How to Store Sealants and Finishes During Winter

Freezing temperatures are here! In order to get the best value out of your product investment, know how to store your leftover or unused sealants and finishes during Winter. Here are some guidelines on storage:

In general, it is best not to let any of of these products freeze.  Though some sealants and finishes may be listed as “freeze-thaw stable” it is important to know that any finish or sealant that has been frozen will never completely regain all of the initial properties it had before it was frozen, however, it may still be usable.

Each freeze/thaw cycle log cabin drawingcontributes to the degradation of sealants and finishes. In the event that the product went through multiple freeze/thaw cycles (or more cycles than recommended by the manufacturer) it is most likely that the product is no longer suitable for use and best to start again with a fresh batch.

In the event that the sealant or finish does get frozen, it is best to let the product stay frozen for the duration of the season, rather that bring it inside to thaw and risk it being frozen again. The succession of the freeze/thaw cycle occurring repeatedly is  what primarily causes the breakdown of the product.

See below for product by product guidelines for freeze/thaw stability. Unless otherwise stated all products distributed by LogFinish.com should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Product Classification Shelf Life
Outlast Q8 Log Oil Freeze/Thaw Stable Indefinite when stored in a cool, dry place.
NBS 30 Freeze/Thaw Stable Indefinite when stored in a cool, dry place unopened.
Mold-Buster Mildewcide Freeze/Thaw Stable 3-4 years when unopened and not allowed to freeze.
Bug Juice Freeze Thaw Stable Not opened should last up to 2 years. Opened but recapped/tightly sealed same amount of time. If container is not sealed properly, over time it will dry out.
Sikkens Proluxe Cetol Log & Siding Freezable 5 year maximum shelf life when unopened.
Sikkens Proluxe SRD Freezable 2 years maximum when unopened.
Sikkens Proluxe Cetol Maintenance Freezable 5 years maximum when unopened.
WeatherSeal Freeze/Thaw Stable (through at least 10 cycles) 8-10 years when properly sealed. Make sure to remove skin and stir thoroughly before use.
Lifeline Ultra 7 Limited Freeze/Thaw Stable (through 5 cycles) 3 years
Lifeline Ultra 2 Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 years
Lifeline Interior Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Lifeline Acrylic Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Lifeline Advance Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Energy Seal Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Perma-Chink Log Chinking Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
CheckMate 2 Freeze/Thaw Stable 1 Year
Seal Once Poly Blend Freeze/Thaw Stable up to 3 cycles Unopened shelf life of 18 months.
Seal Once Total Wood Protection Freeze/Thaw Stable up to 3 cycles Indefinite when unopened and stored in  cool, dry place.

 

Tips for Maintaining Your Wood Home

“Maintenance should not be viewed as a chore or just an expense, it should be considered as an investment in your home’s longevity and value. Properly cared for log homes will appreciate in value, rather than depreciate. “ -Tony Huddleston, Perma-Chink Systems.

 

Wood homes require more maintenance than painted or vinyl sided homes. When you have a wood home it is important to know that you are working with a natural material that will sunburn (graying of the wood) and dry out if not properly maintained over the years. Most log finish manufacturers will give you a time frame during which you should apply a maintenance coat. Some don’t. The tips in this article will help you know when it is time to apply a maintenance coat.

  • Every log or wood sided home is different. Each home has a variety of factors that influence when you will need to apply a maintenance coat. Some of those factors include the age and porosity of the wood, how the wood was maintained before it was stained, if the wood has been sanded and what type of weather elements the wood is exposed to on a regular basis.
  • It is important to wash your home annually. While washing with a wood-specific cleaner like Log Wash, take the time to evaluate your wood home wall by wall.
  • Wall by wall evaluation before applying a maintenance coat makes sure you will avoid excess build up of previous coatings. Know that if a manufacturer recommends applying a maintenance re-coat every 3-5 years, that one wall could need re-staining every 3 years and another every 5 or more years depending on exposure to elements.
  • For penetrating finishes like Seal-Once Poly Blend and Outlast Q8 Log Oil, watch for fading, cracking or checking of the wood and reduced water repellency as indications of when to apply a maintenance coat.
  • For film forming finishes like WeatherSeal, Perma-Chink and Sikkens Proluxe Log & Siding, look for fading, chalking, flaking, cracking or checking of the wood and reduced sheen. Do not wait until these finishes peel because it is likely that the surface will need to be stripped before re-application.
  • Make your maintenance checklist a yearly to-do. Again, take some time to walk around your home and assess the wood. Do you see fading or reduced water repellency? Wood that looks dry? Reduced sheen? All these symptoms indicate it is time to re-stain.
  • Regular maintenance and inspections can save you money over time. With a little time, attention to detail and knowledge you can maintain your home on a regular basis with little worry on what to do and when.

