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Timeless Wood Care

  • Tips For Cold Weather Application of Lifeline Finishes

    Lifeline Exterior Finishes

    Recommended Range

    All Lifeline stains 40° F – 90° F

    Lifeline Advance 40° F – 90° F

    Log End Seal 40° F – 90° F (not stated on label)

         Lifeline Advanced, Lifeline Exterior, Lifeline Ultra 7 & Lifeline Ultra 2 can still be applied in colder weather to the bare minimum of at least 35 degrees, any colder then that is not recommended. When referring to the temperature we are referring to the surface temperature of the logs not the air. If the logs are not frozen and completely dry and 35 degrees or higher, the finish can be applied with no worry of curing incorrectly. The down side to applying a coat of finish is the drying time is extended significantly in cold weather. To apply the first coal of finish and to properly allow complete drying time could take days longer then applied at recommended temperature. If the 2nd coat is applied to soon it can cause the film to ball up while back brushing.

    Most important tip for cold weather is never apply stain while the logs are frozen, the finish will most likely not adhere to the wood.  When temperatures drop below freezing after stain has been applied, the freezing conditions shouldn’t affect its look, purpose, or quality.  During warmer weather if the conditions are to hot the worry is that the fist coat of stain will dry to quickly and not allow for back brushing.

    When applying Lifeline advanced gloss or satin, the cold temperatures impose the risk of blushing because of the length of time it takes to properly cure. Blushing is were the top coat instead of being a very clear glossy or satin finish will look cloudy or hazy over the stain and could possibly take months to clear up but will eventually clear up.

    Log end seal is the most sensitive to cold weather conditions. Log end seal requires complete dryness to properly cure, cold weather prolongs drying time and makes it susceptible to contact with moisture. If moisture is present during the curing of log end seal it will most likely cause blushing and take months of warm dry weather for it to completely clear up and go clear as intended.

    Examples of blushing in figures above and below

  • Media Blasting Log Homes

    Sandblasting can be an effective way of removing old finishes like paint and creosote from log homes. Sandblasting typically utilizes silica sand as an abrasive and high pressure to mechanically remove away the old finish or dirt.  Upon completion of the sandblasting, all wood surfaces that have been sandblasted will need to be sanded down to reduce the mild abrasion that occurs.  The severity of pitting that can occur or is dependent on the species and condition of wood being sandblasted and the amount of pressure used. Typically, a diesel compressor capable of 185 CFM (cubic feet per minute) is required. Always wear adequate protective gear (face shield, thick gloves and clothing, and a respirator) when sandblasting.

    Many log home owners decide to have their log home sandblasted by an experienced professional. A novice can do severe your irreparable damage to log homes. The high pressure of the recommended compressor can cut unattractive gouges into logs and other woodwork.  unprotected windows can be pitted with an etched appearance. sandblasting a log home is best left will walk home restoration professional.

    Crushed glass media can be used as a chemically-inert alternative to sandblasting log homes. Crushed glass works like millions of tiny surgical steel blades, making short work of old coatings, paint, stains, as well as UV-damaged wood. It leaves the healthy wood underneath undamaged and creates a slightly textured surface for improved stain adhesion and longevity. Finish sanding with our Osborne Brushes or Surface Conditioning Discs can be done afterwards to reduce wood texturing.

    Cob blasting is another environmentally friendly way of removing old finish from log homes using ground dried corn cobs. Cob blasting generally isn’t as destructive to the logs and wood as sandblasting. Upon completion of the job used the corn media can often be used as biodegradable mulch around the garden. Sandblasting usually involves hauling the media away after use, which can be an added expense.  Some people claim that the biodegradable corn cob may be responsible for mold and fungus growth within the log once the job is completed. Proper washing with Log Wash and application of a quality borate product like Shell-Guard RTU will eliminate any fear of mold growth.

    A light sanding with an Osborn Brush or Surface Conditioning Disc is all that is required after cob or media blasting. This ensures uniform and proper absorption of stain. Irregular surfaces can be finished with Prelude before Lifeline Exterior or Ultra-2 to ensure proper color.

  • Preventing Ice Dams on Your Log Home

    Log homes have stood the tests of time and weather for centuries. They're exceptionally durable, which is why many people choose to live in log homes still. But just because they're exceptionally durable doesn't mean your log home doesn't need a bit of occasional maintenance. One of the big issues of winter for any home is ice dams.

