Whether you are considering having a log home built or you already have one, maintaining it is vital. The correct maintenance procedures for your cabin will help it to last longer and reduce weather or insect damage.
Good drainage is really important for any cabin, as this prevents warping in poor weather. In order to achieve this, you will need to do the following;
Elevation – The build needs to be elevated at least 2inches off the ground – in other words, under no circumstances should your cabin sit directly on the floor. Elevation can be achieved by placing strong bricks or a platform underneath.
Guttering – As with a brick built home, guttering is also important with a timber build so that rain can be directed away from it. You will also need to ensure that leaves and other debris doesn’t accumulate in the guttering as this can impact on it’s effectiveness and will eventually cause water damage to your home.
Position – When you are building your log cabin, choose a location where there won’t be too many trees over the roof area. This will help to prevent water build up on the surface
Eaves – Ideally, you will need to ensure that the roof eaves are wide and hang over the exterior walls. This will prevent water damage to the exterior walls
Snow – If it snows, you’ll need to try to brush off some of the snowfall from the roof to prevent water build up when it melts. Only do this if it is safe to do so
Materials – It is often a good idea to have a shingle or tile roof as this will come with a protective membrane to reduce water damage.
Many companies that provide the logs for your cabin ‘untreated’. It is therefore vital that you get the logs treated as soon as construction has been completed. By treating the logs you will help them to last longer in the changing weather conditions. Untreated logs will deteriorate quickly. So, which is the best treatment to use? There are a number of them available;
Water based – This is a lightweight treatment that can be applied directly onto the wood, without any need for a primer. Water-based treatments ensure that the wood is more water proof, however, it needs to be reapplied annually.
Solvent based – This offers more protection from weather damage from it’s water-based counterpart, and it only needs to be reapplied every 2-3 years for optimum protection. However, it will require a few coats.
Oil based – This offers premium protection for your timber home. It provides UV protection that is long lasting, and it only needs to be reapplied once every five years. You may need to reapply to areas that are prone to severe weather conditions more often.
Pressure – Think of pressure treatment as your basic primer for any of the above treatments. This form of treatment is great because it forces wood preservative deep inside the logs, which helps to prevent fungal or insect infestations. However, to get the best results, you will still need to apply a suitable additional treatment.