Log Home Construction - Cleaning and Treating Exterior

Cleaning and Treating Foyer Logs - November 1, 4, 8, 10, 2003

The house's exterior must be cleaned, and a chemical called borate must be applied to all wood surfaces. Borate protects against rot, wood-destroying insects, and fungi. After the borate is applied, a wood preservative must be applied. The wood preservative is water repellent and prevents the borate from leaching out of the wood, as well as protects against mold and mildew. The preferred (or probably easiest) way to clean the exterior is by pressure washing. Although we actually do have city water, we are currently having a problem with water pressure and are afraid of burning up our pressure washer. The wood can also be cleaned by being sanded. In the interest of being able to construct the gable porch, we decided to sand the front section of the house using Makita orbital sanders and an Osborn brush on a Makita 9227C grinder. Although this is very time consuming, the front of the house (and porch posts) are looking awesome!

Sanding Foyer Logs - November 1 and 4, 2003

No photos were taken on this day. We will try to get sanding photos later.

Applying Borate - November 8, 2003

The borate product we are using is called PeneTreat. It is a white powder that is mixed in water. We used a garden sprayer to apply the mixture, which went pretty fast. Two coats were applied. (It's a good thing Myra isn't afraid of heights.......)

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Applying Wood Preservative - November 10, 2003

We used a brush to apply the wood preservative. If this stuff can be applied with a garden sprayer, we will purchase another one for the rest of the house.

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Sanding Before and After - November 10, 2003

There's a lot of opinions on the internet about the best way to clean the house, the best chemicals to use, the best sanders, etc. We eventually decided to stop researching and start cleaning! Considering our water situation, we chose to use Makita orbital sanders (round) and a Makita palm sander (square) because they are lightweight and do a pretty good job. We also purchased an Osborn brush and a Makita 9227C grinder, but this tool gets pretty heavy after awhile. The Osborn brush was used to clean the rustic staircase materials (log risers and steps), which did an awesome job. As noted above, we are only sanding the front section of the house. We are hoping to be able to pressure wash the remaining sides. The following photos show how dirty the logs have become since August (mostly due to water running off the roof before the porches could be constructed), and how effective sanding is.

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Cleaning and Treating Rest of Outside Logs - November 22 - December 23, 2003

The following three pictures show before and after pressure washing on November 22. We did not get photos of borate being applied to the back wall logs.

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The following three pictures show before and after applying wood preservative to the borated logs on November 25 - 26.

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The following two pictures show the two ends of the house after being pressure washed and borated on December 12.

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The following three pictures show the final coat of wood preservative being applied to the logs over the garage on December 23. Note Myra's victory dance in the last photo!

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