If you've just bought a log cabin or home, the first thing to focus on is its overall condition. If you purchased it knowing that there's something to be fixed, hiring a contractor with experience working on log homes will be helpful. In order to keep your home in a pristine state for years to come, you must perform routine maintenance. Here are some ways that you can help prolong the lifespan of your log home.
One way to keep up the appearance of your log home is to give it a thorough cleaning by power washing the logs. This helps to remove mold, mildew and moss that may have built up over the years. Use a pressure washer with around 1500 PSI. Using a stronger machine could cause excess moisture damage within the wood which could lead to rot. A stronger powered pressure washer could also damage the wood. The goal of power washing is to remove dirt and debris or to prepare the wood for a new coat of finish or sealant.
Log homes provide a natural look that can't be touched by traditional vinyl siding or other materials. The appearance of your home will bring years of exquisiteness and splendor when you preserve the wood with an exterior finish. Oil, latex and acrylic-based stains are often recommended by professional log contractors. Staining and sealing your logs will promote the longevity of the exterior by preventing:
- Wood splitting
- Discoloration from weather and ultraviolet rays
- Insect infestation
- Wood rot
Once the logs are properly sealed and finished, they are less vulnerable to deterioration and breakdown. If you are completely restoring your log home, make sure you replace broken or damaged logs and clean them properly before applying the final finish.
Caulking Or Chinking
Depending on the construction of your log home, you may have to use caulk or a chinking process to secure the exterior. Many older-style log homes are constructed with a slight gap in between each log. This gap is filled with a type of caulking that is also referred to as chinking. This helps create an airtight seal that increases the R-value or insulating capabilities of the home as well as provide overall stability. This filler needs to be checked and maintained annually to ensure there are no leaks.
A chinkless style is where the logs are notched properly so that they rest right on top of each other. This style generally does not require any caulk filler. Consider inspecting chinkless style log application methods frequently, because they tend to settle over time.
Check For Wood Damage
Always check for damage to the logs. This includes a semi-annual check, top to bottom, to look for leaks, wood rot and log buckling. When restoring an older log home, you may have to replace some damaged logs. Before you start, make sure a support system is in place to prevent wall collapse.
Log homes are beautiful structures that will easily stand for hundreds of years if properly cared for. Routine maintenance and log home repairs completed by a licensed contractor, like those at Joe Pine Builders Inc., will ensure that your home is safe and sturdy for daily living.