Determining Critical Numbers:
Our involvement in your project begins with a site visit to discuss your project, measure your structures, take digital photographs and study access routes, water availability, repair issues and other specific project concerns. From this information we determine the critical numbers and a work plan regarding your project. These critical numbers include surface area measurements of the main structure siding, garage, deck, soffits, face boards, handrails, spindles, posts and any other included surfaces. From these critical numbers we will determine an accurate cost for your project: we don’t estimate, we tell you precisely what the costs are with no unpleasant surprises later.
Repair and Restoration Projects:
Because of the custom nature of these services, specific project steps vary and will be itemized at time of quote. Surface refinishing projects are typically standardized and the detailed steps are itemized below.
If required, we will schedule an appointment to return to your home to test an unobtrusive area of the existing surface finish. This allows us to verify our choice of stripping compound and visually affirms the anticipated results. Most homes do not require this step but if it is required we perform the tests at no cost whatsoever to the homeowner.
The selection of sealant color is a matter of homeowner preference. The selection of sealant type is more a matter of practical considerations, and we will make recommendations based upon your specific project requirements. If applying a maintenance coating of an existing oil based finish, it is generally a simple matter of matching the original finish. If we are stripping an existing finish and applying a PermaChink® acrylic finish, we supply stain product samples at no cost for homeowner use during the color selection process. Deck surfaces, due to high traffic wear, are generally finished in a compatible oil based stain selected to compliment the log stain color.
Removal of the Existing Finish:
Finish removal is a critical step in the refinishing process, much like rust removal is essential in automotive bodywork, and can best be accomplished by either chemical or dry media stripping. The appropriate chemical stripping compound will dissolve and lift failed existing sealant to the surface, where properly regulated commercial pressure washing units wash away the emulsified finish. Chemical testing assures proper quality control standards are met during this important stage of the process. Dry media blasting (most often with recycled crushed glass media) will physically remove most finish treatments that do not respond to chemical stripping. Abrasive finish removal with a pressure washer or the use of chlorine bleach is never recommended for log home surface refinishing. We use only biodegradable, environmentally safe compounds to extract the existing sealant and brighten the wood. They are safe for plants and grasses, contain no dangerous acid or chlorine bleaching agents and eliminate both surface and latent mold/algae within the wood.
Refinishing Project Timetable:
Following the cleaning or stripping process, wood surfaces will dry typically 24-48 hours prior to sealant application. The wood is digitally metered as needed to assure proper moisture content prior to sealing. Because we use specialized equipment and employ multiple crews, most refinishing projects can be completed in about one week (depending upon weather conditions).
This naturally occurring element provides protection as a wood preservative and is toxic to insects that ingest it. Borate treatment is effective once the finish has been removed and bare wood is exposed, as Borate salts leach into the wood, and we offer Borate treatment as an optional wood preservative treatment for the homes that we strip.
Following the cleaning process, wood surfaces will thoroughly dry to a maximum of 12.5% moisture content prior to sealant application. Depending upon weather conditions, this may be as soon as 24-48 hours. The wood is digitally metered to assure proper moisture content prior to sealing. Because we use specialized equipment and employ multiple crews, most refinishing projects can be completed in about one week (depending upon weather conditions).
Additional Required Repairs:
Minor chinking, caulking, and spot repairs can be accomplished during the cleaning/stripping phase of the process if agreed upon ahead of time. Significant repairs should be discussed prior to project initiation for specific scheduling and quotation.
After masking windows, doors, and other areas that are not being sealed, primary application is by modified airless spray pumps that produce droplets of sealant rather than a cloud of mist. The airless pump simply delivers the liquid to the surface; actual application is by brushing the sealant into the wood for consistent application thickness and control. Edges and critical areas are finished by hand to assure quality application. Additionally, contact insecticide can be applied at no cost for carpenter bee and wood boring insect control.
Credit for Homeowner Involvement Labor:
For homeowners interested in active participation in the project, assistance labor can be credited against the final invoice. Details must be worked out prior to proposal acceptance; call to discuss.