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.

 

Why Wood Turns Gray If You Use a Clear Finish

Effect of 18 Months of Sun Exposure on Bare Northern White Cedar
Effect of 18 Months of Sun Exposure on Bare Northern White Cedar-Image courtesy Perma-Chink Systems

 

 

“The bottom line is that if only clear coats are applied to exterior bare wood they provide only temporary protection against UV damage.” – Perma-Chink Systems

Our customers often ask us for a clear finish that will protect their wood.  The truth is, clear finishes may provide water repellency, resistance against mold and mildew and insecticidal properties, but clear finishes do not  protect your log home from damaging UV rays that cause graying of your home’s exterior walls, decks and rails.  With most clear finishes you will notice graying wood within 6-24  months of initial application.

Why will the exterior of your home turn gray if you only use a clear finish to protect it?   Clear finishes do not contain the appropriate pigment load to absorb UV rays from the sun. Clear finishes often contain little to no chemical UV inhibitors and the inhibitors they do contain are often “sacrificial, in other words the more UV light that they are exposed to, the quicker they get used up” according to Perma-Chink Systems. The result is a clear finish that breaks down rapidly from exposure to the sun, leaving wood unprotected and exposed to damaging  UV rays.  Wood will then start to turn gray, which is the natural reaction of bare wood fibers when exposed to the sun for extended periods of time.

We like to compare pigmented wood finishes to sunblock. Your body’s natural reaction when exposed to the sun over time is to tan or burn, it’s just how your body manages UV exposure. You apply sunblock to create a protective layer between you and the sun.  When you apply a wood finish that contains pigments or tints, you are accomplishing the same thing as you are with applying sunblock before you go to the pool, which is to provide a layer of pigment protection between the wood and the sun.

Semi-transparent, tinted wood finishes provide your wood with UV protection. Different wood finish 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 using a finish with a medium to dark tint.

If your deck or wood exteriors are weathered and gray and you have decided to re-finish them with a tinted product it is important to first remove the gray, weathered surface. To do this, we recommend using a cleaning and brightening product that will leave your wood at the proper pH for staining as well as remove any dirt and pollen that has collected on the wood.  We do not recommend using household bleach and water to brighten wood because of its ability to dramatically change the natural pH of the wood. Instead, try out an oxalic acid based product like X-180 Weathered Wood Restorer, a wood cleaner and brightener for mild to severely discolored wood.

Thanks to the good folks at Perma-Chink Systems and LogFinish.com for inspiring this article and providing a wealth of information on this subject.

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.

Product Spotlight: Introducing A Marine Waterproofer That Is Safe For Use Over Fresh and Saltwater

Many boat owners will use the Fall and Winter seasons to clean and re-stain their docks and piers.  Often times, re-staining a dock involves moving the structure out of the water, which  can take up a lot of time and labor.  With All Wood Cleaner and Seal Once Marine Waterpoofer, docks no longer need to be moved.  You can clean and re-stain your dock all while doing no harm to the water environment around you.

All Wood Cleaner is a concentrated cleaner and brightener that can be used directly over water to clean and brighten your wood.   Applied with a backpack sprayer and washed off with a pressure washer,  All Wood Cleaner can restore a  sun-damaged dock to it’s former glory.

Seal-Once Marine is a water-based, odorless, non-flammable, non-combustible, UV stable wood waterproofer.  Seal-Once uses  co-polymer nanotechnology, to allow the waterproofer to penetrate 1/4″ into wood and offers a 6 year performance warranty on properly prepared horizontal surfaces.

Check out the video below, outlining how Seal-Once works:

Seal-Once Marine WaterProofer

For more information on these products and more visit www.LogFinish.com.

 

Helpful Hints for Winterizing Your Log Home

It’s October, and that means it’s time to winterize your log home. You may have cold weather already, or it could be just around the corner, but taking these simple steps to winterize now means your home will be protected before it gets too cold to bear!

Inspect Your Logs
If you have temperatures above 50 degrees, you can still re-coat your home and decks with stain. Follow-ing recommended maintenance schedules protects the integrity of the wood and enhances the beauty of your home. We recommend washing first with Log Wash for light surface cleaning.
Fill checks in logs, and any gaps around doors, windows, and exterior ventilation openings to prevent moisture infiltration from ice, rain and snow, and to keep indoor heat from escaping. We recommend Energy Seal, and Checkmate 2.

Inspect Your Landscaping
Trim tree branches resting on your roof or hanging too close to power lines. Heavy snow piling up can wreak havoc!
Fall is the perfect time to seal concrete driveways and patios so they hold up to damaging Winter salts and freezing temps. It’s also important to fill cracks while they’re small to prevent spreading. We recommend Seal-Once Concrete & Masonry Waterproof Sealer.
Pulling up a dock or keeping your outdoor wood furniture on the patio? Seal it with a good water-proofer to protect it from harsh elements. We recommend Seal-Once Poly Blend and Seal-Once Marine.

Inspect Your Foundation and Roof
Rake leaves and excess vegetation away from your foundation to keep unwanted critters and wood boring insects at bay. Dry, brittle pine needles are a potential fire hazard. Reduce your risk by clearing them away from your home and off your roof. If you are in an area prone to natural fires, consider protecting your home with a flame retardant. We recommend Flame Seal Wood Seal.

Whether you plan to stay in your log home through the Winter or leave and return in the Spring, properly winterizing protects your home through those cold Winter months and extends its life for many years of enjoyment.

 

Many thanks to LogFinish.com’s, Jennifer Fludd for this fantastic article!

Quick Maintenance Checklist for Your Log Cabin

Take a moment to walk around your home.

