Every log has its own unique grain pattern, knots, and history. Chances are, you know and love each one of them like the back of your hand. Logs are special, they’re not the same as 2x4s. They need special care. Why? Three reasons:
1.Logs Get Really Hot
From winter to summer and everywhere in between, the 90-degree angle of the upper curvature of round logs gets hit by the full force of the sun through much of the day. In the summer months when ambient temperatures are in the low 90’s, that upper curvature can exceed 170°F! Conventional lumber, on the other hand, is usually hit by the sun at a lesser angle. This allows much of the sun’s energy to be reflected away. That surface on the same summer day might only reach 110°F – much cooler than logs.
2. Logs move — a lot!
Wood of any kind undergoes significant movement in response to both moisture and temperature changes. In dimensional lumber like a 2x4, this results in twisting, cupping, warping, and occasional cracking and splitting. Logs endure these same forces, but because they’re bigger, the effects are bigger, too. Logs aren’t quite strong enough to endure these forces without breaking (something’s gotta give, right), so splits and checks develop to relieve the stress. The bigger the log, the bigger the internal stressors. This means more movement and larger checks and cracks.
3. Logs crack and check
Speaking of cracks and checks, the moisture that soaks in through cracks and checks usually finds its way underneath whatever stain or paint is on the logs. Much of this moisture exits back out of the wood through the cracks and checks. However, a good amount also exits (or attempts to exit) through the stain or paint. The thing is, stains and paints are stubborn. They don’t like the moisture trying to come out. Pressure builds up under the paint or stain and, over time, leads to flaking and peeling.
Ok! Logs ain’t wood, so what?
Your log home is the culmination of years of dreaming and planning, backed by a bit (or maybe a lot!) of sweat equity. So, why would you ever use products on your home manufactured by a company who doesn’t know a log from a 2x4?
Sashco only makes high-performance products designed to keep log homes in dream-worthy, weatherproof condition. Using products made for logs is your best insurance against lost time and money (not to mention bottles and bottles of Advil®).
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This month's training tip comes directly from a question we received recently.