Winter can be a cozy time in a log home, especially when your family is gathered around the fireplace as the snow flies outside. You’ll feel a lot more snug when you have taken the precautions to make sure your home is ready to withstand whatever winter throws at it. Let’s consider a few home improvement tips to get your home in shape for the winter season.
Moisture Is the Enemy
As you can probably imagine, moisture is your log home’s worst enemy, so controlling the moisture that is sitting against the logs is important. You should make it a habit to walk around the perimeter of your house and make sure that any shrubs, trees or other plantings are at least two feet away from the house. If you allow the greenery to grow up against the house, your risk trapping rain and snow against the logs. Logs can quickly rot when this happens, and the only solution for a rotten log is to replace it. So, try to prevent this from happening in the first place.
Another important way to control the moisture is by making sure your gutters are installed and working properly. Your gutters should direct the run off water away from your home, and the splash blocks should be situated far enough away from the home so that the water does not splash back up on the logs. A final important note concerning your gutters is to make sure you give them a thorough cleaning. A gutter plugged with leaves and other debris will simply cause water to cascade over the edge and down your logs—right where you don’t want it.
Another important item on your log home maintenance to-do list should be to inspect the chinked joints of your log home. Look carefully at the seals in places like corners and in areas close to the ground where moisture is more apt to build up and damage the seal. If the seal is damaged, you need to pull it off and replace it. If you see a gap, just fill it in, but never add new sealant on top of old, loose sealant. It needs to be pulled off before resealing, or it will leak. Also, while you’re at it, check the seals on your windows to make sure they are intact.
Cover any openings on your roof with heavy gauge wire mesh, not screen, to prevent little animals from making your home their home during the cold winter months. Screen is not a strong enough preventative measure—the little critters will be able to chew right through it.
Keep an eye out for ice dams forming on your roof. This happens when moist air inside the house settles underneath the roof, causing snow on top of it to melt, forming ice dams. If you have an attic and the log home builders installed vapor and insulation barriers, you should not have this problem.
Ultimately, taking the time now to prepare your log home for winter will help ensure that you and your family have a snug, dry refuge when Old Man Winter roars into town.