1) Log Home Annual Maintenance
As the owner of a log home, it’s important to understand the unique needs for care and maintenance of these types of structures. The maintenance needs of log homes and places of business are unique when compared to “traditional” homes. Whether you are a new owner, or someone who has enjoyed your log home for years, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with general maintenance routines, keep updated checklists, and have the number of a professional log home repair, restoration and maintenance expert on hand for anything that falls outside your comfort zone.
Maintenance involves keeping the effects of the sun, water damage and insects to a minimum. Simple measures like cleaning the exterior of your log homes, removing insects, pollen and dust from the logs each season is a very good start.
Besides routine cleaning, staining is an important part of regular maintenance as well. The staining and chinking process is not a one-time deal, rather it is a continuous process. A few things you can do as the homeowner is to keep an eye out for caulking which has come adrift so that you can cut the remaining caulking with a knife, before applying a new layer of caulking on the cabin. You can also avoid costly repair work by staining the logs on your property every few years. The Stains we use usually get 4 to 5 years before a maintenance coat is applied.
Regular maintenance of a log cabin is essential in order to keep your home or place of business in good working order and preserve it for generations to come. Eco Media Blasting provides complete annual maintenance services for log homes that rejuvenate their natural beauty and reduce the risk of future repair or restoration. Our log home maintenance services include everything from power washing, sealing and staining, to mold and insect abatement, as well as log chinking and repair. Whatever your home needs, you can be sure that we will dedicate our experience and skill to take care of your log home so that it will take care of you for a long, long time.
2) Media Blasting For Log Homes
When performed by an experienced log home professional, media blasting is an effective way to remove mold, mildew, existing stain and other finishes from the walls of your log structure. There are different types of media blasting commonly used including glass, corn cob grit and walnut shells to abrade the finish off the wood or logs. Each of these have pros and cons depending on the unique situation of your structure, but for most the end result is a cleaner, lighter wood surface that brightens the home’s appearance and prepares it for a fresh stain and seal that will revive the home’s beauty.
While you can try to clean your home using media blasting yourself, we recommend that you consult with a professional before washing your home to make sure you are using the methods, materials and tools that are right for your home’s unique factors. Although there are many videos on YouTube that try to show homeowners how to DIY this type of log home maintenance, the process can be much more difficult than it looks, requiring the rental of industrial equipment and experience using that equipment correctly to avoid accidentally damaging the logs.
The objective of media blasting a log home or place of business is to remove existing stains, seals or finishes, remove UV damage, and generally clean and restore logs to an original, unfinished state. However, it is an aggressive procedure requiring the right tools, experience and skill to perform correctly. If done wrong, media blasting can do a lot of damage to the condition of the structure’s logs in a very short amount of time – a convincing argument for leaving this part of log home maintenance in the hands of experienced professionals.
3) Log Home Staining
When choosing a stain for your home, quality definitely makes a big difference. All stains are not made alike. The right stain will make your logs look good and allow them to breathe while still offering the best possible protection against aging and the elements.
At Eco Media Blasting we offer non-toxic, environmentally safe options for staining and sealing so that you don’t have to worry about exposure for your family, while still enjoying the peace of mind from knowing your log home enjoys the best of both worlds, looking great while also being protected from the elements.
The main reason people choose to use stain is aesthetic, but there is a hidden benefit as well. It gives the wood long-lasting, beautiful color while protecting it from UV damage that causes wood to turn gray as well as damage that can occur from water, insects, mildew and mold.
Choosing stain over paint is one of the best things you can do for your log home. Remember that log homes need to breathe. If a house painter suggests using paint or a budget brand of generic stain for your log home, stop and consult with a professional log home stain and sealing expert before making a decision. When traditional house paints are applied to log homes, they can damage the logs. Not only does it look unattractive as the paint peels, flakes and cracks, but it requires costly and time-consuming blasting to remove before you can properly stain the logs. Repainting isn’t a good option either, as paint layers that build up over the years will seal in moisture and cause the logs to rot.
You should always use stains that are intended for log homes. The right stain applied to a log home makes your logs look good and allows them to breathe while still offering protection against the elements.
Before you decide what type of stain to use, don’t forget that no matter which type you choose, if the surface of the logs isn’t prepared properly, you’re wasting your money. Nothing is more important than proper surface preparation of the logs before applying stain. If the surface of the logs have not been prepped correctly the stains won’t perform as they are supposed to. This is why it is important to invest in the services of a professional log home expert for projects like these. They have the knowledge and expertise to prep, choose the right stain, and make sure your home is both beautiful and protected.
4) Log Home Chinking Services
Chinking is the mortar-like material used between the logs that stops air, insects and moisture from infiltrating your log home or place of business. With the help of a backer rod, it also helps conserve energy and insulate your home. With a wide variety of types and color available, chinking is often used as a design feature, with colors chosen to contrast or compliment the wood and create a desired look.
In pioneer days, wide bands of chinking (usually clay mixed with straw) was used in between log courses to keep weather out. The downside of that style of chinking was that it hardened to a point where it was non-elastic, and ended up pulling away from logs and cracks, leaving gaps and allowing water and insects free access.
