Log homes have very different maintenance needs than a standard house. However, maintaining a well designed log home is not as hard as many people believe. In fact, there are quite a few myths regarding the maintenance of log houses:
- “They take a lot more time and effort than standard houses.” This is not true, especially if you plan ahead when building. This means 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 over spray 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.
Maintaining the Home
The biggest part of maintaining your home comes down to inspection and consistency. Not everything will need to be worked on every year, but you should still check for weak areas just as you would with a standard home. When inspecting, look for:
- Worn down stain: Stain protects the structure from the elements. UV rays from the sun and water are the two biggest issues. This stain will need to be reapplied every 5-10 years, depending on the type of stain.
- Pests: As with any other homes, pests can be an issue. With a log structure, though, pests like termites and carpenter bees can be taken care of with chemical solutions. For homes in dry mountainous regions, these are nearly a non-issue.
- Chinking: The sealant between each log is called the chinking. It should be airtight, so any chinking that is peeling needs to be addressed. Also, fill in any large cracks forming in the wood.
- Gutters. Check the gutters! If they are blocked, water won’t drain properly. This can lead to water damage on both the wood and the gutters themselves.
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