Following our earlier post on ‘Log Home Restoration’, part two of the series ‘Common Log Home Questions Answered’ tackles popular questions on maintaining and protecting your log cabin.
Log home owners have a lot of queries and doubts about the maintenance and care needed for their home. Obviously everyone wants to keep their investment in good shape for years to come. By log home maintenance, we mean the general upkeep required to ensure there is proper protection from moisture, damaging UV radiation, air infiltration, insect and rodent intrusion. Keep reading to get answers to burning questions on staining your cabin, techniques for chinking, and tips for protecting against mildew, mold, termites and rot.
Why Do You Need To Maintain Your Log Home Regularly?
A little prevention goes a long way. Getting an annual inspection done on your log cabin and following a regular maintenance routine will keep your home looking the way it did when it was first finished. It is also necessary to maintain the integrity of your log structure. Taking measures like washing your home, re-staining and chinking and fixing minor problems that crop up can prevent major headaches in the long run. Though the amount of maintenance your log home will need depends on factors like your home’s location, design, and finish.
What Exterior Design Factors Should You Keep In Mind To Make It Easy Maintenance?
The main factors that you should remember when designing a log cabin are specific site conditions such as location, weather conditions, exposure to natural elements, how much snow or rain the area receives annually, the materials most suitable to the given conditions; and how to use the rooflines and overhangs to best protect the exterior log material.
What Role Does Finish Play In Maintenance? What Is The Best Type Of Finish For Your Log Cabin?
The selection of a high-quality finishing stain is very important for protecting your logs. Equally important is the proper preparation of the log for stain thorough power washing or cob blasting. Only when the surface of the logs is properly prepped will a high quality stain fulfil its true potential in protecting the logs.
The best stain for your log home does depend on personal preference, and situation. There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing oil based, latex based or varnish. To know which product is right for your home and how to prepare your surface for application, contact your local dealer or get in touch with log home specialists. You can pick from many good brands and manufacturers. But a good quality stain needs to have a high UV blocking capability. Because it is the harsh UV rays from the sun that does most damage to the wood over seasons. Read our previously published article on ‘Choosing The Right Log Home Stain’ for guidance.
What Technique Should Be Followed For Maintaining Log Cabin Chinking?
Proper chinking repair requires selection of correct chinking material, right application and finally the state of its disrepair. When correctly applied, synthetic chinking generally only needs to be applied only once. If you spot any failing chinking, mark those spots and remove it with a knife or razor so that the area can dry out before starting fresh with backer rod on the log home and synthetic log chinking.
Where full replacement isn’t an option, a good way to repair old chinking is to put a strip of clear packaging tape over the damaged chinking and then apply a new layer of synthetic chinking over it. This should be preferably be done before applying the maintenance coat of stain. Remember that the correct technique of chinking repair really depends on your individual situation. If in doubt, contact an expert log home restoration contractor.
What Are The Selection Criteria For Chinking?
Select a quality product with high elastic properties. It should expand, bend and mold to the natural movement of logs over the years. Quality is the key here.
How Can You Protect Your Log Cabin From Mildew, Mold, Termites And Rot?
Log cabin rot is a common problem in log homes and it is more often due to fungi. Wood destroying fungi survive on air, water, and food. It is not possible to eliminate air and they feed on wood in our homes so the only factor that can be controlled is water. Keeping moisture out of the wood can help prevent log rot. Promoting air flow through your log cabin is important as it can deter mildew and mold issues too. Borate preservatives can be applied to wood before staining to prevent insect infestation. Mildewcides can be added to the stain or sealer to prevent mildew and mold in areas of high humidity.
Need Help With Your Log Home Maintenance?
If you have any more questions about log home maintenance, or would like to schedule an inspection of your log home or cabin, please contact We Fix Log Home.