Here are some signs that your cabin may need a new coat of stain or caulking/chinking maintenance:

  1. Faded finish on South or West exterior walls
  2. Varying shades on top and bottom of logs
  3. Gray discoloration from weathering
  4. Blonde color around checks and cracks
  5. Gaps between caulking/chinking joints
  6. Presence of mold, mildew or excessive dirt
  7. Cracking,  peeling or flaking of the log finish
  8. Water repellency is an easy way to determine when it’s time to apply a maintenance coat.

To check if the stain on your home is still repelling water, perform the following simple test:

Hose down your home. If the water beads up, you still have good protection and can wait 6-12 months before your next application. If the water soaks into the wood, it’s time to reapply.

 

For more information on all things log cabins, check out our other Log Blog articles, check out www.LogFinish.com, or give us a call @ 1-888-208-2248.  We are here to help!

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

 

Product Spotlight: Flame Retardant For Your Home

Wild fires were devastating to many homes, families and businesses all over the the United States last year.   The following product spotlight focuses on Flame Seal’s Wood Seal™ Class A,  a revolutionary product that can mean the difference between a home or business to return to or a pile of ashes.

What is Flame Seal Wood Seal ™ A?

Flame Seal Wood Seal is a clear, water based, penetrating product designed to be applied to all unfinished wood surfaces inside and outside the home prior to final finishing. With Flame Seal’s Wood Seal treatment, your logs are transformed from a flammable material into a “flame resistant” material. If logs are exposed to a flame, instead of growing into a destructive fire,  in most cases the flames will simply burn themselves out, and the exposed surface of the logs will only be discolored or charred. Most non-flammable finishes can be applied over Wood Seal but check with your manufacturer before using.  Wood Seal meets most commercial building code requirements, giving structures a Class A fire rating.   Wood Seal is  non volatile, non-toxic, and contains no petroleum derivatives.

What woods work best with Flame Seal Wood Seal?

Softer woods such as Fir, Pine and Cedar work best and allow for maximum penetration of the Wood Seal product.  Harder woods such as Oak will not absorb as much Flame Seal, and therefore might be less resistant to fire.  

What wood finishes work best with Flame Seal Wood Seal?

Flame Seal’s Wood Seal works best with water based interior finishes such as PermaChink’s Lifeline Interior.  For exterior applications Flame Seal Wood Seal works well with water-based exterior systems such as Perma-Chink’s Lifeline Ultra-2 System  and Seal Once Poly Blend. Flame Seal Wood Seal also works well  with alkyd resin systems such as Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding and WeatherSeal. Check the Flame Seal product page for information on what class fire ratings are achieved when using the above wood finishes over Flame Seal.  Flame Seal’s Wood Seal is not compatible with penetrating log finishes such as Q8 Log Oil.

Are Test Results Available Which Prove Flameseal Woodseal’s Class A Fire Rating?

Yes. Click Here for Flameseal Wood Seal Test Results.

Will Flame Seal Wood Seal Protect My Home In All Fire Situations?

Wood Seal flame retardant cannot provide 100% protection against all fire situations. The product makes it difficult for a fire to start, or spread, which will defeat many fire situations.  Flame Seal will always increase the time that you will have to escape or take action to put out the fire. Flame Seal’s Wood Seal will protect your home against 95% of the common causes of house fires that can, if left unchecked, destroy your home.

How Do You Apply Flame Seal Wood Seal?

  • Always remove any mill glaze from milled logs or siding.
  • Apply a light initial coat of Flame Seal, followed by two heavy saturating coats.
  • Flame Seal  can be applied with a brush, roller or spray equipment to any clean unfinished raw wood surface.
  • Apply Flame Seal to saturation so that it is running off the surface of the wood.
  • Allow Flame Seal Wood Seal to dry for 24 hours before applying your compatible log finish.
  • Do not dilute Flame Seal: it must be applied full strength to yield full protection.
  • For exterior applications, apply your log finish within 24-72 hours after the Flame Seal application.

 

What is the coverage of Flame Seal’s Wood Seal?

Depending on the porosity of your wood, Flame Seal’s Wood Seal coverage will range between 750 and 1750 square feet per 5 gallon pail.

Who Developed Flame Seal’s Wood Seal?
Flame Seal’s Wood Seal was developed and is manufactured by the Flame Seal Corporation.  Flame Seal is a leading supplier of flame retardant coatings for the commercial aircraft industry.

Here is an amazing testimonial LogFinish.com received from a satisfied FlameSeal customer in Tujunga, CA the site of the Station Forest Fire in 2009.

I have been wanting to tell you about the successful use of your Flame Seal fire retardant on our forest cabin. In May of 2009 we refinished our deck, and since our home is in a fire prone area inside a National Forest, we wanted to use a fire retardant. We selected your Flame Seal and treated the wood on the deck with a generous amount of it before we put on the top coat.

It turns out this was a lucky, or perhaps prescient, move on our part. Four months later, on August 29, 2009, the Station Fire consumed more than 50 of our neighbors’ homes. This fire eventually became the largest blaze in Los Angeles County history. While we watched the devastation we didn’t have much hope for our cabin, but two days after the fire ran through, we were allowed to return and see to our amazement that our house was still standing! There were a thousand tiny burn marks all over the surface of the deck where embers landed, and the back of the house, which was also treated with Flame Seal, had bubbling paint and a warped plastic thermometer, but none of the ignition points sustained burning. We were so pleased, we bought another five gallons to seal the entire surface of the house, which had to be repainted after the fire.

This stuff works! We will tell all of our neighbors who rebuild and who still live in the area about your product.

Mark  T., CA

 For  more information or some friendly help with the product call 1-888-208-2248.  

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.