17 Feb How to Perform a Log Home Maintenance Inspection
Any season can be an excellent time to inspect your home and plan those upcoming maintenance projects. Start with a simple sketch of your home and as you inspect, mark those areas that need work. Digital photos can help later if you need repair advice. Begin in one corner of the home and go completely around making notes and taking pictures as you go.
And what should you be looking for? Here’s a list of things we routinely check when doing a professional inspection, along with some recommendations of what to do about them.
At the Ground Line:
1) Dirt against exterior log surfaces. Remove dirt to at least 12” away from logs.
2) Firewood stacked against or near the home. Move firewood at least 18” from log walls to prevent insects from infesting your log walls.
3) Landscaping (plants & shrubs) against house. Trim plants to 18” away from log walls to allow good air circulation to exterior walls.
4) Excessive moisture in logs. Check and repair water management systems such as gutters, downspouts, sprinklers, faulty plumbing.We digitally measure with moisture meter.
5) Sawdust (frass) from beetles on lower logs or other signs of insect infestation. Clean and treat with Borate based contact insecticide, repair damage.
1) Probe and meter for signs of decay or rot in log surfaces or log ends. Remove log face, extract decayed wood, Borate treat, rebuild with resin filler, repair log face (or make replacement) stain and seal. This is complex work for a homeowner and requires specialized tools and materials. Contact us to discuss coaching.
2) Green moss, black algae or heavy mold growing anywhere. Check water management system, repair and landscape as needed to assure drainage. Trim trees to reduce shade. It is important to chemically treat before resealing.
3) Upward facing checks that could collect water. Seal with specially designed log home caulking. Do not use standard caulking products from home improvement stores. We offer this service or coach homeowners on how to do-it-yourself.
4) Gaps that allow water or air infiltration. Remove degraded caulking as needed and reseal with specialized log home caulking.
Overall Exterior Wood:
1) Annual cleaning. Clean with PermaChink Log Wash. As an alternative, a weak dilution of Dawn dishwashing soap or Simple Green can be used. Brush with a soft bristle brush as needed, thoroughly rinse with a pressure washer (do not apply pressure to logs) or a garden hose.
2) Faded south and/or west walls, gray discoloration from weathering or water does not “bead up” on surface. Test for UV degradation and weathering of wood surfaces. Existing finish should be stripped or chemically etched, clean, and reseal.
An annual inspection is well worth the effort since small, inexpensive repairs can prevent future damage to your home. As always, contact us with any questions.