Subject: Deteriorated outdoor support logs
Date: Tue, 26 May 1998

We have a log home with a balcony on each end supported by six logs which go completely through the house. These logs are about forty feet long and stick out on each end of the house about 5 feet. Lack of proper treating has caused the logs to deteriorate. We are looking for a material of light viscosity and long cure time to soak into these logs so that we can rebuild the balconies. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Gary and Cecelia S.

Gary & Cecelia:

Well, the Clear Penetrating Epoxy (CPES) Sealer meets your requirements exactly. It is thin (about like diesel fuel when mixed 1:1), and takes days to cure. It penetrates a long way in soft or deteriorated wood. You should be getting dry weather in MO now, so it would be an appropriate time to consider drilling some injection holes and saturate the log-ends with CPES. The holes can later be filled with a mixture of our Layup & Laminating Resin and wood flour or sawdust, which will leave you with a light brown filler.

We'd suggest drilling the holes as large as is easily practical -- at least 1/2 inch. Drill them 5-7 inches apart, and watch the wood that comes out. Make sure it is reasonably dry. If not, continue drilling but leave the holes open so the wood can dry. If necessary, cover to keep out the rain. After injection of the CPES, you'll need to allow several weeks for all the carrier solvent to evaporate away and the epoxy to fully cure. Then you can fill the holes and you're done, except for any coating you may wish to apply. Since all the epoxy that counts will be inside the log, there is no need to consider the effect of UV light on the resin.

If there are large vacancies inside the logs, then these will have to be filled with a resin/sawdust mixture, which in your case would be particularly important since the logs are supporting the balconies. You may even want to consider following the CPES with pure L&L Resin, which also is slow-setting and very strong. Everything depends on what you see/feel when you drill the access holes.

It's hard to predict how much CPES you might need. Everything depends on how much the wood absorbs, and it should be injected freely (a turkey baster makes a fine and quick injection device). I would say that you will need at least the 2-gallon unit, and quite likely more. I'd suggest that you consider two of the 2-gallon units. It keeps just fine if left over as long as the caps are screwed back on the cans, but with a log home you're sure to find places to use it effectively.

Come back if you have more questions. We're happy to try and answer them.