How to Protect Your Log Home from Severe Weather Conditions
Living in a log home is a beautiful experience. These homes bring the feel of the outdoors into your home through wood, leaning on natural light rather than artificial lighting, and gorgeous surroundings. But, as much as the “rustic” feel of log cabins is enjoyable, it also brings particular challenges and issues that aren’t as prevalent in urban-style homes. Therefore, to protect your log home from severe weather, you must face one of the biggest challenges of living in one. You must defend it against the wind, cold air, moisture, heavy rains, snowfall, etc.
Luckily, ensuring the well-being of your log home doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Many simple (and some not-so-simple) tactics will enhance your log cabin’s weather resistance without diminishing its gorgeous all-natural and rustic feel.
Firstly, one of the best ways to protect your log home from severe weather is by conducting regular maintenance. That would include frequent cleaning, insect removal, re-staining as needed, etc. If the winters in your area are known for creating thick sheets of snow, it’s also important to regularly clean your roof during that time. That will help avoid both moisture buildup and ice dam formation. A great idea would be to set aside time to prepare a log home maintenance checklist.
Ensure your foundation is solid
Over time the foundation of your log home will start to deteriorate. Even if it were laid perfectly during the initial construction, it would begin to pose an issue after a few years. Cracks in the foundation and holes in connection points between it and the rest of your home’s construction will allow water to seep into your home after heavy rains and snow sheets start melting. There are two things you can do to protect your log home from severe weather when it comes to your foundation.
The first thing you can do is install insulation in the base of your cabin. That would act as a protective barrier between the house and the concrete pad.
Secondly, it may be time for a professional repair if things get out of hand and you start noticing substantial damage to your foundation. Keep in mind that this can quickly turn into a large project. Make sure to plan it out properly. Consider your budget, whether you’ll use storage to protect your things or stay home while renovating. You should be detailed while preparing for this. For example, what kind of storage will you be using? Since some items require climate control, you might want to rent a unit that offers that feature.
Large roof overhangs
Dampness can be detrimental to the integrity of your log home. That is the first reason why having large roof overhangs is so essential. They ensure that any rain falling onto your roof will land far away from the house. Doing this reduces the amount of water in contact with the logs, which helps keep the moisture content consistent. The second reason is that they also directly stop harsh sunlight from hitting the logs. They effectively prevent the logs from drying out by providing the necessary shade.
With these two benefits combined, properly designed roof overhangs can extend the life of your log home by many years. Additionally, since they adequately protect your log home from severe weather, they also reduce the potential of the above mentioned issues.
Another way to protect your log home from excess moisture buildup due to undesirable weather is appropriately sealing it. In general, two forms of sealing are most common. Those would be caulk and weatherstripping. If you want this done correctly, you should also utilize any tips you can find regarding using sealants in cold weather or any other kind of unhelpful environment.
Caulk is a flexible compound. You can use it to fill any cracks you find in construction materials, but, more importantly, you can also use it to seal gaps between materials. For example, it can seal any draft gaps between the window frames and siding. There is a wide variety of options in terms of caulk. The most popular are silicone, acrylic, latex, polyurethane, hybrid mixes, etc. When choosing between these options, it’s best to consult a professional. Each one is great for a specific type of issue.
If faced with more significant gaps 1/4-3 inches in size, you can also use foam sealants as an alternative to caulking. You can also use them around chimneys, vents, faucets, etc. The most popular kind of foam sealant is polyurethane-based. That is because polyurethane is water-resistant and less likely to warp.
Weatherstripping is a great way to supplement caulking. Weather strips are most commonly used to plug air leaks in movable installations in your home, such as doors and windows. They are a great way to make your log home feel more comfortable and energy efficient. Weather strips are commonly from vinyl, but options are also metal, adhesive-backed tape, rubber, foam, hybrid mixes, etc.
Choosing the right stain
Choosing the right stain is an essential step for protecting your log cabin from severe weather. If your cabin is in an area with harsh sunlight during certain parts of the year, it’s best to choose a darker stain. The additional pigmentation protects the wood from the Sun’s rays. While there is an aesthetic component to choosing which stain you’ll use for your log home, it’s still important to consider long-term weather protection.
In addition to protecting your log home from harsh sunlight, staining protects the wood from moisture. You can avoid staining some of the interior walls in your home if you want to retain the wood’s natural look. But, for moisture protection, it should still be used in rooms prone to dampness, such as the bathroom. If you start noticing significant warping and shrinkage in your wooden logs after some time, it may be time to reapply the stain.
Log cabins have been a favorite for homeowners for a while now. That is mainly thanks to their gorgeous natural appearance and the lifestyle they offer. While they are durable, they have some weak points. Wood’s sensitivity to dampness, temperature changes, and sunlight are essential to protect your log home from severe weather. Of course, you should never forget that there are also things to do outside your home when preparing for seasons with extreme weather. For example, when winter is around the corner, you must prepare your outdoor water features, such as the outdoor misting system. Luckily, with some elbow grease and time, you can easily prevent any damage that weather conditions like this create.