Debunking Log House Maintenance Myths (Part 1)

log house maintenance Image source: restorelogs.com

Log house maintenance has always been a topic of debate. As you have landed on this page, it probably means that you are trying to establish the facts about log houses before you actually buy one. There are lots of things that a person comes across when looking for information about log house maintenance. But most of these are rumours that have been spread by individuals who are in the business of making concrete houses or individuals who have never lived in a log house. Nevertheless, making a decision based on these rumours wouldn’t be a wise decision. As a result, it is crucial that you know what the facts are and what things are unfounded rumours.

already maintained log house Image source: logcabinrestorationservices.com

To help you we will debunk some log house maintenance myths.

  1. A log house is tough to maintain: One thing that is sure is that log homes are not maintenance free, but neither are traditional concrete homes. Log homes, just like traditional homes, need periodic maintenance, which includes applying a fresh coat of stain, checking the logs for cracks, mould growth etc. However, it is also a fact that properly or effectively designed and built log homes are low maintenance. So, by investing in a log home from a reputed manufacturer you can ensure low maintenance from the very outset. Also there is a famous old adage, ‘if it is worth owning, it is worth taking care of’. The exterior of a house is the main area that needs maintenance and must be taken care of during the life of the home in order to ensure its longevity. Varnished or interior stained walls will never need to be redone. However, if the walls of your log home are your child’s favourite canvas then you need to take major steps to bring the walls back to their original state. But even conventional homes with an exterior of paint must be refurbished regularly as well. So, in short, no house is maintenance free and there is no such thing as easy or tough maintenance.
  2. Log house maintenance is time consuming: it is not necessarily so. If you are cautious about the aesthetics and look of your log house and plan maintenance periodically, then you can save a lot of time as well as work and money. But, if you don’t ever pay attention to the deteriorating condition of your log house, the chipped paint, or a few minor cracks here and there, after living almost two or more years in your log house you’ll one day suddenly wake up to see the condition of your house, then certainly it will be time consuming and cost you a handsome amount of money. So, whether the log house maintenance will be a time consuming chore or a quick task, completely depends on how well you take care of your log house.
  3. Cracks in the wood spell the end of the log house: Finding a crack in your wall might sound troublesome but the cracks in the logs of your log house are perfectly natural. Wood has a natural tendency to dry as soon as it is cut in the form of logs, so cracks are very natural. But thankfully procedures like chinking, caulking etc. are available to deal with these cracks. These procedures assist in sealing cracks and checks and in order to prevent moisture from getting in through these cracks you should treat them using a moisture repellent varnish. Cracks are also a common problem in concrete and everyone must have seen cracks in concrete walls as well, but usually those cracks aren’t something to be worried about; this is also the case with log homes.
  4. Log houses have mould problems: Mould can be found everywhere, both inside and outside and can develop on almost any substance where moisture is present. Another reason for the growth of mould is the incomplete drying of flooring materials such as concrete. Leaky roofs, indoor plumbing issues, building maintenance problems etc. are also some of the issues that can lead to mould. So, it cannot be said that log houses have problems with mould. If you keep your logs dry and avoid any extra exposure to moisture then they will last a lifetime. Keep checking plumbing pipes, leaky roofs etc. Also when building a garden outside your log house, make sure that you build a garden some distance from your house, or plant trees in pots, as it can also be the cause of moisture and subsequently mould growth.
  5. Log homes have insect problems: Over the past 20 years the pest control industry as well as the log home construction industry has come a long way. So, thankfully now we don’t have the termite problems that we used to have earlier. Borate is a really effective natural mineral that prevents bugs from eating your logs. The main problem today is carpenter bees but by using liquid formulations containing cyfluthrin and permethrin and dust containing boric acid you can easily repel them. If you do encounter these insects: once the bees are gone, cork the holes with caulk and steel wool, followed by a stain finish. Pests like ants, cockroaches, rodents are widespread in concrete built houses, so no construction is free of insect problems, though the types of insects and pests may differ from construction to construction.
  6. All log stains are the same: It is a myth that all log stains are the same. Each stain manufacturer uses different formulations, and as a result a huge variety of stain companies are operating in the market. Consequently, it is important that you learn about the varieties of stains and choose one that is best for your location.
  7. An oil-based stain is better than a water-based stain: There is no fact in this. The sole requirement of applying the stain is to apply it according to the directions given by the manufacturer. Depending on the humidity levels and the exposure to the sun, different types of stains are recommended. If you have some colour specific requirements, then also the choice of stains may differ.

So, don’t let these rumours influence your decision to buy a log house. Establish the facts to make the best decision. 

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