Log Home Maintenance – Cleaning logs, removing dirt is a good thing

Log home maintenance can prevent log home repairs. One part of routine maintenance is cleaning the exterior logs. This is an important task that should be done periodically. The frequency depends on all sorts of factors such as where the log home is situated in terms of overhanging trees, dirt paths, grass clippings from mowing the lawn, cobwebs, etc.  Is the home located along a dirt road? Is there splash back onto the logs when it rains? Are there birds nesting in the eves and leaving behind bird droppings on your logs? You get the picture.

Clean logs breath better, therefore they dry out more readily. Cleaning them can help remove spores that can cause mold or mildew to develop. Most importantly, it is necessary to clean them in preparation for applying another coat of finish to them in order to maximize the stains ability to penetrate and adhere to the wood itself.

We recommend cleaning logs with a combination of water and a wood-friendly detergent, i.e. TSP (Trisodium Phosphate Cleaner). We want to stress that we DO NOT recommend power-washing logs to clean them. Applying water under high pressure can be detrimental to the “health” of a log building. For more information on this, check out this link to our site Blasting vs. Power Washing. Though this page refers to the negative side of using power washing as a method to remove failing stain, the reasons for not doing it apply even if you just want to clean your logs.

If we are dealing with caked on or embedded dirt on a log wall, we  use a product called OxiClean®. Diluted in water, this product does not leave a film behind if rinsed off thoroughly. OxiClean® can be purchased in many stores including your grocery store.  Another cleaning solution we recommend  is TSP mixed with water. Again, this in non-film forming soap and can be purchased at your local hardware or paint storeYou do not want to use dish soap or chlorine bleach. These can leave a film behind and can cause problems with the stain adhering.

Be sure to rinse the cleaning solution off thoroughly using a garden hose with a sprayer attached.

For more information on maintaining log buildings, click here.

Call us at 715-373-5744 if you need some maintenance work done on your log home.