FAQs


Log Home Maintenance


Are there other types of media blasting that can be used on log or wood structures?

Yes. Walnut shell, soda and dry ice blasting are other types of blasting that are gentle enough to be used on log and wood structures.

Can I apply your products when it is cold?

With our water based products, only if you can ensure a surface temp between 40 degrees F and 90 degrees F. This usually means you have to tent the walls and heat them. Lexel and Through the ROOF! can be applied down to 0 degrees F.

I have a leak in my new log home when there is a hard blowing rain. How do I find the leak and how do I stop it?

This can sometimes be difficult because where the water comes through on the interior does not always correspond very well to where it enters the wall on the exterior.

It’s best practice to seal up all visible openings with chinking and caulking, making sure the wood is dry first. If this doesn’t stop the rain from making its way inside, then you might consider having a thermographic analysis of your home performed. This analysis would help you pinpoint the exact entry points so you can get them properly sealed up.

Contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 for more information about this type of service and for the names of contractors who do this type of analysis.

What is the best way to treat log ends?

The cut ends of logs can be an easy entry point for moisture to get into the interior of the logs

Why is it necessary to stain my logs?

There are many reasons why it’s necessary. For example:
1) Without a good coating on the exterior of logs, the wood will darken and degrade very quickly when left unprotected against the sun and weathering.
2) Uncoated wood absorbs much more water than coated wood does. When wood absorbs water it swells significantly and then shrinks again when dry weather returns. This repeated cycle leads to the development of many more checks and larger ones.
3) Without a coating on the exterior surface, sealants applied to the joints between logs or to large checks usually will have a very difficult time maintaining adhesion to the wood.
4) Coatings, by repelling a large volume of moisture, help prevent mold, mildew and rot from occurring.
5) Uncoated wood is an easy target for wood-ingesting insects.

What is the best way to treat log ends?

The cut ends of logs can be an easy entry point for moisture to get into the interior of the logs

Staining


Are there fungicides and mildewcides in your stain?

Yes. However, in many parts of the United States and Canada where the humidity and temperatures are high and mold and mildew is more prevalent, it is recommended to add additional fungicide to the stain. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E (available through Sashco resellers).

Are water-based products bad?

If by “bad” you mean poor performing, no. Some water-based stains (like our Capture Log Stain / Cascade, Transformationg Siding & Trim, and Transformation Deck & Fence) will perform very well if good surface preparation is done and if they are applied in appropriate weather. On the other hand, it is also true that solvent-based stains (oil-based stains) are more forgiving when less-than-excellent surface preparation is done and when the weather is not as ideal.

Can I brush on your stains?

Yes, you can, so long as the coverage guidelines are still followed, i.e. if the coverage guidelines say you should be using between 20-25 gallons to cover your home, you should brush on that same amount, even if it means brushing on 3-4 coats.

Also, when brushing, be sure to use a good quality brush (such as Purdy brand) that has the split ends to soak up as much stain as possible. And, as with all stain application, be sure to thoroughly mix the stain with a drill-driven squirrel cage mixer before and during application, as well as box the same stain of different lot numbers. This will ensure an even, consistent color at all times.

Can I put a clear sealer on my logs?

If the clear sealer is only for the interior of the structure, that’s fine. If you are intending for this clear sealer to be the only coating on the exterior of the building, then we strongly discourage you from using it. Clear “stains” or sealers have virtually no UV protection and can lead to your wood being exposed to harsher elements, such as moisture and insects.

Do I have to remove my stain before I recoat?

This all depends on the condition of the existing stain. If it is in reasonably good condition overall, then only modest prep work may be required

Is there anything I can mix in the stain or put over it to keeps bugs off my logs?

There are insecticides that can be added to our stains that will help repel or kill insects. Sashco recommends a product called Bug Juice, available through most Sashco retailers.

In all cases, contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 to find out if the product you’re using will be compatible with our stains. Not all additives will disperse properly, and some may affect the film of the stain, affecting long-term performance.

How do I tell if my logs are dry enough to stain?

There is no good way to know for sure unless you use a moisture meter that is designed for measuring the moisture content of wood. If a moisture meter is not used, then there is always the risk that there is too much moisture in the logs.

Depending on your location, the moisture content of your logs should be between 5-19%. (For example, in the super-dry and hot southwest Arizona, 5% is the safer number. In coastal Alaska, 19% is going to be about the norm.)

