Clemco Equipment Helps Restore Log Homes in the North Cascades
Owner of Mtn Acres Log Home Restoration raves about his Clemco equipment. He and his crew restore log homes in the warm months, and then snowboard in the winter.
“I love everything about Clemco,” says Ryan Brooks, owner of Mtn Acres Log Home Restoration in Glacier, Washington. “I started the business in 2016, and that’s when I bought my first Clemco pot.”
Mtn Acres restores log cabin homes. The first step in the process is for Ryan and his crew of four (Shawn Murray, Rusty Buchanon, Dusan Kettering, and Indio—Ryan’s 13-year-old mut) to strip wood decay, old stain and, as Ryan explains, “Washington’s state flower, mold,” off a log home’s exterior. For the stripping, Ryan and his crew run recycled crushed glass through their Clemco 3-cuft Classic Blast Machine and a competitor pot. The next steps are to sand the home and then stain it.
“We’ll be buying another pot this season,” Ryan says. “It definitely will be a Clemco. The Clemco we have now is far more durable and consistent than our other pot, and its two large wheels help us maneuver around rough terrain. I haven’t had to replace any components on it. I bought it right off the shelf, no upgrades except a moisture separator, and have had no problems. I’ve used it on every home we’ve restored.”
How It Began
Ryan, 41-years-old, previously spent his career as a construction contractor in the warm months and in the winters worked at rental shops and other service jobs at ski resorts.
Then in January 2015, Ryan was snowboarding with a buddy from Vermont who has a successful log-home restoration business. Ryan was intrigued, so that summer he spent two months on the East Coast with his friend restoring log homes and learning the business, volunteering without pay.
After returning to Washington state, Ryan with help from Shawn decided to launch Mtn Acres Log Home Restoration.
How It Is Today
The current crew ranges in age from 33 to 42—except for Indio, who is 91 in human years and doubles as the company’s CEO. “He mainly lays around and watches us,” Ryan says. “He’s hands-paws off.”
They average restoring eight to 10 homes a season, which typically runs April through November. “It’s hard work,” Ryan says.” But blasting speeds up the process—and it’s a lot more fun than hand stripping!”
On some jobs, Ryan and the guys camp out on the homeowner’s property and then in the evenings barbecue and talk shop.
Ryan credits part of Mtn Acres’ success to its Clemco equipment, such as its Apollo 600 Supplied-Air Respirators, Clem-Cool Air Conditioners, and “Supa Blast Hose has been a game changer,” Ryan raves. “I run 100 ft of hose from the pot, and the Supa is so light, flexible, and easy to maneuver. We have to get into awkward positions to blast around these homes. Couldn’t do it without the Supa.”
Ryan says the only routine maintenance he performs on his 3-cuft Clemco is cleaning out the abrasive trap every morning, only loading two bags of abrasive at a time so not to overload the pot, and storing the pot inside when it rains.
Friends Who Take Pride in Their Work
“The biggest part of Mtn Acres’ success, though,” Ryan shares, “is that I work with a group of friends who take pride in their work. It’s gratifying for all us to make these old homes beautiful again.”
In the cold months, Ryan and his crew spend half the workday restoring the interior of log homes. “The rest of the day,” Ryan says, “we snowboard together.”