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Hello all:

3 years ago I finished an addition on my log home and had the existing part of the home sand blasted to remove a solid stain that had been previously applied. I re-stained the entire house using California Storm Stain Semi-Transparent linseed oil based. Color retention has been great but black mold problems have been terrible. I think something was unearthed since all of the rocks which were removed during the foundation dig are covered with black mold as well. Anyway I want to clean the house and re-stain.

A few questions:

1) For cleaning I tested Jomax/bleach and had good results in a small area. Has anyone used this product?

2) My understanding is the mold tends to feed on oil based stain, especially Linseed Oil. Is a latex or a waterborne product a better alternative?

3) If I stick with the California oil product, will a mildewcide additive help? Something like Add-2?

4) I was looking a semi-transparent from Sherwin and Williams. My neighbor used this on his log home and does not seem to have a mold issue. It’s a waterborne product. Can I apply this directly over my current stain after cleaning off the mold?

I am in the CT area.

Thanks for any information here,

Bob

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Hi Bob,


Let me ask you some questions first. Did you clean the logs first? Or was the linseed oil applied to the logs that might have had moisture in them?
Linseed oil used to be a product that was recommened but since it caused alot of mold & mildew they do not recommend it now.

I haven't used a product called Jomax/bleach. But what I would recommend is to power-wash the logs to clean off the mold.

And this is how you can do it. Your power washer should be between 500-1500 psi (Low Pressure)
Pre wet the logs first with water. Then apply a Percarbonate product (Which I can send you information on) from the bottom to the top of the structure ( This way there is no streaking)and letting it sit on the structure for 15-20 mins. Then proceed to rinse with water from the top down. Making sure you rinse, rinse, rinse. Then wait 4-5 drying days before reapply your stain.

We always say if it is not broke let's not fix it. But in this situation it needs to be fixed.

How long ago did you apply the linseed oil to the structure?

There are alot a good stains out there for log homes. And yes I would recommend to add a mildewcide to your stain.

I wouldn't recommend applying a Sherman Williams stain over the top of what you have unless there is no beading up on the previous stain. Let me put it to you this way each stain contains different chemicals and resins in it and it may not adhere. And this could be a problem down the road.

I would be happy to send you out a power-washing procedure letter that will walk you through this process! You can email me at info@iwoodc.com and I will send this right out to you.

We are a distributor for your area!
We are here to better educate the consumer how to take care of there log home.

Again feel free to email me at info@iwoodc.com and I would be happy to send you out 3 lbs of great information. Believe me we will definitely give you more then enough to read!

I hope that I answered your questions!

Sincerely,

Kelly
info@iwoodc.com
>Let me ask you some questions first. Did you clean the logs first? Or was the linseed oil applied to the logs that might have had moisture in them<
The logs were sand blasted. I did not clean them, just applied the California Stain. I have an email into them for assistance but they have not responded.


BTW, Jomax is from Zinsser, very popular in this area. You mix it with bleach.

Thanks for your help,

Bob
Bob - There is a common misperception out there that any oil-based stain with linseed oil (or other natural oils) is automatically a food source for mold and mildew. That is true if the oil is not heavily loaded with biocides to inhibit fungal growth. Most oil-based stains made these days are VERY heavily loaded with biocides to prevent such problems.

Do you know for sure if the mold/mildew you have is on the surface of the stain or is it underneath? If it's on the surface, the Jomax would work fine. A percarbonate bleach (we at Sashco make one called CPR, Oxiclean is one you can find in your grocery store) will do the same job without the possibility of damage that Jomax and bleach can sometimes present. If the mold/mildew is under the surface of the stain, you will probably need to do some more extensive cleaning.

I would be happy to walk you through some questions and answers to help you determine what's going on and the best course of action to remedy it. You can shoot me an email at cbabcock@sashco.com or continue talking here on the forum.

Thanks! -- Charis
Hi Charis

>Most oil-based stains made these days are VERY heavily loaded with biocides to prevent such problems.br /> That is interesting. I was told by my dealer today to add a good mildewcide to the California product the next time around. His explanation is they have been removing extra mildewcide's because of regulations, especially in CT.

>Do you know for sure if the mold/mildew you have is on the surface of the stain or is it underneath?br /> I tried JoMax on a small area, it worked magic so I think I am fortunate that it is on the surface.