5 Reasons To Clean Your Log Home This Weekend

 1.  Maintain the beauty and functionality of your exterior finish.

2.  Dust, pollen, and other airborne gunk provide a food source for all kinds of ugly fungal growth on your logs.

3.  If you added a contact insecticide to your exterior stain:  dirt accumulating on the exterior surface of your home will prevent bugs from contacting the treated surface and the attempt at bug-be-gone just won’t happen.

4.  Helps you spend some quality time with the exterior of your home by getting a good look at the physical condition of your logs/siding to see if there are any areas that need caulking or chinking.

5. A regular gentle cleaning of the exterior of your home can extend the life of the finish making less work for you in the long run.
Remember: A complete and regular maintenance schedule will save you money and time!

 

To find instructions on cleaning your log home and why we strongly recommend you don’t use bleach:  Cleaning Your Log Home

Product Spotlight: Seal-Once™ Total Wood Protection-Breakthrough Technology in Wood Finishes

LogFinish.com has been in the wood finish business for nearly two decades.  In all this time, there have been very few major product developments, despite changes in customer demand.  We believe we have finally found a game changer!

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection offers a state of the art approach to protecting wood surfaces.  We have  joined forces with it’s developer, New Image Coatings, and we are proud to offer you this revolutionary product proudly made in the USA.

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection is a high-performance water-based, non-toxic waterproofer and wood sealer that incorporates nanotechnology to provide a unique, long-lasting protective coating for all wood surfaces.  It is available in clear and tinted formulas which penetrate deep into the wood’s surface.  As it cures, it forms an interior film that prevents water from infiltrating the wood.

Seal-Once protects wood against water, mold, mildew and UV damage.  It is non-flammable, contains no V.O.C.s, toxins or irritants, and it exceeds current eco-requirements.  Best of all, Seal-Once lasts for up to 6 years on horizontal surfaces and up to 10 years on vertical surfaces.

Seal-Once Total Wood Protection has proven excellence in field performance.  Give it a try for your next project; you will not be disappointed!

Also, check out Seal-Once Marine for docks and piers.  This one-of-a-kind formula is safe for use directly over water without harming aquatic life or polluting the environment.

 

Check out how Seal Once™Total Wood Protection works in the video below:

 

For more information on this breakthrough in wood finishing technology click here

 

What You Should Know Before Using a Clear Wood Finish

Our customers often ask us for a clear or “natural” finish that will protect their wood.  The truth is, clear finishes may provide water repellency, resistance against mold and mildew and insecticidal properties.  However,  clear finishes do not  protect your log home from UV rays that cause weathering and graying of your home’s exterior, decks and rails.  With most clear finishes you will notice graying wood within 1-2 years of initial application.

Why will the exterior of your home turn gray if you only use a clear finish to protect it?   UV rays break down the lignan fibers in the wood which in turn causes the wood to gray.  

Semi-transparent, tinted wood finishes provide your wood with UV protection.  Different stain brands contain various UV inhibitors, but the rule of thumb is the darker the tint of the stain, the better the UV protection for your house.  If your house is located in a high sun area, where it is fully exposed for hours at a time, LogFinish.com recommends going using a finish with a medium to dark tint.

If your deck or wood exteriors are weathered and gray and you are looking to clean them up, re-stain and bring the wood back to it’s natural color, we recommend using an oxalic acid based product like X-180 Weathered Wood Restorer from American Building Restoration.  This product is a wood cleaner and brightener and will take the gray out of lightly to severely discolored wood.

Another option for cleaning gray, weathered wood is oxygen based detergent and brightening cleaners like All Wood Cleaner from New Image Coatings.  This is cleaner has very low environmental impact, can be used safely over water and will not harm plants.  All Wood Cleaner harnesses the power of oxygen to clean and brighten wood without harsh chemicals.

When cleaning your deck or exterior wood we do not recommend using bleach.  Bleach can cause streaking, spotting and even break down wood fibers.

 

How to Pick the Best Exterior Stain or Finish for Your Log Cabin-Part 2

1.  Have you treated your logs with a wood preservative?  If not, you can use an all-in-one wood preservative and wood finish  by applying Q8 Log Oil.  Other finishes such as Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding, and Lifeline Ultra 2 and 7 require a borate wood preservative before applying  the finish.

