How To


Proper care and maintenance of the wood in a log home can create a beautiful habitat and prevent a host of problems in the future.  Maintaining a log home can more than double it's life expectancy.  If logs are properly cared for and maintained periodicly, it can more than double your home life expectancy.

Once a tree is cut down, it no longer has a defense mechanism, like it did as a live tree.  It is nature's way of recycling to send in scavengers like termites and decay fungi to return that tree to the earth.

You have to take a proactive approach to interrupt these natural processes and postpone them.


When inspecting the exterior of the building, look for:

Stand back from the house:

Landscape plants within 18 inches of exterior walls.
Gutters & down sputs everywhere in good working order.
Any wood within 12 inches of (or especially in contact with ) ground.
Wood piles at least 18 inches away from house.
Look for general patterns of fading of the finish.
Look more carefully at areas that are most exposed to weather.

South and west walls usually get more sun exposure.

Walls facing prevailing winds are exposed to more rain.

Look for patterns of weathering.

Water staining on exposed log ends.

Make sure that no sprinkler directs water at the wall.

Including water patterns on windy days!

Get up close and personal

Dust, pollens, etc. on upward facing portion of logs.

Clean this stuff off with water or mild cleaning solutions.

Inspect for any cracking, peeling or blistering of finish.
Check water repellent quality of finish.

Spray or splash water on walls, then look for it to "bead".

Inspect for presence of molds or mildews.

On top of finish (can it be washed off?)

Underneath finish.

Upward facing checks (1/4 inch or wider) should be sealed.

Use Check Mate2

Carefully inspect logs for signs of moisture.

Discolored wood.

Softened wood.

Pay special attention to all logs and ends extending to or beyond roof overhangs.

Inspect integrity of all sealant joinery (Perma-Chink, Energy Seal, QSL, Check Mate) at log-log interfaces, windows, doors, checks, roof lines or any potential air or water intrusion points.

There are two basic steps in protecting wood: surface preparation and application.
You must first start with clean wood.  Think of surface preparation on wood the same way you look at site preparation for construction of a log home on your lot.  If you stain over dirty, moldy, rotten wood with a transparent finish, you will always see dirty, moldy, rotten wood underneath the finish.

Proper application of preservatives, stains and finishes is equally important.  Always read label instructions before you start the job.  Call us to clarify any questions you have before you start.

STEP 1   is cleaning the surface.

STEP 2   is applying preservatives.

STEP 3   is applying wood finishes.

STEP 4   is sealing your logs.