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Wednesday, June 20, 2012


So, how are the repairs to the house coming along? I’m glad you asked. The scaffolding was removed a couple of months ago. It’s nice to be able to see out the windows again. The area that was covered with the blue tarp has been repaired. The rotted areas were removed. The logs were treated to prevent further rot and insect damage. The rotted wood was replaced with new lumber. The areas were caulked and stained. Finally, a couple of clear coats of acrylic were applied to give it that glossy look. All of the finishing materials were purchased from Perma-chink . Their materials are water-based and friendly to the environment. The cement paneling between the logs required caulking at all of the joints. The panels were primed and painted beige. I like the warm colors and the beige seems to blend in with the dark brown. The color of the roof will probably be a leaf green to go with the rest of the warm color scheme. The reasons we chose dark brown for the logs are as follows:
1.     It would have taken forever to get the old dark brownish-red finish off the logs.
2.     Matching the new wood (repairs) with the old wood would have been difficult.
3.     Removing all of the gray wood would have been time consuming.
4.     Dark colored stains hold up very well to the damaging effects of ultra-violet.
5.     The most important reason…Erika loves the color.
I’ve just begun to do the repairs to keep this house standing. It’s kind of like painting the Golden Gate Bridge…once you’re done with one end, it’s time to start over. I’m concentrating on the rotted areas, but with a full time job, it’s not an easy task. As soon as I thought I had taken care of most of the rot, I found a few more areas. Yes, it’s frustrating to say the least, but I’m becoming an expert at rotted log repair.
The rainy season has started in Japan, so the housework has moved inside. I have as much to do inside as I do outside. I learned that I shouldn’t move too far ahead when applying finishing coats to the interior surface of the logs. This is because of the heavy rains. I might find water stains seeping under the finish coats. That’s not a good thing.
The work inside requires patience. The old, white sealant must be removed. Then, foam rods are fitted into the cracks. The rods prevent a heavy buildup of sealant from forming when the sealant is applied. A thin layer of sealant is flexible and less likely to crack/ peel due to expansion and contraction. All of the water stains are carefully removed with a razor blade using a scraping motion. This method takes forever, but it prevents a blotchy appearance when a light colored stain is applied. Finally, a couple of clear coats of gloss acrylic are applied. The result is an interior surface that reflects light (creating a brighter room) and a surface that is easy to clean. Besides…Erika loves it. I wasn’t a big fan of gloss finishes until I tried it on this house. I’m hooked. The house sparkles and that’s the effect we were after. 


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