A log cabin is perhaps one of the most beautiful types of home there is.
With a log cabin, there are certain maintenance procedures you must take care of.
Staining a log home can be quite labor intensive, but it is necessary to help prolong the life of the log home.
Here are a few things you should know about staining a log home.
How Often Do You Need to Stain a Log Home?
A log cabin should be stained every four to seven years.
The time between each staining of the log cabin is going to vary depending on where your log cabin is located.
If you are in an area where your cabin gets a lot of exposure to rain, wind, hail, and even sun, then you will need to stain the home more often.
The stain is supposed to be a protective layer on the home to help ensure the wood beneath stays in great shape.
When the natural wood is exposed to the elements, it will start to deteriorate at a much faster rate.
Most stains are built to repel water and add a protective coating to your home.
When to Stain Your Log Cabin
Now that we know you should be staining your log cabin every few years, how will you know when it’s time to complete this project.
It is important for new log homeowners to make sure to stain the log cabin within about two years of building it.
When the home was built, a layer of stain was applied.
Since the wood for the log cabin was so new, it will absorb a good amount of the stain.
As time goes on, you won’t need quite as much stain or to stain quite as often, but those first two stains are very important.
You will need to apply at least a few coats every time you stain the log cabin.
For most people, two coats seem to be about the right amount.
When it is time to stain your house, you will often see sections of the stain starting to wear away and show the bare wood.
You may also see that the color is not as strong as it once was on your log cabin.
These are all signs that the cabin is ready for another coat of stain.
If you had a very rough winter, you may also want to consider staining the home again before you start to see these issues come up.
What Type of Stain Should be Used on a Log Home?
There are many different types of stain on the market.
Just as paint can vary from one type or manufacturer to the next, so can stain.
There are two main types of stain you can use on a log home: they are water based and oil based.
The water-based stains are not going to last as long as oil-based stains.
Water-based stains tend to deteriorate quickly, and you may find yourself having to stain your home every three years.
These stains are usually a bit cheaper when you initially purchase, but you won’t get the same longevity from the stain, so you will have to buy more often.
The oil-based stains are really the better choice when it comes to a stain for a log home.
Since you will want something that can withstand the elements, the oil-based stain will be the way to go.
You will need to redo oil-based stains every five to seven years.
If you are not staining your log home yourself, it is a good idea to ask the contractor doing the job what type of stain they are using.
Sometimes, if you’ve found someone to do the job for a lower price, it could be because they are not using the proper kind of stain.
Why Do Log Homes Need to Be Stained so Often?
Traditional homes do not need to be painted quite as often as log homes need to be stained.
There is a reason behind this.
For the most part, a log home or log cabin is going to be in an area where it is exposed to a wide range of weather conditions.
Log homes are also made with wood that is not specially treated as it is much more natural.
These factors will directly affect the amount of damage that is done to a log cabin on a daily basis.
It is important to consider these things when it comes time to stain the house.
A few of the biggest factors are the sun, dirt, and dampness as well.
The sun is going to bleach out parts of your home, and it will eventually break down the stain.
This is a problem as it can leave large areas of your home unprotected.
As we mentioned earlier, you will actually be able to see the impact that the sun is having on your log cabin.
Another problem that happens with log cabins is they are exposed to a lot of wind and rain.
The wind can take dirt and sand that surrounds the home and continue to throw it on the exterior walls of the house.
The rough material will damage the stain, and eventually, it could lead to large holes and gaps where there is no stain in place.
When a professional stains your log home, they will work to remove any of this sand and dirt so that they can get a fresh layer of stain on the home.
Another issue with log homes and cabins is moisture.
The logs that are used to build your home are going to soak up quite a bit of moisture from the air and from the rain and snow.
As long as the logs are properly covered with stain, most of this water will be repelled and leave the logs.
If they are not covered by stain, then mold can start to grow.
Once mold grows, you may also notice fungus, and eventually, the cabin could start to rot away.
These are extreme circumstances, and you will probably notice this happening before you come close to this issue, but it is good to be aware of.
The stain creates a moisture seal on your home and will keep things from deteriorating so quickly.
Keep this in mind the next time you are worried about the cost of staining your log home.
At least you have a home to stain!
What Are the Negatives to Living in a Log Home?
Although you may consider having to stain your home every few years a negative, there are a few other things you should be aware of before you purchase a log home.
The log home is a unique way to live, and in some remote areas, it is the only type of home available, but you have to consider the negatives as well.
One of the major issues log homeowners deal with is pest control.
Very often, log homeowners will find that they have issues with bugs and termites.
The problem is that the creatures are attracted to the logs that the home is built with.
This is another reason staining the home is so important.
If you use the proper pest control and keep the logs of your home in great condition, this issue should take care of itself.
Another problem with owning a log home is the cost to insure it.
When you live far away from any type of emergency services, the chance of your home burning down due to a fire is significantly increased.
Unfortunately, this is a fact you likely won’t be able to avoid or escape from.
Insurance companies know that log homes are expensive to replace, so they will be very cautious about insuring the home.
You should consider this fact before you purchase your home and try and get a few quotes for insurance prices.
Some people assume the risk themselves, but for others, this will be harder to do.
Make sure you understand the specifics of your insurance plan and that you are not paying too high of a price for something you don’t need.
Some log homes are now built with extra features and precautions when it comes to fires.
A fire can take a traditional log home down very quickly, and you must be aware of this when using the chimney and cooking as well.
Lastly, it is important to consider the maintenance and the upkeep of the log homes.
For many people, this is the largest downside.
You will have to keep a close eye on the home and look for issues which could come up with the logs or any types of pests.
If your log home is not your primary residence, you may want to hire a company to come in and inspect the home from time to time.
Making sure that things stay in good shape for years to come is very important, but it will take a bit of your time and effort as well.
What Is Involved in Staining a Log Home?
To save money, many people choose to stain their log homes themselves.
This is a large project to take on, but it is certainly possible.
When you stain your log home, you will have to first calculate how much stain you need and gather the proper supplies.
One of the most important steps in the process is to wash the home.
If you try and stain over dirt and sand or damaged stain, then your stain will very likely not stick.
You can use a hose to rinse the home, but many people find that a power washer is going to be a much better tool to use.
Once you have the home washed and ready, you can start to apply stain to the entire home.
Although you will sometimes have to touch up a small area, it is smart to stain the entire house all at once.
If you do it this way, you will always know the last time you stained the home, and you can keep a better record.
You will do one complete coat on the outside of the home and then do a second complete coat.
You usually will not have to wait for the stain to dry as it will likely take you a few days to complete the first coat.
Stain dries rather quickly.
When both coats are done, it is a good idea to do a thorough inspection of the house.
While you have all of your supplies out and ready to use, you will want to handle any touch-up work you may see.
Owning a log home is a unique and wonderful experience as long as you can adequately understand how to maintain it.