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Log Protection & Restoration

Log home living is great, but as with any wood structure, maintenance is required.  Weather and insects pose the most threat to our wood.  One of our neighbors researched products and techniques and wrote up the content in this article after applying them to their home.

Exterior Log Surface

winterizingThe product applied was called Woodguard (www.woodguard.com), made by IBC Manufacturing Company.  It can either be purchased locally from Ashe Builder’s Supply or ordered directly from other distributors.  Woodguard is an oil-based wood preservative, which has excellent water repellency.  It inhibits mold, decay, and is toxic to termites and powder post beetles.

Woodguard is available in clear and various tinted options, but none of the tinted samples tested were a good match the home’s logs.  So, the clear product was used since this restores the natural wood color.   The temporary darkening effect on the logs will fade over time because the clear product does not provided UV protection.  The product is packaged in 5-gallon containers, and the distributor contacted recommended a total of two coats, applied about one year apart, due to the type of logs in the home (reclaimed).  After that, the surface should be protected for three to five years.  The initial coating on the home only required about 7 gallons.  To avoid staining the chinking, the product was painted on using a 3-inch width natural bristle brush.  Sufficient material was painted on each log to the point of “saturation”, as evidenced by no further absorption.

Drips on the chinking must be removed as quickly as possible with a clean damp cloth or with a water/detergent mixture.  The brush can be cleaned with paint thinner or mineral spirits.

Interior Logs and Cabinets

For the interior log surfaces, a latex-based product, Natural Home Interior Wood Finish, from the makers of Woodguard, was used.  This product was very easy to apply with a standard nylon brush, and resulted in a low “sheen” finish, which highlighted the wood grain.  There is practically no odor when applying, and cleanup with water or a soap/water mixture is a breeze.  Also, drips on the chinking can be wiped with a damp cloth without any resultant staining.

Two coats are required, but the initial coating will dry in only 2 to 3 hours, allowing re-painting of the same wall or cabinets very conveniently.  Slightly over 2 gallons of material double-coated the entire interior logs and cabinets of the home.

For more information on the Woodguard product, visit http://www.woodguard.com/woodguard/woodguard_qa.php.

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