When you look into using borates for the protection of your log or wood home, it can be very confusing with the large array of products and the different forms they come in.  We will be discussing the applications to log homes, as this is our area of expertise!  First of all, borates are simply a salt that is mined from a special place in California.  They saturate into the wood in a liquid carrier (we will discuss that soon) and as insects consume the borate it poisons the bug and it dies.  There is no doubt that borates are safe and effective, that is for sure.

Borate products come in many types of formulations, we will concentrate of the commercially available products designed for log homes. 

Powdered Borate:

Some borates come in a powdered form, you simply mix the powder with water and apply it to the wood.  It can be very effective if applied to wood that is not being hit by water or too exposed to the elements.  Water can wash the borate out of the wood.  Application of wood stain is crucial to keep the borates from leaching out of the wood, we recommend Lovitt's Emerald Gold or Lovitt's Natural Gold, both extremely durable coatings for exteriors of log and wood sided homes.

Liquid Borate Solution Ready To Use:

This packaging brings you a borate in a premixed solution that is designed to be sprayed on and you are able to stain over the wood the next day or two.  We have our doubts as to the penetrating ability and effectiveness of this type of application.

Concentrated Glycol Borate:

This product uses glycol as the carrier to penetrate deeper into the wood than water driven products or solutions of powder mixed up, it is designed to be brushed or sprayed onto the logs.  This product takes 2-4 weeks to penetrate and you should not use any type of stain or sealer until this period is over.

Which Borate Should You Use On Your Log Home?

We asked that question to Michael McClaren, a fifteen year veteran employee of MM Wood Restoration & Protection and here's what he said,  "We use Lovitt's borates, we like the powdered form, we are able to mix the powders with water and apply this borate during the restoration process after the brightening step.  This gives the borate ample time to penetrate in before the staining process, and it also happens to be the most cost effective and easiest to use procedure".