Which of your stains can I use on my interior logs?

Both Capture and Transformation Siding & Trim are great for interior staining. Both need to be top-coated with Symphony to give the best appearance and make for easiest cleaning.

Why is it necessary to stain my logs?

There are many reasons why it’s necessary. For example:
1) Without a good coating on the exterior of logs, the wood will darken and degrade very quickly when left unprotected against the sun and weathering.
2) Uncoated wood absorbs much more water than coated wood does. When wood absorbs water it swells significantly and then shrinks again when dry weather returns. This repeated cycle leads to the development of many more checks and larger ones.
3) Without a coating on the exterior surface, sealants applied to the joints between logs or to large checks usually will have a very difficult time maintaining adhesion to the wood.
4) Coatings, by repelling a large volume of moisture, help prevent mold, mildew and rot from occurring.
5) Uncoated wood is an easy target for wood-ingesting insects.

Decks & Fences


Siding & Trim


Caulking


Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

What can I use to remove silicone from my log home?

There are several brands on the market. We have tested a few of them, and the McKanica® brand stood out as the best to remove a variety of silicone residues from the surface. If you cannot find the McKanica® product, try to find a caulk remover that contains both alcohol and a solvent such as mineral spirits. The combination of alcohol and solvents is more potent and effective.

Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

Are your stains and caulking compatible?

Yes. All of Sashco’s products are formulated to be compatible with one another. In fact, when our chinking and caulking are used with our stains, we give the chinking and caulking a limited lifetime warranty.

Do I have to fill all the tiny cracks?

It is good practice to seal with caulking or chinking (and backer rod) checks and cracks that are 1/4″ wide or wider, especially on the upper curvature of logs. Prior to sealing them, make sure to apply a good wood preservative (like Penetreat) to prevent insect and fungal damage. The very small micro-checks that are barely visible can usually be sealed adequately with whatever stain is applied to the surface of the logs. The most problematic checks are the “in-betweeners”

I have a full scribed ("chinkless") log home. Do I need to caulk?

Yes, at least in some areas

What are checks? What do I do about them?

The word “check” is another way of describing the cracks that develop in individual logs. Most checks develop within the first one to two years after construction of the home, caused by the home drying out.

Checks generally form along the grain of the log and can range in size – they can be tiny hair-line cracks up to 2″ or wider. Sometimes, but not often, they can appear in a spiral fashion, swirling around the log. Checks should be caulked if they are over 1/4″ wide and if they are either on the upward curvature of the logs or if they spiral into the home.

In order to fill the checks, make sure that they are clean and free of any unsound wood fibers. The easiest way to ensure this is to sand the inside of the check, then wipe it down with a damp cloth. It is critical to determine that the moisture content of the wood is below 19% in order to minimize further log movement and reduce the occurrence of blistering in the caulk. Insert backer rod or some form of bond breaker to the proper depth (between 1/4″ and 1/2″) and then apply a bead of caulking into the check. Finally, tool the caulking smooth so it is flush with the log.

Read the info sheet for the product you’re using before doing any caulking to ensure you’re applying it properly.

Why do I have to fill checks and cracks?

Checks allow moisture and wood-destroying fungi to find their way deep into the interior of wood. When fungi have a food source (the wood), moisture, oxygen and the right temperature, they can lead to rot, which, in some cases, can negatively affect the structural integrity of the home. And it can be very costly to fix rot. Filling in those checks and cracks will save you money and stress down the line.

Chinking


Do you think I can chink on my own?

Yes. While it does take some practice to develop your skill, it is a task that most people can accomplish easily. Sashco’s info sheets give detailed information to help you learn this craft.

You can also watch our videos on Log Jam application.

What is the insulation R-value of the Chinking and Backer Rod?

Sashco’s thermodynamic analysis of this question has revealed the following:

a) A 9″ pine log has an overall R-value of about 11.2.

b) The overall R-value of Log Jam + Backer Rod + the dead air space between the lengths of Backer Rod is about 10.6.

c) The overall R-value of a log wall combining chinked joints and the logs themselves is about 11.1.

So, when Log Jam is properly installed with backer rod it has virtually no detrimental effect on the overall R-value of the wall.

Log Home Prep


What amount of pressure should I use when power washing my log home?

