Maintaining Your Cabin
Now that you have the cabin you have wanted for so long, here are some simple maintenance solutions we have found that will preserve the look of your cabin for years to come. Maintaining your Zook Structures Cabin is very important, but keep in mind that this information can be helpful to you no matter what structure you have. Whether you own a log home or are looking into a kit, you will need to know how to care for it to get the most out of your investment.
Should you choose to go with a kit, keep in mind the first coat will not be included. You can sometimes get the manufacturer to do it for a charge and from that point on you will want to use a similar staining schedule as we recommend for our log cabins.
Keeping your cabin looking as beautiful as the day it arrived isn't really that hard, but just like anything else, it takes a little effort.
In order to preserve the natural beauty of your cabin, you will need to re-stain the exterior from time to time.
The original stain on your cabin is a soy-oil based stain and it gives you a professional grade finish from soybean oil, which is a natural, quickly renewable resource. It is so environmentally friendly that it has no hazmat disposal concerns and does not require any special respiratory protection during application.
It is highly recommended that you re-stain your cabin after 1 year. When we apply your first coat of stain at the factory, it does not set in as deep as you need. So to get the full effect of the natural penetrating beauty, wait nearly a full year, then apply a second full coat of stain. By this time, your cabin will have aged just enough to let this second stain soak in and really last.
After that, we suggest that you repeat this process every 2-5 years. The length of time will vary based on exposure to direct sunlight and weather conditions.
The more sunlight your cabin gets and the crueler the environment, the more frequently you may want to stain it.
We recommend that when you re-stain your building, that you spray it first and back-brush it in to make sure that you get the most out of your efforts.
For more information on this stain take a look at www.ecoprocote.com.
Insiders Buyers Tip:Dave from Zook Structures suggests, "We have our stain mixed locally for our own custom color. If you would like we can include the stain that you will need for the first application when your building is shipped. Many of our customers have chosen to do that rather than track down stain for themselves when the time comes."
Make sure that if your cabin is located in an area where the temperature drops below freezing that you either leave a small amount of heat on, or blow all of the water out of your pipes.
Make sure if you are blowing out all the water that you do not forget about the hot water heater.
EcoProcote Timber Soy ~available at Keystone Woodfinishing
"Cozy Brown~Timber Soy" color ~ product # 020608
phone: (717) 286-5305 ask for Mike Zimmerman
For Alternate products we would also recommend:
Olympic Maximum (www.olympic.com) ~available at Lowes
Toner or Semi-Transparent Stain
"Cedar Naturaltone" color
Sikkens SRD (www.sikkens.us) ~available at most paint stores
"Natural Oak" Color
Woodguard ~available at Blairstown Distributors (www.blairtowndistributors.com)
"Tamarack" Color, Phone: (800) 524-1093
All of these alternatives are deep penetrating oil based stains and their colors are similar to the original product on your cabin. All four of these stains could be used for the restaining process and provide excellent protection and water resistance.
Note: Your cabin will darken slightly with each application.
It is important to make an effort not to track over your wood floors with dirty shoes, or boots. When the dirt, stones and sand build up in the soles they can be left around the cabin. Over time feet grind across them acting almost as sandpaper and can damage the finish on your flooring. Simply taking your shoes off at the door can increase the life and beauty of your floor!
Your cabin's finished interior will come with a clear coat finish. This gives the wood of your interior a beautiful, bright glow, while at the same time making cleaning up very easy.
You can clean your walls and floors with a gentle household cleaner and a wet rag. You may find that some wood floor cleaners will work very well and help your floor to maintain its original shine.
Here are some simple how-to's about caring for hardwood floors. This is an easy how-to with good basic information for every cabin owner.
- Sweep wood floors often with a soft, fine bristle broom.
- Vacuum once or twice a week to remove dirt and sand. Use a soft brush attachment to minimize scratching.
- Since water is a wood floor's worst enemy, get rid of water right away! Remove wet spills ASAP with soft towels or a wet/dry vacuum, then dry thoroughly.
- Use a very dry damp mop when mopping polyurethane wood floors, since excess water can seep into seams and ruin a wood floor.
- Consider using carpet runners (with non-skid pads) over wood floors in high traffic areas.
- Vacuum area rugs and runners often so dirt doesn't filter down through the weave and scratch the wood underneath.
- If possible, do not wear heavy shoes or high heels on hardwood floors, as some heels can cause dents.
- Never drag furniture or other objects across a wood floor. Instead, clean the floor thoroughly to remove dust and grit, then use "gliding" furniture pads underneath the piece to aid sliding it across the floor.
- Install floor mats at each entrance so you don't track in dirt from the bottoms of shoes.
- Be sure to follow manufacturer recommendations to treat flooring scratches and dents. If an area of the finish is damaged by water, it may be difficult to fix it.
- Use furniture pads to place under table and chair legs and on the feet of dressers and armoires. They can be purchased at a local hardware store or home center.
- Some floors may require periodic waxing and buffing. Get recommendations from the manufacturer for the specific procedures for your floor.
- Use area rugs in high traffic areas.
- Always remove spills promptly. While small drips of water may not harm the floor, be sure not to let excess amounts of water sit on the floor.
- Find out cleaning and care requirements for your specific floor from the manufacturer.
The maintenance of your cabin is an important part of keeping it as beautiful as the day it was delivered. If you have any maintenance questions or need help tracking down stain to put on your cabin, give us a call at (610) 593-4556.
With a little TLC you can keep your cabin looking as good as it did on day 1 and continue enjoying life.