You need to know when you should seal or stain your log home. This decision could be based on many different variables. You may think that it’s a good idea to stain a recently constructed log home. However, the wood may still be fresh and not properly dried in kiln. If the wood is still “green” or wet, then it’s not fully ready for staining. New logs usually still thin film of sap, known as mill glaze. The sap is drawn to the wood surface due to the heat introduced by milling knives that turn quickly. However, when the sap cools down, it will get harder. The dry sap layer will become a barrier that prevents stain solutions from penetrating into the actual wood.
In some cases, log houses are taken directly from the forest. You may cut down some trees nearby and erect the logs for immediate constructions. These logs are usually wet, dirty and covered by sap. If logs are not properly processed through the kiln, then you need to power wash them. With power washing, you can remove dirt and some mill glaze. After you wash the logs thoroughly, you need to air dry them properly. When you stain a relatively wet log, it may look good, but the stain won’t hold up for more than one year. The best way is to wait for a few months after you cut down the trees. By giving the logs enough time, you will allow a few things to happen.
Visually, logs will start to have greyish color and it will weather. A proper weathering step will remove the mill glaze. Wood should be given enough time to season and dry out. By allowing the wood to weather, pores of the wood will be opened up and a good indicator is that logs will appear to be discoloured. However, waiting too long will also cause new problems, so you need to wait for a long time. When power washing logs, make sure that you use the right solution. A mixture of TSP and chlorine is effective for removing dry mill glaze, mildew spores, dirt and various pollutants. You should be certain that mildew is a real thing, especially if the weather is humid and logs are not properly treated.
Before constructing log houses, you need to make sure that the maximum moisture content is no more than 18 percent and it will be better if it’s 12 percent. If logs are dry enough, stain can be absorbed better and logs will be better protected. A good way is to test with a moisture level. The device comes with a couple of probes that you insert into the wood, so water content can be known. High water content is a common reason why stain fails on your logs. As an example, black spots of mildew will emerge under the stain and they are showing through. If you want to have a beautiful log home, you will need to be patient and you can’t just drag wet logs from the woods to make your log home.