Log homes are an excellent investment, but that is not without their own problem. Log homes can last a generations, but that is only if they are well taken care of. Here is our complete guide to common log home problems and how to prevent them from ruining your log home.
Top Log Home problems and how to prevent them.
Problem: Pest like Carpenter Bees can wreck havoc on your log home. Pests problems can lead to other problems such as log rot, moisture, and infestations. It is important to catch them early and do your best to prevent pests from causing problems.
Prevention: The best solution to preventing pest problems in your log home is to prevent them from moving in. Keeping shrubs, bushes, and other things away from the walls, will discourage them from moving in. You can also use insecticides to treat your logs and prevent them from damaging your logs. Here is our guide to Carpenter Bees. It is also important to inspect often and act fast with pests.
Problem: Moisture is a log home’s biggest enemy. Water is constantly trying to find its way into any crack or crevasse that it can. If your log home isn’t sealed properly and moisture is able to find its way into your logs, it can be a big problem. Rot is the biggest problem that can be caused by moisture getting into your logs.
Prevention: The best prevention to the problems moisture can cause is to seal your log home well. By staining, chinking, and caulking you are sealing moisture out. It is important to inspect often and fix any chinking or caulk that may fail. Staining your logs every 3-5 years will also help protect them from the problems that moisture can cause. Another way to prevent moisture problems in your log home is to keep trees, bushes… ect away from your log home. You do NOT want water sitting or running directly on your logs. It is important for them to be able to dry as well.
Problem: The sun and strong radiation can dry logs out and wear down stain/chinking quicker. If you live in an area that is being constantly beamed upon by the sun, your log home may occur damage.
Prevention: The easiest way to prevent sun and radiation problems is to keep proper maintenance. The main problem with sun and radiation is that is will wear down your stain/chinking quicker. The best prevention is to re-stain and fix your chinking a little more often. Typically the range for re-staining is 3-5 years. If your log home is located in an area with high sun volume, you may want to lean towards the 3 year mark. It is also important to check and fix chinking. Another option is to grow trees or build your log home in a semi-shaded area. Check How To Treat Your Log Home Exterior.
Problem: Log Rot is one of the most expensive problems that can occur. Log rot happens when moisture and weather are able to seep into the logs. If logs are not properly treated, moisture gets in and rots the wood. Rot spreads if not taken care of. Checks vs Rot in a log home.
Prevention: In order tp prevent log rot you need to make sure that you inspect your log home often. You also need to ensure water is not sitting or running on the logs. The most important step in rot prevention is to seal your log home and perform proper maintenance. Keeping moisture out will help prevent problems that lead to rot. Check: How to prevent rot in a log home for more details.
Lack of maintenance
Problem: Lack of maintenance is a huge problem if you are lookin to buy a log home. Log homes require plenty of maintenance and that maintenance prevents all kinds of problems. If you are purchasing a log home it is important to verify that the maintenance was kept up.
Prevention: The easiest way to prevent lack of maintenance problems is to create a log/schedule book. Regular inspections of your log home will also help make sure that it is properly kept up. If your log home is a vacation home this becomes even more important. Proper maintenance will help prevent most problems that happen with log homes.
Problem: Pitch and sap leaking on the interior and exterior of your log home is less a problem and more of an eye sore. Pitch and sap typically can leak for up to 5 years after a log home is built. Buying kiln dried logs helps but will not stop the logs from leaking pitch.
Solution: If the pitch is very bad, it is best to give it time to finish leaking. This typically will be close to the time frame of having to re-stain your log home. When it is time to re-stain your log home you can then sand or pressure wash the pitch/sap off and then re-stain.
Problem: The beautiful color that your log home once was is fading quickly. This is not only aesthetic problem, but also a warning to other problems.
Prevention: Fading finishes can be caused by the sun, moisture, time, and improper installation. If your log home has a fading finish and it was stained recently… then you most likely did not stain it properly. Check How to stain a log home. If your log home is fading and it has been over 3 years since it was last stained… then it is most likely getting close to the time for a re-staining.
Problem: Logs are a great natural insulator. That doesn’t mean that they can become drafty and cold in the winter. This cold draft isn’t due to the logs (unless you used small logs). It is most likely due to gaps that are not sealed properly.
Prevention: The best way to prevent drafting in a log home is to make sure that it is sealed. Poor chinking/caulking will not only let flies in… it will let moisture and air in. It is important to seal your log home well and always be inspecting your chinking/caulking. Log homes can move as they settle and this can cause chinking/caulking to fail in certain spots. It also is important to check your doors, windows, and other areas that may have a gap. Sealing up your log home will help you stay nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Settling and Shifting
Problem: Overtime log homes can shift and settle causing gaps and potential structural issues.
Prevention: The best protection is a properly built log home. This is best done by working with a log home company. Check Our Top Log Home Companies Here. The foundation and drainage is also very important. Often people confuse their log shifting as a problem with their log home… when really it is a problem with their foundation.
Chinking and Caulk Failure
Problem: Chinking and caulk keep your log home sealed. If it fails, ages out, isn’t installed correctly it can lead to many problems. The problems include moisture (rot), pests, drafts, and overall failure of your log home.
Prevention: In order to prevent the problems which come from chinking and caulking failure… it is important perform inspections often and perform proper maintenance. If you notice chinking or caulk that looks as it is failing… replace it. Waiting will only lead to a larger problem.
Having been around the log home industry a long time, these are the most common problems found in log homes. The main takeaway is to always inspect and perform proper maintenance. Preventative measures are much cheaper than fixing major problems down the road!