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Wood is one of those materials that just looks better the older it gets. That said, it still requires adequate care in order to maintain its good looks and keep homes clean, secure, and properly insulated. Old, damaged, dry-rotted wood doesn’t do anyone any favors– if you have interior log home walls, it’s important to properly care for and maintain them.
Caring For your Log Home
First, the wood should be finished to protect it against its two biggest enemies– water and the sun. This step requires a sander and stain or varnish. The moisture content of the walls should be below eighteen percent to prevent long-term moisture damage.
Sand and Stain
Next, the walls must be sanded and any sawdust or other debris removed. Once the walls are clean and smooth, the stain or varnish can be applied. Some products can off gas for a long time, so look for a low-VOC product specifically designed for interiors. Stain is usually a better choice if the walls are going to be exposed to sunlight, especially products with added UV filters. Walls in areas with a lot of humidity, like bathrooms or kitchens, will benefit from a varnish to help seal moisture out.
Give Your Walls a Good Cleaning
The next step is cleaning. Most wood walls won’t require more daily maintenance than drywall– keep them dusted, and remove cobwebs and other debris as needed. For deeper cleaning, avoid damaging products like bleach. White vinegar, lemon oil, and mineral oil are just as good at removing grease, grime, and other residues as harsher cleaners, but with the added benefit of minimizing damage to your walls and releasing fewer fumes into the air.
Optimal Conditions for Your Log Home
Lastly, keep your home in optimal conditions to keep your logs looking good. Keep it well ventilated to prevent the accumulation of moisture, dust, smoke, or aerosolized grease. Adjust your thermostat to avoid extremes of heat or cold, and try to keep your home at a reasonable humidity level. If possible, choose windows that are designed to block UV light or purchase and apply DIY window film that offers UV protection. Try to keep dust down in your home. Vacuum regularly, avoid allowing dust to blow in, and use air filters where necessary.
Your log home walls can last a lifetime with the right care. With a little DIY know-how, the right products, and logs that are in good repair, you can maintain your log walls and keep them looking great. If you have any questions or need help with your log home maintenance give us a call.