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Thread: question about external treatment for log cabin

  1. #1

    question about external treatment for log cabin

    Hello to everybody,
    I'm Nick, and I'm writing from Italy, where do I live.

    I'm going to buy a small log cabin here on the Alps (italian mountains) , but I've some doubts that I cannot clarify, since here the log cabins are quite uncommon (most of the mountain cabins here are made of stones).
    My concerns are about the external conditions of the logs.... the cabin has been built in 1995, is made of tamarack and the external surface has never been treated.
    The seller says that the decision of not to treat it was made in order to respect the bio-architecture profile, and that the grey layer visible in the picture is the oxidized wood that is sufficient in order to protect the logs from rain and sun.
    Is it true ???
    thanks in advance for your kind answers














  2. #2
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Calcifier... How high does the snow pile up on the logs on the uphill side?
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by loghousenut View Post
    Calcifier... How high does the snow pile up on the logs on the uphill side?
    the snow will not pile up on the logs, not even on the uphill side, since between the house wall and the hill there's a 6 ft. wide concrete corridor with a containing wall.
    It's hard to see, but the 4th picture is the uphill log wall, the picture has been taken standing in that corridor.

  4. #4
    They will collect dust, mold spores and moisture. Skip liked somethey even have a weathered grey stain. Do exactly as they say on directions... alaskawayne

  5. #5
    Skip liked something of a barrier on outside logs...Permachink is best I have come across in 25 years...

  6. #6
    LHBA Member blane's Avatar
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    If the logs have been treated with a borate solution they should be fine. The grey color is natural and does not mean the logs are compromised. The roof gables and overhangs are substantial to keep the logs dry as far as I can see except where the porch extends. As long as the logs are not getting wet it should be fine.
    Looks like a pretty cool place.

  7. #7
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    Hi Calcifer. I really like the look of that cabin. The best thing you have going for you, I think, are the large overhangs. Right there, the logs are protected in the best way possible. Moisture is the enemy. As to protecting from the sun...I know UV rays are heck on stains. So once you start staining, it will probably be a maintenance item every few years. I don't think the sun will actually damage the log itself.

    Personally, I'm not staining my logs and I like the grey look that the logs will get. But after I peeled the bark of each log, I did treat it with boric acid (termite and other pest deterent), and borax (laundry detergent that acts as a fungicide to control rot). I'm in the process of building now, and after I put the roof on, I will treat the exterior in the same manner. I not sure on how an application of this solution would work on your logs that have been up for almost 20 years. Maybe someone else will chime in.
    https://daleslogcabin.shutterfly.com/

    3146 kilometers away from Loghousenut

  8. #8
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskawayne View Post
    They will collect dust, mold spores and moisture. Skip liked somethey even have a weathered grey stain. Do exactly as they say on directions... alaskawayne
    Not to argue, but I never heard Skip say anything other than "put nothing on your logs". I went to class a loooooong time ago so perhaps he changed his mind in his twilight years, but I never heard about it. I seems that most of us in LHBA stain the wall logs these days but I don't think it is because of Skip's influence.

    I heard Skip mention a number of brand names... Jeep, Chevy, Echo, Dunkin'.... but I never heard him promoting any kind of a preservative or stain by brand name.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  9. #9
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    PS... Due to the pressures of matrimony, I did stain our logs. I like it just fine but am convinced in my mind that my home woulda stood up to 3 or 5 generations of use and still been solid and sound, had I not stained. I stick by my conviction that "Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money".

    I think the Alp cabin in question will do just fine, with or without stain, so long as the snow does not pile up on the logs. I worry that an upright brace may someday be necessary under that floor joise girder, but that would be a simple enough addition, should it ever sag much more.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

    I love the mask mandate. I hardly ever have to bruh my teeth anymore.

  10. #10
    Many thanks to everybody for the kind answers and for the appreciations to the cabin.
    I think that, if the purchase will be finalized, I'll leave the cabin as it is.
    Maybe I'll consider to treat with borax only the uphill side, which is the one less exposed to the sun where the risk of moisture is higher.

    ciao !

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