Thankfully, modern chinking products is far more technologically advanced, offering unsurpassed performance. Today chinking is made of an acrylic, elastic compound that adheres to the logs and can stretch and contract as logs settle and move seasonally. It can be used for new construction and can be applied to restoration projects to seal gaps and ensure that the homes are sealed soundly for many more years. Today’s chinking remains soft and pliable for years after being applied and it very rarely fails.
When it comes to chinking log homes, the job must be done correctly in order for the structure’s log joints to be properly sealed. Even for someone with construction experience who wants to do it themselves, it takes the right supplies and correct application methods to ensure reliable results. Our log home maintenance, repair and restoration experts at Eco Media Blasting have decades of experience applying, reapplying, re-chinking or fixing chinking on log homes, log cabins and log structures throughout Western Canada. If you feel that your home’s chinking needs some work, we are happy to provide advice and services to make sure the job is done correctly.
5) Log Home Weather Sealants
Weather sealants are necessary to ensure that your log home, cabin, or place of business maintains both its beauty and its resistance to the natural wear-and-tear that nature and time provide. Applying the right kind of weather sealing products to your home will lengthen the life of your stain and make it easier to clean and maintain your home down the line.
Weather sealing log homes plugs air leaks, makes the building more energy efficient and comfortable, reduces heating or cooling costs, protects against water infiltration and keeps out uninvited guests such as insects and decay.
Moisture can be the biggest enemy for your log home with Sealants being the best defender. To keep moisture out, log home owners use a variety of weather sealing products to seal the cracks and spaces between logs, around doors and windows, and wherever else they show up. There are two basic forms of sealing – caulk and weather stripping. Caulk, a flexible compound, is used to fill cracks and seal gaps between different materials like window frames and siding. If gaps become larger than ¼ of an inch wide, foam sealants are often used to fill them along with areas around windows, chimneys, ducts, vents, and faucets. Weather stripping is used to supplement caulking by adding a strip of vinyl around move able doors and windows.
One warning: Do not confuse the caulks and weather sealing products we’ve discussed here with traditional caulking that comes in the little “gun” and is used for leaks around the home. Log home caulks and weather sealing products are specially formulated for use with logs and have the ability to expand and contract along with the wood throughout each season.
There are many different types of sealers on the market, so be sure to consult with a log home professional to make sure you are using the right product and application methods to properly protect your log structure.
6) Log Home Log Replacement & Log Repair
Log repair and replacement becomes necessary when dry rot or damage from mold, mildew, insects and long-term wear-and-tear affects the soundness of the logs. Damaged logs must be repaired or replaced to support the structural integrity of the home and keep it warm, safe and strong for years to come.
Eco Media Blasting has more than 40 years of experience with repair, restoration and renovation of log structures and are the go-to professionals that log home owners rely on to maintain their homes long term. We can repair or replace logs on your home or place of business, and can even make custom logs that will fit the look, style, and appearance of the structure, no matter how old it is.
If you own a log home or place of business, you’ve probably seen small cracks throughout your log walls. These are also known as “checks” and they occur naturally in wood as it ages. Small checks, which are cracks that do not go all the way through the diameter of the logs, are natural and not a cause for worry. They do not hurt the structural integrity of log homes.
While most of the time checks are nothing to worry about and just add character and charm to the look of your home, when they reach a certain size they can cause problems and should be addressed by a log home professional.
A large crack, which is also called a split, is more severe and often passes through the diameter of the log. These cracks or splits indicate damage to the log that could have come from improper drying techniques, lack of proper maintenance, or carrying too much weight. Logs or beams with severe cracks should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible to maintain the structural integrity of your home.
When you work with Eco Media Blasting to repair or replace damaged logs, we will shore up the structure, remove damaged areas or entire logs, and then replace them with new material that matches the original structure for type of wood, stain, sealers and other finishes to seamlessly blend with the rest of your home. Our professionals are master craftsmen with years of experience in the log home renovation field. This experience allows us to complete our projects on time and with unmatched quality.
From start to finish, we work with the homeowner every step of the way. Our goal to ensure that your log home renovation project is completed just the way you expect it. All of our employees are dedicated to your complete satisfaction and are skilled in all areas of log home renovation.
7) Log Home Pressure Washing
A log home can sometimes be a little bit like a diamond in the rough – beautiful on the inside, but rough and dirty on the outside. Since wear and tear is inevitable, a yearly exterior wash is your best bet for keeping your home or place of business looking great.
Pressure washing is an essential part of maintaining log homes that will help to extend the life of both the logs and the stains and sealants that have been applied. Washing removes surface contaminants such as dirt, mold, mildew, cobwebs, pollen and bird droppings. It also offers the perfect opportunity to inspect for potential problems such as failed caulking or chinking, insect damage or dry rot. If you are thinking of applying a new coat of stain or sealant, washing the cabin beforehand will help the application last longer.
While the thought of “washing” your log home may sound like a fun DIY project, the reality can be a little more challenging.
Pressure washing (sometimes also called power washing) is the use of pressurized water or a mixture of water and a cleansing agent to remove mildew, mold, dirt, pollen, graying from sun exposure and more.
When it is time to pressure wash your log home or place of business, be sure to consult with an experienced professional. Factors that should be considered include:
Condition of the chinking
Strength of pressure used (PSI/pounds per square inch)
Type and amount of product being removed
Age and condition of the logs (often relative to surface hardness)
Type of wood
Angle at which the wall is sprayed