 

2. Are you concerned about making sure your logs are flame retardant?  If you live in a fire-prone area or you just want to protect your log home from the unthinkable, think about applying a flame retardant like Flame Seal which gives your home a Class A fire rating.

 

3. Would you like the finish to be film-forming or penetrate into the logs?  Outlast Q8 Log Oil  is a penetrating finish that soaks into the logs.  Sikkens and Perma-Chink products form a satin or gloss film on the wood to protect it.

 

4. Would you like a flat matte finish or a shiny satin/gloss finish?  Some people like a matte finish which gives wood  a natural, textured look.  Others like the sheen or shine created by satin or glossy finishes.

 

5. How often are you willing to retreat the home in the following years?  Some finishes require re-application in 2-3 years, after the initial coat.  Others require application every 3-7 years.  What are you willing to do?

 

6. Is a warranty on the finish you purchase important to you?   Perma-Chink Systems offers a 3-5 year warranty on their Lifeline Ultra 2 and Ultra 7  products when applied to their standards and proof of purchase is provided.

 

7. What is your budget?  Exterior finishes can range  from $1.75 a square foot to $8.50 a square foot including labor.

 

8. Are you finishing the house yourself or are you hiring someone to do the work?  Different finishes require different methods of application.  It is important to apply finishes according to the product label.  Sometimes hiring an experienced person to do the work is best, since they may already have the special equipment needed for application.

 

9. What is the weather?  Most stains need to be applied between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit in dry weather.  Products should always be applied at temperatures specified by the product label.  Many finishes should not be applied in direct sunlight.  Some finishes dry in a couple of hours, others dry overnight and still others take several days to dry.

 

So, end the end, keep in mind that there is no “best” finish, just the best finish for you and your log home. If you have any questions about the information we have posed please do call us at 1-888-208-2248.

How to Pick the Best Exterior Stain or Finish for Your Log Cabin-Part 1

Over the years we have had one question that our clients have asked us over and over again.  That question is “What is the best finish you have available?” In reality there is no “best finish”; there are many great finishes available. The real question is “What is the best finish for you and your log home?”.  Here is the first of  several key questions to ask yourself when deciding on the best finish or stain for your log home:

1. Would you like an oil-based or a water-based finish?    There are many different  finishes, but this  question encompasses all of them.  Here are some pros  and cons about each category:

Petroleum  Based  Products

Brand names you recognize like Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding  and Outlast Q8 Log Oil are oil based finishes that contain some type of petroleum.

Pros

  • Petroleum  based stains like Q8 Log Oil will keep wood from drying out because it penetrates deep into the wood  therefore minimizing cracking and checking.  Outlast Q8 Log Oil is also an EPA registered wood preservative and has a built-in pesticide called Copper 8 quinolinolate.
  • A high solids products like WeatherSeal and Sikkens Log and Siding provide excellent UV protection.

Cons

  • Petroleum oil based products are subject to major price increases on a regular basis because of the rising cost of oil.
  • Petroleum oil based products can be tough to clean up and some have high VOC (volatile organic compound) levels.
  • Once you use an oil based penetrating stain it can be tough to switch to a different product because  it soaks deep into the wood and can be very hard to remove.

Plant Oil Based  Finishes

Pros

  • Plant oil based stains and finishes are very environmentally friendly.  
  • These stains are all natural and  can be applied in a much greater range of temperature than petroleum oil based stains.
  • Plant oil based products generally have very low VOC’s.
  • Very safe to work with and have easy, non-toxic clean up as compared to petroleum oil based stains.

Cons

  • Plant oil based stains and finishes can often require  more coats to finish the exterior of your house, therefore creating the need for more application time and a larger initial product purchase.

 

 Water Based Acrylic Latex Finishes

Pros

  • Water-based  stains are easy to clean up, usually only requiring warm soapy water.  
  • Very low VOC’s,  so they often have very little smell.  
  • Water-based stains are usually more environmentally friendly than their petroleum oil based counterparts.
  • These stains and finishes often provide a better color variety and options for satin or gloss finish.  
  • Water-based stains like Perma-Chink Systems Lifeline Ultra 2 and Ultra 7 and Seal-Once offer up to a 5 year warranty when applied to their standards.

Cons

  • Many water based finishes require an additional top coat to finish the application.

