We have been building our log home for 2 yrs. The logs do not have the first coat of stain on them. Long Story. Some of the logs have blackish discoloration on them. We are far over budget and at the bottom of the barrel with finances, so professional cleaning & staining is out of the question, we must do this application ourselves. We are very handy and it is not out of reach for us to complete this, we just need guidance on how to do it correctly. We would appreciate any and all suggestions.
Thanks , Sharon
To really save money go buy a 10-15 gallon agricultural sprayer from a feed store. Should run @$70. It has connections that will connect to a regular car battery. Fill it with 35% bleach and the rest water. With the ag sprayer, the pressure won't be strong enough to damage your logs (or make them look fuzzy). Blast away. You may have to gently scrub any stubborn spots but the bleach will do the trick after a couple of applications and you can keep the sprayer for future use (don't forget to rinse it). I've got several and they work great! And yes, I also own pressure washers. Ag sprayers rule!
Sharon: Anytime you use bleach (mixed in any concentration) on wood, RINSE, RINSE AND RINSE some more. Bleach will throw off the PH in the wood and may interfere with the application of your exterior stain. If not fully removed, the bleach may actually encourage the growth of mold/mildew over time. It may be helpful to get some PH strips like you use in a pool or spa to make sure the rise water coming off your log wall is in proper balance and you have fully removed all of the bleach. What ever cleaner, brightener and exterior stain you use, READ the directions carefully. You've read here and on other forums that the surface preparation is key BEFORE the application of an exterior finish - they are not joking! You've invested a lot of sweat equity in your log home, make it look nice and preserve it properly so you will be able to enjoy your house for a long time. Cheers - Donald
Thanks Don, for your tips on the process. I feel with the information we have collected from everyone, we should be able to get this project done and the right way so it will last us for years. I appreciate your helpful suggestions and looking forward to its completion so our Mt. Home will blend to its surroundings.
Thanks for your help with the spraying end of it. Sounds good to me and will check this out. I do appeciate all the help. This site is so great for help with any and all log home issues coming from experienced home owners.
Sharon, if you put straight bleach on your logs, it would be bad. However, if you dilute it, you will be fine. Don't forget that bleach additives on used in many things like laundry, bathroom fixtures/counters, etc and will disapate. Plus it only runs @ a dollar a gallon. We've used it for over 15 years and have yet to have any issues. Don is correct that you'll have to rinse because it'll cause the crud to come off of the logs. Good luck!!!
I have no experience in washing off logs with or without bleach but I suspect it would be a good idea to add one of the following 3 items to the solution as well, in small quantities. Dishwashing soap, Tri Sodium Phosphate or Spic & Span. What these should accomplish is to allow the water /bleach solution to "wet out" better to get at the dirt and mold. We have all seen when you spray water on dirt on the ground it will actually "pool". These agents will stop that from happening.
When I was a small child my Mama told me not mix different things together or the new combo might send me to live in " redneck heaven." But your fancy idea is interesting. Please try it out and let me know if it works. I HOPE to be starting our log cabin in a few months. Thanks!