Does a Log Home Require Extra Maintenance?
There is something cozy and inviting about a log home. They look beautiful under snow and gorgeous in the summer. Log homes give us a sense of freedom and make us appreciate nature. Most people just love them and dream of building one. Thankfully, Frontier Log Homes are here to make your dream come true!
Some of the most common questions we hear from our clients concern log home maintenance. Is log home maintenance expensive? Is it time-consuming? Do log homes require more maintenance than conventional ones?
The most sensitive part of a log home is the logs. Logs are the foundation of your log home. Because they are made out of wood, they are sensitive to rain, snow, and sun exposure. Your log home is as solid as your logs: if the logs have been well-dried and come from well-tended forests, your log home will last for generations. All you need to do is take good care of your logs.
Here at Frontier Log Homes, we tend to our logs and let them dry slowly before using them in our homes. The quality of our materials and the excellence of our craftsmanship deliver the best log homes—and ensure easy maintenance.
Observe Your Log Home
When maintaining your log home, the most important step is to take time to carefully observe it, inside and out.
Look around the logs and see if there are cracks. These cracks come naturally as logs swell and contract with humidity, temperature changes, and seasonal variations, which is why log homes require chinking. Cracks and gaps let wind and insects into your home. You will need to caulk or chink these gaps. Caulking is done on smaller gaps while chinking is used for larger cracks and holes.
Look at the State of Your Logs
If your logs have darkened areas, then the stain has peeled and water is seeping in through the logs. Mold and mildew have developed and you will need to clean the logs and re-stain them.
Check the Stain on the Logs
If you have stained your logs, you need to verify the stain’s durability. Drip a little water and see if it forms a bead and runs down the log. If it does, your log stain is intact. If not, the wood will soak it up and create a dark spot. In this case, you need to re-stain your logs.
Check for Bug and Insect Traces
Bugs and insects love to hide in logs: after all, trees are their natural habitat and they appreciate the protection logs provide. You, on the other hand, may not appreciate sharing your home with spiders, beetles, termites, ants, carpenter bees, and other flying or crawling visitors.
Check for termite holes and droppings, ant sawdust, mud tubes by termites, spider webs, and other signs of insect activity. Sometimes, you may even hear noises coming from inside the logs. If you suspect a bug infestation, knock on the wood: if it sounds hollow, bugs and insects are probably eating away at the logs.
To eliminate bugs and insects, you will need an exterminator who will have the proper material and chemicals to combat the infestation.
Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clean
Make sure your gutters are clean of leaves and debris. Rainwater should flow freely. If your gutters overflow, the water will splash on your logs and damage them.
Look for Vegetation around the House
If trees and bushes are too close to your log home, humidity will build up and damage your logs. It is best if you let clean air circulate freely around the house to dry the logs from rain, humidity, and snow. Prune your trees and shrubs to give space around your home.
How Different Is Log Home Maintenance Compared to Conventional Home Maintenance?
A conventional home needs a lot of maintenance, too. You need to check gutters and make sure your home will not flood from overflowing gutters and drains. You also must look for trees hanging too close to the house as they cause excessive humidity and could damage the house in case of a storm.
You must make sure your crawl space and basement do not get flooded and are insulated.
You should also check the roof to ensure all shingles are intact, otherwise you must repair your roof.
Even conventional homes can witness a termite infestation in the drywall. Again, you need to hire an exterminator to take care of the problem.
All homes require maintenance—and so do log homes. Log homes need a little bit more care regarding the stability and health of the logs themselves. However, in general, log homeowners face similar maintenance concerns to conventional homeowners.
How Can I Minimize My Log Home Maintenance Costs?
To minimize the maintenance costs, choose a log home construction company that uses quality materials and excellent craftsmanship—a company like Frontier Log Homes.
Logs need to dry for months, if not years before they are used. Once they have dried properly, they have reached their optimal humidity content and will expand and contract very little. Also, insects will find nothing of interest in a dry log, so they are more likely to leave it alone.
We also suggest you choose a log home design that includes stone or cement skirting. This means that the logs will not sit directly on the ground but will have a stone foundation protecting them from moisture and water. This way, your logs will be more protected against damage.
Some log homeowners opt for broad overhangs, roofed terraces, porches, and covered patios. These protect your home structure from the elements. Your logs will not be directly exposed to sun and rain, which means less maintenance for the future.
Log Home Maintenance Myths
- “They take a lot more time and effort than standard houses.” While this might be true of a kit someone is putting together themselves, for the most part this is not true. Planning ahead when building or using a seasoned contractor or log home builder can often be shorter than a conventional home, all by using the right materials and structuring the building in the right way.
- “I’m going to have to deal with rot.” Again, this is not always the case. Poor building plans and landscaping design (for example, sprinkle overspray into the walls of the house or heavy vine and shrubbery growth against the house) can lead to a higher chance of rot. However, any home with wooden structural or architectural components has the potential to rot.
- “My home will be eaten up by bugs!” Actually, there are ways to avoid pests like termites and carpenter bees and again, these homes are no more susceptible to these pests as any other home type.
- “The logs are going to crack and break.” In a properly designed home, on an engineered foundation, this will not be an issue. In fact, the cracks in the logs are natural and the logs themselves are incredibly strong. Any big cracks should be filled and caulked, but when this is done in the building process, it does not need to be revisited as a matter of maintenance.
Choose Quality and Craftsmanship
It is time to build your log home.
If you are looking for a log home construction company that delivers quality materials, excellent craftsmanship, and sturdy construction techniques, then contact Frontier Log Homes online—the industry leader in award-winning log cabin kits. Visit us at 60813 Maple Grove Road, Montrose, CO 81403, or call now 970-249-7130 and let’s get started on your log home!