Spring is an important time of year to take on some general log home maintenance. Inspecting your log home for winter damage from sitting snow, freezing water and chimney use, while preparing your home for warmer summer days ahead. Log home maintenance involves the overall upkeep of its shell to protect it from water or UV damage, insect or rodent intrusion and damage caused by air infiltration; and contrary to popular belief, it is neither complex or expensive relative to the outcome in the end. The effort of spending two days a year, is well worth it when it means you’ll be avoiding more costly repairs in the long run while adding value to your log home.
Before you begin, make sure you have the followings tools in place:
- A rough sketch of your log home’s walls, including the directions of North, East, South and West.
- Painter’s tape to mark any notable areas that require maintenance.
- A camera to take pictures of possible problem areas.
Once you have your tools in place, plan for your Spring walk-around – a second walk-around in the Fall would be advisable too. You’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to inspect every area of your log home, so give yourself at least a day to do this uninterrupted. Paying particular attention to the South and West sides of your log home as they receive the most amount of sunlight exposure, get to know your home’s behaviour and take into account these 7 key areas:
6 Key Log Home Maintenance Areas
Clogged gutters can create quite a problem for your log home, resulting in rot or a gutter that won’t even work properly. Cleaning out your log home gutters by removing all leaves and debris from the Fall is an important step to ensuring that your gutters remain clean, clear and functional.
Landscaping and Pruning
As beautiful as they can be, trees, shrubs and other plants placed too close to your log home can become a nightmare for your home. Make sure bushes and flowers are planted well away from your home’s exterior walls and that trees and shrubs are trimmed on a regular basis. This will ensure that moisture levels remain low.
Stacking, Piling and Burning Wood
Wood burning fires and log homes go hand-in-hand, but, it’s important to keep woodpiles far from log structures to allow for proper air circulation. Wood stacked right up against your log home is not only a prime environment for moisture buildup that leads to mold and rot, but it is also an invitation for insects and rodents to make their way from your woodpile to your home’s structural wood.
Cleaning and Washing
Wash your log home at least twice a year to remove pollen, dirt and other airborne elements that may have settled on its surface. To clean your home, try Log Wash, a liquid concentrate for cleaning log and wood surfaces that can be used as a maintenance cleaner or to prepare the surface of wood for a new coat of stain or topcoat.
Sealing Cracks and Gaps
Cracks and gaps can occur when your log home shrinks and expands over time. This can cause your home’s energy efficiency to decrease, while also allowing water it get in behind the chink. For these reasons, it’s important to address any and all cracks and gaps as soon as you find them.
Refinishing Your Log Home
Your log home’s stain does not just serve an aesthetic purpose, but it protects your home’s wood from the elements as well. During your walk-around, if you notice that the staining is peeling or cracked in any area at all, it’s important that you contact a professional for a consultation, as your home may require a complete re-staining.
Look for Pests
Look for signs of insect or rodent activity by identifying any piles of sawdust or tunneling. Powder Post Beetles, termites and carpenter ants are all frustrating insects that can yield unpleasant results if left unchecked. A well-maintained finish on your log home will help to minimize moisture accumulation, thus deterring these pesky insects.
Although maintaining your log home can be relatively straightforward, we understand you may not always have the time to commit to a thorough inspection so feel free to contact a local home maintenance company to help. If you do contact a local company make sure they have experience specifically with log homes as the maintenance for them can be slightly different.