Log rot can be an expensive and difficult problem to fix. The longer rot goes untreated, the more damage it can cause. Like most things in life, the best fix is prevention. In this article we will break down what causes rot in a log home and ways to prevent it from happening. Also how to check for log rot in your log home.
What is log rot?
Log rot is when the wood becomes soft and damaged typically due to moisture getting into the log. Rot can spread to other logs and ruin entire walls if not taken care of. Rot should not be mistaken with checking which is normal. Here is an article to help you tell the difference between checking and rot: How to tell the difference between checking, decay, and rot.
Here is an example of rot.
How to prevent log rot in your cabin or log home.
1. Keep up proper maintenance.
Log homes require regular maintenance. Staining, cleaning, and fixing the chinking on your log home will keep your logs protected. It is recommended to stain your log home about every 4 years. Checking your chinking regularly also helps. The main goal of this maintenance is to keep the logs sealed. By keeping them sealed you will stop moisture from seeping into your logs.
2. Make sure water is not running down your logs.
Even treated logs will not standup to water constantly running down them. Check gutters, eves, windows, and corners for water that could be running down your logs. The best time to do this is when it rains. You can also check for discolored spots that might mean signs of water. Keeping your logs free of running water will help your cabin last your lifetime.
3. Keep brush, shrubs, and trees off of your walls.
There are a few reasons to keep brush, shrubs, and trees off or away from your log home. The main reason is that they can hold moisture on your walls. They also prevent your logs from drying out and getting sun. This is something to consider when choosing the location for your cabin and when decorating it. Another reason to keep burhs, shrubs, and trees away from your log home is critters/bugs. Critters and bugs are attracted to brush, shrubs, and trees. Even if your logs are treated, carpenter bees, ants, birds, and other creatures of the woods can wreck havoc on your logs.
4. Inspect your log home often.
The best thing that you can do is to inspect your log home often. By walking around and paying attention, you are more likely to catch things before they become problems. Log homes are durable, but also require TLC. Check for signs of log decay (show in the image), moisture, rot, watermarks, and anything that looks like it doesn’t belong.
How to deal with rot if it happens.
In most cases once log rot is found, it is a bigger problem. Each case is different. The most common method for fixing rot is to replace the log. You can learn about replacing logs here in this article: How to replace a rotten log.