Why Should I care about Log Home Maintenance?
We visit many log homes throughout the year. One thing you start to notice is the lack of maintenance on most of these log homes. This can be disheartening for most customers when they ask for a proposal on maintenance and receive a proposal for the restoration of their log home because the existing finish was beyond maintainable condition. The truth of the matter is that this could have been avoided if proper maintenance was performed on the log home.
The average log home maintenance cost is around $2,500 - $3,000 bi-annually. Sometimes this price is lower and sometimes it can be higher it just depends on how the log home finish and log home sealants weathered over the past couple of years. Some log home owners may find themselves needing log home maintenance every year on select hotspots around the home in order to keep the log home stain performing to its fullest.
What is Log Home Maintenance?
Log home maintenance is the overall upkeep on a log home shell to ensure there is proper protection from damaging UV radiation, water damage, air infiltration, and insect and rodent intrusion. Log home maintenance also ensures the log home or log cabin looks the way it did the first day it was finished.
One part of maintenance that really helps to extend the life of log home stains and sealants is a yearly wash of your log home. This removes any surface contaminants such as dust, pollen, bird feces, and insect remains (webs, egg sacs, skeletons, etc.) that will wear the finish prematurely. Washing the log home is also a good time to locate any areas of failed caulking or chinking and provide an overall assessment of the condition of the log home stain to get an idea of what walls or areas need a maintenance coat of stain.
A good way to assess the condition of a log home finish is to wait for the building to dry after being washed. Once dry you must understand what type of log home stain is on your building. If you have an oil based log home stain you should be looking at the knots and checks on the walls. These areas will turn blonde when the finish is wearing off and this indicates that you should apply one to two maintenance coats of stain. Some oil based stains now offer a clear maintenance coat and this is the better route to take but it only works if the stain is not worn to bare wood.
If you have a waterborne latex based log home stain on your building you should be looking at the glossiness of the finish. Once the log home finish is dull you should apply a clear maintenance coat to these areas.
When caulking or chinking is failed or failing around the building you should mark these spots out and remove the bad areas of caulking or chinking with a knife or razor. This will allow the area behind the sealant to properly dry out since moisture was most likely the reason the sealant is not adhering to the logs. Once dry apply backer rod to the log joint and apply caulk or chink to the area making sure to match the existing caulking or chinking line. This should be done before applying the maintenance coat of stain unless you have white chinking.
And of course a good window washing should always go with your log home maintenance!
This is basically what log home maintenance entails procedure wise but there are many other parts of log home maintenance that should be checked on by the homeowner periodically throughout the year! Please click below to download our checklist we have put together for YOU the home owner!