I have found through the years what seems to be a common thread among most newly constructed log homes, and log homeowners who seek truthful answers concerning their log home restoration.
Most, if not all of the log homes are sealed with a clear sealer or a clear sealer with toner added to give the log home the "natural look." Most are only 1 to 2 years old and are turning black in places. The logs are looking gray as well as a substantial amount of wood discoloration caused from water splashback along the bottom run of logs at or near the decks and at the dormers along the roofline.
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Most, if not all of the log homeowners like the "natural" look of the logs when first sealed and want to keep that look. Most expected the sealers to last longer than 1 or 2 years, and most if not all are dissatisfied with the overall performance.
After understanding what a "natural" or "clear" sealer is, you may want to reconsider what to put back on your log home or log cabin. If a clear has been applied to your logs, it is not a stain, but rather a sealer. Clear sealers do little more than repel water to some degree. Although it may provide some protection from water, it can actually do more harm than good by sealing water in as well as sealing water out.
Actually, UV rays are far more detrimental to the logs than water. Therefore blocking the sun's rays is of greater importance than blocking the water.
Blocking sun rays or "UV" rays is accomplished by adding Iron Oxide pigment to the stain or sealer. The pigment not only blocks UV rays but also reflects the UV rays as well as adds color to the coating. The more pigment that is added, the darker the color. Therefore, the darker the color, the more protection from UV rays. So if the darker colors provide the most protection, then it stands to reason, the lighter colors (or clear) provide the least protection.