Using the tips here on this page, will better help you understand how to maintain your log home and how to identify potential problems before they begin. Lack of knowledge about proper log home maintenance is one of the leading causes for structural damage. As with any home, some regular maintenance is needed for your home to stay beautiful and welcoming.
Things A Homeowner Should Know:
Inspect your home for any failures with chinking due to wood shrinkage. Understand however, that wood shrinkage and the resulting settlement and movement are not problems, but characteristics of working with natural materials.
Also, pay attention to the appearance of the stain. What you will be looking for are signs of any peeling, flaking or discoloration. This will typically be found on the south/west sides of the home due to the sun.
Look for signs of mildew and dirt.
Keep an eye out for insects or any signs of burrowing.
Things A Homeowner Can Do:
You have invested in your home by educating yourself and have established a routine of inspecting your home by walking around it each fall or spring with your checklist. Good for you! Here are a few more tips and simple solutions to prevent problems…
Remove or fix preventable causes for mold.
Sprinklers that are continually wetting your logs
Spigots that spray the logs when a hose is in use
Shrubs & large plants that are planted too close to your home
Wash your logs.
Wash the logs with a power-washer and log cleaner. This will remove dirt mildew as well as allow you to see any problem areas that need to be resealed. This will brighten your logs and bring back their natural beauty!
If chinking ever separates from the logs of your home, it is time for repair. We use & recommend Log Jam® which is a synthetic chinking that stretches with your logs. It is a terrific product with many benefits.
If large checks/cracks are left unattended, they will become an inviting place for bugs, mold and mildew which will lead to rot.
Look for any peeling, flaking or fading of the stain. We use products called Capture® Log Stain. It is a unique formula that moves freely as your logs move, instead of cracking and peeling like other stains. It provides the long-lasting protection and creates the perfect look. As well as Cascade, a clear maintenance top coat that repels water, resists mildew/algae and protects against UV damage.
If you have gutters, clean them each spring and keep them free from debri. Look for any leaks. Install gutters, downspouts as well as flashing to direct moisture away from the wood.
Insure that proper coverings are installed such as overhangs, eaves, gables, porches etc.
Inspect for signs of insects. If you notice mounds of wood shavings that look like sawdust, you know there are boring or wood digesting insects at work.
Use a borate based product such as PeneTreat, to fight insect damage. Borate preserves against wood ingesting insects and rot. It is environmentally friendly, safe for people, pets and plants and has not glycols. It is EPA registered.
Be sure to stack firewood away from your home. This will help prevent unwanted guests.
Keep shrubs a minimum of 18” away from your logs. This is also true for mulch and other organic ground cover which can be a breeding ground for insects.
Having a simple plan, the right tools and knowledge, is the best way to keep ahead of these potential problems and keep your home lovely and enjoyable. Here's to simple solutions and beautiful homes!