What log home maintenance should be done to protect your home?

Regular log home maintenance is necessary to protect and maintain your home's appearance, energy efficiency and structural integrity. Water, insects, decay and the sun are examples of natural enemies of a log home.

Assuming your structure is completed, the best time of the year for log home maintenance is in the early fall before the temperatures drop to the 40's and rains or snow arrive.

The #1 enemy of a residence built of wood is water or more precisely - moisture.

Moisture inside the wood as well as humidity can create an environment that causes mold build-up and decay fungi to cause damage to the wood.

Decay fungi can slowly cause the wood to become soft and spongy, losing its strength. This process can even be happening internally in the wood, out of sight, and it won't be seen until it's too late.

Mold can cause the wood to become discolored as well as more porous. This leads to more moisture entering the wood, causing more damage.

Because logs retain heat, insects can be attracted to them, and it does not take much of an opening for insects to come in.

Much of the log home maintenance required is no different from any other type of house. You should have a periodical insect inspection and at the same time do an inspection for decay and water damage.

Log homes will shift and settle over time and in some cases, they may develop new gaps. If this occurs, they can be resealed with caulk or chink.

Some builders will use insecticide mixed in with the final finish coat on exterior walls. Sprays and treatments can be applied to the soil around the home where insects live or breed.

There are a variety of water repellents, preservatives, sealants, stains and finishes that help logs shed water, resist insects and maintain their color.

One suggestion is to store your firewood and any other wood at least fifty feet or more from your house. Doing so will help keep carpenter ants and centipedes further from your home, if they exist, and they will less apt to make their way into your place.

One of the best ways to learn more about maintenance is to have one of the informative reference books that cover this crucial subject so well. The two best ones are shown below.

Log home maintenance recommended books

Log Home Maintenance Guide - A Field Guide for Identifying, Preventing & Solving Problems by Gary Schroeder.

He is a builder of custom handcrafted log homes as well as a restoration contractor.

America has thousands of these kinds of structures and this book is a very useful guide about maintenance issues, repairs and finishes about log homes.

The Log Home Maintenance Guide provides photos, illustrations and charts that help you diagnose most maintenance problems with your log home or cabin and get them fixed.

Log Home Care and Maintenance - Everything to Know to Buy, Maintain and Enjoy Your Log Home by Jim Olsen Davis.

Jim Davis teaches you the basics about materials, covers why logs make good homes, discusses the science of wood and covers various types of wood and how they respond to changes in temperature and humidity.

He gives you tips about inspecting and designing these kinds of structures, a complete and easy-to-follow plan of regular log home maintenance, addressing problems related to everything from weather to general cleaning to fending off the assaults of insects.

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