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It seems a never ending battle with mold/mildew on my log home.  The home is about 30' tall at the peak so it's difficult to get on ladders each spring/fall and scrub the logs to clean them.  If I just spray on Log Wash, it doesn't do anything unless I scrub.

I just stained my home 2 years ago.  I pressure washed it last summer and washed it again earlier this spring.  I use Log Wash.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to prevent this?  Or is this just the log home life and I should get used to it?  I've been dealing with this for 19 years now :)

It wouldn't be so bad if I could just spray something on the logs and the solution would take off the mold/mildew, but it seems I have to hand scrub to get any impact.  With a 3500 sq ft log home, 2 stories, that's a lot of hand scrubing ;)

I've attached some pictures.  There is both white and black mold in various places on my home.  I appreciate any feedback.


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Hi Tim, so are you saying that you had mold issues with both Woodguard and Transformation?? Did you use a mildewcide both times by adding it into your stain?

The white residue looks to be on the surface and should wipe off and does not look to be penetrating the logs so I would be less worried about that. I'm not sure how far your overhangs are or if you have rain gutters but that white stuff just looks like normal grime that you can power wash off. As long as it's above the stain, it is not damaging the logs.

the black mold under the stain looks like you may have stained when the moisture content of your logs was a little too high which traps the water under the stain. You can check your logs with a moisture meter before staining. 

Log homes/cabins are definitely a LOT of work. I question my sanity almost every year but there is just something special about a log cabin that makes all that hard work worth it. I hope some of this was helpful and keep fighting the good fight against that mold and mildew! 

Personally I think most mold problems are related to architecture rather than stain selection. Horizontal wood holds moisture much longer than vertical wood, so a log home with only minimal roof overhangs is going to be more problematic than a stick framed home under the same conditions.

In some parts of the country, it often rains diagonally, so even more roof overhang is needed to keep the logs dry. East of the Mississippi, many areas get 45 inches of precipitation annually, which may be why dovetail log homes are so popular in the Southeast.

Yes it matters how far the log ends stick out, as these flyways are where rain gets soaked into the logs.

My cabin has long flyways, but I've gone a little overboard on the roof overhangs, so much that I gave the rafter ends the rounded treatment so I could still see out the windows.

Another factor is how far above grade the logs are. I see many log homes built close to the ground. When it rains, it drips on the ground and splashes all over the bottom logs on the eave sides. But the bottom eave logs are not your greatest concern, as the log ends from the gable end logs stick out even closer to the eave drip line than the eave logs do.

On a stick built home, the roof overhang is measured from the drip line to the outside walls, on a log home the overhang is measured from the drip line to the ends of the gable logs.

Here in Western Montana, we only get about 12 to 14" of annual precipitation and it usually rains vertically, so I don't expect my logs to get rained on at all. All I have on my logs so far is the borate treatment


Tim, I know I have responded to you previously but I will stick by my strong recommendation for staying away from TRANSFORMATION at all costs. Many, many of the professional log home refinishers in our tri-state area have stated, for the record, that TRANSFORMATION has a strong propensity for mildew growth, with or without an anti-mildew additive and I am one who experienced the TRANSFORMATION mold issue myself so I know it. WE had our home media blasted and went to Woodguard and have not seen any mildew at all. BUT, I do wash our home in the Spring and Fall with Logwash without the need to scrub it.

If you want a water-based stain that seems to have a loyal following of users, PermaChink makes water-based finishes that do require multiple coats but those who have used it love it.

I know someone will chirp in and say I am wrong, but I prefer to see lab and field data that are conducted under controlled conditions, and CTA's Q8 Log Oil, Woodguard and PermaChink all have such data and much of it is independent data, which is even better!


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