Wood can look good even as it gets older, with adequate care and proper maintenance. Log home owners take pride in maintaining the natural look and shine of the logs on the outside. But many tend to forget that the inside of the home needs to be kept clean, secure and properly insulated to prevent wood from rotting or damaging. A little bit of regular preventive maintenance on your interior log home walls can save you major repair headaches in the future.
Protecting your Log Home with a Stain
The wood being used in the interior walls should be finished with a sander and stain to prevent long-term moisture and sun damage. When the walls are sanded smooth, and the debris cleaned up, a stain or varnish can be applied. A water-based acrylic stain, with low VOC is best suited for interiors as it allows wood to breathe. Additionally it forms a tough film that never yellows and can be easily dusted and cleaned. Or pick a stain with added UV filters for walls exposed to the sunlight. Walls in bathrooms or kitchens that are susceptible to water damage from humidity will benefit more from the use of a varnish or a clear polyurethane coating.
You can keep your logs looking good by ensuring proper indoor ventilation to prevent the accumulation of moisture, smoke dust, or aerosolized grease. The oil from the kitchens can accumulate in the nearby wood and discolor cabinets, ceilings, etc. While making sure that your home is well ventilated, you must also be careful to seal any leaks or cracks to prevent drafts bringing in dust from the outside. Maintain a reasonable humidity level indoors by adjusting your thermostat to avoid any temperature extremities. This will limit any movement from wood shrinkage causing cracks to form.
Deep Cleaning Wood Interiors
Most wood walls need just a little regular dusting with a clean, soft rag, to remove dirt, cobwebs and other debris.
Don’t take shortcuts when deep cleaning your interior log home walls. Cleaning can get pretty messy, because the cleaning solution often drips down the logs. Use a plastic wallpaper tray at the bottom of the wall to catch any runoff.
You can use white vinegar, lemon oil, and mineral oil to remove grease, grime, and other residues instead of harsh chemical cleaners, to prevent damage to your walls. You can also make your own cleaning solution by mixing 1 part bleach to 5 parts water and adding it to a 1-gallon bucket for porous woods, or going 3-to-1 ratio for weathered wood. Clean the walls using the solution from the bottom up and follow it up by thoroughly rinsing the walls to remove all the damaging salts of the bleach, which can become a food source for fungi. Use just soap and water for spot cleaning.
You can choose store bought products designed for specific finishes on your wall, when cleaning interior log walls. Follow the manufacturer directions when using any of these products to properly dilute it. Oxalic acid products leave a deeper color in the wood than the bleach-and-water mixture, but they get rid of iron or rust stains. An oxalic acid cleaner is recommended for water- and solvent-based finishes, especially if you will finish the walls after cleaning.
If you need help maintaining your log walls to make them last a lifetime, contact us at Performance Log Finishers. If you have any questions or need help with your log home maintenance give us a call.