Your Top 5 Log Home Maintenance Questions Answered

Published on | Log Homes |Mountain Home Building Products

If you’re a log cabin owner, or are looking to become one, you probably have a lot of questions about the maintenance and upkeep of your property. From chinking to staining to finish, there are so many products and methods to choose from.

To give you a place to start, we’ve answered the five most-frequently asked questions about log home maintenance.

Can I apply a clear finish to protect my logs?

No, most of the protection from stains comes from the pigments. Clear wood finishes look nice, but they don’t last more than 6 months. Typically, the darker the log stain, the more protection and durability it offers.

Should I apply a water-based stain or an oil-based stain to my log home?

Both water-based stains and oil-based stains have advantages and disadvantages, so this depends on your personal preference.

The advantage of water-based stains is that they don’t have much of an odor, and they’re easy to clean up. On the other hand, they can be difficult to apply.

Oil-based stains are easier to apply, but they tend to have a strong odor and require solvents for clean-up.

Whether you choose an oil- or water-based stain, pick a stain product that has a good track record — and have realistic expectations.

How often do I need to re-stain my log home?

You should re-stain or touch up your log home about every three years. No stain material is going to last ten years without some type of maintenance.

The more you keep up with maintenance, the easier and more cost-effective it is to protect your log home.

Will my log home require chinking or caulking material?

Almost every log home requires chinking or caulking throughout its lifetime. Some homes require more chinking or caulking material than others.

It’s typical for log homes to require caulking in the corners of the home, because these areas experience more movement than other parts.

How much chinking material, caulking material or log stain will my log home need?

This depends on the size of your chinking joint, and the size of your home.

A standard home requires 10–15 gallons of stain and 25–35 gallons of chinking, or 12–20 gallons of log caulking material, on average. Check with your log home finishing products supplier for more precise figures.

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