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Monthly Archives: June 2014

  • Why Log Homes are environmentally friendly

    Southland In the past few years, protecting the environment by “going green” has become an important issue in society. With so many people educating themselves about how to protect the environment, it’s surprising that a lot of people still don’t know how environmentally friendly log homes are. In this post, we’ll give you four reasons log homes are actually safe for the environment.

    Less is wasted during the process When building a log home, it’s easier for builders to find a use for all parts of the log. Scraps and leftover pieces can be made into smaller household items like furniture or fences, while bark and sawdust can be used for gardening or farming. For craftier homeowners, smaller pieces can easily be used for DIY projects. For examples of DIY projects, check out our Pinterest.

    Log homes use fewer materials than traditional homes Unlike traditional homes that have multiple components, such as drywall and insulation, log homes have one source for building material: logs. Logs provide structural support, insulation, and visual interest, making traditional home materials like paint and siding completely unnecessary.

    Log homes are made of more recyclable materials Since logs are a natural, renewable resource, they can easily be recycled. So, if you have materials left over that you don’t feel like turning into a DIY project, you can recycle them instead of throwing them away like you would with a traditional home.

    Log homes are more energy efficient than traditional homes When it comes to heating and cooling, log homes are much more energy efficient than traditional homes because logs naturally insulate themselves. So, in summer the walls of a log home absorb less heat, keeping the home cool, while in the winter they absorb more heat and hold it in the logs to slowly dispense warm air over time.

    While log homes are already fairly eco-friendly, Timeless Wood Care carries products to help your log home or building project be extra green.To learn about the environmentally friendly products we carry, give us a call today (800) 564-2987.

  • Carpenter Bee Identification, Damage they Cause, Removal and Control

    Identification

    Carpenter Bee Diagram

    In the late-spring and early summer, homeowners often notice large, bees hovering around the outside of their homes. These are probably carpenter bees, searching for mates and sites to construct their nests.

    At a glance, a carpenter bee resembles yellow and black female bumble bees, which are social and more closely related to honey bees. Closer observation reveals the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; bumblebees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.

    Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, often hovering in front of people who are near the nest. These males are harmless and they have no stingers. Since these bees are not social, there are no workers to protect the nest. Stings from females are painful, but rare.

    Damage They Cause

    Damage

    Carpenter bees will bore into wood and make a long tunnel for egg laying. They prefer to attack unpainted wood and commonly tunnel in eaves, window trim, fascia boards, siding, wooden shakes and decks. They will also go into painted wood especially if any type of start hole is present.

    New females reuse old tunnels year after year; they are also attracted to areas where other females are tunneling. Egg laying and tunneling occurs in the spring. Males hover around the tunnel entrance while the female tends the nest and lays eggs.

    This tunneling can destroy the wood and help the onset of wood rot and water damage. Another problem with carpenter bees living in your home is the attraction of Woodpeckers. Woodpeckers will feed on carpenter bees and their eggs, but in order for the woodpecker to feed on the bees and eggs they must peck out the wood to gain access to them.

    Carpenter Bee Removal and Bee Control

    Tunnels

    Dusting an insecticide into the tunnel opening is the best treatment for nests which have already been excavated. The hole should be left open for a few days after treatment to allow the bees to make contact with and distribute the insecticide throughout the nest gallery.

    After proper treatment the entrance hole should be plugged with a piece of wooden dowel, caulk, carpenter’s glue, or wood putty. This will protect against future utilization of the old nesting tunnels and reduce the chances of wood decay and/or wood rot.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent or deter carpenter bees long term. A reactive approach is required to keep carpenter bees from causing more damage to your structure. The best method is to treat the wood in the Spring with a residual pesticide. Also any new holes must be treated and filled as they appear.

  • Consequences of using chlorine bleach

    For many years the product of choice for cleaning bare wood surfaces was a solution of chlorine bleach and water, perhaps with some detergent or TSP (trisodium phosphate) added to help clean the wood. When correctly applied and well rinsed, bleach solutions can work fairly well most of the time. However household bleach does not come with a set of directions for using it on wood and even within the log home industry there is no agreement as to how to properly use bleach. Consequently homeowners as well as professional applicators end up misusing chlorine bleach solutions which can result in several problems with both the appearance and performance of the finish system. But even when used correctly chlorine bleach solutions can create discolorations that may not show up for weeks or months after a finish is applied.

    Chlorine bleach destroys lignin, a component of wood that hardens and strengthens the cell walls. Once the surface cellular structure loses its integrity film forming finishes like LIFELINE have no sound wood to bound to and can peel off. The picture at right is a typical example of what can happen when a high concentration of chlorine bleach is applied to a home. Before a new finish can be applied the damaged wood fibers must be physically removed by sanding, media blasting or aggressive pressure washing. If the bleach solution dried on the wood, sodium hypochlorite crystals will form in the top layer of wood. They are extremely difficult to dissolve and rinse away. If a water-based finish is applied over the bleach crystals it would be the same as trying to apply the finish on top of bleached wood that has not been rinsed, and problems with finish adhesion will probably re-occur.

    Discolorations The use of bleach can cause several types of discolorations on both bare and finished wood. If the wood is bare any discolorations that may appear can usually be corrected either chemically or by physically removing the discolored wood. However if the discolorations show up after the finish has been applied the only way to eliminate them is to first remove the finish.

    Iron Tannate Stains These types of discolorations may appear days, weeks or even months after a finish is applied. They are the result of of bleach bringing tannins to the surface of the wood where they can then react miniscule steel particles remaining on the surface form the sawing, planing or milling process. The finish must be removed in order to treat these iron tannate discolorations with Oxcon oxalic acid.

    Brown Stains, Black Marks, Etc.

    All wood contains a multitude of chemical components. Some of them may be present in the sapwood, others in just the heartwood and still others throughout the entire tree. They can vary from species to species and even within the same species they can vary from log to log depending on the nutrients that may have been in the surrounding soil while the tree was growing. If the chemistry of the wood is not disrupted these components usually stay in their natural state but when subjected to highly alkaline chemicals like chlorine bleach they can become quite dark. This process may take several months to occur but, once the wood has discolored there is nothing that can be done without first removing the finish. Even then it may not be possible to completely remove these types of discolorations if they go deep into the wood.

    The best product that we've found for treating these discolorations once the finish is removed is a two cups per gallon solution of Log Wash. Although it may not completely eliminate the discolorations it may lighten them enough so that the use of a darker colored stain will hide them.

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