Log Home Maintenance Myths and Tips
Maybe you already own a log home. Maybe you are considering buying or building one. Either way, it’s important to know what you have on your hands when it comes to staying on top of upkeep of you home. If you’ve heard a horror story or two, there’s a good chance it actually involved neglect or ignorance when it comes to log home maintenance. If you understand the requirements stick to a regular regimen, then your log home will be a source or pure enjoyment with an absence of headaches. Below are a few myths about log home maintenance, plus some ideas for how to make sure you are taking proper care of your property.
Myth #1: Log homes care is complicated and time consuming
Not if you have a plan and not if you are sure to keep the place clean. Basic design considerations like overhangs, tall foundations, and proper landscaping will go a long way. Make sure water drains away from the house effectively. Make an attempt to keep the elements off the exterior of the home all year round – this includes dust, pollen, mold, and anything else that might try to grow on your wood. Watch for rain and wind damage and touch up or repear sections as needed.
Myth #2: Log homes come with lots of insect problems.
Thanks to a chemical called borate, termites aren’t nearly as big of an issue as they once were. Borate is very effective at keeping termites away from your home. Carpenter bees are the biggest issue in today’s log home world, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered here (LINK TO LAST MONTH’S BLOG POST) with our blog post from last month.
Myth #3: Log homes have issues with mold
Again, just a little bit of knowledge and planning can go a long way and make the risk of mold minimal. Make sure your water drainage systems are in good condition and free from debris, and that water is draining away from the house appropriately. Try to leave some clearance between the ground and your logs, andavoid contact with any neighboring plants, trimming them back as necessary. Pay special attentions to north-facing surfaces or anywhere that doesn’t get much sunshine.
Myth #4: Wood stains are toxic for the enviroment / Wood stains are all the same / Wood stains aren’t important in dry areas
Just like with termites, the harmfulness of wood stains was once an issue, but we’ve come a long way. The oil- and water-based stains of today are much greener than they were in the past, so much so that you don’t need to be worried about your impact on the environment around you. On that note, you will want to choose a stain based on your home’s age and condition, as well as the local climate, so make sure you do the proper research and consult relevant experts. Even if you are in a dry climate, wood stain choice is important – it’s not just there to keep out moisture, but to protect against rays from the sun that can damage your logs.
Myth #5: Log homes will crack and this will cause issues
There’s no getting around the fact that wood cracks. Most of the time, however, there is no cause for concern as long as you stay on top of things. The majority of cracks will never be a problem. The exceptions is cracks that are position (especially on the top side of exterior logs) such that they allow the moisture, dirt, dust, pollen, or other debris to build up. Keep an eye on your logs, then treat and repair any that look like they might become a problem over time. Now that we’ve looked at a few of the common myths about log home maintenance, here are some things you should make part of your routine when it comes to keeping your home in good shape:
- Inspect your log home every year. Walk the perimeter and do your checks.
- Watch for cracks that need to be filled.
- Identify any high moisture areas that need to be treated or restored.
- Look out for holes created by wood boring insects.
- Locate any tears in your chinking.
- Examine your caulking for cracks, separation, or any other damage.
- Find any logs that show exceptional damage that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Take a look at your weather stripping so make sure it is still in good condition.
- Check your wood stain. Spray a bit of water on several areas. Make sure the water beads up; if not, it
might be time to apply another coat or two.
- Inspect the roof. Be sure to check the flashing and anywhere where a tight seal is needed.
The most important thing is to know your home and find potential problems before they advance very far. As they say, and ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and this is very true when it comes to owning and caring for your log home.