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Log Cabin Maintenance

Log Home Builders log cabinKarl Young, based in Springfield Ohio, has been a general contractor for over ten years. He also works in restoration, from log cabins to deck construction.  To tackle the subject of log cabins, especially in the maintenance sector, we knew exactly the person to ask. Taking care of the exterior of your house/holiday home can feel incredibly overwhelming, especially to those of us who live in a home made out of natural materials. Both Karl, and his team have many years of experience. All their knowledge is condensed into this easy-to-read guide. No fluff, no guess work, no waste, and nothing but good advice.

Log cabins require yearly maintenance, which isn’t as time-consuming as it sounds when you consider the annual maintenance requirements for the average neighborhood house.  Home exteriors need an annual sprucing up, such as painting, water gutters, windows, roofing and many other items.  A log home is no different.

Every 12-18 months the logs will need to be washed, although many websites suggest using a power wash, this is something Karl does not endorse. Pressure washing can be detrimental to the logs themselves.  This damage leads to molds or mildews in hard to reach places, as water can find and flood any holes in the wood.  These growths can ruin the interior to your home and your belongings. It is strongly advised to use a standard pressure garden hose to clean the exterior.  Power washers are ideal for decks but not your log home. Karl also recommends that any log wood maintenance should be done in either spring or fall. Washing in spring removes pollen and fall to removes fallen leaves.

Three years after completing the log cabin is a critical time, to further the maintenance. At this point, it is highly recommended to wash, stain and put a top coat on your log cabin. Karl advised using Permachink when staining your home.  When used correctly it can last for up to five years. Also, after staining, use Life Line Advance Clear Top Coat to ensure that the wood can breathe and repel water.  This step means annual maintenance will be easier and more cost effective especially when considering the possible water damage to your natural materials.

This upkeep will naturally vary with location and the weather in your area. Keep an eye on the south and western walls. These exposures have a tendency to receive the most: snow, sun, and rain, which in turn means more wear and tear. These walls will need to be touched up at some point, possibly before the five-year mark.

What is the best way to tell you walls are damaged? Moisture damage is suspected wherever the materials look gray, bubble, chip or flake. Water/moisture can cause severe damage to logs and therefore your home. A pre-emptive move is to fill any holes in the wood larger the ¼ inch.  Water in these holes can potentially crack and rot your wood.

Want to own a log cabin?  Contact Log Home Builders at 919-202-4428.

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