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Monday, 20 February 2017 00:00

Log Home Spring Inspection

How To Prolong the Life of Your Home?

One key for keeping your log home in tip-top condition is to take an hour or so once the weather turns nice to inspect the exterior of your home for signs of potential problems.
 log home inspection
Before we start discussing the inspection process, here are a few tips:
  
  1. Make a diagram of your home that you can carry with you while you conduct your inspection. It does not have to be fancy, just a simple plan that you can use to note where something needs to be done
  2. If you have a digital camera, take it with you during your inspection. It's amazing how something you see may disappear when you go back to look for it. Use a checklist of things that are relevant to your home. It's easy to forget what to look for by the time you get to the third or fourth wall.
  3. Give your home a wash down with Log Wash before you start your inspection. It's difficult to determine the condition of a finish when it's covered with a layer of winter dirt.
logwash
log wash application
log wash rinse 

The Inspection

Friday, 17 February 2017 00:00

Choosing A Log Home Contractor

Two Steps and Four Questions
 
Are you a real do-it-yourselfer when it comes to maintaining your home? If so, every product we offer is made with you in mind. User-friendly products, common sense labels and application guides, plus our experienced team of customer service and technical support staff – all these are at your convenience.
 
application and removal step by step guideaNow, for those of you who maybe just don’t have the time, physical ability or even the confidence level to do the work yourself – Perma-Chink Systems offers an extensive referral list of log home contractors from coast to coast. Most of these contractors are self-employed and none are affiliated with Perma-Chink Systems, but they do have experience and training in using our products on log and timber homes.
 

Step 1 – Get Smart

A very important first step before interviewing any contractor is to educate yourself. Perma-Chink Systems can help you better understand the steps and nuances of your project. You can attend one of our free homeowner workshops, read through our literature and application guides or call one of our log home specialists to walk you through the process and related products. Better yet, go online and register for a private webinar with our experts. The more you know about your upcoming project, the better you can ask the right questions and understand the answers from the contractors. So please don’t overlook this important step!
 

Step 2 – Schedule Interviews

contractor estimatePerma-Chink Systems maintains current contact information, insurance and license information for all contractors on the referral list. Obviously, you’ll want to interview the contractors to determine their reliability, reputation and experience as well as their procedures that best meet your individual needs.
 
So here are the top 4 Key Questions you should ask each contractor candidate:
 
1. Does the contractor carry insurance?
 
A contractor should carry comprehensive liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance to protect you in the event of a job accident. Ask for proof of general liability and workers' compensation coverage for the type of project.
 
2. Is the contractor licensed?
 
Ask if the contractor is licensed by your state and/or city. Not all states or cities require contractors to be licensed.
 
3. Will the contractor provide references from previous jobs?
 
Most experienced log home contractors will have a portfolio of past jobs, along with photos and customers testimonial letters.
 
4. What is the contractor’s workmanship warranty?
 
Some contractors typically warrant their workmanship for one year or more. Longer warranties are not necessarily more valuable than shorter warranties. The length of the warranty is less important than the intent and ability of the contractor to stand behind his warranty. That is best evaluated using customer references.
 

Choosing a Contractor

There are several more important things to consider as you narrow down your contractor selection. All job bids (if well written) should contain enough detail provisions and terms to clearly state both parties’ expectations. Your contractor’s knowledge of local building laws, their schedule to do the work and, of course, the total price they bid for your project, is all part of the equation. When it comes to caring for your log home, it's reassuring to know that you can choose a contractor on whom you can rely on for good advice as well trust that they’re dedicated to providing you with the best results possible.
 
Again, Perma-Chink Systems is happy to offer you all our resources to make this process a successful experience. We will contact you within 7-10 days to follow-up on the contractor’s response and also log information and future follow-up if the job was awarded to one of our preferred log home contractors. Give us a call at 1-800-548-3554 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to get a referral to contractors in your area.
Thursday, 09 February 2017 00:00

Log Cabin Renovation

From Worst to First With Perma-Chink!
By John & Elaine Judsky
Suches, GA
Perma-Chink Customers Forever
 
 
Cabin Before 1I’ll admit the hard truth. I neglected the exterior of our log cabin in the North Georgia mountains. For years. It was ugly, and we needed restoration.
 
We had used Perma-Chink products on the interior of our new cabin back in 1999, with Sure Shine on our floors and the LifeLine interior on our walls. They are holding up well and looking good after 16 years.
 
But the exterior was a mess from our neglect and from using an inferior product. We used the product recommended and provided by our log manufacturer. It shall remain nameless here because it was an oil-based jug of junk.
 
