We just purchased this home in northeastern Kansas the end of December. This home was built in 2002 on site. It was a "kit" from Heartbuilt Homes out of Stockton IL. The main level is log and the upper level is log siding.The previous owner said it has Sikkens stain on it that was reapplied about 5 yrs ago. As you can see it is failing pretty bad. I have been researching log home restoration for the past few months and was wanting some advice on my plan. Also, I have gotten a couple of quotes from professionals in the $30-$40,000 range. I understand their costs, but this is kind of extreme for me. I have redone several houses over the years, but this is our first experience with a log home.
I am looking at getting a media blaster. The Texas Blaster (https://www.texasblaster.com/) looks like a decent one that would allow for easy maintenance. I have read of people using everything from a cheapo sandblaster to the $5000 Kernel with good results. So I'm guessing with trial and error it is more of the way a person blasts rather than the blaster that makes the difference. I think I'm partial to crushed glass based on what I've read as well. I plan to rent a high CFM air compressor to run the blaster and buy some scaffolding.
I plan to use a preservative after blasting and then a stain. One question I have is regarding chinking. Currently there is no chinking on the outside of the home. I have the plans and they called for caulking between the logs. However, there is some "after-built" chinking in places that was applied probably due to water leakage in certain areas. I am thinking that if I go to the trouble to strip off the old stain, treat the logs, and then re-stain, I should probably go ahead and chink the whole house.
I realize this will take me (and possibly my wife helping some) quite awhile to do. But I'm in no big hurry to have it all completed at once given the astronomical price of the alternative. I figure after all the costs involved buying/renting the equipment, media, scaffold, and stain it will cost around $6,000.
My lack of experience with log homes can be a factor, but I feel very confident in my ability to do this job correctly. I was raised on a farm so I have plenty of mechanical common sense. I am very detail oriented and will try out everything on scrap wood before proceeding to the house.
Any advice (other than "have a professional do it") would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you! Kai
You are probably close on your cost estimate for all the materials, blasting materials, and stain to restore your log home, and it's great to hear that you want to tackle the project on your own. But, you may want to test an area with a Lovitt's wood cleaner & brightener kit first though, before going to blasting (which is extreme).
We have a wealth of knowledge to share with you as you work your way through the restoration process, helping log home owners restore their log homes is a process that we have a ton of experience with.
We would be happy to give you the advice and professional grade products that will not only help you get your cabin restored and looking great, but will also save you time and money in the future with ongoing maintenance expense.
Every product manufacturer believes that their formula is the best, ect. and we admittedly feel the same way about our products, difference between our company and the others is that we also run the largest log home restoration company on the west coast and have decades of actual field experience (with most of the products out there) and can give you advice from both the technical and chemical points of view.
We invite you to come to our website www.woodspecialist.com and see for yourself the depth of our experience and knowledge. Feel free to call us toll free (877) 966-3476 to talk about your home, we do love to talk about restoration.
Lovitt's Coatings are manufactured and distributed through professional service contractors and log home restoration professionals who are passionate about the long term care of log homes, after all, these contractors have to protect their reputations and provide maintenance to their customers for many years. They cannot afford to sell and use products that are hard to keep up on, peel off, require blasting procedures for routine maintenance, and are expensive (due to big advertising budgets, multiple locations, and big office staffs).
Look at Lovitt's website at www.lovittscoatings.com to see their cleaner/brightener Kits, they are the most cost conscious and effective product available for restoring wood and are formulated completely different than the slew of other products available. The Lovitt's Cleaner & Brightener Kits have been the "magic wand" of our service business!!! Good luck on your restoration project!
Thank you for the information, I will look into it!
So we did our test the first pic is of the north side of our house. The finish is virtually gone but the S100 did a great job of getting what was left of the old finish off and all the graying is gone also. The second pic is under the porch were the finish is very good. I wish I would have taken a pic of it before we did our stain test. We are going with the bronze Lifeline Ultra 2 in the middle. Hope this helps I will keep adding pics on my page as our work progreses.
Looks like you're on your way! I just tried blasting a portion of our house this weekend and tested the different stains we are considering. I think it will work pretty well. I will post some pictures pretty soon. Look forward to update pictures of your house, thanks for posting!
You mentioned that your home has some areas that have been chinked and wondered if you should do the entire project. One of the primary functions of chinking is to prevent water intrusion. It also helps to seal the home preventing cold drafts and energy leaks as well as prevents bugs from entering the home. Lastly, chinking can highlight the home and make it look more authentic. Another option that will meet all of the above benefits and may blend a little better would be the use of a premium or textured caulk made specifically for log homes. A caulk designed for log homes should adhere strongly to your wood and should withstand more movement than chinking. Most manufacturers make color coordinated caulks and stains that are designed to perform together as a system and are well worth investigating. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any other questions.
Your new house looks great but you are right it does need some work. As you are aware, there are a number of different ways to remove or clean logs. Blasting is a very effective method but can be quite expensive, labor intensive and can leave behind quite a mess. Additionally, you will probably need to do some type of light sanding or buffing to the wood after you are done blasting in order to get a nice even finish. I would recommend the use of palm sanders or an Osborn brush for this final step. Finally, be prepared to do a thorough cleaning job on the inside of your new log home if this is your method of choice. (More than likely, blast media will be all over.)
In regards to your chinking question, I would recommend applying a textured caulk to all of your horizontal and vertical joints after the home has been stained. You will get better adhesion with the sealant and it will be quite a bit easier to clean up if you get the material some place you don’t want it. I am recommending Textured Caulk as opposed to chinking because it will allow for increased elasticity. One last tip, pay attention to the corners of your log home as this is where you typically get most of your movement because you have logs that are pulling two different directions thus creating a void that needs to be sealed properly.
Good luck and let us know if we can provide any further assistance or free product samples. We are a full service distributor for the Weatherall log home product line that offers water based stains, oil based stains, textured caulks, chinking and more. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any other questions.
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Kai - I looked at the photos of your home and if you are planning on chinking/caulking I would recommend going with the Weatherall Textured Caulk. You can use this product without backer rod and match up or skim over the existing chinking. If you are planning on removing the existing chinking, you can use a dull masonry chisel and hammer. Strike the material where it bonds to the wood every 6 to 12 inches, grab the chinking to remove it. The chinking will pull off in a long rope; it’s simple and quick. To apply the Weatherall material, purchase an Albion 30 ounce bulk gun with cone tip and ring adapter. Cut the tip to ½” – 5/8” diameter. Once you get used to using this gun you should be able to apply neat near perfect beads of caulk that require minimal troweling. Expect usage to be about 300 linear feet/day or about a five gallon bucket of material/day. For more information on these products check out the following links:
If you have questions on application - send me an email and I would be happy to assist you.
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