Here are some general tips for power washing your log home:

  • Before you start, check the moisture content of your wood using a moisture meter. Check various locations. (The south side of the home will be drier than the north side.)
  • Use a power washer with a fan wand (typically a 40° spray angle).
    If possible, use hot water. As with any cleaning, hot water is usually more effective and quicker than cold.
  • Always practice in an inconspicuous area first to master the technique.
  • The distance the wand tip is positioned from the log surface is the most important part of proper power washing! Power washers typically operate between 500 and 3000 psi. Find that distance from the surface where the high-speed water spray just begins to aggressively fuzz the wood, and then back off an inch or so – and then maintain that distance throughout the job.
  • As with any blasting, don’t stop or start in the middle of the wall. Spray the wood like you would when spraying paint, feathering it in and out of areas to keep a consistent look.
  • After power washing is complete, remove all felting that may be present with Buffy Pads, Osborn brushes, or sandpaper. Buffy Pads are the fastest and easiest system.
  • Allow the wood to thoroughly dry. Use a moisture meter to be sure the moisture content level is back to where you started, and always below 19%.
  • Vacuum or blow standing water from upper-curvature checks right after power washing to avoid saturating the wood around those checks.
    Watch our videos on power washing and other types of wood prep for more details.

Log Home General


Can I apply your products when it is cold?

With our water based products, only if you can ensure a surface temp between 40 degrees F and 90 degrees F. This usually means you have to tent the walls and heat them.

Product


Capture® Log Stain


Can I mix the Cascade and Capture Log Stain?

No, mixing the two will reduce the performance of both.

Are there fungicides and mildewcides in your stain?

Yes. However, in many parts of the United States and Canada where the humidity and temperatures are high and mold and mildew is more prevalent, it is recommended to add additional fungicide to the stain. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E (available through Sashco resellers).

Are water-based products bad?

If by “bad” you mean poor performing, no. Some water-based stains (like our Capture Log Stain / Cascade, Transformationg Siding & Trim, and Transformation Deck & Fence) will perform very well if good surface preparation is done and if they are applied in appropriate weather. On the other hand, it is also true that solvent-based stains (oil-based stains) are more forgiving when less-than-excellent surface preparation is done and when the weather is not as ideal.

Can I apply stain on top of your chinking and caulking products?

Yes. Most all stains, and certainly all of Sashco’s stains, will adhere to both our chinking and caulking products. However, because those products are not porous like wood, the stain will not soak into it like it does to the wood and will give you a different look, so be sure to TEST FIRST to make sure staining over top will give you the desired look.

Do not stain over top of the chinking or caulking with an oil-based stain for at least 2 weeks to allow the product sufficient curing time, and up that to 1 month if staining over top with an oil-based polyurethane. With water-based coatings, 2 days’ cure time is usually fine.

Can I apply your products when it is cold?

With our water based products, only if you can ensure a surface temp between 40 degrees F and 90 degrees F. This usually means you have to tent the walls and heat them. Lexel and Through the ROOF! can be applied down to 0 degrees F.

Can I brush on your stains?

Yes, you can, so long as the coverage guidelines are still followed, i.e. if the coverage guidelines say you should be using between 20-25 gallons to cover your home, you should brush on that same amount, even if it means brushing on 3-4 coats.

Also, when brushing, be sure to use a good quality brush (such as Purdy brand) that has the split ends to soak up as much stain as possible. And, as with all stain application, be sure to thoroughly mix the stain with a drill-driven squirrel cage mixer before and during application, as well as box the same stain of different lot numbers. This will ensure an even, consistent color at all times.

Can I mix the Cascade and Capture Log Stain?

No, mixing the two will reduce the performance of both.

Can I put Capture Log Stain on my deck?

No. Capture Log Stain is formulated to provide the flexibility needed for log movement, and as a result, it is too soft to be put on horizontal wood decks. Capture Log Stain is not formulated to withstand the foot traffic and other extreme conditions on a deck. You can certainly use it on your deck railing system. If you choose to do this, you will want to implement some simple deck design tips (such as drilling weep holes) to help improve longevity.

Can I use Transformation Log & Timber over top of Capture Log Stain?

If the Capture Log Stain is in good shape, meaning there are few, if any, areas of bare wood and little discoloration, it is best to stick with what you started with. If, down the line, you have to completely strip the stain and are down to bare wood, it would then be OK to switch to any of our other stain products.