This past summer I finally had the time and money to redo the exterior, and there was no question in my mind I was going to use Perma-Chink products. We attended a workshop in Knoxville and learned lots of good tips and info. The logs looked dirty, faded and had no water resistance. I went ahead and sanded the few spots that needed that much care. The S100 finish remover did a great job removing what was left of the old finish. The Wood Renew made the logs fresh and bright again. Then the Log Wash prepared a good surface for the application of Armor -Guard preservative followed by two coats of the Lifeline Ultra-2, followed by the Glossy Lifeline Advance.
Tuesday, 17 January 2017 00:00

Mobile Log Cabins

MOBILE LOG CABINS (or PLUG & PLAY TRADITIONAL LOG HOME)
By Dan Waring, British Log Cabins
 
 
Mobile homes...Traditionally an ugly metal box, BLC have taken the parameters defining the mobile home and delivered a beautiful alternative LOG CABIN!
 
Developed in response to an increase in the popularity of ‘Log Cabin Holidays’ our Mobile Log Homes include everything. The entire building is prefabricated off site in our log building yard on a specially designed rolling chassis.
off site 1  off site 2 
 
The building comes complete including a kitchenette, bathroom suite, LPG boiler, radiators, log burner and all internal finishes.
interior1 interior2 interior3
 
All that is required on site is a concrete slab and waste and water connections - they really are a plug and play, traditional log home!.
outside1  outside2 
 
Log building as a construction method and art form has been around for centuries. It’s origins were in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia. As a trade it has a long established history. The often romanticized vision of a cozy, traditional log cabin in a holiday area is now a reality.
 
Friday, 16 December 2016 00:00

The Wise Woman Builds Her House

mala pattersonAfter graduating from college, the normal progression for most women is marriage. But, what is great, or even fun, about being normal? This neo-Laura Ingalls-Wilder, this Backwoods Barbie, embarked upon an adventure. I decided to build a log cabin!
 
I have had the pleasure of being around log cabins nearly my whole life. I grew up in my parents’ pine, D-shaped log cabin. They had a “turn-key” package; but we, mainly my father, ended up doing a lot of the work. Despite three children, pets, and fluctuating Alabama weather, their home has weathered nicely with little maintenance. Therefore, my parents are supportive of my log cabin, although they enjoy ribbing me about some comments I made when I was about ten years old.
 
I was ticked at my mother because she did not think that a black and silver waterbed (completed, of course) with a zebra bedspread was suitable décor for a ten year-old girl’s log bedroom. Thus, I declared that I would never have a house of wood. I vowed to have only wallpaper and paint in my house one day. (Never say never!)
 
Anyway, my adventure started when I found an ad for oak log cabin kits in a classified newspaper. Not wanting to be saddled with a large debt and realizing that I would be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the house, I decided to purchase the approximately 1,500 square-foot kit. The logs arrived safely and beautifully – Missouri oak heartwood dovetail logs.(Say that ten times fast!)
 
porchSince my kit consisted of only the perimeter wall logs, I drew the interior plans one Sunday afternoon; and Mom and I devised a plan that would allow me to “pay-as-I-go” and have the cabin completed and paid-off in three years. However, I did not realize how much I was going to be involved with the “hands-on” construction, and I never imagined how much I would learn to do and end up doing myself.
Thursday, 13 October 2016 00:00

Leroy Mountain

m-ext011

The Leroy Mountain project was in need of some help. Built in 2003 it had been coated with Sansin Classic. One product, one color had been used on everything- logs, trim, and deck. This resulted in a mono-tone appearance. A second and third coat had been applied over the years, without adequate preparation. On one wall it looked like the finish had not been stirred or mixed before applying. Time, sun and weather had degraded the exterior badly. It was sad to see such a beautiful home in this condition.
 
My first impression on seeing the house was “Whoa, what is that little gem doing here?” Large Doug Fir logs, scribed fit, three gables, two balconies, two dormers, two porches, hexagon great room and deck – all tucked in on a basic footprint of 32’ X 32’. This is not your typical Pennsylvania log home. The log kit was supplied by The Log Connection, British Columbia, Canada. As soon as I saw it I knew we could bring it back to better then new looking condition.
 
Monday, 19 September 2016 00:00

Pros and Cons of Log Home Stain

By Lee Denman, Intensified Wood Restoration

 

There are essentially two types of log home stains available on the market today:

Film-Forming Finishes

Oil based (Alkyd) Log Home Stains

Latex based Log Home Stains

Acrylic Latex based Log Home Stains

Varnishes for Log Homes

 

      

      

      

      

Penetrating Finishes

Oil based Semitransparent Log Home Stains

 

stains1What are the PROS and CONS of each of these types of log home finishes?

