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In this issue

Getting Ready for Winter
By Vince Palmere

It may be hard to believe but cold winter weather will soon be upon us. Now that the summer heat is over it is a great time to get outdoors and spend a little time preparing your home for those cold months ahead.

The first thing to do is to give your exterior walls a good cleaning. In addition to making your home look great, a wash-down with Log Wash will get rid of the dust, dirt and grime that may be covering those areas that may need a bit of maintenance. Freezing weather is especially hard on log exteriors and a little bit of upkeep now may prevent costly repairs next spring. Once your walls are clean go around your home looking for signs of worn stain and failing sealant. If the color of your stain is still bright and there’s no sign of graying wood, a coat of Lifeline Advance Clear Gloss or Satin topcoat may be all that you need.

On the other hand if the stain is beginning to look faded or dingy, you should consider applying another coat of stain and then apply the Lifeline Advance topcoat. Don’t forget, the topcoat is an integral part of the system and will help protect your home and extend the life of your stain.

While you are at it look for any new checks that may have opened up, especially on the top half of round logs where water can enter. We recently improved the ease of applying Check Mate by making it more user friendly and packaging it in standard 11-ounce caulk tubes. Check Mate comes in a variety of colors and is the perfect solution for closing up those potentially damaging checks. (See an example of applying Check Mate on pages 2-3.)

Properly sealed joints and gaps go a long way in preventing cold drafts during the winter months. Just because you did a good job sealing up your home a couple of years ago does not mean you don’t have to check for air or water entry points again. Log homes are in a constant state of movement and new gaps at butt joints or between logs will appear every so often.

In these days of rapidly raising fuel prices it is especially important to keep cold air from entering your home. Energy Seal is specifically designed for this purpose. You can pick a color that matches your exterior or interior color scheme and make your home warm and comfortable during the winter in addition to saving money on your heating bills.

One last thing about getting ready for winter, many log home owners have fireplaces or wood stoves that they use to create an attractive atmosphere or as a source of heat. Typically fall is the time of year that most people build their inventory of firewood to carry them through the winter.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when storing firewood. Never store firewood on your porch or deck or right next to your home. One thing is for certain, along with the firewood comes a whole community of insect pests. Although some like wood roaches, pill bugs, centipedes and ground beetles are harmless, infestations of wood boring beetles, termites and frequently carpenter ants can start from stored firewood piles.

Store your firewood at least two feet away from the side of your home and keep it off of the ground. This helps keep the firewood dry and allows air to circulate throughout the woodpile. When you bring firewood inside only bring in as much as you plan to burn in a day. Firewood stored by the fireplace may look attractive but once the logs warm up and the bugs start to emerge you may think otherwise.

Log homes and autumn leaves seem to go together. Enjoy the season and don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any questions about maintaining your log home.

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Maintenance Log Home Cleaning
By Sean Gahan

Periodically cleaning your exterior log walls is an important step in maintaining the appearance and durability of your finish. The exterior surfaces of your home are a settling ground for dust, pollen, dirt and other foreign matter that dull the surface of the finish and harbors mold growth. A light cleaning once or twice a year keeps your home looking beautiful and helps prolong the life of your exterior finish.

So, what tools do you need? Not many. A garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle, a pump up garden sprayer and a long handled, soft bristle brush or broom is all that required. The next question is what cleaner are you going to use?

The objective in cleaning your finished logs is to remove dirt, grime, pollen, and surface mold and mildew from the surface. In order to accomplish this, cleaners come in a variety of formulations, some of which work better than others for performing a specific task.

Soaps and detergents do a good job in removing dirt and grime but do little to remove biological organisms (i.e. mold and mildew). Many people elect to use industrial and household cleaners (i.e. household bleach) for cleaning their homes.

Bleach is an effective in sterilizing and removing mold and mildew; however, many household and industrial cleaners are either strong organic solvents or highly alkaline and/or corrosive with a pH above12.

These types of cleaners can have detrimental effects on existing finishes, especially if they are left on the surface of the finish too long or if they are applied at a concentration greater than recommended.

Although the damage might not be visibly evident at the time, the use of these cleaners can reduce the longevity of the finish by increasing the rate of erosion. If you insist on using these type cleaners be sure to follow the directions for use on the label. With these facts in mind, we at Perma-Chink Systems have a cleaner that would perform all of the functions of a typical cleaner without disrupting the look or performance of our finishes.

Perma-Chink Systems’ Log Wash is an acidic (phosphoric acid) liquid concentrate, maintenance cleaner for existing stained surfaces. This cleaner removes dirt, grime, pollen, and surface mold and mildew without harming the existing finish as long as the finish is in good condition. Just add one (1) cup of Log Wash concentrate to one (1) gallon of water (warm water preferred) and stir.

Apply the diluted Log Wash solution to the logs with a pump-up sprayer starting at the bottom of the wall and work your way up. Work only an area big enough so that the cleaning solution is on the wall for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose (a pressure washer is NOT recommended) from top to bottom.

Remember, wash from the bottom up, rinse from the top down. This will help prevent blotches and drip marks.

Each gallon of diluted Log Wash solution will clean 150 to 200 square feet of wall area. Log Wash concentrate is available in one (1) gallon containers.

Once your home is clean and dry it’s a good time to do a thorough inspection of your finish. If a light cleaning has removed sections of stain it may be time to consider a maintenance coat of stain. If there are areas where the wood is gray or discolored, perhaps it is time to remove what remains of the existing finish and start over again. We’ll address what’s involved in preparing your logs for a new coat of stain in a future article.


