Many people love the rustic allure of a log home, and for good reason; they evoke a feeling of years gone by, harkening back to simpler times. A log home conjures up visions of gathering around a massive fireplace for warmth, family meals around a big table, and the sanctity of a rural life well lived, nestled in the woods. A well-constructed log home can last for centuries if it is properly maintained. Here are the three areas you should tend to regularly on your log home.
Washing your home should be performed annually at a minimum. Dust, dirt, pollen, and bird droppings will collect on the logs. Spiders build homes and leave behind empty egg sacs, and their webs in the corners and under the eaves. Other insects, like wasps, may also build nests. Leaves, pine needles, pine cones, and twigs collect in the gutters, potentially causing water to back up and cause a leak. This collective residue Mother Nature leaves behind can wreak havoc on the stain and sealant on your logs. A power washing will remove all this excess debris. Late spring and late autumn are good times to perform this chore.
Assessing The Finish
Checking your finish is easier to do if you look immediately after each power washing. Once the logs have thoroughly dried, inspect each log for checks, which are small cracks, and look at the knots. If your log home has an oil-based stain, checks and knots will appear yellow in areas where they need are in need of a couple of new coats of stain. On log homes with water-based latex stain, the newly washed and dried areas should look shiny and glossy. If they appear dull, it's time for a new maintenance clear coat. Keeping your logs looking good goes beyond aesthetic purposes of making sure your log home stays pretty. Fully-sealed logs are better able to resist water infiltration, rot, mildew, and pest infestation—all of which can weaken the structural integrity of your home if left unchecked.
Chinking And Caulking
Filling in any checks and cracks, caulking around windows and doors, and repairing the chinking should be done before staining and sealing. Chinking that has failed before it should have usually is a result of moisture vapor in the wood preventing it from adhering properly. Use a razor or knife to remove the area that has failed and allow it to dry for a few days before replacing.
As lovely as a log home is, it does require a considerable amount of maintenance to keep it looking that way. If you are not handy with these tasks, hire a company that specializes in log home repair to tend to the maintenance for you.