1. Oil Based (Alkyd) Log Home Stain

PROS: Wood grain visibility, UV Protection, Non Porous, Easy application, longer open times.

CONS: Trap Moisture, Brittle, Can't Breathe, Weather Quickly, Coat build-up over time, Blistering occurs if moisture is present behind finish, High Maintenance.
 

2. Latex based Solid Color Log Home

PROS: Breathable, Flexible, Durable, High UV Protection, Porous, Easy application, Low maintenance, Long life, low odor.

CONS: Won't prevent decay if conditions are favorable, Short Shelf Life.

3. Semi-Transparent Acrylic Latex based Log Home Stain

PROS: Breathable, Flexible, Durable, High UV Protection, Wood grain visibility, Porous, Low maintenance, Long life, low odor.

CONS: More difficult to apply than oil based stains and solid color stains, fast drying times.

4. Log Home Varnishes

PROS: Allow for natural look of logs.

CONS: High maintenance, prone to Cracking, Peeling and Blistering, Requires recoating every 1-2 years, Partial UV protection.

5. Oil based Semitransparent Log Home Stains

PROS: Penetrate into wood, Wood grain visibility, Breathable, High UV protection.

CONS: Perform best on rough sawn, weathered, or course textured wood. Compatibility issues with most log home sealants due to waxes found in most penetrating finishes. Don't have a furniture grade finish look (dull), must apply second coat before first coat dries in order for stain to penetrate wood. Vapor barrier, non-breathable.

 

stains2What types of log home stains work the best?

So we have all this helpful information on the types of log home stains but which log home stain is the best? It is hard to say which one is the absolute best because there are many factors that ultimately decide how well or long a log home stain will perform. Some of these factors are:

  • What season the logs were cut (winter cut logs only)
  • Proper surface preparation
  • Environment surrounding building
  • Moisture content of logs

Of all these factors none is more important than proper surface preparation of the logs before applying a log home stain. If the surface of the logs has not been prepped properly none of these log home stains will perform as they state they will. This is why it is important to only hire a qualified log home restoration expert to work on your log home! They will have the knowledge and expertise to work with the products available in the current log home market. This will ensure your investment is protected well into the future.

While we can’t say which log home stain is the overall best, we can recommend which type of log home finishes we feel perform exceptionally well and keep maintenance costs down throughout the years. This only holds true if proper surface preparation is kept in mind before and during any finish or sealant application. In our opinion, film-forming, latex based waterborne log home finishes such as PermaChink’ Lifeline is best bang for your buck!

While Perma-Chink finishes aren't the cheapest out there they seem to require the least amount of maintenance based on our 25+ years of experience restoring log homes and log cabins of all sizes and shapes. They also offer an unmatched 5 year warranty on their log home stains when applied properly and maintained accordingly.

Lee Denman is the founder of Intensified Wood Restoration Company

http://www.logcabinrestorationservices.com/

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 00:00

Protect and Preserve your Deck

dd3Your decks and railings do not weather in a uniform fashion like your log walls. After a year or two with some deck stains, areas exposed to direct sunlight may hold little or no trace of the original finish, while shaded surfaces may show very little, if any degradation.

There are three primary elements to your deck which can maximize longevity and structural integrity as well as aesthetics. These include periodic maintenance between applications of stain, preparation of applying new stain and the staining itself.

Regardless of the stain used on your deck, its life can be extended with periodic cleaning. Pooling water can easily be swept off with a push-broom, which can help prevent premature failure of your deck stain. However, cleaning it periodically will make the biggest contribution to maximizing its life and appearance. A diluted solution of Log Wash™ (1 cup per gallon) can easily be applied through a garden pump sprayer ($20 - $30 at any garden center or hardware store) then lightly pressure washed off. If you don’t have access to a pressure washer, a strong jet stream from a garden hose will also work. Remember, here you are trying to clean the deck, not remove the finish.

For decks that may have excessive levels of dirt, mildew, green algae, etc., the mechanical action of scrubbing or using a medium bristle push broom after applying Log Wash™ will help a lot. Make sure to thoroughly rinse off all detergents as you never want them to dry on the wood surface.

dd1 dd2
 Photo 1  Photo 2


For decks that have darkened from sun exposure with little or no stain left, a deeper pressure washing can be done to remove the darkened surface in order to get down to clean, bright wood. Photos 1 and 2 above show these results. If necessary, Wood ReNew™ and a pressure washer may be used to clean away any gray UV damaged wood fibers, as well as deep rooted mold and dirt residue.

