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Thread: Bare logs going into winter

  1. #1

    Bare logs going into winter

    My wife and I recently bought a log house (3 sided logs, furred out and drywalled on the interior). The house was built in the early 80's and needed a lot of work and updating. The finish on the logs was in pretty bad shape, so we had the logs media blasted with crushed walnut shell to strip them down, so we can refinish them. Also the logs just had the old school insulation sandwiched between them, no chinking. So after the logs were all blasted and stripped we started chinking with Log Jam. Doing what we can after work and on weekends. However unfortunately it seemed to rain a lot when we had time to work on the house so it took way longer to get done waiting on the weather to be right. Now were about to go into winter up here in Alaska and we have not stained/sealed the logs since having them blasted. We are to the point where our highs are around 40 degrees F during the day and drop below freezing at night. So my question is, is it better to spray a stain/sealer on there knowing it probably wont cure right, or let the logs go through the winter unprotected?

  2. #2
    Stain will still cure just take longer.

    Don’t forget to borate first!!!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by thoner7 View Post
    Stain will still cure just take longer.

    Donít forget to borate first!!!
    Even when there is going to be snow on the ground this weekend, and not long before were look at -40 degree days? Im just afraid its not going to penetrate, or its going to bead up or something and not look right. but at the same time im also scared what leaving the logs bare for the winter is going to do to them. Especially when we just paid all that money to have them blasted.

    What is borate? and what does it do?

  4. #4
    LHBA Member eagle's Avatar
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    I agree, get something on them no matter how cold it is.
    Ken and Audra Dinino
    "Determined to build my log home before I leave this world"

  5. #5
    welome! what stain will you be using and what do its specs say regarding ambiant temperature when applying?
    In my opinion the priority is to get your logs borated before snow fall. if you have time to also stain, GREAT! if not, at least you have the protection of the borate.
    Consider something like this https://www.nzffa.org.nz/specialty-t...on-of-borates/

  6. #6
    in my opinion I would wait for temps in spring. do a pressure wash will be like new.

    no need to rush before winter. too much risk of messing up the base layer stain.

    Sent from my SM-G998U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by alaskangilli View Post
    We are to the point where our highs are around 40 degrees F during the day and drop below freezing at night. So my question is, is it better to spray a stain/sealer on there knowing it probably wont cure right, or let the logs go through the winter unprotected?
    Probably at this stage just leave them be till the Spring.

    For sure do not apply any products before checking temp limits...they usually are between 43-50 degrees and moisture content below 18-19%. You also want night times temps above freezing and that is usually what shuts things down first. Do not push this...you can end up with a coating failure and now you have to remove...it is not a matter of it taking longer to cure out, it would more likely be a complete failure at those low temps. Then you need to remove and do it again...don't push it.

    In the winter, the UV is not as strong nor is the moisture as much of a concern other than snow around the bottom of logs. You may get some mildew growing on the logs, but that isn't really harmful and can easily be removed in the spring with a Cleaner/Brightener and a pressure wash. If the logs have faded in color...the brightener strength will help bring them back up in color and kill any mildew/contaminants that are on the logs so you don't trap anything underneath a coating. The pressure wash will also open the pores of the wood to receive stain properly.

    If you are wanting to treat them for the winter and the temps will allow it, we would normally use Borate, then spray on Sashco's Colorfast. That has Mildewcide and Algaecide in it and it is also a coating so it will keep the Borate in until you are ready to stain in the spring. As it strengthens and protects the lignin in the wood, it helps to prevent the color shift making your job in the spring less work. We will also typically see Anchorseal on the ends to help with checking as well as the LogSavers or LogDawgs. Of course the above spring prep can be done by sanding with 60-80 grit an Osborn Brush or by blasting with glass media. Hope that helps.

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