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.

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.