    What Are Ice Dams?

    Have you ever seen really long, impressive looking icicles hanging from someone's gutters or eaves? Most often, those are the most visible sign of ice dams. Essentially, an ice dam forms when heat from the interior of your home escapes through your attic and into your roof. The heat melts any snow that has accumulated on your roof.

    As the snow melts, it rolls down the roof until it makes it to the eaves, where there is no attic to provide heat. There, the melted snow re-freezes into ice. This is the start of that very long icicle, but it's not the icicle that's the problem.

    Why Are Ice Dams a Problem?

    Ice will continue to accumulate on your roof as long as heat is melting the snow on your roof. As that ice accumulates, it can back up under the shingles of your log home's roof. Once under the shingles, the ice will again be exposed to the heat escaping from your attic. The heat causes the ice to melt, and that water will then leak into the sub-roofing, and eventually into your attic. If left unchecked, ice dams can cause major water damage, a serious issue for log homes in particular.

    Since water damage can be so detrimental to log homes, it's important to stop ice dams before they start. Here are a few ways to prevent ice dams, and a few ways to deal with them if it's too late for you to get ahead of them this winter:

    Preventing Ice Dams

    There's really only one cause of ice dams, and it's heat escaping through your roof. Here's how to prevent them, before they even start building up:

    Make Sure Your Roof Is Insulated and Your Attic is Properly Ventilated

    As long as you have proper air flow throughout your home, ice dams shouldn't be a problem. If you're worried about ice dams, or you had ice dams last year and are hoping to get ahead of them this year, consider adding more insulation.

    You can hire an expert to spray insulation in your home's attic, or, depending on your DIY skills and your log home, you may be able to peel back the existing insulation and add more where you find cracks.

    Check out our previous blog for tips to find air leaks; this can also help you find problem spots in your attic that need repairing.

    Clean the Gutters

    Another good way to prevent ice dams is to make sure your gutters are clean. Gutters full of debris and fallen leaves can make ice dams worse, as they won't allow any melted snow to flow through them and away from your home. Instead, the debris will cause a blockage in your gutters, allowing water to collect and causing more damage.

    Consider a Metal Roof

    If you're just building your log home, or if you have plans to replace your log home's roof in the near future anyway, you may consider a metal roof. If you've had problems with ice dams in the past, a metal roof can help, just because it eliminates nearly all friction and allows snow buildup to simply slide right off your home.

    Unlike asphalt shingles, with a metal roof there's very little for melted snow to grab onto when it re-freezes, which means it has a hard time building up. Additionally, metal roofs are far less porous than asphalt roofs, so even if your attic is losing heat, there's a smaller chance for melted water to seep through it into your home.

    What To Do About Existing Ice Dams

    If you didn't know about ice dams, or weren't able to stay ahead of them this year, you still have options. While it'll be in your best interest to re-insulate your log home's attic next year, there are a few ways to eliminate, or at least mitigate the effects of ice dams this year:

    Heat Tape

    Low-power heat tape is a good way to try and stop ice dams from forming on a log home with an asphalt roof. The tape adheres to your roof and is powered by electricity. If you get the low-power ones, you can save yourself a bit of money on your electric bill.

    Heat tape essentially warms the area where an ice dam would form, causing the snow to fall off the roof, rather than form icicles on your eaves. This stops ice from building up and causing snowmelt to seep into your roof.

    Heat tape isn't a long-term solution, but it can work for a season until you can get your attic properly insulated and ventilated.

    Snow Stops

    Snow stops are made specifically for metal roofs. They clamp to the eave of your roof, and just as their name suggests, stop snow from building up on your eaves and forming ice dams. Again, these are temporary solutions, but they can help you avoid water damage in your log home for at least a season if you're having problems.

    *Please note that snow stops are only made for metal roofs, and shouldn't be used on asphalt roofs unless specifically stated.

    In the end, the only way to completely avoid ice dams on your log home is to bump up the insulation in your home and make sure your attic is ventilating air properly. We all know that major water damage can wreak havoc on a log home, so keep yours safe by addressing ice dams before they form.

