Can someone help this log homebuyer please?

----- Original Message -----
From: Patti
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2006 5:39 PM
Subject: inside of log home

[FONT=Arial][size=2][FONT=Arial][size=2]Hello, my husband and I are in the process of buying a log home. The inside of the home has NOT been sealed at all. Can you please tell me the reasons for why we should seal the inside of a log home with a finishing product?

*Thank you, *
Patti Katter


Patti, it appears that you may be from my old stompin’ grounds in NC
(Black Mountain).

There may be any number of log-home specific reasons to seal the inside walls. My response has to do with the reasons one would seal any wall . . .

Keeping it clean, disinfected. Minimized bug boring. Minimize wood darkening, water staining. Minimize the opportunity for organic growth to flourish (Smoky Mtns are named for the moisture in the air).

Hope this helps . . .

Do you know what kind of logs were used and how thick the walls/logs are?

Hardwood log homes typically would need more sealant than pine log homes. However, that still can vary between the type of hardwood and the type of pine.

If they used sugar pine, redwood, or any of the southern yellow pines (shortleaf, longleaf, loblolly, or slash), sealant would be less necessary than if they used, say, something like Douglas fir. If it’s pine, it’s probably one of the southern yellow pines since you’re really close to/part of the southern pine belt.

Depending on the size of the logs and the sap content, a simple weekly cleaning of the interior with Pinesol or something similar will have your home smelling good and protect the wood.

As with any exposed wood, though, diligent annual maintenance/inspection for termites and water damage is prudent.


Boiled linseed oil and turpentine. I forget the ratio of linseed to turpentine, but you want more turp so the linseed is carried into the wood. I believe you use boiled linseed rather than raw linseed as it will go rancid. This mixture will bring the colour of wood down slightly giving a nice warmth and richness to the wood. Raymond Wand Alton, ON

Sealing the logs too quickly can result in extensive checking(how old is the home?). The logs need to breathe and reach a balance with their environment(although cut down they are still a living organism). There are now several good products on the market that are easy to apply and will last on the interior for years but the choice of an interior treatment is totally that of the home owner. Some like the look and color of logs that have not been finished.

Russell is bang on “diligent annual maintenance/inspection is prudent”

Regards, Kelly

Sealing the inside of logs is not necessary, Patti. Insect, cold air and moisture infiltration of your home are issues that should have been addressed at the time of the design and construction of your log home.

Not all of these issues can be dealt with during an inspection. For instance weather-proof gaskets shoud have been installed between the logs as they were placed during construction, it is impossible to confirm the presence of these gaskets afterwards without invasive measures. The requirements will vary with the location, materials and construction methods used in your home.

Kenton Shapard