As the crisp air announces the start of fall, it is the perfect time to make sure your log home stands solid and is all primed up and ready for winter. We at Performance Log Homes have put together a quick and helpful routine maintenance guide to walk you through the different steps of preparing your beautiful log home for the assault of winter. The harsh hot weather of summer and rain water inevitably does damage to your log home like faded stain, moisture infiltration, pest issues, failed caulking and weather stripping. The seals and log coatings wear down from constant use so you need to take some time out now to take care of all the essential maintenance needed.
Here is what you need to do to keep the cold air out of your log home during winter and maintain your log home in the best condition. If you are not a keen DIY’er then consider getting professional help for log home maintenance and repair around the house.
Inspect Logs Seals And Checks
Make sure to examine the seals between the logs as torn seals can cause shrinkage in wood creating openings for insects. Checks also allow water into the wood leading to rot in the log. Fix checks and damaged spots by filling them with stain and caulk, using a caulk gun. Caulking and chinking suffer the most from weather damage and start to wear off. Where damage is not limited to a small area, you will need to remove the old caulk and replace it with fresh caulking. Check the finish on your logs and make sure that the color has not faded. With a clear finish, the wood should still retain its natural luster. If the logs have turned dingy then their protective finish may have worn off, exposing the wood to degrading ultraviolet rays and moisture. Spray a large area of logs with a garden hose and if the water beads or runs in rivulets, then your finish is absolutely fine but if there are visible patches after the soaking, it may be time to treat the logs. In areas of the log that soaks up water, clean out the rotten wood and fill the gap with epoxy wood filler. Lastly, you can power wash the exterior of your log home with an ordinary garden hose to give them a brisk rinse. Before resealing your logs, make sure to use a log cleaner to get rid of those cobwebs, pollen and dirt.
Inspect Windows and Doors
Go over your window and door weather stripping thoroughly to ensure it is in good shape. Small bugs and insects often squeeze through even the tightest cracks or gaps.
Check Your Roof and Flashing
Do walk around the house and climb up to check out the flashing in valleys around the chimney, pipes and plumbing around your log home to ensure a tight seal against water. Chimney screens should be clear of debris and all the rain caps must be in place. You should seal all lifted edges with roof tar. Make sure all wasp or bird nests on your roof built over the summer are cleared out. Plumbing vents should be tightly sealed so that there is no water leaking into your home. Where there is a leak, seal it with some tar sealant.
Inspect Gutters And Eaves
Walk around your house and look at the logs and word trim especially close to the ground as they are most susceptible to water damage and rot from downpours or melting snow. Check that there are no loose shingles that might be curling or buckling on your roof. Clear rain gutters of all leaves and debris. If there is any discoloration in your gutters and eaves then it is an indication of damage from standing water. All downspouts should be clear. Cleaning all the gutters in the later part of the fall season helps prevent water from backing up and spilling over against the logs.
Check Inside The Home
Make time to go up into the attic to check for water damage or damage from rodents. Also, check the ceilings in each room for cracks or water damage too. Upward facing cracks are bad news, as it allows water to absorb into the wood which creates moisture problems. Fill the cracks with wood caulking to prevent wood rot.
Also check your kitchen, bath and air ducts to clear them of any lint or bird nests. that you find. Clean your fireplace and change your furnace filter. Now you can sit back and enjoy the warmth of a fire for the rest of autumn and the coming winter.
At Performance Log Homes we have log home maintenance and repair professionals with years of experience. Give us a call at 800-781-2551 when you are ready to schedule any repair or maintenance for your log cabins, log structures, and also for any log home restoration projects.