It is not wise to use an oil-based over top of a water-based stain because most water-bases are much more elastic than oil-bases. As the wood moves and breathes, the oil-based stain will be more rigid than the water-based stain and may cause the water-based product to peel under the pressure of being pulled with normal movement.

How many coats of Capture Log Stain / Cascade should I use? Why?

On the exterior, spray on and back brush in 2 HEAVY coats of Capture Log Stain. Follow that with 1 heavy coat of Cascade, sprayed on with runs brushed out. When the product is applied heavily it is able to build sufficient film thickness to protect the wood and provide several years of good performance. One coat is generally too thin, leading to less durability, which means more frequent re-staining will be necessary.

On the interior, one coat either brushed or sprayed on is sufficient, followed by one to two coats of the Symphony clear coat.

Can I put Transformation Siding & Trim over Capture Log Stain / Cascade?

For maintenance, it would be best to use more Capture Log Stain and Cascade (or just Cascade, if the Caputre is still in good shape). If and when you need to completely strip the home down to bare wood, you can certainly choose at that time to switch to one of our other stain products.

Cascade


Can I put a clear sealer on my logs?

If the clear sealer is only for the interior of the structure, that’s fine. If you are intending for this clear sealer to be the only coating on the exterior of the building, then we strongly discourage you from using it. Clear “stains” or sealers have virtually no UV protection and can lead to your wood being exposed to harsher elements, such as moisture and insects.

Can I apply Cascade by itself?

No. Cascade should not be applied by itself, unless re-coating over Capture Log Stain. Cascade has UV filters in it, but they are very mild. They are designed to protect the underlying stain, not all of the wood. Pigments are truly necessary to protect your wood from UV damage.

How do I tell if my logs are dry enough to stain?

There is no good way to know for sure unless you use a moisture meter that is designed for measuring the moisture content of wood. If a moisture meter is not used, then there is always the risk that there is too much moisture in the logs.

Depending on your location, the moisture content of your logs should be between 5-19%. (For example, in the super-dry and hot southwest Arizona, 5% is the safer number. In coastal Alaska, 19% is going to be about the norm.)

How many coats of Capture Log Stain / Cascade should I use? Why?

On the exterior, spray on and back brush in 2 HEAVY coats of Capture Log Stain. Follow that with 1 heavy coat of Cascade, sprayed on with runs brushed out. When the product is applied heavily it is able to build sufficient film thickness to protect the wood and provide several years of good performance. One coat is generally too thin, leading to less durability, which means more frequent re-staining will be necessary.

On the interior, one coat either brushed or sprayed on is sufficient, followed by one to two coats of the Symphony clear coat.

If Capture Log Stain collects a lot of dust on the exterior, won't it do the same on the interior?

Capture Log Stain alone will remain relatively tacky compared to Capture Log Stain that is also top-coated with Cascade. A coat of Cascade on the exterior, or Symphony on the interior, will greatly reduce or eliminate this problem (plus enhance the overall appearance dramatically).

If you want to, feel free to use Transformation Log & Timber and Sashco’s Capture / Cascade on your wood siding for even better longevity and less maintenance. These stains are proven to stand the test of time on logs, a much harsher environment than wood siding. If they can last on logs, they’ll last even longer on wood siding.

In the end, the longevity and look you want will ultimately determine which of our stains you choose.

Can I mix the Cascade and Capture Log Stain?

No, mixing the two will reduce the performance of both.

Can I put Transformation Siding & Trim over Capture Log Stain / Cascade?

For maintenance, it would be best to use more Capture Log Stain and Cascade (or just Cascade, if the Caputre is still in good shape). If and when you need to completely strip the home down to bare wood, you can certainly choose at that time to switch to one of our other stain products.

Can I use Transformation Log & Timber over top of Capture Log Stain?

If the Capture Log Stain is in good shape, meaning there are few, if any, areas of bare wood and little discoloration, it is best to stick with what you started with. If, down the line, you have to completely strip the stain and are down to bare wood, it would then be OK to switch to any of our other stain products.

It is not wise to use an oil-based over top of a water-based stain because most water-bases are much more elastic than oil-bases. As the wood moves and breathes, the oil-based stain will be more rigid than the water-based stain and may cause the water-based product to peel under the pressure of being pulled with normal movement.

How many coats of Capture Log Stain / Cascade should I use? Why?