  • A periodic gentle cleaning will help extend the life of your finish.
  • Never mix any product containing ammonia with bleach.
  • Clean from the bottom up, rinse from the top down.
  • Thoroughly rinse any cleaner off the wood.

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All the Way From Norway
Tronn Roang and his son Ingvar attended the Perma-Chink Systems workshop this June in Redmond, Washington. Trong and Invar own and operate a masonry company in Norway and own a vacation log home. They are interested in becoming our distributor in Norway.

From Russia With Love
INKOM Co. has received a Certificate of Recognition from the Russian Government for introducing Perma-Chink Systems environmentally friendly products to the Russian market. INKOM Co., based in Vladivostok, is a leading manufacturer and supplier of log homes in Russia and distributes Perma-Chink Systems products. All PCS products are manufactured in the USA and are Environmentally Friendly!


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Carpenter Bee Survey Results
By Vince Palmere

In the last edition of our newsletter we requested information about the effect of our gloss topcoat on reducing carpenter bee activity. Out of over 20 responses by letter, phone and e-mail only two reported any penetration of the gloss topcoat by carpenter bees. One home went from 20 to 30 holes the previous year down to 2 this past year and the other went from over 20 holes to 4 holes.

This confirms our suspicion that the Lifeline Advance Gloss Exterior Topcoat appears to provide a finish to the wood that carpenter bees do not find very attractive. That is not saying that the gloss finish repels carpenter bees. It does not. In fact most people reported the continued presence of carpenter bees buzzing around their home looking for a place to drill. Although bees would occasionally land on the gloss topcoat, they just did not drill through it.

So what is going on? First and foremost, the Lifeline Advance Gloss topcoat is not a pesticide nor does it have any pesticidal properties. It appears to form a coating on the surface of the wood that carpenter bees are reluctant to drill through.

Why? It could be the glossy look or the hard, slick finish. At this point we just don’t know. Our new Lifeline Advance Satin topcoat has the same polymer base as Lifeline Advance Gloss but since it has been out for less than a year we don’t yet know what effect is has on carpenter bee activity.

In addition to the responses relating to our gloss topcoat we had a number of people who passed along some of their experiences with carpenter bees or wanted to know how best to control them. Several people told us that although they sprayed a pesticide into the holes, carpenter bees later emerged, in some cases even after the holes were plugged. How can this happen?

If we take a look at a cross section diagram of a carpenter bee gallery (Figure 1) we can see how. After drilling out a four to five inch long gallery, the female carpenter bee lays an egg in back of the gallery then places a plug of pollen she has gathered to form a chamber (A). She continues doing this until there are four to six egg chambers in place. After a few days the egg hatches and a small white grub emerges (B). The grub feeds on the pollen plug for a few weeks (C) until it is ready to pupate (D) and change into an adult bee (E).

If you look at the way the gallery is constructed you can see why spraying a pesticide in the hole may not kill all of the developing bee larvae. The pollen plugs prevent the pesticide from getting to the rear chambers. So before you spray any pesticide into a carpenter bee hole be sure to run a stiff wire all the way to the back of the gallery to break through any pollen plugs. That way all of the larval chambers will be exposed to the pesticide.

Thanks to everyone who responded to our request for information and as we discover more information about carpenter bees we’ll pass it along in future newsletters.

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When Only the Best Will Do...
By Ken Bateson

What you see pictured below is Perma-Chink Systems new product identification plaque. It is made of cast aluminum and finished with a beautiful and durable bronze and black coating. It features our company logo, website address and date.

The purpose of the plaque is to proudly display the fact that the highest quality finish has been applied to the structure. In other words, on occasion, someone seeing such a beautiful and durable finish will wonder what products were applied to achieve such a high quality result.

The origins of labels, plaques, logos, brands, uniforms, flags, tags, insignias, trademarks and colors harkens back to the earliest days of warfare. It was not uncommon before the age of military uniforms and heraldry to put someone to the sword or mace without knowing what side the combatant was on. And soon, it came to pass that awareness and recognition of identity was in everyone’s best interest during a life or death struggle.

Since literacy was the exclusive domain of the aristocracy, a quick means of identification by the common uneducated man was needed that didn’t require the ability to read. Hence, flags on ships and colors on race horses.

On the other hand, some objects didn’t lend themselves to flags and uniforms. So brands, yes as in branding of free range cattle, presented a quick graphic means of identification. This of course led to other graphic techniques such as trade marks, logos, insignias, tags, labels and plaques.

The purpose of the Perma-Chink Systems plaque is to identify our finishes on all the model homes we have provided for log home manufacturers and dealers. You may have the opportunity to examine the application of a color you have been considering on a model nearby.

If so, take a close look for the Perma-Chink Systems plaque to be sure you are evaluating the best exterior finish available to you today. Although intended for commercial use, Perma-Chink Systems plaques are available to discriminating home owners that wish to show their pride when only the best will do.

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D o n' t M i s s O u t
Application Workshops Fall 2005

October 15 - Sevierville, Tennessee

November 5 - Redmond, Washington

November 5 - Stevensville, Montana

November 19 - Rifle, Colorado

If you would like a referral to an experienced contractor to perform an inspection, contact your nearest Perma-Chink Systems office.


  • New product information sheets and MSDS are available on our website.
  • Please check Promotional Sale for Makita Tools under Our Tools link.

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Copyrighted 2006.

Website Calico Communications & CG