17 Feb Combating Your Log Home’s Natural Enemies
A common misconception of log homebuyers is that log homes are impervious to the elements and are built to last forever with little maintenance.
The truth of the matter is that proper maintenance of effectively combats your log home’s four main enemies:
- Owner Neglect
(1.) Sun. A common problem experienced by log home owners is referred to as weathering.
This process is the breaking down of wood fibers at or near the surface of the logs, and opens up cracks that allow moisture, rot and insects to set in. The sun’s UV rays also allow severe weathering, with logs turning gray. Weathered logs are a sign that the decaying process has already started.
Weathered exterior wood surfaces can be restored by our chemical stripping process and future problems can be avoided by application of a quality UV inhibitive sealant.
(2.) Moisture. Caulking your log home is an important step in sealing cracks and crevices from the elements, reducing heat loss, and preventing insect infestation.
There are many different brands of caulking to choose from, but it is important to know that only caulking compounds made specifically for log homes should be used. These caulking products are engineered specifically to maintain structural integrity as log movement occurs.
The water repellency of exterior log surfaces is also directly related to rot resistance and the prevention of damaging fungal infestations.
Proper application of a quality log home surface sealant is important as it allows wood to breathe while maintaining a water repellent surface. This is possible because moisture vapor molecules are smaller than water molecules. The finish acts like a one-way valve for moisture vapor to migrate out of the logs while preventing water from passing through the finish and back into the logs.
(3.) Insects. In general, wood-boring insects prefer wet wood over dry wood and maintenance efforts are intended to deal with current damage as well as help to prevent future problems.
Specific insect problems should be inspected and addressed by a qualified professional as a part of your home’s ongoing maintenance program, and many common pests problems can be prevented by application of contact insecticides at the time that repairs are made or your home is refinished.
Carpenter Bees are common pests in our part of the country, boring ½” diameter tunnels into logs and other wood surfaces including overhangs and decks. See our Carpenter Bee download for specifics about dealing with these pesky insects.
Borate treatment is effective for wood preservation and insect control, and should be considered for any log home being stripped and resealed. Additionally, contact insecticides can also be added to log home finishes for ongoing insect protection.
(4.) Owner Neglect. Procrastination is often the result of a lack of reliable information. If you have any questions about maintenance for your log home, please contact us.
By understanding the need to regularly perform maintenance functions, home owners not only reduce the occurrence of problems caused by weathering, rot and decay, and insects, but also achieve peace of mind and satisfaction with their decision to purchase a log home.