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Log Cabin Home Inspection

Inspecting the Exterior Wood of Your Cabin

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14 Mon 2022 Brent Orm Comments: 0

Maintaining the wood on the exterior of your log cabin

Miracle Maintenance has been restoring cabins for over 15 years throughout the state of Arizona and we receive calls daily regarding the proper care of their log cabin.  Ultimately, I will need to inspect your cabin in person, but here are some basic questions that I will ask in making my assessment:

When was the last time the cabin was stained and what product was used?

There are great stain products that will provide more longevity than others, but even the best stains are not meant to last forever.  The best stains recommend that you clean your wood and re-stain every 4 to 5 years.   There are other stains that recommend that you re-coat on an annual to bi-annual basis.  If you don’t know the stain that was used, that’s ok, we will be able to come up with a plan once we visit the cabin and look at it up close.

Staining Log CabinTell me about the worst wall in the cabin?

Look at the wall that has the most sun exposure and that will probably be the wall that will tell us where things stand.  Look at the stain as the “suntan lotion for your wood”…I always tell people to treat their cabin-like their child going swimming.  You put suntan lotion (stain) on your child before they go swimming…then after a couple of hours you apply more suntan lotion to prevent them from burning…putting suntan lotion on your child after they burn defeats the purpose and the sun damage is done.  The same philosophy applies to stain on a cabin.  If you stain your wood, after the damage has occurred, you are not going to receive the full benefits of the stain.

On the worst wall look for the following:

Peeling or flaking stain.  This is a sign that the stain has dried out and for optimal results should be removed through media blasting.

Dark or blackened spots on the top portion of the log.  This is a sign that the stain has failed, and water has penetrated behind the stain.  Once the water gets behind the stain, the sun will heat up the wall and “burn” the water into the wood.  This will give the appearance of the wood being black on the top.

Small cracks or checks in the wood.  This is a sign that the stain has dried out and the wood has started to dry out.  Water will settle into these cracks and freeze.  As it freezes it will expand and over time the cracks will grow from the width of a piece of paper to in some cases big enough to put your finger inside the crack.

The good news is that Miracle Maintenance can restore cabins to their original beauty through a combination of methods.  Through media blasting with walnut or glass, we can remove the old stain.  After we media blast, we will palm sand the wood or grind to provide a consistent and even look for the stain to be applied.  Checks or cracks can be filled with the appropriate type of caulking.

Miracle Maintenance has restored over 300 cabins throughout the state of Arizona and would love to talk to you about your cabin and come up with a plan to protect your cabin.  Estimates are free, so please call Brent at Miracle Maintenance at 602-689-9049 or visit our website at miraclemaintenance.com.

14 Mon 2022 Brent Orm