One of the most common things we run into as a log home maintenance company is customers wondering what stain should they use? When it comes to choosing a stain for your project, there are many things to consider such as: location, climate, wildlife, terrain, and performance. The overall goal for many homeowners should be to maximize the stain’s performance and UV protection. According to experts at Sashco, more pigmented stains will last longer. The darker, more concentrated colors are typically longer lasting, and provide better UV resistance. Less exposure to sunlight = Longer life expectancy of the stain.
The color scheme of the stains mentioned below depict the average duration of time a particular stain will last until the need for a maintenance coat.
- Clear: 0-2 years
- Light Transparent: 2-4 years
- Darker Transparent: 3-5 years
- Semi Transparent: 3-6 years
- Opaque: 4-10 years
How Long Should You Go Between Log Home Maintenance?
Cosmetic “touch up” maintenance should be inspected annually and completed as needed. Wind, sun, and rain exposed areas will require more maintenance. (light power washing, gutter cleaning, top clear coat, caulking and insect treatment).
Major Maintenance should occur, on average, every 5-10 years if annual maintenance needs are not completed timely as needed. (Stripping of old stain via media blasting or power washing, mold/mildew treatment, insect repellent, new stain, and caulking/sealing).
Different Types of Stains
- Pros: Durable, water based, easy to clean, low odor, resin is UV resistant, and easier maintenance.
- Cons: Occasionally crack & peel, lap marks can occasionally be a challenge.
Acrylic Water-based Stains: (Capture)
- Pros: Flexible, long lasting, permeable to moisture vapor, easy to clean, stain protection, bright pigmentation, variety of colors
- Cons: Can be expensive
Shallow oil-based stains: (Transformation)
- Pros: Beauty, good penetration into the wood fibers, recoat with no problems, & compatibility.
- Cons: Brittle with age, slight erosion and peeling
Deep penetrating stains: (TWP)
- Pros: No lap marks, easy application, easy maintenance, ½” deep into the wood fibers. Great for DECKS!
- Cons: Chinking/Caulking has a harder time sticking, loss of adhesion, color transfer, frequent application required as the “non drying oils” penetrate deeper and deeper into the fiber, thus leaving the outer wood fibers exposed to the elements.
Always double check the stain color by starting on a small coverage area. Stains generally will appear slightly darker once applied. Regardless of which type/color of stain you use, it is essential to perform routine maintenance checks to ensure that your property is maintaining its natural beauty. The wood will become weathered (gray, stain will peel and become flakey) as it ages if not taken care of properly. To avoid major costly repairs, it is recommended to clean your log home at least once per year and apply maintenance coats of stain as needed, generally 1-4 years between applications depending on environmental factors. With proper maintenance, your home will look beautiful regardless of what stain you choose.
Homestead Timbers is a log home maintenance contractor and a building material supplier to the custom home industry and DIYers.
Have any questions? Contact our log home specialist!