>A percarbonate bleach (we at Sashco make one called CPRbr /> I have read about this and my online dealer has it. I am thinking about using Jomax this time around (since I have it) but using CPR as a once a year maintenance wash to keep the mildew in check? Does that sound reasonable?

I did send an email to California but it went unanswered, so I am not too happy with them now. My problem is deciding if I should switch to another product, although I don't want to strip. I have my Home, 2 sheds and a swing set (All California) all suffering from Mildew problems. Perhaps it's more of my area and not the stain's problem. Given that, my neighbor does not seem to have the same problems I do and he has used the Sherwin Williams waterborne product. What is the difference between waterborne and latex?

Thanks for your help,

Bob
Hi Bob,

It is up to you weather you want to switch to another product or not. But I would elimanate the mold & mildew with power-washing first and a percarbonate bleach like our CPR. You will notice a big difference after power-washing your log home.

I would also agree with Charis to do a once a year power wash to keep the mildew in check. We are also a distributor for the Sashco products.

A waterborne stain is more of a surface stain like our Capture & Cascasde that will breath with the wood and it is a transparent stain. A latex stain is more of a rubber stain like a paint that would not breath with the wood. And again Bob you can add a midewcide to your stain that will help against the mold & mildew.

Again feel free to email me at info@iwoodc.com and I would also be happy to walk you through this process!!

Charis and I our are both here to better educate . Weather you buy products or not. Were are here to help!!!

Again I hope this help you!

Sincerely,

Kelly
>Again feel free to email me at info@iwoodc.com and I would also be happy to walk you through this process!!br />
I appreciate that.

Are there any semi transparent oil based stains on the market that do not use Linseed Oil?

If I ever do sand blast my house again, I will probably go with a transparent. I originally when with Semi for the extra UV block but Sun does not seem to be a problem I have.

Bob
Kelly,

Can you tell me a little bit about how you apply CPR? Is it spray on, let sit and power wash rinse? Will CPR strip the finish at higher strengths?

Thanks Bob
Charis B is correct.
Linseed oil based products are not entirely to blame. Improper prep, climate, failure of the biocide agent, all of these things can lead to what you are seeing. If you begin to see mildew on the logs, try washing a section with a percarbonate and neutralize accordingly afterwards. (test with oxy-clean)In general bleach should NOT be used, and incorrect amounts of it can harm the wood lignin. When you clean, if you see the mildew does come off, then the mildew is on top and you just need a general maintenance cleaning. However, if you clean and the black remains, then you are looking at mildew underneath the oil and the correct answer to that is stripping the finish and reinstalling a new product. I also would not suggest a "power washing" for this type of maintenance cleaning, as you are bound to remove some oil if you are not gentle. Apply the cleaner, agitate gently with a soft bristled brush (like a car washing brush) then rinse with a garden hose.

Beth
Hi Bob,

You mix the product with water and it comes in a 1/2 lb powder mixture. Mix 1/2 of the container with 4 gallons of clean water in a clean 5-gallon plastic pail for cleaner strength.

Brightener Strength
Mix the entire container with 4 gallons of clean water in a clean 5 gallon plastic pail.

We recommend to apply from the bottom to the top of the structure. Work in a small area at a time. Yes you can use a garden pump up sprayer to apply the product. You might have to scrub some tough area's. Allow the solutions to sit on the structure for 5 to 20 mins. Then rinse from the top down making sure you rinse, rinse, rinse.

Now CPR is not recommended for use on redwood. It will darken the wood.

No the CPR will not strip the finish at a higher strengths.

If you have any other questions feel free to email any time and I would be happy to walke you through this process.

Kelly
"A latex stain is more of a rubber stain like a paint that would not breath with the wood."

-Wrong! At least in Perma-Chink's case. The Lifeline stain is latex and highly breathable.
Let's see.....this will be lengthy.

First, you should know that there are 2 differnet types of oil-based stains on the market - deep penetrating and shallow-penetrating. You generally want to stick with a shallow penetrating oil-based stain (although many who fit into that category will call themselves deep penetrating for marketing purposes). Most shallow penetrating stains will also have some film-forming property to them to provide UV protection. This does not necessarily mean that they are therefore not breathable. In fact, many shallow-penetrating oil-based stains are highly breathable.

