Having a wooden house sounds like a dream coming true. Well, it can be true! If you’re one that has a resident log cabin, one thing is definite: You’re adventurous, nature-loving, trendy, and ambitious. People who own log cabins or plan to have one sometimes committed the mistake of comparing its maintenance ways to concrete houses and fallaciously opine that maintaining wooden houses demands a lot of money and attention. Sometimes they get into the trap of myths regarding the maintenance of the log cabins. There is a dire need to realize that maintaining log homes is not a hard nut to crack. It has its requirements and ways of maintenance.
All kinds of houses demand attention, care, and regular maintenance. And Log cabins are no different, and there are no secret tips for maintaining your wooden home. Maintenance ways are simple and easy.
If I summarize them, all you have to do is: use quality material, keep it clean, and have a proper inspection after regular intervals.
To further address your queries, I’ve listed some tips regarding the maintenance of log cabins.
7 tips for log cabin maintenance
1- Annually Clean log cabin’s exterior
It is better to prevent damage instead of waiting for it. It means log cabin residents should wipe every point on the exterior side of the wooden house at least once a year. It has numerous benefits. The owner will be able to inspect the condition of the lumber used and the stains used for its protection. In case of need, it may cost some bucks, but it would preserve the wood along with its texture and quality. In addition, the house will get cleaned of dust, bird dropping, or mould.
2- Chinking or caulking to maintain strength and outlook:
Unlike concrete houses, where we use cement and other products to fill the gap between two joining points, in log cabins homes, we do chinking or caulking at joints or places where gaps appear by shrinkage or cracks in woods. Chinking is a tool for covering these gaps by inserting a stable synthetic material, and if we apply material having different colours, it brings contrasting colour designs. To keep the charisma and elegance of the walls, we should regularly inspect and do chinking where needed. During maintenance, one should remove chinking and clean it carefully before re-chinking it.
(Note: Using backer rods in the area and applying chinking is recommended according to the new research and experimentation.)
3- Things to know regarding staining:
In log cabins, one cannot resist the desire to have nature indoors as sunlight or in an external environment. In doing so, small care is required, top coating or staining the logs of your house interiors and exteriors. It will prevent UV rays from weakening the fibres of the wood and causing cracks in them. At the same time, staining prevents water from seeping into the wood cracks, if there are any.
Just like paints used in concrete houses can fade or peels off, stains or top coating applied on log cabins are also liable to this fate after their expiry date. We can increase their lifetime by acting on the following tips:
- Make sure the surface has been washed and cleaned before coating stains, and it is better to conduct a pilot test in a small place first.
- Remove old stain properly using some organic solvent before applying a new one.
- The top coating should be relevant and made exclusively for exterior uses.
- Regularly check stain condition after rain or washing.
- Generally, oil-based stains are preferred widely, but there is a need to choose according to humidity level and sunlight exposure where the log cabin is situated.
4- Keep logs dry to avoid mould problems:
One of the most exaggerated problems and nearly a myth regarding log cabins is about mould problem (American: Mold). Generally, all surfaces having moisture on them will grow mould on them. So, it is not exclusively a wooden house’s problem. Mould indeed grow at the surface of log cabins that have no gutter or leaking gutter problem, spraying sprinklers or landscape greenery near them. There is a need to have proper air circulation, access to sunlight in affected areas, and removing moisture sources to address this problem. Even in the early stages, we can wipe it off and restore the same shine and lustre of our wood.
5- Keep shrubs away from wooden-house:
As mentioned above, trees and shrubs can bring moisture into a log cabin if we do not take measures to keep it away. These can have unwanted consequences on the timber used inside. So, it is necessary to cut over-arching branches and shrubs near log cabins to keep them dry.
6- Be attentive to Pests attack:
If the residents of log homes are much engaged in their life activities, or they are not giving even a little heed to signs showing the presence of pests such as Carpenter bees and other bugs, the insect issue for log cabins is real. But if they are attentive to details such as closing irregular-sized holes or strange noises behind the ceiling and are using a chemical substance like Borate, insects are no more problem for your dream wooden houses.
In other words, insects are not any point of concern if you’re ready to keep them away. Do not forget to seal the cracks and holes after unwanted pests.
7- Curtailing harsh winter impacts on Log cabins:
If you got a residential log cabin in an area that experiences a lot of snow falling, there are chances that ice dams get to build up on the rooftop, which results in water dripping into your wooden home. Take necessary measures to remove these dams to avoid moisture in house interiors.
Also, take necessary measures such as installing a frost-free hose bib to prevent it from getting damaged from the unbearable winter conditions.
After elaborating all these measures, it is clear that we can easily manage log cabins if we are up for cleanliness and regular inspection. We can significantly increase wooden houses’ lifetime for generations to come if we go for preventing root causes instead remedying them after they become apparent.
Log Cabin maintenance tips is a feature post