Sun. May 22nd, 2022

The benefits of basic log home maintenance

4 min read

A pro in the industry shares his experience with smart sitting and basic log home maintenance. His exterior stain has lasted for over 20 years.

My family has owned a property in Middle Tennessee since 1987. It is called “The Farm,” and the log cabin that was 100 years old at the original property was destroyed by fire in December 1992. My brothers and I loved the log home lifestyle and were avid outdoorspeople. To replace it, we built a rustic log house. I was a log home builder and restorer and had just started working as a maintenance product and sealant manufacturer.

One of my brothers is a lawyer, the other an artist. It fell to me to design the house and do most of the construction. My customers were and still are, log home builders and manufacturers. I was shown how log homes are built, but they also taught me a more important lesson: to make sure that your home is safe and do it correctly. These experts advised me to take their advice seriously. After 20 years of log homeownership, one side of my cabin will be re-stain.

You might ask me how I did it. It is quite simple once you learn a little bit about wood and the forces that affect it. If properly protected from the sun, rain, and insects, logs can last almost forever. To maintain its beauty, wood exposed to these elements will need to be maintained. The three main elements of building a beautiful log home are design, site positioning, and routine log home maintenance.

Design

Your home’s design should consider the living space you desire. However, it should also be designed to allow you to take advantage of those spaces and reduce exterior maintenance. A covered porch can be built around your home to minimize maintenance on your log home. You can build as many covered porches and as many as possible. This is about keeping as much sunlight and rain from your exterior log walls. Manufactured materials can take the brunt of the abuse that nature gives them. They were designed for it.

Your home’s design should consider the living space you desire. However, it should also be designed to allow you to take advantage of those spaces and reduce exterior maintenance. A covered porch can be built around your home to minimize maintenance on your log home. You can build as many covered porches and as many as possible. This is how you keep direct sunlight and rain from your exterior log walls. Manufactured materials can take the brunt of the abuse that nature gives them. They were designed for it.

You can add wide overhangs to your roofline if space is unavailable for multiple porches. An overhang of 30 inches, instead of the 16-inch standard in stick-built construction, reduces the sun exposure and rain exposure by 50% and 70%, respectively. This simple measure can also increase the life expectancy of coatings and reduce energy costs in Southern climates. Where practical, Gutters are your best friend. They add six inches more shade to your walls and keep water from splashing onto the lower logs of your home.

Position

Your upkeep will depend on where you put your home and how it is oriented. While you may have a view and will need to consider access and trees, the orientation of your home is an important maintenance factor.

It’s not difficult to position it correctly. This is how to use a compass for orienting your home. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere’s Northern Hemisphere, the most intense sun is always to the west and south. Make sure your porches have wide overhangs that face these directions to create the most shade. You can use existing trees to shade your home from the sun or plant trees that filter ultraviolet rays if design constraints or other factors prohibit you from facing your house in a particular way. When you plan where to place your home, consider the sun’s patterns at different times of the day and during different seasons. As a sun shield, you can use the natural topography of your land to your advantage. Your property can be used as a sun shield by being placed at the base or top of a hill.

Keep it up

This part is what intimidates many people. But, if you know a few basic rules, it won’t be so frightening. This is how it should be viewed: When you last bought a new car, you drove it to work, home, on vacation, and to the garage to get the oil changed. Think about building a home. What were you doing? You probably did the same thing as most people. You moved in, called your phone company, called your cable company and arranged for garbage pickup. Then you had a party to show your friends your new home. After you moved in, you may have lived there for 5-10 years. Then, you noticed that the house was starting to look a bit duller, some of the stain or paint had started peeling, or your gutters were clogged with small trees. You should begin to maintain any item exposed to the elements, such as a car, boat, or beautiful log home. Do not delay in maintaining your vehicle. It will cost you more and cause you to have to repair it. It would not be very reasonable to buy a car and not have it serviced every 50,000 miles. But many people construct new homes and neglect maintenance for 10 years. It is important to maintain any home, not just log homes.

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