Subject: Help (log home)
Date: Sat, 16 May 1998

Hi. We have a problem with our log home--dry rot has already started destroying some of our logs. We have decided to side the house with steel siding but we are concerned that the rot will keep on going through the logs even though we have covered it. We are interested in doing something prior to siding the house--which is scheduled to occur the first of June. Thanks for any info you can give us. We sure do hope you have a product to solve our problem. Thanks a lot. Eileen and Varron J., Pocatello, ID.

You are correct about the rot: It will continue to destroy the wood underneath the steel siding.

What you do will depend on how much rot you have and how accessible it is. Curing rot in log homes is not a quick process, usually, because you have to get the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer(CPES) into the rotted areas, and the rotted wood should be reasonably dry. You find out what you are dealing with by drilling test/access holes, determining how bad the wood is by how quickly the drill sinks into the log and by looking at what the drill pulls out. The larger the drill holes the better.

Having isolated the areas in which you have rot, you then have two choices. 1) Flood the holes with the CPES, allow it to cure as long as possible, and then close the holes with wood bungs. The CPES will penetrate a long distance into the rotted wood, restore much if not all the structural strength of the wood, and make the CPES saturated wood highly rot resistant. 2) Cut away the face piece of the log and remove the rotted wood, saturate the area with the CPES, fill the area with an epoxy/sawdust filler, and replace the face piece (which was also saturated with the CPES).

It sounds to me that with a June steel siding coming up, that you are more or less obligated to look at option #1. It's disadvantage is that you can't see what's going on inside the log, but if the rot isn't too extensive this may be okay. In any case, flooding the logs with the CPES is a lot better than doing nothing and allowing the wood to continue to rot. There would be some lingering odor for awhile until the carrier solvents evaporate away. We had a family in Oregon use this method last September, trying to stabilize the wood before the winter rains came in. They just made it.