LOG HOME MAINTENANCE

by Bethany Poppino, Broker at Chehalis Valley Realty

Many would be surprised to learn that annual maintenance on a log home does not need to be any more extensive or more expensive than any other home, yet so many buyers are deterred from buying a log home based on the preconceived idea that maintaining one requires more work and more money than maintaining any other kind of home commonly found on the market today.  That tends to result in these beautiful, classic construction homes sitting on the market longer than other homes until an educated buyer comes along.  We at Chehalis Valley Realty want to demystify the process for our blog readers by educating you about the process of preventative care and maintenance of these classic, beautiful homes.

The best thing to do with any home is to follow a regular routine of preventative maintenance.  Just like with a car, regular maintenance will prolong the life and condition of your home. Log homes especially tend to last one hundred or more years if taken care of.

The first step you’ll want to take is pressure washing your log home every year, particularly during the dry season of summer.  This step of maintenance prolongs the life of your stain or finish you have protecting your logs.

After you do this, the next thing you want to do is let your logs dry thoroughly. After doing that, you want to walk around and check for missing chinking or caulking, as well as mold spots. You also want to look for spots where your stain has faded. Make note of all these problem areas, or mark them with painter’s tape so you know where they are and can perform the required maintenance to correct the situation.

For oil-base stains, you want to look for blonde spots.  Places to look for these blonde spots specifically will be the knots and checks (cracks in the logs – those cracks are perfectly normal and are no cause for alarm).  When they are blonde (faded), it’s an indication you want to apply one to two coats of stain.  Some oil based stains now offer a clear maintenance coat. This is better to use as long as the wear is not all the way down to the wood.

If you have a water-based stain, you want to check for the glossiness of your wood’s surface.  If it is dull, you want to apply one or two coats of a clear maintenance coat to the affected areas.

But, before you stain anything you must do other necessary maintenance, such as remove any damaged caulking and chinking and replace it with fresh caulking or chinking, let dry.

Chinking is the putty-like substance between the logs that helps seal in the foam-like material, called backer rod.  The backer rod acts like insulation between two logs.  You want to make sure every year that the chinking is in good repair.

You also want to address any mold issues you may have as well.  To determine if it is mold, you can use a cotton swab with bleach on it and rub the affected area and see if that eliminates the dark spot.  If it does, you have mold and need to be sure you completely get rid of it before applying any stain or maintenance coats.

If you do these simple steps every year or more often if necessary in your climate, you won’t have any major issues that can be a financial strain for log home owners.

Knowing what maintenance should be done on a log home every year also helps you to understand what to look out for in the process of purchasing a log home.

I hope this has helped you understand more about the care and maintenance of a log home! Now you can go out there and shop for that gorgeous log home or cabin with confidence!

We highly recommend PermaChink as a supplier for all of your log home maintenance needs.