Log Home Maintenance
Where ever the term maintenance is, it means work and yes, it is a chore. Like any house that is subject to the elements, it must be looked after from time to time to allow for its longevity and beautiful everlasting look. A log home that is lived in and left to the elements will start to turn silver to grey depending on the species. A look that some people prefer, but a good look at water repellence is still required.
The best place is to start is with good house design. Thinking about were the worst of the weather is coming from and the angle of the sun are you first considerations. Then with this information you can build you house and roof to suit. We are talking about good roof overhangs and veranda's to protect your walls.
Combined with friends and refreshments, maintenance
Cleaning your logs
The first step to your log home is having the log looking like the day they were first peeled. The best and easiest method of doing this is with a water blaster with a pressure of around 500psi. Remember the goal here is to remove dust, dirt, cobwebs and the likes, not to remove the wood. If you notice that the logs are starting to go furry then take a few steps back.
If you logs are quite old and unlooked after, perhaps by the previous owners, there are a few products on the market you can spray on and allow to soak for a few hours before using a water blast to refresh the look of the logs. I have seen houses sitting around in the log yard for years, uncovered, with mushrooms growing on them, brought back to a new-looking finish.
Once your logs are clean you can give them there first stain or re stain them. If you want to check your stain quality sprinkle some water over the logs with the hose and check to see if the water beads. If so, the stain is working, you may find patches where it has been absorbed by the wood so only a light touch up will be needed.
Before staining make sure that your logs are clean and dry as per manufactures recommendations. There are many products on the market now with the ability to tint the stain the your desired colour. It is best to paint your stains on rather than spraying as you penetrate the wood better and get a smoother result.
Chinking cracks and gaps
It takes on average about 5 years for you logs to dry out and reach an equilibrium with the local area's humidity. During this drying phase, just as much as later in the life of your house, it is a good idea to keep an eye on the natural check's that the logs create as they dry. The ones to look for are on the lower half of the house as the rain get in there more easily depending on your roof overhangs. Look for checks that are from about 5mm / 1/4" in width and are facing the sky. It is a good idea to seal these checks up with specified log chinking as it has good elastic and U.V properties. If the cracks are looking big enough to put you finger in, it will be a good idea to put backing rod\foam into them first and then seal the top 25mm / 1' with chinking.