Usually after any sort of cleaning, you need to give the deck time to dry before staining. Apply 1-2 coats of Vista Deck to develop the desired color richness and appearance. New deck stain Vista Deck makes any restoration process easy. Once the initial coast of Vista Deck applied to bare wood, a future maintenance coat applied to a surface previously coated with Vista Deck is easy - clean and recoat, no mechanical or chemical stripping required.  

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00

Is it Okay to Let Stains and Sealants Freeze?

snowy-product1During the winter months it's important to be aware of the freeze-thaw stability of Perma-Chink's products. The reason may involve shipping conditions or whether it is okay to store a product or products in an unheated shed. In any case you need to be aware of the consequences of allowing any of our products to freeze.

Without a doubt it is always best to prevent any of our finishes and sealants from freezing. They all contain water and the formation of ice crystals within the products can separate the water from the other components. In some products once this occurs it becomes impossible to regain the properties of the original formulation even after thawing and vigorous mixing. These types of products are not freeze-thaw stable.

With a few exceptions most of our products are freeze-thaw stable, however, if a product becomes frozen it needs to be thawed slowly, preferably at room temperature. Speeding up the thawing process by heating the container can seriously damage the product making it unusable. If the product is in pails or containers, once it has completely thawed it will require a thorough mixing.

If a product is subjected to multiple freeze-thaw cycles each cycle will contribute to the degradation process until it is no longer suitable for use. If a product becomes frozen it is better to allow it to stay frozen than it is to bring it inside to thaw and then store it where it may freeze again. It's the succession of freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw sequences that really destroys the integrity of a product. Before applying any product that's been frozen be sure to test a small amount to see if it is still usable.

products

To reiterate:

  • It's best to protect all of our products from freezing.
  • If it does get frozen, thaw it slowly at room temperature then thoroughly mix it.
  • It's better to keep it frozen than to subject it to multiple freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Before applying any product that's been frozen be sure to test a small amount to see if it is still usable.

Perma-Chink Systems’ products that are NOT freeze-thaw stable:

  • Chink Paint™
  • Log End Seal™
  • Oxcon™

Perma-Chink Systems’ products that have limited freeze-thaw stability (5 cycles):

  • LIFELINE™Ultra 7

 

For information about cold weather storage of Shell-Guard® and Shell-Guard® RTU see "Storing Borate Solutions."

 

Friday, 18 September 2015 00:00

Perma-Chink® or Energy Seal™?

Which Log Home Sealant Should I Use?

We are asked this question very frequently about our two biggest selling log home sealants. Both of these sealants were formulated to weatherproof joinery in log and log sided buildings. Our simplest answer is that in general, Perma-Chink should be used in applications where the seam width is one inch or wider and Energy Seal is a better choice in sealant seams that are narrower than one inch or where joinery was not intended to have chinking applied to it. However, this answer is overly simplistic when you consider the variety of log profiles and joinery types and many different surfaces that come together to make up a finished log structure.

What is the Difference?

Log Home Interior Using Perma-Chink®
perma-chink

Perma-Chink is our original log home sealant (and the company namesake). It was formulated to look like the concrete mortar that was typically used on full-log construction at that time. It is the original elastic log home sealant. Today Perma-Chink is available in eight different colors, some of which look like concrete, the others are various wood tones.

Log Home Interior Using Energy Seal™
energy seal

Energy Seal was formulated at the request of our customers at a much later date. These customers had homes that were usually built with log profiles that did not use chinking, but required weatherproofing some time after they were finished and in use. Because the application surfaces were never intended for a sealant application, they don’t have proper geometry that includes a caulking well to allow for sealant and backing material installation. Consequently, we formulated Energy Seal to have higher elongation performance. Energy Seal comes in a wide selection of 12 colors for customers who would prefer to conceal the sealant or even to match the chinking on their log home.

Ees-pcnergy Seal is a Better Choice in the Following Situations:

In general, Energy Seal is a better choice for very demanding, narrow seam application where more stretch is required in a narrow sealant seam. It is also the best choice if you would like the sealant to blend in with the wood surface and not be easily seen. Energy Seal is an excellent choice for use in sealing around doors and windows, butt joints, corners, and junctions between log walls and other surfaces such as beams, rooflines or framed walls.

Perma-Chink is a Better Choice When:

Many log homes are designed, manufactured and constructed with chinking an integral part of the building envelope. Perma-Chink is the clear choice in this situation.  Additionally, Perma Chink is ideal to use when sealing up the junction between wood walls and concrete, brick or stone features like fireplaces, stone accents and walls.

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