    If you have questions about avoiding ice dams or repairing water damage caused by an ice dam, be sure to talk to the professionals at Timeless Wood Care Products. Our team of experts can help you find the right solution and product to repair any winter damage your log home may have sustained. Give us a call at (800) 564-2987 or contact us online today.

  • Finding and Blocking Air Leaks For an Energy Efficient Log Home

    From Tech Tip: Finding Air Leaks

    Winter arrived quickly this year, and if you're like us, you might still be finishing up some of your log home winterizing chores. From pulling in the garden hose to digging out snow shovels and winter gear, it's just about time to turn on the heat and curl up for the snowy season. To make sure your log home is as energy efficient as possible this winter, you may want to add checking for air leaks to your log home maintenance list this winter.

    Though log homes are naturally energy efficient, as your home settles and ages, it can occasionally develop minor cracks in the chinking, and around windows and doors that can lead to air leaks. Though they're usually minor, air leaks can let out the heat you're using to keep your home comfortable, and they can pull in cold air, causing draughts and chilly spots in your house. To keep your log home energy efficient this winter, you'll want to find and block those air leaks. Luckily, early winter is the best time to find them!

    How to Find Air Leaks

    There are a number of ways to seek out air leaks, and they're actually easiest to find when it's about 20° colder outdoors than indoors. This is because you can easily feel with your hands the places in walls and around windows and doors that are letting in the cold air.

    Warm Water Method

    The first and least expensive way to find air leaks is to simply go around your house with a bucket of warm water, a bit of chalk, and a ladder. Dip your hand in the warm water, and wave your wet hand past the interior walls slowly, about 6 inches from actually touching the wall. You should be able to feel any cold air leaks coming through the walls or windows. Mark air leaks with a spot of chalk, so you can come back and fix them up later.

    Box Fan Method

    If you have a box fan, an even more effective way to identify air leaks in your log home is to turn it into an exhaust fan. Place the fan in a window or door, blowing outwards. Cover any remaining openings in the window or door with plastic sheeting. The fan will draw any cold air coming from air leaks into your home, making it easier to find them. Again, mark any found air leaks with chalk, so you can repair them later.

    While this method can cool down your house quickly, it's better to have a chilly home for a few hours than to waste a lot of money and energy heating a home that's letting your warm air escape all winter.

    Infrared Camera

    The most effective way to identify air leaks in a log home is to use an infrared camera. Though these can be pricey, they show you exactly where air leaks are coming from, and make it easy for you to tell when you've effectively blocked a leak, or if cold air is still coming through. If you have an infrared camera, you need only to turn it on and pan it around your house. Any change in color will identify the parts of your home that are warm, and which are significantly cooler.

    How to Block Air Leaks in Log Homes

    Now that you've identified the problem areas in your log home, it's time to put a stop to them before winter settles in for good. The best way to seal off air leaks is to take a two-pronged approach: first, sealing the exterior, and then caulking interior leaks where necessary.

    Sealing Log Home Exterior

    To stop air leaks in their tracks, go to the source. Air leaks start at the exterior of your log home and work their way inside. If it's not too cold out yet, or you get a couple of warm days over 40° F, you can use Energy Seal or Conceal to seal out the cold weather. This will also help avoid any water leaks that can occur if the air leak gets bigger.

    Maintenance Caulking Interior

    If it's too cold to seal the exterior of your home, you can work to caulk problem areas from the interior as well. Simply apply caulk to the leak to temporarily block it. Then, when you have a chance, you can seal the exterior as well for a more permanent fix.  

    Always be sure to double check that your sealing has effectively blocked an air leak. Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the exterior side of an air leak, as they can be as far as 7 inches from the leak on the inside of our log home. If you can, work with one person indoors, and one person outdoors to make sure that your exterior sealing is actually stopping the leak indoors.  

    Now that you've blocked the air leaks in your log home, you can rest comfortably this winter knowing your log home is as efficient, and well-heated as possible. And if you need any supplies to finish the job, from caulk to exterior seal, be sure to check out the wide selection at Timeless Wood Care Products!

  • The Anatomy of A Tree — And Why It Matters for Log Homeowners

    People in the log home construction industry often throw around terms like hardwood and softwood, but there isn't much information out there that really breaks down the differences and educates people about the parts of a tree we use for the log homes we find so beautiful and timeless. In case you've been wondering about what really makes up a log home, and what parts of a tree are used in the construction of your log home, here's exactly what you need to know.