On the exterior, spray on and back brush in 2 HEAVY coats of Capture Log Stain. Follow that with 1 heavy coat of Cascade, sprayed on with runs brushed out. When the product is applied heavily it is able to build sufficient film thickness to protect the wood and provide several years of good performance. One coat is generally too thin, leading to less durability, which means more frequent re-staining will be necessary.

On the interior, one coat either brushed or sprayed on is sufficient, followed by one to two coats of the Symphony clear coat.the norm.)

Caulking and Chinking tools


Can I use anything other than backer rod or Grip Strip as a bond breaker?

Yes! Clear packing tape (or any other kind of mylar tape) is also a common form of a bond breaker. If you are already at the desired depth, just place a piece of tape over the back of the joint and apply your caulking or chinking. You can also use duct tape or polyethylene tape (like Poly Masking Tape).

What do you use to tool your chinking or caulking?

A variety of tools and techniques can be used

What is best for me - regular round backer rod or Grip Strip?

The best type of bond breaker depends on the type of logs used on the home. Grip Strip is generally used on flat Appalachian style logs that are fairly dry wood. These are not as likely to undergo as much shrinkage due to the fact that they are milled and often kiln-dried before construction.

Round backer rod can be used in almost every other joint style. The round nature of the backer rod allows the caulking / chinking to adhere well to the wood, while the slightly thinner layer in the center creates the ideal hourglass shape, which allows the material to be a bit more flexible. This also makes it so that any failure due to extreme movement will generally split down the middle of the bead line, which is easier to fix.

What is the best style of nozzle for chinking?

This depends upon joint size. Generally, the slot style nozzles are best for chinking, while the round style nozzles work well for filling checks and cracks.

What's the difference between backer rod and Grip Strip?

Both are bond breakers, but backer rod is usually round and Grip Strip is trapezoid shaped.

Why do I have to use backer rod?

It’s necessary in order to provide the proper joint design – caulking or chinking adhering to only the sides of the joint, not the back where the backer rod is placed. This allows the product to stretch correctly.

Backer rod also greatly helps control the depth of the sealant as it is being installed to insure that the optimum amount of material is put into place. If too little material is installed, premature “cohesive failure” can occur. If too much is installed, the sealant is wasted and your costs are greatly increased.

Cobra Rods


Can I use Cobra Rods in Glu Lam beams?

They would most likely work; however, many Glu Lam beams are structural elements and it is usually forbidden to drill holes in these. Check with your architect and/or builder to ensure drilling in the beam is allowable.

Should I use Cobra rods?

Yes, but only in areas exposed to a lot of moisture, such as:

– the first two or threecourses of logs around the perimeter of the home, which often see the worst of the weather and suffer a lot of splash-back from water hitting the ground after draining from the roof.
– corner sections of the walls, especially the first three or four courses that suffer major direct weather exposure and often have a lot of roof run-off flooding over them.
– horizontal beams or rafters that protrude out to the roof line.
– handrails, if they’re highly exposed.

What is the best way to treat log ends?

The cut ends of logs can be an easy entry point for moisture to get into the interior of the logs

What is the difference between Tim-bor and Penetreat?

Chemically, there is no difference. Both products are disodium octaborate tetrahydrate. Each product is EPA registered for different applications: Timbor for dip, spray, and pressure treating in a manufacturing facility, and PeneTreat for remedial applications (spray application to existing structures.)

Where do I install borate rods?

In general, borate rods are best used only in “high risk” areas on a log home. Such high risk areas include the first and second courses of logs around the perimeter of the home because they often see the worst of the weather and suffer a lot of splash-back. Another area of high risk is the corner sections of the walls, especially the first three or four courses that suffer major direct weather exposure and often have a lot of roof run-off flooding over them. Horizontal beams or rafters that protrude out from the roof line are also very prone to rot, and borate rods can be used to good effect there.

Will Cobra Rods prevent termite infestations?

Yes, but only if they get diffused into the wood. Of course, the only way they’ll diffuse into the wood is to come in contact with moisture, in which case there are other issues going on that need to be addressed.

Conceal


Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

Can I apply Conceal before I stain to get a better match?

Possibly. It is best to apply the closest color Conceal after all staining is complete, so long as you’re using a compatible stain. Because most stains are relatively rigid, when they’re applied over a flexible material like Conceal, the stain will crack (unlike the Conceal) when the joint moves. When that happens, the Conceal will still be there, but the cracking stain will be over top. At least the first time around, it’s best to apply the caulk very last. Obviously, when it comes time to maintain your stain, you’ll have to stain over the caulk and just keep your eye out for any cracked stain over the caulking.

