Residential log cabins require maintenance practices, more so as the colder weather approaches. Not caring for them leaves them vulnerable to the weather conditions. And this, in turn, threatens their longevity. You would spend much more time and money in restoring a home than protecting it. It is thus best to work on your home as from fall in preparation for the cold months. And here are ways in which you can achieve this:
Check Your HVAC System
Most HVAC systems will last you anything between twelve and fifteen years. The period of service will depend on how well you care for the system while it is in use. It also depends on the quality of the system as some have better builds than others. If you have a high-quality system and you adhere to the care guidelines, it could last two decades.
As the cold weather approaches, you will need to change the filters in your system. In this way, it will run as it should, circulating clean air through the house. It is important to note that you will rely on the system a lot during the cold months. Thus, this is not a step you can afford to skip, both for your health and utility bills. An inefficient system exposes you to contaminants and runs up the utility costs.
Also, you need to get a reputable contractor to look at the system to gauge if it works as it should. You could replace the filters only to find that the system is not performing at par. If you have conducted the annual maintenance checks, this could point to something being wrong with the system.
The last thing you want is for the system to fail you when you need it the most.
Before calling in help, you can assess the situation to see if there is a need for a professional. Turn on the system and figure out what is not right. It could be that the heat is not enough to warm the room, or it does not work at all. What can you do? The first thing will be to check if the system is plugged in. It might seem unnecessary but it would surprise you how this is often the case. Sometimes, kids or pets dislodge the plug and this leaves you with a problem on your hands. Also, check the fuses and the circuit breakers, as well as the thermostat settings. Any of these could interfere with the working of the system.
If all these things are in place, it might be time to call for service. And you should do it early on to ensure the system works when the time comes.
Work on the Exterior
As much as most of the preparation work will be in the interior, residential log cabins require outside maintenance. You have to ensure that the wood is in excellent condition by painting, caulking, and sealing it. Failure to do this will expose the wood to weather conditions, which would affect its durability.
In most cases, the wood surrounding your home will have undergone pressure treating. Or you could have rot-resistant wood in the build. In these cases, you would not have much cause for worry. But there could be places which need more attention than the others, such as the wood trim.
If you have wood trim covering the doors, you should note that it is often vulnerable to the prevailing weather conditions. And where it does not have adequate protection, it could rot, reducing the aesthetic value of your home. Furthermore, repairing it will cost you a lot of money, and you may not get the same build you had in the past. It is thus in your best interest to protect this wood. And you can do this through painting and caulking.
The good news is that you can handle the maintenance, provided you have the right tools. But if the trim rots, you will need to call in a professional and part with a tidy sum of money.
Start by assessing the state of the trim to ensure that the paint is intact and the caulk has not cracked. If there is a need for intervention, get rid of the caulk or paint and work on the trim afresh.
As for the other wood surfaces, you should note that even rot-resistant and treated timber needs maintenance. Thus, you should work on sealing the wood now and then to protect it from the elements. If the wood absorbs water, it is time to work on sealing it or you will have a bigger problem on your hands at the end of the rainy season.
Seal Hard Surfaces
With all this focus on wood, you may forget about other hard surfaces that also need your attention. A good example would be the concrete on walkways and the driveway. It, too, needs sealing to prevent it from developing cracks. Start by assessing the state of the concrete and looking out for any cracks. If you find any, work on filling them before following up with a sealer. In this way, water cannot settle in the cracks and freeze in the cold months. The same goes for asphalt surfaces. Lack of sealing will have you incurring high repair costs in the future.
Assess the Drainage
The one place you need to check is the foundation of your home, as a weak point in this could destabilise your home. Start by checking the ground around your foundation and looking for any settlement. The settlement creates a space for water to collect, and this poses a risk to your home.
From here, deal with the drainage to ensure that water from the roof can drain away from the house. The best way to do this would be to clean the gutters so that they do not back up and let water flow over the walls.
Preparing for the cold weather is all about looking into likely problems and dealing with them in time. It helps you protect the investment that is your home. Good Luck!