Is your log home not in the best shape? Has its exterior lost the shine it had when the cabin was brand new? These are common occurrences with log houses. Although they have many advantages, log cabins require regular maintenance. Their wooden walls are directly exposed to various weather conditions that can damage or rot away the wood.
This is why doing a regular maintenance check is essential to keep your home in top shape. Log cabins require a different maintenance approach compared to regular houses. The cabin logs require special treatment to keep them clean and healthy. Here are some tips for treating log home exteriors.
1. Keep the exterior of your walls clean
Washing your log cabin’s walls is essential to maintain the wood’s health. Over the year, a lot of dust and mold that is transmitted by air gets stuck on your walls’ exterior. If they are allowed to collect on your log walls for a long period, they can start growing into the wood finish and damage it. Grabbing a garden hose and a log cleaner is the best way to prevent this. Make sure to rinse the walls thoroughly again after applying the cleaner, and leave them to dry.
This is also a good way to see if the preservative has worn off in some places. Preservatives are chemicals used to protect your walls from various threats to the wood, such as insects, mold, and mildew. When washing the walls of your log cabin, check for any wet patches. This will indicate that the preservative is not doing its job anymore and that the water is being absorbed by the wood. A fresh coat of preservative is needed if this is the case.
2. Exterior gutter maintenance
Keeping the gutters and drainage system in top shape is something every house owner has to do. However, this is especially important for log homes, which are most often located around many trees.
Throughout the year, and especially in fall, your gutters gather a lot of natural debris. Leaves, twigs, and other things can pile up in the gutters and prevent the water from flowing away properly. Clearing all the debris is the first thing you should do when doing your gutter maintenance check.
After that, check for any damage in the gutters themselves. Look for cracks that might be causing the water to leak through. In addition, you can also test your gutter state during heavy rain. This method is simpler since you can detect potential leaks much easier.
3. Roof maintenance
You can’t discuss the tips for treating log home exteriors without at least one being about the roof. The state of your roof is one of the main things you should pay attention to when preparing your home for severe weather. The shingles and roof metal suffer a lot of weather damage over the seasons. The shingles can crack or get twisted, which is a sign that they need to be replaced. Your metal roof, on the other hand, can get loose from strong winds and other harsh weather. Make sure to re-secure the metal components with screws.
You should also check for moss growth on the roof. Moss can considerably reduce the lifespan of your shingles. If there is moss on your roof, hose it down and apply an anti-moss product. You can also install zinc strips to help prevent any further formation of moss.
4. Keep the area around the cabin clear
It isn’t just the cabin itself that you have to consider. The area around it can also cause problems to your log home. One of the tips for treating log home exteriors was cleaning the gutters. Leaves and twigs are the main debris that gets stuck in them. This is why it is often recommended to make some distance between your log cabin and the surrounding tree canopies. You could cut down the branches that are expanding too close to your roof if you don’t want to cut the whole tree down.
Additionally, any ground cover should be kept away from your cabin’s walls. The water from it can cause moisture damage or mold to gather on the walls. If your flowers, mulch, etc., are less than 3 feet from your house, consider relocating them. This could be a great opportunity to give your yard a fresh look, too. In case you need inspiration, here are some creative ideas about the ways to transform your backyard.
5. Window maintenance
Your water-resistant walls will mean little if your windows are not doing their job. Window insulation is extremely important to keep your log cabin dry and warm. If you have double-paned windows, check for signs of condensation between the panes. You should also pay attention to the draft. A simple way to check if you have drafty windows is to bring a lit candle close to your window sills and frame. If the flame flickers, your window is not insulated properly. Just make sure there are no flammable objects nearby first.
6. Patio and porch
The final advice on our list of tips for treating log home exteriors is about patios, porches, and even decks. Their maintenance is quite similar to how you would clean your walls. If your porch or patio is wooden, wash it down and check the finish, as it might be time to reapply the stain. Choosing the right stain helps improve the longevity of your finish, so you won’t have to worry about maintaining it as often. Remove any existing mold or mildew with a proper cleaner to prevent further spread. After letting it dry off, your porch or patio will be ready for use again.