Are your stains and caulking compatible?

Yes. All of Sashco’s products are formulated to be compatible with one another. In fact, when our chinking and caulking are used with our stains, we give the chinking and caulking a limited lifetime warranty.

Can I apply Conceal before I stain to get a better match?

Possibly. It is best to apply the closest color Conceal after all staining is complete, so long as you’re using a compatible stain. Because most stains are relatively rigid, when they’re applied over a flexible material like Conceal, the stain will crack (unlike the Conceal) when the joint moves. When that happens, the Conceal will still be there, but the cracking stain will be over top. At least the first time around, it’s best to apply the caulk very last. Obviously, when it comes time to maintain your stain, you’ll have to stain over the caulk and just keep your eye out for any cracked stain over the caulking.

My chinking or caulking is torn. How do I fix it?

Repairing torn chinking or caulking is really rather easy. First, use a razor knife to slit the chink or caulk line a bit further to release pressure on the bead. Then, clean the surface by wiping it down. Gun new chinking or caulking over the torn area (as long as you’re using more of the same Sashco product),then smooth (tool) the new product, feathering it out onto the exisitng bead. If no backer rod was applied, you may need to cut out the torn area, install backer rod, and then follow the remaining steps as noted above.

CPR Wood Cleaner & Brightener


How do I get rid of mold/mildew on the surface of my wood?

Try these methods first:

1) Apply CPR in the brightener strength (4 parts water to 1 part CPR). Apply according to directions. Thoroughly rinse.
2) Or, apply fresh bleach in a 4 parts water to 1 part bleach solution. Allow to sit no more than 10 minutes, then thoroughly rinse.

If those don’t work, chat with us or call us. There may be other issues at play that need to be considered.

In all cases where mold/mildew is a problem, be sure to use an extra mildewcide in any future coats of stain. We recommend Stay Clean I/E.

How do I maintain my chinking and caulking?

When installed properly according to directions, chinking and caulking don’t take much in the way of maintenance. It is always good practice to check for any loss of adhesion or center tearing so that you can repair it immediately, preventing any water and insect infiltration in those areas. You may also want to periodically clean the surface for appearance’s sake. You can clean your chinking and caulking lines with soap and water. Stubborn areas can be scrubbed with a nylon brush and water.

How should I prep my home that already has stain on it?

That will depend on what is on there and what condition it’s in. A light pressure wash may be all that’s needed if everything is in good shape. If there are significant areas of peeling stain, bare and/or gray wood, etc., a vigorous power wash or media blast will be needed.

Contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 to discuss the particulars of your situation. Be sure to click here to download a copy of our booklet called “Keeping the Dream Alive” that goes through the steps of finishing a log or wood home from beginning to end.

My house looks good, except on one side it looks weathered. I like the weathered look on my home, but someone told me it was rotting.

That “weathered” look – gray and/or yellowed wood – is really erosion of the wood. Freshly-cut, debarked wood is white to very light yellow in color. As wood starts to weather, its color shifts from a deep golden color, to gray, and can then become almost black in color in the latest stages of weathering. The wood surface is deteriorating due to UV radiation, oxidation and water damage. Actual wood fibers are weakening and detaching from the main body of the log. It is best to remove all of this weathered wood and then re-stain. Otherwise several major problems are likely to occur

Finish Sanding


Are there other types of media blasting that can be used on log or wood structures?

Yes. Walnut shell, soda and dry ice blasting are other types of blasting that are gentle enough to be used on log and wood structures.

How can I get water stains out of my wood?

Try sanding with a 60 or 80 grit sandpaper first. Any sort of chemical can damage the wood even further and cause more discoloration. Practice your sanding technique and try to blend discolored areas into surrounding areas first. If that doesn’t work, you may have to resort to chemical cleaners. Contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 to discuss your particular situation and get detailed advice on which chemicals might work best.

How should I prep my home that already has stain on it?

That will depend on what is on there and what condition it’s in. A light pressure wash may be all that’s needed if everything is in good shape. If there are significant areas of peeling stain, bare and/or gray wood, etc., a vigorous power wash or media blast will be needed.

Contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 to discuss the particulars of your situation. Be sure to click here to download a copy of our booklet called “Keeping the Dream Alive” that goes through the steps of finishing a log or wood home from beginning to end.

My house looks good, except on one side it looks weathered. I like the weathered look on my home, but someone told me it was rotting.

That “weathered” look – gray and/or yellowed wood – is really erosion of the wood. Freshly-cut, debarked wood is white to very light yellow in color. As wood starts to weather, its color shifts from a deep golden color, to gray, and can then become almost black in color in the latest stages of weathering. The wood surface is deteriorating due to UV radiation, oxidation and water damage. Actual wood fibers are weakening and detaching from the main body of the log. It is best to remove all of this weathered wood and then re-stain. Otherwise several major problems are likely to occur

What are the down sides to power washing?

Power washing not only raises the grain, but can create wood fuzz called “felting” that has to be sanded off once the wood has dried out. In addition, water from power washing outside walls can find its way to the interior of the home.

If you power wash, take necessary precautions to protect the interior of your home by removing wall hangings, pulling furniture away from the exterior walls, and posting someone inside with towels in hand, ready to dry up any water from walls and floors.

What do I do if my logs are graying?

Wood that has turned gray has become “unsound” wood, which means that it has been significantly damaged and weakened and is no longer adhering well to the underlying, solid wood. This graying wood needs to be completely removed via blasting (either media or power washing) so that anything applied on top of the wood – stain, caulking, chinking, etc. – will adhere to firm, sound wood.

What is the best way to get my stain off?

Although there are several methods of stain removal, (power washing, chemical stripping, just to name a couple), we believe that, based on testing both in the lab and out in the field, media blasting with either crushed glass or corn cob media is the best overall method. It is effective, non-toxic, quick, less destructive to the wood than power washing or chemicals, and you don’t have to worry about interior water damage from power washing. If media blasting is not an option, the next best method would be power washing, followed by approriate secondary prep to remove any fuzzing. Sometimes chemicals have to be used but they should be a last result.

Watch our videos showing the comparison between crushed glass and corn cob blasting, as well as power washing as prep methods.

What is the downside to corn cob blasting?

As with any blasting process, the media will find its way into your home, so be aware that you will have to do some interior clean up of the dust and the media itself. Although corn cob blasting doesn’t generally leave as textured a surface as sand blasting, some people prefer a smooth log surface, so you may have to do some light follow-up sanding by hand.

What is the downside to sandblasting?

Sand blasting can be too aggressive on wood and can create a really rough surface texture

Log Builder


Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

Can I apply stain on top of your chinking and caulking products?

Yes. Most all stains, and certainly all of Sashco’s stains, will adhere to both our chinking and caulking products. However, because those products are not porous like wood, the stain will not soak into it like it does to the wood and will give you a different look, so be sure to TEST FIRST to make sure staining over top will give you the desired look.

Do not stain over top of the chinking or caulking with an oil-based stain for at least 2 weeks to allow the product sufficient curing time, and up that to 1 month if staining over top with an oil-based polyurethane. With water-based coatings, 2 days’ cure time is usually fine.

Are your stains and caulking compatible?

Yes. All of Sashco’s products are formulated to be compatible with one another. In fact, when our chinking and caulking are used with our stains, we give the chinking and caulking a limited lifetime warranty.

Log Jam


Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

Are your stains and caulking compatible?

Yes. All of Sashco’s products are formulated to be compatible with one another. In fact, when our chinking and caulking are used with our stains, we give the chinking and caulking a limited lifetime warranty.

Brushover is no longer available. What should I use instead?

You can now make your own chink paint using Log Jam and water. Visit the Log Jam page to download the instructions.

Media blasting


Are there other types of media blasting that can be used on log or wood structures?

Yes. Walnut shell, soda and dry ice blasting are other types of blasting that are gentle enough to be used on log and wood structures.

Can I use glass media in California?

YES. Glass is approved by the California Air Resources Board. In addition, it’s so environmentally friendly, it has been listed on the EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for blasting grit.

Can I use glass media in my blasting equipment?

Glass media can be used with virtually all standard blasting pots and equipment, however, it is always safest to check with the equipment manufacturer. It will work in Sashco’s Kernel with the standard round nozzle.

PeneTreat


Can I apply Penetreat on my dried out logs or wood?

