Log Home Cleaning, Maintenance, & Preserving Info
Info Links: Are You Bugged? | Backer Rod & Chinking 1 & 2 | Common Problems | Notes on Decks | Restoration | Why Use a Sapstain Control
FAQs: Caulking, Chinking, Sealing | Cleaning Logs | Stains and Finishes | Tools and Books | Wood Preservatives

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To every project there is an order that, when followed will return rewards in savings of time and energy. Because we are interested in your time and labors, we are providing you with the information and products that will pay benefits to you over time.

If it were possible, we would like to be able to give you a simple set of instructions. However, because there are many variables, due to the hundreds of products on the market and the many types of wood surfaces available, we can only give you a broad idea of the steps to take in completing your project.

Please take the time to read each of the sections that pertain to your project. These helpful tips and hints are intended to ease your thoughts from; How am I going to do this? What should I do next?

We at Schroeder Log Home Supply always welcome your questions; but first, please read these hints and tips. By reading them you will be prepared for your future phone calls. When you do talk with a customer service rep, you will know where to reference the information that you talk about.

The positioning of these tips are broadly laid out in the order that you will approach your finishing or refinishing project. Other sections are laid out with how you will approach the building project. They include books for education on construction and maintenance, log home tools for building, fasteners for holding your building together, preservatives, insecticides for protection against fungi and pests, cleaners to prepare the surface, finishes to shelter against water and sun, and caulking and chinking to reduce water and air infiltration. There is also a section for repairing those areas that were overlooked in the past and now need restoration products.

The best to you and your crew as you move forward in your project and allow us at Schroeder Log Home Supply to help you with your questions and products.

Read First Before Building Or Buying Your Log Home

Wood + Heat + H20 + Air = DECAY

In order to prevent decay, we need to remove one of the ingredients for decay Food (wood), Heat, Water, and Air. The easiest one to control is water.

Design is linked closely to maintenance. Rule No. 1 is to keep moisture away from the wood. This is achieved by adequate roof eaves (overhang) and height of the first log above ground level since there is a nearly constant flow of moisture coming up out of the soil. Logs within the first two feet above ground level are more prone to decay than those higher up.

Besides this design factor, there is also the element of trapped moisture which can occur when a non-breathable finish is applied over a wet wood or when finished wood is re-wetted by water-catching devices. These devices can be a check (a crack in the log) that faces upward and catches water from rain, lawn sprinklers, or hoses when watering foundation plants.

The other devices can be decks, sidewalks, or gas tanks at drip line or anything that redirects water toward the house instead of away from it. Also look at foundation vegetation or obstacles that inhibit air flow around the bottom logs, thus creating a moist, humid environment that leads to log decay.

Take a mini-tour around your home and inspect for possible traps that may lead to future problems. Early detection and preventative maintenance can yield a worthwhile return for the time invested.

Left: Though the design is visually pleasing, the log ends protruding both past and flush to the roof eaves is undesirable from a maintenance perspective. The weathering effects of the rain and sun on these log ends will allow rot to begin if not consistently monitored and maintained. If not, the reconstruction and replacement costs can be staggering.

Rotted Lower LogsRight: The lower logs have rotted due to rainwater back-splashing off the walkway. A longer roof overhang would have prevented this costly log replacement. Paint is not recommended for logwork because in time, the paint (a nonbreathable finish) will crack, allowing water to seep in, become trapped, and then start decaying the logs from the inside out. Photo courtesy of Don Bergstrom.

For New Construction, Also See Why Use a Sap-Stain Control?