Millions of log homes built in 19th century are still standing today. Many of these older residential log cabins are still being used. This certainly clears up one thing in that residential log cabins not only look aesthetically pleasing but they are also very durable and sturdy, providing you take the appropriate measures to protect them from moisture and weather.
Undoubtedly, like every other house exposed to the elements, residential log cabin also need maintenance and repair. Over the years of outdoor exposure, the logs of a log home weaken and as a result, need to be protected to ensure their long life. There are numerous factors involved in proper log cabin maintenance, just as there are for a conventional house, with some very minor differences. The purpose is not to keep logs looking like new, this is not possible and also makes no sense, as aging wood brings out the different, rustic character of the logs. The aim is to keep the logs dry and protect them from a number of damaging elements.
Here we will be discussing only the exterior of your residential log cabin. In this article we will be also discussing some of the elements that your log cabin is exposed to and what measures you should take to protect your cabin from those extreme and damaging elements.
Protect your residential log cabin from UV rays: The sun’s UV radiations are not only harmful for your skin, but they also cause cellular damage to the surface of the wood. Removing these damaged wood cells is vital or it can serve as a food source for micro fungi. As the fungal growth progresses, the wood starts getting dark and gradually rots. To reduce exposure to the sun, porches and overhangs can assist in shading the bulk of your home. Also in order to cover your residential log cabin from severe and damaging UV rays, you can plant trees on the west and south side of the home. You can also choose a log stain that comes with UV protection to safeguard the exterior of your residential log cabin from UV rays. Nevertheless, if you have chosen a log stain that doesn’t provide UV protection, then buying an extra sealant that offers UV protection is recommended. This sealant is clear and can be easily applied over your stain without affecting the colour of your residential log cabin. The stain will work as a sun block for your home.
Extra protection from wind: As far as wind entering the interior of your residential log cabin is concerned, it can be really annoying if you want your cabin to have a cosy and warm atmosphere. In addition, it can be damaging as wind can speed up the cracking and drying of the wood. The wind has a rough effect on the wood when sand and dirt particles are pounding against the exterior of your residential log cabin all day and night. Chinking and caulking are recommended to provide extra protection from the wind. Chinking means an elastic sealing material in the log home industry that looks like the old-fashioned Portland cement-based mortar in texture and colour, and is used to seal the joints between logs. Caulking is a similar material to ‘chinking’ but generally has no texture or a very light texture. You can use caulking to fill the horizontal cracks and they are generally used in smaller joints.
Protection against mould, fungus, termites or bugs: Mould, fungus, termites and bugs are not only problematic for residential log cabins but they are a problem in any home. Insects and fungi turn logs into dust immediately, leading to severe structural damage that will need log replacement. In order to protect residential log cabin home from mould, fungus etc. Penetreat is used. Penetreat is a borate based wood preservative and is extremely useful for its shielding qualities. Penetreat offers a protective covering which assists in protecting your home against wet, dry as well as brown decay, in addition to harmful termites, house borers, carpenter ants and more. This method not only shields the logs from fungal decay but also from weather related concerns.
Be equipped for rain and snow: Precipitation is the worst enemy of the residential log cabin. Therefore, sealing, staining and cleaning are a must and need to be done on a regular basis. Moreover, by taking some preventative measures you can safeguard your cabin from precipitation. Stain the logs using a stain that provides protection against rain as well as insects and UV rays. Picking stain especially created to resist moisture is important. In addition, ensure that the gutters are working properly. Look for places where moisture can be trapped (window boxes, gas tanks, windows) and create airspace for circulation.
Railing system: A railing system is the weak link of log homes especially on an exposed deck. The junctures between the spindles and rails need to be caulked effectively. The little cracks or gaps in the railings also provide the opportunity for letting rain in. As a result, the railing system needs to be restained regularly. Installing gutters is also essential in making sure that water doesn’t drip on the railings.
Examine the logs: Logs contract and expand, become water drenched and are also exposed to insects, due to all this you will probably find you have rot in some of your logs. Examining the breaks of the logs for any kind or damp or dark areas is important. If you find rot, you can either get in contact with specialized renovation experts to assist you in taking out the decaying wood and replacing it. Alternatively, you can fill the checks on the exterior using a bead of caulking or chinking. Staining the logs to safeguard them from the elements can also help ensure the longevity of your residential log cabin.
Painting: In order to enhance the aesthetics or beauty of your log house you can have the exteriors painted in attractive colours. This will not only give your house a very colourful, bright and unique look but will form a coating that will protect the logs from rotting due to extreme atmospheric conditions.