It takes very little effort to preserve and maintain your cabin. Today’s products make it easier.
Barbara Murray, CTA Products Group, says that some projects can be done easily by yourself. Murray warns that you should be cautious if you cannot access certain areas of your home’s exterior. Keep your home in top shape by reading the following tips.
To inspect the soil around your foundation, walk around your retreat. The soil should slope towards the cabin to promote drainage away from your foundation. You may need to add several yards of topsoil to correct a slope in the soil near your cabin that has formed since construction.
Oversize your overhangs
Exterior wood walls will be protected from sun and moisture by having eaves at least 2-3 feet in depth.
Cover your gutters
You can cover your gutters with a mesh cover to keep leaves and other debris out. By keeping debris out, moisture will not build up under the gutters and leak inside. Consider replacing your gutters with leaf-blocking ones if they need replacement.
Wood is vulnerable to sun damage, just like your skin. Wood can be damaged by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. Consider using UV-protective stains to protect your decking, cedar siding, and exterior logs from damage.
It would be best to inspect your cabin twice a year, in spring and fall.
- Log cabin Look out for cracks in the wood or upward-facing checks on log walls. These cracks can collect rainwater and cause log damage. You should also check for any separation in the sealant or chinking inside and outside your cabin. Air and moisture could seep into any gaps.
- Cedar siding Check for rotting in gutters.
- Windows First, open your windows and inspect your cabin for any peeling paint or softwood that might need to be repaired or replaced.
Spray your exterior wood surfaces (wood decking, cedar siding, or log walls) with a garden hose. Your preservative will work if the water beads up. If you see dark patches on the wood that looks wet, the preservative has likely soaked in. Log homes that have exposed log ends should be tested for water. Log ends can absorb up to 10x more water than horizontal log surfaces.
Be on the lookout for mildew and mould.
Your cabin’s exterior is vulnerable to moisture, so removing mould and mildew is crucial. This will most likely take the form of a grayish-green or black film. Regular inspections are a good idea to ensure that preservatives work properly.
Pay attention to the roof.
No matter what type of roofing material you choose, ensure that the material is in good condition.
Clear landscaping away
Ground cover and mulch should be placed at least three feet from the exterior of your home. This will help keep bugs, debris and water from getting into walls. It also helps prevent mould, moisture, and insect damage. Tree canopies should also be kept off your roof to prevent leaves and twigs from collecting.
Many products are available to protect and seal cedar-sided logs, timber-frame and log cabins. The modern offerings include new colours, eco-friendly options, and time-tested formulas. Below is a list of major manufacturers for sealants, stains and other cabin maintenance products. You may be able to get recommendations from your local provider based on where you live and the climate.