by Diana Mancel – Reprinted from the Payson Roundup
Whether your intentions are preserving your log cabin home for future generations, or preparing to place it on the market, retuning the exterior to its original condition can be an adventure. Log cabins are easily maintained with pressure washing and media blasting, if you learn the basic steps involved in maintaining the beauty of a log structure.
If you are not sure whether or not your home needs restoration, step outside and take a good look at your log cabin home. Has time and weather reduced the original luster to gray or brown or even black? Does the new addition have a distinctly different color than the original structure? Has your log cabin lost its curb appeal?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, it is time to locate a professional cleaner to assist you in bringing your log home back to life.
Your estimates should be free. If you get two estimates, call both providers and ask about the differences in price. A professional cleaner will spend the time necessary to explain their pricing and help you understand what steps are needed in the process. Here is a quick breakdown on what that process involves.
Step one, and the most important step, is the proper preparation of the surface. Through a process called “corn cob blasting” the old stain is removed by blasting off the old stain using ground up corn cob media. Blasting the debris away through the use of corn cob media is an environmentally safe system, and causes minimal damage to the logs. “If a surface is not properly prepared, your project is going to fail” says Brent Orm, owner of Miracle Maintenance, Inc., a Scottsdale company that specializes in power washing, soda blasting and corn cob blasting. “You can put the best seal on a poorly prepared area and it just will not last.”
Step Two involves the proper selection of a sealant. There are numerous products on the market and only a few will withstand the vast temperature variations that occur in the high country of Arizona. Temperatures can vary as much as 35 degrees in one day and over the course of a year your cabin may see the surface warm up to 100 plus degrees in the summer and cool off to below 20 degrees in the winter.
Step Three is the maintenance after your cabin has been cleaned and sealed properly. Make it a regular habit to walk around your cabin and inspect the logs so you can take the necessary steps at the beginning stages to prevent further deterioration. Regular maintenance and vigilance is the key to keeping your log home beautiful.
The cost of this process and the time needed to complete the job depends on the size of the home and the level of debris on it. “We come out to the site and measure everything,” says Orm. “A personal inspection is the only true way to determine what is needed and how long it will take to complete the job.” Miracle Maintenance, Inc. has considerable experience in restoring log homes in the northern Arizona area, and will even finish up jobs that homeowners have begun themselves. “Most people don’t realize how thorough you need to be when beginning this project,” Orm says. “It can be overwhelming, and we are happy to step in at any stage and help out.”
When we interviewed Brent Orm for this article on log cabin restoration, he had so much more information there wasn’t room to put it all in this small amount of space, so he volunteered to be available for calls if any of the Payson Roundup readers had any more questions. You can reach him at 602-689-9049 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Proper and timely maintenance of your log cabin home increases its monetary and aesthetic value. Corn cob blasting and re-staining your investment is a process that a wise homeowner includes in their budget on a regular basis.