Log homeowners need to perform regular maintenance. In the long run, this minimizes more costly problems like replacing logs that have become damaged from water, sunlight, and insects. Black surface fungus or mold can be signs of failure of the protective stain. Fungus and mold should be eradicated before re-staining.
Inspect the Logs Regularly
Log homes require unique care compared to traditional structures, and you must be on the lookout for certain issues. Regular inspections from https://richardsonloghomes.com/ will allow you to spot and correct problems before they become costly. This will help protect your investment and ensure your dream home is well-maintained.
Moisture in wood can lead to mold, mildew, rot and insect damage. It is essential that you regularly check for any moisture problems in your log home. Inspect for damp areas, and areas where the logs are sagging, as these can be signs of excessive moisture.
You should also regularly examine your stain to ensure that it is in good condition. If your stain is faded, it is time to add another coat. Look for water beading on the surface of your logs after it rains or when you wash the exterior of your home. If the stain is wearing away or peeling, you need to apply new stain to protect your logs and keep them safe from moisture.
Another important consideration is that you must watch for fungus growth on your logs. This can be an indicator that the logs are becoming soft and need to be replaced. Fungus growth can be caused by a variety of things, including improper staining, leaking gutters, rubbing of tree branches against the house, putting too much mulch or other greenery around your log home, and high humidity levels.
A common problem that many people run into with their log homes is that the caulking and chinking are starting to separate from the logs. When this happens, it creates cracks and crevices that are inviting to insects, can cause leaks and allows water to seep into the home. There are a variety of caulking and chinking products available that can be used to seal these cracks and crevices, making your log home air and water tight.
Clean the Logs Regularly
Logs require regular cleaning and staining to protect against rot and insects like powder post beetles and carpenter ants. This is a big part of the reason that most log home owners hire a professional for their maintenance. However, you can do basic maintenance yourself by regularly inspecting your logs. A few things to look for include:
Check the caulking (chinking) to make sure it is in good condition. This helps prevent water from seeping into the logs. Look for cracks, gaps and missing chunks of caulking.
Also, if you can stick a screwdriver into a crack without any resistance, it’s probably time to caulk that log. Also look for spots on the log that are discolored and appear to be rotting. Using a screwdriver or pocketknife you can also test to see if the log is rotting by pressing on it gently. If it feels hollow or spongy you’ll want to call in the professionals to assess the damage and take care of the repairs.
Moisture is the biggest natural hazard to wood logs, and clogged gutters or overgrown landscaping can cause pockets of moisture to collect against your log walls. This can lead to costly water damage, mold, mildew and rot.
A professional can help you keep your log home looking great and preventing major problems in the future. An experienced log home professional knows how to clean and repair logs, chinking, storm water control and more. They can also provide recommendations for specialized inspections such as structural engineers, radon inspectors or mold specialists. With proper maintenance your log home can last for generations. A little work now can save you thousands down the road.
Keep Landscaping Away From the House
If you have a log home that is in the early stages of rot, there are a number of things you can do to save it. One of the most important things is to make sure that the conditions that promoted the rot in the first place are corrected. This means addressing issues like leaky gutters, poorly installed base flashing or splashing water from sidewalks. The next step is to keep your logs clean and protected by staining them regularly. Stain is an effective way to protect your logs from the elements and to give your home a beautiful finish.
If your log home needs restoration work, you should know that on average it takes about 3-6 weeks to complete the work. This time includes drying time from washing the house, time in between staining and curing times for caulking or chinking. It is also important to choose a contractor with experience and references.
A good contractor will be familiar with the local environment and codes that affect the construction of log homes. They should also be licensed and insured. Before you hire someone for the job, ask them to provide you with a cost estimate. This will help you to establish a zone that costs for your specific project should fall into. Anyone who provides estimates outside of this range should be culled right away.
Many people choose to paint their log homes instead of staining them. This is a mistake. Paint does not allow moisture to escape, which can cause rot in the wood. The best solution is to remove the existing stain using a method like media blasting or chemical stripping and then stain the log home properly. Choosing a high-quality water- or oil-based stain, such as those from Sashco or Perma-Chink, is the key to protecting your logs and maintaining the beauty of your home.
Inspect the Foundation Regularly
Log homes require regular maintenance to protect against moisture, insect infestation and the damage of extreme temperatures. Taking the time to perform routine inspections is the best way to keep your log home in great shape, and to avoid costly restoration work down the road.
During your inspection, it’s a good idea to take notes, and to use the camera on your phone to capture images of any problem areas that need attention. It’s also a good idea to clean the gunk off of your log home before you inspect it, as this will give you a clearer picture of any issues.
The areas of your log home that should be inspected most closely include; chinking, caulking, cracks in the logs, crevasses or soft spots, popped knots, faded stain and any areas that appear damp. In addition, you should look for a chimney that is in need of repairs, wood rot around windows and doors and any areas where the roof sits on top of the log walls.
Check that the base of your log home is raised at least six inches off of the ground. Logs that come in direct contact with the ground are prone to soak up water and can be a breeding ground for insects, fungus and bacteria. Also, check that the logs are properly stained – water should be repelled by the stain, not absorbed.
Another area to check is the corners of your log home. It’s common for older log structures to have corners that don’t fit perfectly, and this can cause them to deteriorate over time. Check for rot and dampness in these areas, as well as checking at the corners and areas with gables. Also, check that the gutters are not causing puddles on the roof, as this can lead to water logging and rot.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Log home restoration is a serious project and should be left to professionals. The best way to prevent major rot issues is to ensure the logs are properly protected from moisture. This can be accomplished by installing gutters and downpipes, proper base flashing or simply ensuring that garden sheds or walkways are not situated too close to the logs of your home. Also, having the logs regularly re-coated with a high quality water or oil-based stain is essential.
Inspect the entire exterior of your log home on a regular basis. Look for signs of moisture damage, dirt and mold. Also check the condition of the caulking and chinking to make sure they are still solid. Look for any insect or rodent activity as well. Catching these problems in the early stages can save you a lot of money in a log home restoration.
If you see that a log is starting to rot, or that the wood has begun to crumble or become spongy then it is time to call in your log home restoration contractor for some serious work. If the rot is not too severe, the pros will typically cut away the damaged log and replace it with a new one that is of the same species and very similar in size and shape. They will then apply borate treatment to the area in order to prevent future rot from occurring.
Moisture is the biggest natural hazard to your log home. It can be caused by clogged gutters or downspouts, splashback from sidewalks or gardens, improper stain application and other factors. Proper maintenance of your log home can help prevent moisture and other problems from damaging the logs, making them last longer and saving you thousands on a full log home restoration.