 

So, there you have it.  Hopefully this article has taken you one step closer to finding out what stain or finish to use on your home.  For extra help or questions about products give us a call at 1-888-208-2248.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Cleaning Your Log Cabin

Why should you clean the exterior of  your log home?

1. Maintain the durability and appearance of your exterior finish.

2. Dust, pollen, and other airborne contaminants provide a food source for fungal growth on your logs.

3. If using a contact insecticide, dirt accumulated on the exterior surface of your home will prevent bugs from contacting the treated surface and render the insecticide ineffective.

4. Helps you get a good look at the physical condition of your logs/siding to see if there are any areas that need caulking or chinking.

5. A regular gentle cleaning of the exterior of your home can prolong the life of the stain/finish on your home.

Reasons Not to Use Bleach Or Ammonia Based Products:

  • Destroys lignan in the wood.
  • Can permanently remove color.
  • Residue is a carcinogen once it falls to the ground.
  • Bleach is tough to rinse off and you will find that the finish may look spotty after washing.
  • May cause streaks to develop on the surface of your wood.

What You Need to Clean Your Log Home:

  • A liquid log cleaner like  X-180 (oxalic acid) or Log Wash (detergent).  The reason we recommend a cleaner specifically for logs is that the PH of the cleaner needs to be very close to the PH of the wood in order to work effectively and not damage your wood.
  • A garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle or low-pressure washer (no more than 500 psi).
  • A pump up garden sprayer.
  • A long handled, soft bristle brush.

 

How to Clean Your Log Home

1. Pick a small area.  Work only an area big enough so that the cleaning solution is on the wall for about 10-15 minutes.

2. Wet down the wall with mist from your garden hose.

3. Apply cleaning solution with a garden sprayer, starting at the bottom of the wall and work your way up.

4. Scrub. Gently scrub the wall with your brush.

5. Rinse. Use a gentle setting on the hose nozzle and thoroughly rinse the cleaner from the top down. This will help prevent blotches and drip marks. If you are going to use a pressure washer set it to deliver at 500-800 PSI to avoid splitting the wood fibers.

 

More questions about cleaning the exterior of your log home?  Call us at 1-888-208-2248 for some friendly help.  Want to test out some of the products mentioned in our blog?

 

New Exterior Stain from Perma-Chink Systems

 Perma-chink Systems, Inc., has released a new two-coat only exterior wood finish that is amazing for many different reasons.

Appearance+Longevity

1. Ultra 7‘s state-of-the-art resin ensures that the seal is continuous, providing protection from holes and gaps that might otherwise develop with a lower-quality finish.  What is a polymer resin?  A polymer resin is a clear liquid plastic product that hardens to create a thick, durable, glossy coating. Once hardened, polymer resin is fade-proof and water-resistant (1).

 2. Ultra-7’s water-resistant film breathes just like Gore-Tex® to allow trapped moisture to evaporate from your logs.

 3. Ultra-7 includes transparent oxides (sunscreen for your wood) and mildew inhibitors to protect against UV degradation, color fading and mildew collection on your home.

  •  Value+Environment

1. Ultra-7 can be used in nearly every application around your home, making it a great one-stop shop product for all of your finishing needs. It works on exterior walls, decks, railings, siding, while also being compatible with all existing Lifeline coatings to help streamline your maintenance routine.

2. Perma-Chink Systems is offering up to a 5-year warranty against UV exposure when applied to bare wood and covered with Lifeline Advance clear topcoat. Click here for more details.

3. Easy clean-up!  The tools you use to apply your home’s finish need only soap and water for clean-up, eliminating the need for any harsh chemicals during the initial application or maintenance.

4. Ultra-7  meets and exceeds all standards for low-VOC exterior finishes in the most restrictive regions in North America.

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So there we are.  Lifeline Ultra 7 is supported by a 3 year warranty against UV degradation, it is a two-coat only system finishing with a one coat of Lifeline Advance gloss or satin which increases durability, and can be used for multiple applications around the home!  Whats not to like?  Please let us know your experiences with Ultra-7 in the comments below so we can develop a good understanding of the performance and usage of Lifeline Ultra-7 in the industry.  Please keep in mind that you do need to register your home with Perma-Chink Systems, Inc., in order to qualify for the warranty.

 

Thank you to Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. for providing information for this post.  Want to see Lifeline Ultra 7 colors and read more? Visit www.LogFinish.com or give us a holler for some friendly help at 1-888-208-2248.  Ready to finish your home?