For log home enthusiasts, few things carry the same allure as a luxury, hand-crafted log home. If you've recently invested in a log home for your family, it's important to understand how to care for it. Professionals from sites like http://www.pioneerloghomesofbc.com/ can give you more information. However, log homes need to be stained and sealed properly to keep them safe and help them hold up to weather and wear. Here are some tips to help you understand the basics of staining to protect your home.
Before you can stain the wood on your home to protect it from the weather and wear, you'll need to make sure that the wood has been properly prepared. Otherwise, it won't hold the stain. Here are a few of the things you should be familiar with when it comes to wood staining.
Clean Wood Preparation
Clean wood is wood that's free of any dirt, mold, wax, pollen and dirt. Any of these things can prevent wood stain from bonding to the wood. You need to make sure that your wood is as clean as you can get it before you apply the stain. If your logs need cleaning before you stain them, a sandblaster or pressure washer will get the job done.
Sound Wood Surfaces
Sound wood surfaces are those that haven't been damaged by ultraviolet rays. You'll be able to spot surface damage by the alteration of the natural wood color. In most cases, it starts as a deep yellow hue that gradually becomes gray. If your home gets a lot of direct sunlight, this can happen sooner than you might realize. Over time, continued ultraviolet damage will actually deteriorate the fibers of the wood and cause them to crack, flake and splinter. If there's any sign of UV damage to your wood, you'll need to sand the damaged areas away before you stain it.
In order for your logs to absorb the stain as best as possible, you'll want to have the wood warm. Avoid the hottest part of the day, though, because the stain may evaporate and dry before it can truly penetrate the wood. Don't apply stain to cold logs, either. The cold wood won't be receptive to absorbing stain, so it won't provide the protection you need. Just check the surface of the logs and make sure that they are warm to the touch before you apply your stain.
The best way to ensure that your logs will absorb stain and protective sealants is to create a textured surface on the logs. Smooth wood surfaces won't absorb stain as well, since it has nothing to cling to. This is particularly true of rounded logs whose upper curved surface may be weathered and smoothed over. Use a rough sandpaper or similar abrasive to create a rough surface.
Once you've stained the wood, you'll need to maintain that protection. After the stain dries, coat the whole thing in a clear topcoat to seal it. This provides you with an extra layer of protection against weathering and damage on the wood surface. Your log home builder can recommend a quality topcoat that will protect the wood without altering its natural beauty.
Periodically inspect the stain for signs of wear, cracking or discoloration. You may need to sand and re-stain areas that get a lot of exposure to the elements. Rain and other hazards can create a lot of weathering.
With the tips presented here, you'll be able to protect your log home from some of the most common sources of damage. The stain and top coat protects the wood from both discoloration and weather damage. After all, when you invest in a custom log home for your family, that investment is worth protecting.