It's no secret that log homes require maintenance to keep the home sealed and prevent future problems. Natural elements have a way of creepin' up on us and cause damage before we even realize it. That's why it's important to perform routine maintenance on your home so that weathering and insects can be prevented before problems arise.
One of the main questions we receive from new clients is: What type of maintenance is required for a log home? It is certainly a valid question and something you definitely want to consider if you're in the market to purchase or build a log home.
One of the best things you can do each year is wash your log home down with a Log Wash to remove any dirt or build-up (depending on the stain, you can also use bleach and water). We typically do our maintenance washes in the springtime so that we can wash off the debris and dust that accumulates during the Winter. A good power wash will keep your logs protected longer and will increase the life of the stain.
After your maintenance wash, it will be a perfect time to apply a bee treatment to help prevent those pesky carpenter bees from burrowing into your home. The treatment may need applied multiple times a year depending on your location and climate.
Along with the wash, and the bee treatment, you will also want to inspect your home and look for areas that may need to be caulked. Some key areas to check are around window and door areas, as well as the top half of round logs. Cracks and checks can form where the logs are weathered the hardest, so you'll want to make sure to caulk those cracks to prevent water penetration which in some cases, can cause the log to deteriorate.
Washing the home and caulking necessary areas definitely needs to be done at least once a year – but twice a year is ideal. You may even find that you can save on heating costs by resealing any needed areas in the Fall before the cold Winter hits.
Speaking of Fall, it is also a good idea to clean your gutters of all the leaves and dirt that builds up throughout the year. If your gutters do have debris and it begins to freeze, the build-up can expand and end up causing cracks in your gutters and fascia boards. This can lead to roof leaks and deterioration of nearby boards and logs. You may think you're safe if you have leaf guards on your gutters, which does help immensely, but smaller debris can still slip through the grates.
Aside from the annual maintenance work, it is important to keep an eye on the condition of the stain on your logs. We recommend applying a fresh coat of stain where necessary every 5-7 years, as well as an all-over clear topcoat. That being said, not every home is the same. If your home has a lot of porches and large overhangs, it may not receive as much weathering. But on the other hand – if your home is fairly exposed up on a hilltop where it is pretty windy, it may need re-stained more frequently. Your condition of stain is something to watch for during your annual or biannual inspections.
It's also important to remember that exterior stains are more than just a color for your home. The stain actually protects your logs from dirt and weathering. Bare spots not only look dingy, but it's a sign of an exposed log that is now vulnerable to the elements. Touching up the stain or topcoat on your logs in between full re-stains can save you time and money in the long run.
If you have any additional questions about maintaining your log home or would like to receive a quote from Scenic Pine to do your maintenance work for you – please don't hesitate to reach out to us!