Log homes provide a cozy, rustic ambiance that many modern homeowners find exceedingly appealing. However, people often believe that log homes require substantial amounts of maintenance, and significant concerns include moisture, insects, and possible fire danger. The difference between log homes and other structures made from wood is that log homes feature a great deal of exposed wood, leaving log homes more vulnerable to certain environmental factors than those made of bricks or featuring vinyl siding, for instance. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the chances of your log home being damaged by any of these things. Following are three problems that affect log homes and how to keep damage to a minimum.
Because wood is a porous material, it attracts and retains moisture more than brick, stone, or other building materials. To help protect your log home from moisture, be sure that its design includes generous eaves that overhang enough to provide exterior walls with protection from rainwater runoff. Gutters and downspouts provide further protection against runoff, and stains designed to repel moisture guard against damage caused by atmospheric humidity. Staining should last seven or eight years, although spot repairs may be necessary in order to keep your log home in the best possible condition.
Insects are another problem with potential to cause significant damage to exposed wood. Using a raised concrete foundation is advised over a standard slab foundation. Because most log homes are equipped with interior wood burning appliances, various insects frequently find their way indoors via firewood. Never store firewood indoors, and don't stack wood against the exterior walls of your log home. Avoid using pine straw or wood mulch around the home exterior -- inorganic materials such as pebbles and crushed oyster shells are attractive mulch materials that don't harbor insects.
Using flame-resistant roofing materials helps minimize the chances of your home being damaged by airborne sparks. You should also be sure to keep tree branches cut back so that they don't overhang the roof, keep your yard free of dead and dying vegetation, and keep your lawn mowed and watered -- long, dry grass provides an ideal environment for fires to quickly spread. Ask your contractor about the possibility of having a fire-resistant seal coat applied to the the exterior and interior walls of your log cabin.
Keeping a detailed maintenance diary of your log cabin is recommended to help you keep on top of tasks designed to maximize the comfort and safety of your log cabin. Your log home repair contractor can provide you with further tips and advice specific to your location and personal situation.