The log home is a symbol of the intrepid American pioneering spirit, and possesses its own distinctive appearance. Houses and buildings comprised primarily of logs are visually striking structures, rustic, tough, and hardy. Humanity as a whole has been building living spaces with logs for centuries. Unfortunately, they’ve received a bad rap in the home maintenance department, due mainly to the perceived challenges of providing them with the proper upkeep. If you simply input the correct steps into a home maintenance app, properly maintaining a log home isn’t nearly as hard as people think.
Log Homes and Mold from Moisture
Due to issues in the past, log homes are notorious for accumulating mold. While mold naturally occurs on virtually all services, its invasive nature can be particularly detrimental to wood. It’s caused by liquid water, whether it’s pooling, dripping or just dampening an area. To prevent mold, make sure your wood is dry at all times. If the wood is showing signs of mold, eliminate the water source and dry the wood to ensure mold prevention and maximum longevity. Because of this, be sure to check your sump pump and maintain your water heater to prevent accidental leaks.
In the old days, a log home could be decimated by ravenous hordes of insects that would chew through its beams and destroy its structural integrity. Nowadays, various borate preservatives are used to protect wood from the hungry insects of the outside world. Borate is a natural mineral whose properties and compounds serve as a natural repellent.
Pollen, Dust and Insects
Wood is susceptible to damage from a wide variety of natural sources, and so it’s essential to schedule an annual washes to keep their quality. This will cleanse the wood of harmful surface contaminants such as dust, pollen, and insect skeletons. The yearly purification process will increase the lifespan of your wood beams and ensure a fresh appearance.
Preserving Wood Coloring
Another aspect of the log home that has been vilified over the years is the stain required to both protect the wood and preserve its coloring. Yes, past iterations have contained volatile organic compounds, but thanks to innovative research and development, many modern stains have been verified eco-friendly and emit virtually zero harmful chemicals into your living space.
In regard to choosing the right stain, there are myriad brands gracing store shelves, and so you should familiarize yourself with all their different compounds and formulas prior to purchasing. All are designed to inhibit moisture from entering into the wood and protect it from sun damage. Read consumer reports and consult professional guides before deciding on the right stain for you.
Roof Maintenance and Cracked Logs
Furthermore, because log homes are popularly found among wooded areas, they are uniquely exposed to nature and are often surrounded by trees. Homes surrounded by trees often require regular gutter maintenance. Clean gutters allow water to flow down and away from your home. Also, you’ll want to make sure you inspect your roof regularly.
Regardless of the quality protection you apply to your log home, a few cracks are a simple inevitability. But don’t panic, it’s natural. Minuscule cracks are nothing to worry about, but larger ones should be cleaned, treated with borate, re-stained, and then caulked as quickly as possible.
While log homes might require a little more maintenance than the typical living space, that extra required upkeep isn’t too difficult to implement. Keep an eye out for molds, cracks, or water sources accumulating near the wood, and if confronted with such a problem, neutralize it immediately to prevent potential damage and homeowner anxiety.