    We'll start with the most common question: What's the difference between hardwood and softwood?


    The term "hardwood" refers to wood and logs that come from trees that shed their leaves in the winter. Maple, oak, poplar, and other trees with broad leaves that usually drop off in the winter are considered hardwood trees. On average, hardwood trees have a higher density and hardness than softwoods do.


    Softwood trees are perhaps better known as evergreens. Most softwood that you see in home construction comes from trees with needles that remain on the tree even through winter. Spruce, pine, fir, and hemlock are all great examples of softwood trees commonly used in log homes.

    Generally, softwood trees are softer and have a lower density than hardwood trees, but it's important to remember that hardness of all wood types is measured on a spectrum, and it's possible to have a very hard softwood tree that's denser than a very soft hardwood tree. Measuring and understanding hardness across different tree species can be a bit confusing, but now at least you know the basic differences between hardwood and softwood.

    Anatomy of the Tree

    In the construction of a log home, only certain parts of a tree are used. To understand which parts of the tree are used in construction, and why, it's important to understand what the parts are in the first place. Every tree is made up of at least four discernable layers. (Most trees have more than this, but these four general layers are the most relevant to the log home building process). Those four layers are called bark, cambium, sapwood, and heartwood. Each layer serves a different purpose for the tree and has varying degrees of usefulness for log home construction. Let's dive into each layer:


    This isn't exactly rocket science, but the bark is the outer layer of the tree. It's usually very hard and durable, and it functions to protect the tree from all sorts of potential hazards, like insects, fire, and abrasions, and it helps the tree keep moisture inside the trunk. Think of bark sort of like human skin, keeping the complicated inner systems separated from the outside.

    When it comes to construction, bark is always removed from logs before they're used to build a home.


    Cambium is a thin layer just below the bark that facilitates the majority of a tree's growth. Cambium must also be removed from a tree before the wood can be used for construction, because it retains a lot of moisture, and provides an attractive home for insects and other pests. Without the cambium and bark layers, wood will dry much more quickly and will be less susceptible to insect infestations.


    After the cambium, you'll find the living sapwood within a tree. If you cut out a cross section of a tree, sapwood would make up the majority of a tree's rings. It's typically a lighter color than the thin layer of cambium and is easily distinguished from the rough texture of the bark. All wood within a tree is first formed as sapwood, and this is the part of the tree that conducts water from the tree's roots out to the leaves, and that stores the nutrients the leaves generate from photosynthesis.

    Sapwood is moist and contains many nutrients that make it highly susceptible to decay and insect attack. This is why any home construction materials made from the sapwood of a tree must be dried thoroughly and treated with chemicals before they're suitable to build your home.


    Finally, at the very center of the oldest trees, you'll find the wood that is no longer living — called heartwood. Heartwood contains a high concentration of naturally occurring pesticides, making it resistant to insects and decay. Heartwood is only found in older trees; the older the tree, the more heartwood it will contain.

    Centuries ago, most people only built their log homes from heartwood. They would select the oldest, widest trees, hew off all of the sapwood, and construct homes with "hand-hewn" logs. Because the heartwood is naturally resistant to pests and decay, many of those homes built, even those constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries, still exist. Today, because of the overharvesting of trees in earlier industrial decades, it is virtually impossible to obtain logs with a significant amount of heartwood.

    The modern log home is primarily constructed of sapwood that is felled, dried, treated and cured. Then, we treat log homes with borate products and stains that make them impervious to infestations and inclement weather, ensuring our modern log homes can last for years to come.

    So there you have it! The anatomy of a tree — bark, cambium, sapwood, and heartwood, and what we do with each layer of the tree to make it into the rustic log homes America has long been in love with.

    Whether you prefer hardwood or softwood, you can't beat a log home for charm and character. If you're building a new log home, or you're looking to take care of an older log home you love, Timeless Wood Care Products has everything you need to keep your log home looking beautiful for years to come. Check out the products we have to offer and don't hesitate to give us a call at (800) 564-2987 with any questions about maintaining your log home or cabin.

  • Easy Renovations to Improve Your Log Home's Value

    Whether you're fixing up to sell now, or you're just preparing for the future, log home renovations can be extremely rewarding. You'd be surprised at how a few, relatively small fixes can boost your log home's value, especially these days when more and more people are seeing the benefit and character of a log home.


