Log cabins are a wonderful retreat that can be used for hunting, a family vacation, a homestead, and so much more. However, like any other house, log home repair and inspection is essential to make sure everything is in order every once in a while. Though this may seem overwhelming, there are five main things to check to ensure no repairs are needed. First, let’s go over some things that are detrimental to your log cabin and some inspection tips that will help you determine what needs fixing.
There are a few things that regularly are the demise of log cabins. Despite popular belief, fire is actually not one of a log cabin’s worst enemies. Instead, water and critters are. Water leads to rot and mold while insects such as termites and carpenter bees love to eat and burrow in the wood. The damage that water and insects cause is what you will be looking for in an inspection.
When doing the inspection, there are a few tips to follow. For one, you might want to consider having a basic diagram to carry around with you to mark off where you find damage. Occasionally, you might forget about that one spot while you are fixing the other so the diagram will keep you on track to make sure you don’t miss anything. Additionally, you’ll want to bring a camera even if it is just the camera on your phone. This is because small spots matter and they can be hard to find when you go back to look for them. Third, you should have a checklist so that you keep everything organized. That checklist should include these five main things you should check for repairs.
The siding of most log cabins is sealed or stained wood logs. This means that it is susceptible to the elements like rain. You should inspect every log on the siding looking for rot and burrows from insects.
“An easy way to check for rot is to stick a thin screwdriver into any areas that look suspicious and if the screwdriver easily goes in, then you have found some rot. Areas to check well include the ends of logs, especially if they extend past the roof overhang.“ – Jeff Guthrie, Phoenix Roofing Contractors.
Additionally, you should make sure any sealant on your log cabin is still good. Many people do this by using masking tape on the siding. If the sealant comes off on the tape, then a new coat is needed. Some log cabin owners even opt to sand down and seal the ends of the logs every year or two even if you didn’t find any rot just as a preventative measure.
According to Jeff Guthrie, a roof repair contractor, the roof takes a beating from the weather. To inspect the roof, you will be looking for areas of both rot and leaking. Sometimes they are interchangeable, meaning that where you find rot you’ll find leaks and vice versa. First, start by looking at the gutters and downspouts. Be sure that they aren’t clogged. If you are unsure, you can use a garden hose and run water through them to make sure the water runs through completely. Proper water drainage is vital for the health of your log cabin. From there, check your shingles or other roofing material. Look for any visible signs of wear and gaps. If you want to be extra thorough, go through the inside of the cabin and look for any areas where water has come through.
The foundation is relatively easy to inspect since you should have about an 18-24 inch clearance all the way around the cabin from the level of the dirt to the start of the first log to prevent termites from getting to it. If you have verified that you still have that space, you can then just visually check for any cracks. You also want to make sure that your cabin hasn’t settled unevenly into the ground. Though this will usually show up with a crack, you should also just take a quick look to make sure that the cabin still looks level.
5. Windows and Doors
The final places to inspect are the door and window frames. Be sure that the seals are still good and don’t have any wear or cracks in them. If they are starting to crack, they should be repaired or replaced. You’ll also want to make sure all the doors shut and lock properly because sometimes they can warp with the weather. Checking the windows and doors will not only keep your cabin secure but will also prevent water seepage and energy loss.
Always Inspect Your Log Cabin
Before you get to the log cabin repair aspect, always inspect your log cabin first. This will ensure that you are able to get all the materials you need for your repairs. Just remember that the best wood log cabin building is one that is sealed from the environment so any cracks, leaks, or rotting areas should be repaired as soon as possible.