Extend the Life of Your Exterior Wood
Many people enjoy the look of wood. Log exteriors, cedar roofs, and wood decks add dramatically to the beauty and value of any home. Replacing a wood deck or cedar roof can easily cost $30,000. That’s why it makes dollars and sense to protect your investment in quality exterior wood by treating it properly.
Log Homes Need Special Care
Since log homes are built from wood, they require special maintenance. Wood is very susceptible to the weather, fungus, and insects. Without proper maintenance, your log home will have a very short life indeed.
It is estimated that maintenance of a log home costs about $1,500 per year. What does this maintenance involve? The goal is to keep the log home looking as good as it did the same day it was built. You need to keep the logs free of insects and rodents, make sure the exterior continues to be waterproof, protect it from UV radiation, and ensure that air infiltration is kept to a minimum.
The first step to keeping your log home looking brand new is to clean the exterior annually. Refer to the maintenance guidelines of the home to select the best cleaning liquid to use. Once the entire exterior is dry, inspect the entire building completely. Look for insect damage, cracks or splits in the logs, and areas that need new caulking or chinking. Finally, stain the exterior of your log home (if needed) by following the instructions of the builder who constructed your log home.
Double or Triple the Life of Your Cedar Roof
Today’s cedar roofs will deteriorate in as little as 20 years without proper care. However, with a little TLC and the right preservative treatment, a cedar roof can last 50+ years.
To properly treat your cedar roof, you need to make sure the roof is clean and free of moss, fungus, and any deteriorated wood fibers. This is typically done with a restorative detergent and a low pressure cleaning system. Follow the instructions for using the restorative detergent and low pressure cleaning system. If you are not comfortable doing this work by yourself, hire a professional. Once the roof is cleaned, shakes and shingles can be repaired or replaced as needed.
Once cleaned and repaired, a penetrating wood preservative should be applied to the roof. The preservative treatment will create water repellency, prevent fungus, and will protect the roof from photo-degradation. (Photo-degradation of roof shingles occurs when light from the sun breaks down the strength of the roofing material.) Re-application of the preservative treatment about every five years will ensure your roof will have a long healthy life.
Cedar Shingle Roof before treatment (top), and after it has been cleaned with mild detergent, and wood preservative applied (bottom).
Keeping Your Wood Deck Looking Its Best & Lasting A Lifetime
Like a cedar roof, a wood deck needs to be cared for. Unfortunately, many homeowners spend hours cleaning and sealing their deck with poor results.
The list of finishes for your deck is endless. Paints, stains, and sealers – how do you know which one is best? Given the fact that your deck is completely exposed to all that mother nature has to offer as well as foot traffic, it’s no wonder that many finishes crack, peel, and fail within a short period of time.
The best advice is to use of a penetrating finish on your wood deck. These finishes are designed to penetrate into the wood and therefore can never flake or peel. A good penetrating finish will be registered as a preservative treatment by the EPA. This type of treatment will protect your wood deck from moisture, fungus, and photo-degradation.
No matter what finish you use to treat your wood deck, the preparatory work before the finish is applied is 95% of the battle. All wood needs to be completely cleaned and free of fungus, failing finishes, and impurities. Even if you have the best penetrating finish money can buy, it will not last long unless the wood is properly cleaned.
Take Care of the Wood, and the Wood Will Last!
Wood decks, roofs, and log homes are highly sought after, simply because people enjoy the warmth look and feel of wood structures. Failing to taking of wood products properly will result in wood that becomes gray, soft, and/or splits and cracks – not only becoming unsightly, but potentially dangerous. Take proper care of your wood and the wood will last a lifetime.