Information about Kiln Drying

KILN-DRYING, IS IT IMPORTANT?

Without a doubt, kiln-drying is the most important step in the manufacturing of a log home. This critical process of reducing a log's moisture content ensures a quality product that will last over time. When administered properly, kiln-drying will not only remove excess moisture from the wood, it eliminates mold and fungi and provides a better base for stains and finishes. At Old Timer Log Homes, we understand the importance of kiln-drying and take great care to ensure the process is properly adminis- tered. With three kilns in operation, Old Timer dries its logs for a minimum of 30 days at temperatures that rise to 180 degrees, uniformly shrinking, sanitizing and stabilizing the logs. This period of time ensures that each log's moisture content has been reduced to 19% or less. This results in the removal of as much as 10,000 lbs. of water from a typical log home. Old Timer Log Homes is committed to manufacturing only strong, quality homes, and it is our goal to provide customers with the very best product available. Based on our knowledge and over 25 years of experience in the log home industry, we feel that we cannot provide the very best product without kiln-drying.

KILN-DRYING FACTS

  • Kiln-drying stabilizes the wood
  • Kiln-drying, before the milling of the logs, maintains the quality of the logs
  • Most checks occur during drying
  • Logs can be turned during the milling, placing checks in such a way as to maximize the best possible finish
  • Kiln-drying kills wood boring insects (beetles) and decay fungi (dead-standing pre-seasonallogs harbor both of these)
  • Kiln-drying sets the pitch and prevents pitch bleed
  • Kiln-dried logs are lighter, thereby saving in the cost of transportation
  • Wood insulates 6 times better that brick, 15 times better than concrete and 1,770 times better than aluminum .Logs have thermal mass due to cellular structure, bulk and thickness
  • Thermal mass in log material is the capacity to absorb, store and slowly release energyover time .Thermal mass provides significant energy-savings benefits by releasing heat back into the house when temperatures drop .Thermal mass performance oflog walls is an advantage to log home owners

KILN-DRYING PROCESS

  • Minimum of 30 days in the kiln is required
  • Temperatures that reach 180 degrees
  • Logs are monitored throughout the drying process according to our kiln-drying schedule.
  • When criteria has been met the logs are checked
  • A section of the log is cut and weighed.
  • A moisture meter (probe) is used to check moisture content
  • When the moisture level is achieved, the logs are ready to be milled
  • Logs are monitored during the milling process.
  • Any log not meeting the correct moisture level is dropped out
  • To assure quality, logs are checked a final time before being shipped

QUESTIONS TO ASK

  • How long is the material kept in the kiln?
  • Could I see the kiln-drying schedule?
  • Could I see the kiln?
  • What is the starting temperature in the kiln?
    (Old Timer starts at a temperature of 120 degrees)
  • What is the ending temperature?
    (Old Timer finishes at a temperature of 180 degrees)
  • What are the criteria for determining when the logs come out of the kiln?
  • How are kiln-dried logs stored?

ADVANTAGES OF USING OLD TIMER LOG HOMES LOGS

  • True kiln-dried product
  • Timber Products, Inc. graded and stamped, plus our own rigid grading standards
  • Facilities for storing dried logs
  • Customer Quality Assurance

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

A log home constructed of 7" solid wood walls might have an indicated steady-state R-value of R-9. But in most U.S. climates, especially those where log homes are most popular, a stick framed home would have to be insulated to about R-13 (or even R- 15 in some areas) to perform as well for heating and air-conditioning energy used on an annual basis. This comparison assumes similar attic insulation, window performance, foundation design and the use of identically efficient mechanical systems for heating and cooling. In practical terms log homes may be expected to perform from 2.5% to 15% more energy efficient when compared to an identical wood frame home, considering annual purchased heating and cooling energy needs.
*The Energy Performance of Log Homes-NAHB Log Homes Council, www.1oghomes.org
 
 
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