Log Home Maintenance
FIRST DON’T PANIC – THAT’S A STICK FRAME WALL IN THE PICTURE – NOT ONE OF OUR LOG WALLS.
A properly built butt and pass log home can often go many years with virtually no maintenance. We have log homes built over 30 years ago, and have hardly had to do any maintenance at all. It takes the right knowledge to build such a log home though, the right materials, and the right design.
Log home kits and notched log homes on the other hand often require a great deal of maintenance and restoration work as they age. They inherently require extensive maintenance due to their method of construction — a lot of maintenance is virtually unavoidable. Here are nine general tips that will at least help minimize water damage and future maintenance needs for such homes:
Do not plant shrubs near your log walls. This helps minimize the chance of water splashing off the leaves and onto your log wall.
Stack firewood well away from the house. Stacking firewood near your home can attract wood boring insects like termites.
Install gutters on your log home. This can help prevent splash back from hitting your lower logs and causing water damage. This is especially important if you have short overhangs.
Spray borate on logs periodically (as per manufacturers instructions). Borate is a safe and effective wood preservative.
If you don’t install gutters, avoid deck splash back by building a splash guard, or grate, or bench that blocks water from splashing off the deck and hitting your log wall.
Place covers over any exposed log ends, specifically purlins, ridge pole, rafter ends. If you have any log ends that get wet every time it rains, then you’re asking for trouble — so put a ‘hat’ on those unprotected log ends.
If water tends to collect near your home install drains to draw it away. This will help reduce the moisture level right near your home.
Extend your gutter drains so water is deposited about 10′ away from your home. Again, this helps reduce moisture levels near your home.
Clean off pollen, dust and dirt that accumulates on the exterior of your log walls. Over time such things can form a thin film on the logs, which can contribute to mildew and mold growth.
The above tips can go a long way in helping to keep your log home in good shape. If you do see any problems developing, be sure to address them asap using products such as compressed borate rods, glycol borate products, plasticizing agents (epoxies), etc… Those kind of products, when used appropriately, can help ward off the need for full or partial log replacement. in a notched log home or a log home kit.
“It is usually easier to properly build a new log home from scratch, than it is to fix an improperly built log home.”
When built correctly, a butt and pass log home can outlive any other type of log house, and it doesn’t require endless coats of stain or other sealants to protect the logs from decay”.