When I think of log homes, I get this romantic image of a cozy cabin on a large acreage, surrounded by woods and wildlife. This can certainly be the case, but we shouldn’t forget that there are important steps to take in the maintenance and restoration of log homes as well, beyond the romantic stoking of the fireplace.
As any reputable log home builder will tell you, it is natural for wood to expand and contract as temperatures and humidity levels change, but this can lead to twisting and cracking, loosening of caulking and sealants failing. Since you don’t want to leave your home exposed to the possibilities of insect and water damage or air infiltration, you’ll want to take the proper steps in preparing for winter.
As with most DIY home improvement or maintenance projects, you need to take stock first by doing a visual inspection around your home. You will be looking for:
• Signs of insect pests such as sawdust on the logs or on the ground, or obvious holes in the wood.
• Signs of mildew on the wood or caulking.
• Gaps around windows and doors that need to be sealed.
• Problems with caulking around log seams, joints, vents, and corners.
• Evidence that the sealant is not doing its job and water is being absorbed. (To check this, simply spray water on the logs: if it beads and runs off, the stain is still in good condition; if it is absorbed, you will need to re-stain.)
If you come across any maintenance issues that you cannot address on your own, contact a local log home restoration specialist who can do the work for you. Taking care of these simple maintenance issues now, before winter sets in, will save you plenty of headaches down the road.
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