugs, roaches, crickets, ants, beetles, spiders, wasps, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats and mice are just some of the pests that manage to find their way into homes. It’s just about impossible to keep all of them from getting in, but there are several things that you can do to significantly reduce the number of pests that make it inside your home. Most have to do with blocking the ways they can enter. Furthermore, there are also some things you can do outside to make your home less attractive to pest invaders.

Every summer we receive calls about small flying insects making holes in the exterior surfaces of logs. They are usually described as tiny flies, bees or flying ants, but in fact these insects are small parasitic wasps that are about the size of a fruit fly or large gnat. There are literally hundreds of parasitic wasp species and some of them specialize in parasitizing beetle larvae including wood boring beetles. They can be seen going in and out of existing beetle emergence holes looking for live beetle larvae to lay their eggs on.

For many years oxalic acid has been one of the most commonly used products for brightening and preparing wood surfaces for a coat of stain. Why? Prior to the introduction of organic solvent finish removers in the late 1990s, the most popular paint and stain removal products were caustic chemical strippers which contain sodium or potassium hydroxide. They are still sold at most paint stores, and although quite caustic and somewhat hazardous, they have been used for over 100 years and are relatively inexpensive.

While we call our pigmented finishes “stains,” in reality they behave more like water-based paints than traditional oil-based stains. The word stain itself implies that the wood fibers become “stained” with the pigments contained in the product, whereas water-based finishes form a film that covers the wood fibers without actually coloring or “staining” them.

Moisture content of logs can dramatically affect the application of some of Perma-Chink Systems' products. We recommend that moisture content is below 35% for maximum adhesion of our finishes.

One of the best tools an applicator or homeowner can have in their possession is a moisture meter. In addition to finding trouble spots due to water infiltration, it can also help determine if the surface of logs are dry enough to seal or finish.

Mold and mildew are terms that are used interchangeably since they refer to the same living micro-organisms. For simplicity we’ll refer to them as molds. Molds encompass a wide range of fungal species that can live on the surface most materials, including wood. They require air, water, and food. Their color is usually white or black, but can be just about any color. If the growth is green, it’s probably a plant-like organism called algae.

Following are some comparison points of Lifeline™ finish systems to typical oil-based products.

Environmental Issues

Most oil-based finishes contain some type of organic solvents that evaporate into the air when they dry. These components are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). When VOCs are in the vapor state and interact with NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) in the presence of ultraviolet (UV) light, ground level ozone or smog, a health hazard to humans, forms.

Subscribe via Email

Join the Perma-Chink Family!

Receive News and Loyal Customer Offers

On a phone? Text LOGEXPERT to 22828

Project Spotlight

  • Do you have an old stain that doesn't really show the warmth and beauty your home deserves? Ready to restore it to its natural look? It's easy to start by stripping old finishes using StripIt or S-100. Check Out This Video...

    Project Spotlight