RANDY THE HANDY­MAN

What are the ba­sics of log care?

Log Home Living - - Log Home University -

Learn the ba­sics of log care to keep your home look­ing

new for years.

A:Treat­ment to pro­tect your logs can be­gin be­fore con­struc­tion starts and should con­tinue for the life of the home. Here are the most common tech­niques. 1 THOR­OUGH DRY­ING. Wa­ter inside wood can support a host of harm­ful or­gan­isms, so the first step is to re­duce the mois­ture con­tent of the logs. Your log provider may air- dry the wood for up to a year or more, heat the logs in huge kilns (re­duc­ing mois­ture and killing in­sect lar­vae) or use a com­bi­na­tion of the two meth­ods. 2 BO­RATE TREAT­MENT. Some providers also pro­tect the wood from in­sects and fungi by dip­ping logs in tanks filled with a bo­rate-based so­lu­tion or in­fus­ing them with a bo­rate preser­va­tive through pres­sure treat­ing. 3 CLEAN­ING. Once the logs ar­rive at your home site, use a clean­ing so­lu­tion to re­move mill glaze, road grime, mud and dirt. Th­ese sub­stances can pre­vent preser­va­tives and fin­ishes from ad­her­ing to the wood. 4 WOOD PRESER­VA­TIVES. The next treat­ment likely will be a wood preser­va­tive to re­pel your logs’ pri­mary en­emy: wa­ter. Wa­ter pro­motes mold and mildew and at­tracts fungi and in­sects — all of which can break down the wood. Nor­mally, ap­ply preser­va­tives to your logs ev­ery three to five years. But the main­te­nance sched­ule de­pends on fac­tors such as the cli­mate in the re­gion you’re build­ing and the spe­cific preser­va­tive you se­lect. Im­por­tant: Ap­ply only preser­va­tives specif­i­cally for­mu­lated for log homes. 5 BIO­CIDES. To pro­tect against fungi, mold, mildew and in­sects, some man­u­fac­tur­ers add chem­i­cals called bio­cides to their preser­va­tives. Th­ese agents are safe for hu­mans and an­i­mals but kill the or­gan­isms that feed on wood. 6 SUN­BLOCK. Man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer sun­block and pig­mented preser­va­tives to mit­i­gate the dam­ag­ing ef­fects of the sun’s ul­tra­vi­o­let rays. 7 FIN­ISH COAT­INGS. De­pend­ing on which prod­uct line you use, you may have to spread on a fi­nal fin­ish coat after ap­ply­ing the wood preser­va­tive or stain. This fin­ish coat will re­flect ul­tra­vi­o­let rays and add another layer of wa­ter re­pel­lency.

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