The finishing of a log home can be a daunting task at best. So if you are doing it for the first time on your new home, or having to refinish it, there are a few things you should do at the start, that will keep your house looking good.
Today we will discuss mildew and its affect on your home. Mildew is something that floats in the atmosphere and lands on everything. Let’s be clear, we are not talking about the same mildew that has become a health issue for your family. This type will not cause harm to your health! But it will cause you to have to refinish your home much sooner, if it is not dealt with at the start. It is a simple step, and unfortunately isn’t something you can count on your home finisher to know about. It is best to ask him if he understands mildew and the effect it will have if not dealt with at the start.
To understand mildew better, we need to understand its life cycles and how they work. Mildew is blown about by the wind and lands on the wood. This is not a problem when the wood is a standing tree because it lands on the bark and stopped there. When the bark has been removed it lands and is invisible. Mildew requires wet weather and warmth to come to life and reproduce. That is why you don’t see it happen as much in the winter because it is too cold, or in the summer because it is too hot. The wetter spring and fall is where it shows up most.
As I have said, when it is dormant it is invisible, when it is active it is invisible, but when a life cycle ends the originators die off, and that is the black you see in the wood. It is good to know that they reproduce at a rate of approximately 100 times per life cycle (or bloom). They cannot get much deeper than about 3 rings so removal in the beginning is easy with a sander.
If you have sanded out the black (dead) mildew, you have not removed them, because the new generation is now sanded out and simply moved to other areas. That is why a mildew cleanse is required at this step. It is simple to do and only requires washing the house down and keeping it moist with a mildecide cleanser like ‘PrepIt’ then, after about an hour washing it off.
This will kill all existing mildew and will pH balance the home readying it for stain. If you are using a waterborne stain, then application can happen the following day, weather permitting.
Following these steps will ensure that your home will look beautiful for the full life of the stain you chose, and assuming you follow a maintenance schedule, that should be a very long time.