Penetreat can be applied to wood surfaces, whether green or dry, that are bare. Penetreat will form a protective “shell” on the outer layer of the woodto a depth of about 1/2″. Keep in mind that, in order for Penetreat to maintain its potency, it must be covered with a good quality stain.

Does Penetreat kill mildew?

No. Mildew is a type of fungi that exists on the surface of wood and does not actually attack or eat wood (although it can cause some discoloration of the wood surface). Penetreat’s great strength is its ability to control wood-destroying fungi that actually cause rot. Of course, Penetreat also helps to control many insects, which are killed when they ingest the treated wood. If you want to control mildew, you should use an additional mildewcide in your stain and clear coat. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E, available through Sashco distributors.

Will Penetreat work if there is already stain on the logs?

As with all borate products, the answer is no. In order for PeneTreat to perform its intended function, it has to penetrate into bare, clean wood. If a coating exists on the wood surface, it acts as a barrier to the PeneTreat/water solution, prohibiting penetration and retention.

Can I mix PeneTreat in with my stain?

No. PeneTreat is designed to be used only on bare wood and underneath a stain of some kind.

Stay Clean Mildewcide Additive


Are there fungicides and mildewcides in your stain?

Yes. However, in many parts of the United States and Canada where the humidity and temperatures are high and mold and mildew is more prevalent, it is recommended to add additional fungicide to the stain. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E (available through Sashco resellers).

Can I put extra mildewcide in your stain? Does your stain already have it in?

Yes and yes. We put in as much as is allowable by law. However, if you’re in a particularly humid section of the country or in any area with mold/mildew problems you already know about, it’s a good idea to put in additional mildewcides. We recommend Stay Clean I/E. There are other additives on the market that may work just as well; however, you will want to test to make sure they won’t cause any color shifts in the stain or otherwise affect the performance.

What fungicides / mildewcides can I use with Sashco's stains?

Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E with our products. We have tested it and know it to work well in all our products. There are other fungicides on the market that we haven’t tested but may work well. Contact Customer Service at 1-800-767-5656 if you’re using a different product. They’ll help you determine whether or not you can use your specific product with our stains.

Symphony


Transformation Log and Timber


Are there fungicides and mildewcides in your stain?

Yes. However, in many parts of the United States and Canada where the humidity and temperatures are high and mold and mildew is more prevalent, it is recommended to add additional fungicide to the stain. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E (available through Sashco resellers).

Transformation Siding and Trim


Are there fungicides and mildewcides in your stain?

Yes. However, in many parts of the United States and Canada where the humidity and temperatures are high and mold and mildew is more prevalent, it is recommended to add additional fungicide to the stain. Sashco recommends Stay Clean I/E (available through Sashco resellers).

I used High Sierra on my logs in the past, but now you're saying it's better for siding and trim and selling it as Transformation Siding & Trim. So what's the scoop?

Transformation Siding & Trim (formerly High Sierra) is still a great stain for logs. It will perform just as well as it has in the past. Much like cars, technology improves over time. That is the case with stains for log homes. Since we first made High Sierra, stain technology for logs has improved. We know that both Transformation Log & Timber and Sashco’s Capture / Cascade system will last longer on logs, a much harsher environment for a stain than traditional wood siding. So, when it’s time to strip and re-stain your log home, use those products and you’ll have less maintenance over time. But for those customers who insist on a matte finish, Transformation Siding & Trim is certainly an option.

If you want to, feel free to use Transformation Log & Timber and Sashco’s Capture / Cascade on your wood siding for even better longevity and less maintenance. These stains are proven to stand the test of time on logs, a much harsher environment than wood siding. If they can last on logs, they’ll last even longer on wood siding.

In the end, the longevity and look you want will ultimately determine which of our stains you choose.

Are water-based products bad?

If by “bad” you mean poor performing, no. Some water-based stains (like our Capture Log Stain / Cascade, Transformationg Siding & Trim, and Transformation Deck & Fence) will perform very well if good surface preparation is done and if they are applied in appropriate weather. On the other hand, it is also true that solvent-based stains (oil-based stains) are more forgiving when less-than-excellent surface preparation is done and when the weather is not as ideal.

Are your chinking and caulking compatible with my stain?

There are many stain on the market with which our products will work well. In general, our products are compatible with other water-bases. Some oil-bases are OK, too. For information on compatibility with your specific product, contact Customer Service.

Inspiration Gallery

See Sashco’s log home products on real homes and get inspired.