Now, to answer your question, it is true that many stains, both oil- and water-based, are removing some of the mildewcide additives due to government regulation; however, it is also true that the manufacturing process has changed with oil-based stains where the oils (and there are many - linseed is just one) are chemically altered to the point that they are no longer a food-source for fungi. Then, combine that with the mildewcides that can be added and you have a pretty safe starting point. However, we at Sashco agree with most out there - if you are in a high-humidity area, an additional mildewcide is always prudent. We at Sashco like Stay Clean I/E but it is only one of many. In addition, it is always good practice to check your wood's moisture content level with a moisture meter prior to stainin, and this is especially important in high-humidity locations. Open checks and cracks can let in more water than you might think and alter the moisture content considerable. You can pick up a moisture meter at most any hardware store. I'd say 9 times out of 10, mold and mildew problems are the result of wood that is too wet, so controlling this aspect is going to help control other issues, too.

I don't know much about the California product, but in general, switching to a water-based stain after you've had an oil-based one on there can be a tricky proposition unless the oil-based stain was for sure a drying-oil based stain and it is stripped off before switching. The difference in elasticity between oil- and water-base can present some performance issues down the line. That is not always the case - one can go over an drying oil-based stain with a water-based stain more readily than the other way around. But that is a discussion for another day.

If I were you, I would stick with an oil-based stain just to play it safe. Sashco makes an oil-based stain called Transformation that has been tested for use over the most incompatible, stubborn deep-penetrating oil-based stains and it performs well. Now, I will be up front, it does contain linseed oil, although the linseed oil is a very small percentage of the whole (5%) and it is modified into alkyd resins. We have yet to hear of any complaints with mold and mildew. And, if you take a minute to download the report off our website or email me and I'll send you the copy, you'll see it's one of the best-performing stains on the market. http://www.sashco.com/Log/Competitive_Report.aspx or cbabcock@sashco.com. Do keep in mind that we are only one of many good-performing stains out there and, as See Dirt Run! says below, surface prep is going to be key, no matter what. Do your own research and choose your product based on your needs.

Since you already have the Jomax, you can use it. I would recommend you use it in the lowest concentration possible and then, of course, VERY thoroughly rinse to neutralize it.

Yes, using CPR as a maintenance wash each year is a good idea just to remove pollen, dirt, etc. that can build up.

Have I hit it all? Keep those questions 'em coming! There are a lot of very experienced and knowledgeable people on here so I'm sure you'll know what you need before you get started. :-)

Have a great day, Bob!

-- Charis
Hi Charis:

>First, you should know that there are 2 differnet types of oil-based stains on the market - deep penetrating and shallow-penetrating. br />
How can I tell if a particular stain is deep or Shallow-penetrating?

>Now, to answer your question, it is true that many stains, both oil- and water-based, are removing some of the mildewcide additives due to government regulationbr /> I finally did call California and spoke to a rep on a number of issues including this one. They have changed the mildewcide in their product due to regulations. He also said, as you indicated, they can chemically alter the oil and with that comes a price increase.

I would imagine most of the oil products will disappear from the market in the next few years. Perhaps not in the special log home stain market but perhaps in the products found in your local paint store.


>in general, switching to a water-based stain after you've had an oil-based one on there can be a tricky proposition unless the oil-based stain was for sure a drying-oil based stain and it is stripped off before switching<
When you say water-based, does that include waterborne stains like Sherwin Williams or your Capture?


>Sashco makes an oil-based stain called Transformation that has been tested for use over the most incompatible, stubborn deep-penetrating oil-based stains and it performs well.br /> I see this can not be sold in CT but that you have a low VOC formula. What is different about the low VOC version?

>And, if you take a minute to download the report off our website or email me and I'll send you the copy, you'll see it's one of the best-performing stains on the market. br /> That is an interesting report. Are most of the stains in that report transparent stains? I wonder if it would be beneficial to see how Transformation would compare against a fellow semi-transparent like, Flood TWF-SEMI or Cabot Semi-Transparent Siding and Fence as an example. I would guess just as favorable.


>Yes, using CPR as a maintenance wash each year is a good idea just to remove pollen, dirt, etc. that can build up.br /> Will CPR kill the mold? I wonder if there are some health benefits to killing the mold and keeping your exterior walls free.

Thanks again,

Bob

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