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December 17, 2014

How to fix water leaks in your log home

LogHomeRainTips

If you have a log home in California, at some point you may have to deal with a problem that can be common to a handful of log structures – water leaks. Usually the log homes that are affected are ones that are found in extreme weather environments. Rainstorms and melting snow can bring water leaks into a log cabin that is older or is located on a mountain ridgeline. Homes built where they face the full brunt of what mother nature has to offer can experience leaks when heavy winds and “horizontal” rain drive the water into hidden cracks and crevices.

If you notice water leaking into your log home, or see any signs of a water leak such as stains or dampness, be sure to contact a log home professional to help you fix the problem. Meanwhile, there are a few things you can do until help arrives to permanently fix the problem.

First, you need to find the area where the water is getting through. If it’s somewhere in the walls, protect that area from the rain by covering the exterior of the leaky wall with a large sheet of heavy-duty plastic or tarp. Hold the plastic in place using wood cleats and nails to keep it secure in high winds. Remember the goal is to keep out the rain until a professional arrives with a permanent solution.
Water leaks can be as simple as filling in gaps with caulking or repairing the existing chinking. Sometimes the point of entry is difficult to find, but a log home pro can use thermal imaging technology to track it down. If caulking or chinking doesn’t work to stop persistent leaks, the log home professionals at Prolog Restorations can fix the problem by building a “waterproof” wall that will guarantee no more leaks.

Prolog Restoration Waterproof Walls have been successfully protecting log homes in high wind environments throughout California for the last several years. A propriety design, these walls blend seamlessly with a log home’s original exterior, and includes a unique water barrier that prevents moisture from entering the home.

If your water leak is in the roof, it will probably take a pro to find the actual area of entry. Decorative elements near the roofline can leave small gaps and openings that are open invitations for water to invade when strong winds drive rain in horizontally, giving it the push it needs to get inside. In our experience, one of the most common places for water leaks in log homes is through the gables and roofline on a south-facing wall.

Rain water that is being forced in by strong winds and harsh weather can actually enter through an exterior opening, then travel throughout different areas of the log wall, before showing up inside the home, making it hard to pinpoint the exact area of entry unless you have a professional who knows how to find it.

An ugly side effect of leaks is the water stains they can leave behind. These can be difficult to tackle for most home owners. As long as the leak that caused them has been fixed, water stains alone will not cause structural damage your home. But they can be an eyesore.

Instead of hanging a large painting over the stain to cover it, you can ask a log home professional to remove the stain and restore the wood back to its original beauty. Since most water stains are dark, a special technique using bleach must first be applied, followed by a stain to match the original color
If you have water leaks in your log home, or suspect there might be, give us a call at (877) 477-6564. Our log home professionals can help get your home dry and sound once again.