One of the biggest threats to your log home’s health and longevity is neglect. Regular maintenance is essential to keep your home looking good and save you a vast amount of time, money, and stress. Whether you’ve got a new home, or one that’s been around for awhile, you need to follow the same guidelines for ensuring it stands the test of time. After neglect, the three things that threaten log homes the most are sun, moisture and wood destroying organisms. Regular maintenance checks that can be done by the homeowner, however, are all you need to keep your home or cabin in top shape.
Log homes are unique – and some of their needs are unique too when compared to “traditional” homes. Whether you are a new owner, or someone who has enjoyed your log home for years, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the general maintenance ideas we’ve listed below, and have the number of a professional log home repair, restoration and maintenance expert on hand for anything that falls outside your comfort zone.
In general, log home maintenance involves keeping the effects of the sun, water damage and insects to a minimum. Simple measures like cleaning the exterior of the home is a very good start. Annual treatments or power washing helps negate mold and mildew buildup, deter insects, keep the stain clean and help new applications of protective coatings, stains or chinking last longer.
At least a few times a year, take a walk around your home and look for signs of mold and mildew. Some culprits that can cause this include sprinklers pointed at the house, leaking gutters, downspout overflow, shrubbery placed too close to the house, and areas with very high humidity.
While you’re at it, check for critters such as carpenter ants, termites or beetles. Signs you’ve been invaded can include burrowing holes, small piles of sawdust and seeing the actual insects themselves. For mold or for insects, check with professionals for the best treatments, and be sure to let them know what kind of stain or coating your logs have so that the products used don’t harm the logs or their protective coating.
Finally, check your chinking. The stuff between the logs that fills in the gaps is called chinking or caulking. Sometimes you’ll see this coming loose or peeling off. This is mostly caused by either the logs not being cleaned before installation, or incorrectly applying it. You can try to fix it yourself by removing the chinking, cleaning the area thoroughly and then reapplying it. You may need to install a backer rod, which will help with adhesion and keep the chinking from tearing. When in doubt, call a professional to help.
Be sure to download our free ebook “How to Care for a Log Home,” to familiarize yourself with the care and maintenance of log homes as well as many more tips for enjoying your home.
For questions or to learn more about our log home maintenance services, request a free quote, or meet with one of our Log Home Maintenance, Repair and Restoration Specialists, give us a call at 877-477-6564.