    If you're looking for a few simple log home renovations to boost your log home's value, you've come to the right place. Here are five renovations that won't take too much work, and can seriously improve the amount your home is worth.

    #1 New Windows and Doors

    Installing new, energy efficient windows and doors can mean value in two ways. 1) You'll save money on those energy bills, because they retain the heat or air conditioning you use to keep your home comfortable. 2) They'll boost your home's value. New windows and doors look good, and they perform well, which are both major selling points. Even if you're not selling — these are log home renovations that will improve your log home's overall worth.

    #2 Energy Efficient Appliances

    In the same vein, energy-efficient appliances can help improve your log home's value when you're renovating. New home buyers love to see new appliances, and they're also great for you while you're still living in your log home. Again, energy efficient appliances will save you money on those energy bills, because they take less electricity to run, and they'll look really good on a realtor's sell sheet as well.

    #3 Reapply Log Cabin Stain

    Looking for some extra curb appeal? A fresh coat of paint or stain can go a long way, and it won't cost you more than a few cans of stain and a weekend. Beyond the fresh color on your home, a quality log stain can help protect your house from the elements. It seals in the wood, repelling water and any other elements, ensuring your log home remains beautiful and safe for years to come. That adds a lot in value, and in peace of mind.

    #4 Hardwood Floors

    If there's one surefire way to make sure your log home's value goes up, install hardwood floors. Sure, it might not be the easiest renovation on this list, but compared to a full kitchen overhaul or a master bedroom re-do, it's still a pretty small renovation. When people think of log homes, they think of hardwood just about everywhere, which means they're willing to pay for it. The added bonus is in the longevity of hardwood floors. They can last for decades, and they look beautiful. A key selling point that's functional, and that boosts your log home's value.

    #5 Give the Kitchen a Touchup

    If a kitchen renovation isn't in the budget, consider a touchup. You'd be surprised at how much of a difference a few small changes can make. Painting your cabinets, changing out your countertops for quartz or marble, and even just changing the hardware on your cabinetry can give you a new look, and a higher value. The kitchen is the best room in your log home to renovate for a high return on your investment, and even a small change can make a big difference.


    If you're looking to renovate your log home to improve it's value, whether for your own benefit or to sell later down the road Timeless has all the materials you need! We've got construction tools, maintenance products, stain and sealant. Give us a call at 800-564-2987, stop in, or check out our website!

  • Maintaining Wood Shingles and Shakes

    Wood roof shingles and shakes have long been touted as a classic style for many homes. They’re well known for their energy efficiency, resistance to storms, durability, and of course their natural beauty. Offered in a variety of colors and styles, many people, and especially log home owners, love their wood shingle or shake roof, but it’s good to know that these types of roofs do take a little bit more work.

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  • Avoiding Exterior Wall Blushing On a Log Home with Lifeline Advance TopCoat

    Spring and fall are often when many log home owners seal and refinish their exterior walls. It's one of those chores that tends to get wrapped up in either spring cleaning, or prepping your log home for the upcoming harsh winter season. If you refinish your log home's exterior walls every few years — good for you. You're helping to extend the life, quality, and exterior beauty of your log home, and you'll have fewer problems with your home in the future. But, if you usually apply a top coat, and you've noticed it turning an odd shade of white from time to time, here's what you need to know.

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  • Tips on Designing Your Next Log Home

    If you've decided you want to build a log home, congratulations! Whether it's a summer cabin on the lake or a year-round residence in the mountains, you can't go wrong with a log home. They're well insulated, sturdy, and there's no beating the classic look of a traditional log home. Once you've decided it's time to build though, you'll want to start designing. Since that can be an overwhelming process when you first start, we thought we'd give you a few tips to get started designing your log home:

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  • 5 things you didn't know about log homes

    In the US, log homes are fairly common. In most regions of the country, forests are plentiful, offering up an ideal renewable resource for building, and many Americans just love the rustic, natural feel a log home can provide. Log homes have a long history and while they're definitely a favorite homestyle today, there's a lot you might not know about them. Whether you have a log home, or you just really like them, you'll love these 5 awesome facts you may not have known about America's favorite home!

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