Log home manufacturers often anticipate settling and shrinking of the homes after a period of usage. As such, they use measures such as scribing drywall around the logs to help further increase the life of such structures. Once you buy the log house, the responsibility of maintenance comes your way and unfortunately, there is not enough information on how to go about it. More often than not, the info proffered is not the right route to follow if you wish to maintain a log house for decades on end. Let’s uncover some ways you can use to manage your home.
What you need to know
You may think that the initial wood treatment applied to your house is adequate to protect it from weather elements. However, this is not true. Most treatment films used on the wood are hard such that when a log moves, the film cracks, thus exposing the wood to weather elements such as rain. Over time, fungus and mildew incubate in these spaces, leading to wood rot that could cost you a home. The sound thing to do is to get rid of the film as opposed to waiting for it to wear off.
Always investigate the manufacturer from whom you source your log homes. Some people like taking shortcuts so that they can maximize their returns and they conduct construction with dead standing trees. Once a tree dies, internal rot begins, and over time, it starts to show, long after you bought the house. To make the situation worse, some of these manufacturers will finish the log home in a film treatment, thus locking in the rot and accelerating the breakdown process. You can save yourself a lot of difficulties by getting a high-quality log home from a trusted manufacturer from the beginning.
Trees have enemies which they can fend off when they are alive. However, once a tree gets cut down, it is up to humankind to protect it from weather elements to ensure that it can offer service for a long time. Look for a manufacturer who uses borates in their treatments as well as any other non-toxic substances without color or smells. CCA also comes in handy in wood preservation.
Let’s get down to the maintenance now that you know what to avoid when getting a log house.
If you regularly maintain your home, you will protect it from getting damaged by weather elements and pests. You should carry out maintenance practices on your home at least twice a year, preferably during fall and spring. Springtime is best for checking for any damage to the house accruing from freezing water, and it also gives you adequate time to prepare for the hot months ahead.
Fall time enables you to check for damage resulting from heat such as fading and any pest infestations as you prepare for the cold months. It is imperative that you conduct maintenance during these seasons. Over time, you will realize that a fixed schedule is more effective and costs less as compared to irregular maintenance practices. It also takes up less time.
Inspect the home
Before embarking on maintenance, inspect your home to figure out what needs fixing. Start at one point of your house and move around in the interior before examining the outside. You should look for things such as damaged pipes, cracks, mold and other damages that can affect your house. Be sure to inspect the roof for leaky gutters, cracks on the chimney and any other factors that are deleterious to the stability of your home.
When cleaning your cabin, you will notice a lot more than you did during the inspection. Not only is it an excellent means to be thorough in your check but it also gives you a chance to get rid of dirt such as animal feces, dust, spider webs and other such deposits in your house. A soft bristle brush, warm water, and a mild detergent are enough to clean the cabin without interfering with the aesthetics. Start by wetting surfaces before using soap on them in circular motion such that the logs do not get streaks. Hose down the cabin and let it dry for about three to four days before moving on to other steps.
Your cabin may or may not require staining, and this will be up to you once you inspect the results of your cleaning. Staining once every three years is enough if you use a high-quality stain. However, this will vary based on a cabin’s exposure to sunlight. The side which receives the most sunlight will often require a new coat before the three years are up. You know it’s time to get staining if your cabin has a dull appearance.
Chinking seals the joints between logs and thus protects your home from weather elements. If done right, chinking should serve you for two decades. However, this will depend on the kinds of temperatures to which your log cabin has exposure. Luckily, there is elastomeric on the market which works far better than the previously used cement-based chinking. Elastomeric requires less maintenance and thus brings the maintenance costs down.
Do this annually for the best results. Timber cannot defend itself from infestations by insects, and if such pests go unchecked, you will incur a lot of costs in maintaining your cabin. As such, make it a habit to clean, dust and fumigate your cabin as often as possible to make infestation difficult for pests.
It is essential that you often clean your gutters and control water run-off because back splash affects the appearance of your home. Effects include darkening of some parts of the cabin and encouraging decay and infestation. These problems are costly in the long run.
If you have not maintained your cabin in a long time, it is best to start with the restoration process. It involves preparation of the surface, preservation techniques, staining, and sealing. However, it is always best to protect yourself from having to incur costs for restoration by adequately maintaining your house on an annual basis.
by Goda Mackeviciute