A list of common problems you may find with a log home and their remedies.
Typically, carpenter ants are attracted to moist wood, because it is easier to chew. You will often see evidence of infestation in the foam panels. Carpenter ants don’t ingest wood as a food source, they chew tunnels in order to live in wood.
To Avoid: Use borate-infused foam panels. Remember that only about 5% of the ants are visible so spraying visible ants is not an effective remedy to stop them.
To Remedy: Replace damaged foam panels with borate-infused panels. Check thoroughly for any roof leaks and repair if necessary. You can also consider using an insecticide, being sure to do research for the best products available.
Solitary Wasps and Bees
These insects will utilize beetle exit holes to place food and eggs within. Once placed, the insects will create a dirt wall to seal off the hole. Once the offspring hatch, they bore a tiny hole through the dirt wall and leave the log. The small amount of powdered dirt that is left behind can be mistaken as signs of a beetle infestation. However, the bees or wasps do not harm the wood and are only using it for nesting purposes.
To Avoid: Fill any existing beetle holes with a quality caulk or chinking.
To Remedy: Clean off any existing dirt and seal all holes with a quality caulk or chinking.
Logs will naturally expand and contract, and if there is no bond breaker to allow the chinking to stretch in the middle, the caulking or chinking can crack in the center.
Depending on the condition of the caulk or chinking, the material could be completely torn out, backer rod installed and then caulk or chinking reapplied. An alternative to removing all of the material is to run a length of packaging tape down the middle of the joint, over the chinking material (the tape will act as a bond breaker). Then cover the old caulking and packaging tape with a new layer of caulk or chinking. We recommend you consult with a professional and consider having an annual home inspection to catch any issues before they become severe.
Water spots can form from a variety of reasons, such as improper deck sealing (rain prior to the finish being fully cured).
Prevention: Proper application of finish. Apply between the temperatures of 50° and 90° F. Do not apply when hot, wet or windy weather conditions are expected within 36 hours. Always wait for moisture to dry before application. If rain is possible or imminent, protect freshly coated surfaces with plastic tarps. Be sure to secure tarps properly to avoid wind damage.
Treatment: In a case of improper sealing, the customer can try to clean the deck with a wood cleaner, allow the deck to thoroughly dry, and then apply another thin coat of sealant. The alternative is to strip the finish and re-apply the finish protecting it from rain during the 36 hour time period.
It is important to note that this kind of problem can occur regardless of the brand of finish. It also underscores the necessity for applicators, whether homeowner or professional, to read application guidelines for each product they apply and to be prepared in the case of unexpected inclement weather.
Sprayed on stain should always be backbrushed. Backbrushing forces the stain into the wood pores, increasing absorption and adhesion.
Prevention: When spraying logs with stain or finish, immediately backbrush the wood with a good quality brush.
Treatment: Unfortunately, the finish will need to be removed either by stripping, sand blasting, or cobblasting and reapplied with proper backbrushing.
Lap Marks are noticed as definite streaks in the finish where one side is lighter than the other side. This happens when logs are being finished. One cause can be that the applicator stopped at a point (probably at the end of the day) and then resumed later (probably the next morning). The overlap area of the finish will always cause a dark streak in the wall because of the build-up of finish in that particular area.
Prevention: When coating logs with stain or finish, never stop in the middle of a wall. Finish the entire wall before taking a break or quitting for the day. Coating across an entire log is also a good way to prevent lap marks.
Treatment: Other than stripping off the finish, you could go back and try to touch up the area, feathering from darker to lighter. This blending may not completely remove the lap mark but will make it less noticeable.
We Are Here to Help!
At 888-LOG-GUYS, we are able to quickly inspect and determine a course of action based on your home needs. We have many clients who schedule an annual inspection and maintenance appointment to keep their home in tip-top shape. Let us know if we can help you.