|Log Home Restoration Maintenance Products
Tips For Rotted LogsFor restoring log ends like the ones pictured and maintaining the natural gray patina of the logs.
1. First, use a borate product like PeneTreat (see Tim-bor) to saturate the logs and keep them from rotting any further.
2. Next, use LiquidWood to seal cracks and create an undercoating for the WoodEpox to adhere to.
3. Then, use new lumber or a piece of straight grained salvaged or similar material to cut a "plug" to fill the cavity.
4. Saturate the plug with Tim-bor.
5. After the Tim-bor has dried, coat the plug with Liquid Wood, insert the plug and use WoodEpox to finish filling in around the plug and the cavity wall.
Note you can use Liquid Wood and sawdust to create a putty or a paste to fill the cavity as well.
6. You can use a charcoal colored masonry pigment (available from masonry stores). Just add enough of the pigment to color the WoodEpox gray like the rest of the building. Just knead it in with the WoodEpox. Remember, you only have to color the last 1/2" of the end of the log.
7. Use an end grain sealer like Sealtight 60 to seal the ends of the wood.
To add strength and stability to these log ends without replacing them with new crowns: Drill 1' from the log end back horizontally into the more stable wood and use 1' lengths of Fiberglass Reinforcement Rods to act as an internal strength pin. Use the Liquid Wood as a glue around the rod. You should use at least three rods per log.
To hide the end of the rods, you can cut a wooden end plug coated with LifeTime (LifeTime will turn the new wood gray to match the rest of the building).
Note: You can also spray the entire building with LifeTime to keep it gray. What is really nice about the LifeTime is that it is a one time application. You can also use products like Woodguard and WR-5 Clear as a water protection for the building.
Log Rot: The ProblemThis log house was originally coated with house paint instead of a Log Home Finish. You can see where the house logs have cracked or "checked" leaving open cracks in the paint for rain water to penetrate into the wood causing further log rot. The density of the paint coating acts like a plastic sheeting that traps in moisture causing blisters and flaking paint. In winter when the logs freeze, the trapped moisture expands by becoming ice particles. This causes more subsurface damage making tiny cracks larger and allowing more space for water to penetrate farther into the log causing more damage. In the photograph, the dark area behind the pipe is totally rotted.
With Painted Logs
In a situation like this all of the paint needs to be removed with either a chemical stripper or blasted with sand or cob. The next step would be to cut out the rotted areas of wood and use Tim-bor to saturate the logs and keep them from rotting any further. If the rotted areas are relatively shallow, LiquidWood can be used to seal cracks and create an undercoating for the WoodEpox to adhere to. Next, apply the WoodEpox and form it so that it conforms to the rest of the log. Dry pigment can be added to WoodEpox to color it (especially if you will be coating with a stain). Allow to dry thoroughly, then apply a new finish.
If large portions of the logs are rotted away, you will either have to replace portions of the log with half-log inserts or replace the entire log. You may need the services of a professional log home restoration contractor.