The mornings are crisper; a breeze rustles through the trees. Fall is upon us once again. As our thoughts turn to cooler weather, it is also time to think about Fall maintenance tips for your log home. Conducting a quick “check-up” of your roof and logs each Fall will give you the piece-of-mind of knowing that your home is ready for the winter months that lie ahead.
A good place to start is on your roof. Here are a few things to consider as you begin your roof inspection:
It is a good idea to clean your gutters and downspouts once or twice a year. Clean gutters not only allow rain and snow to drain properly, but they also allow you to make a better inspection.
First, make certain your ladder is stable and set on level ground. Next, remove any debris (leaves, sticks, etc.) from your gutters. Then, flush out the gutters with a hose. Make sure you have removed the majority of the debris before flushing with water, so your downspouts do not become clogged.
After you have cleaned your gutters, inspect them for pools of standing water. These pools could indicate low spots in your gutters that need to be adjusted.
Check the flashing around chimneys, pipes, and plumbing vents, making sure they are sealed tightly against water. Seal areas with roof tar sealant, if necessary.
Look for any shingles that might be curling or buckling. Also, check for any missing shingles. Damaged shingles could create both water and insulation issues, and are often caused by wind or hail.
Inside the log home or timber structure
While this is an area that is often missed, it is important to inspect the inside of your home. Begin in the attic or on the top floor, checking ceilings and walls for water damage.
If you see any areas of concern, it is best to contact your builder or a professional roofer. The company that installed the original roof is often the best place to start. A seasoned, trusted professional will do the job right the first time, saving you headaches and hassles in the future.
Once you’ve given the roof a good inspection, it’s time to move on to your logs. While inspecting the logs is not a time-consuming process, it is an important one.
Locate and seal any air leaks between the logs. An easy method of locating leaks is simply to run your hand along the interior side of the logs, feeling for air as you go. If you find a leak, use caulk to seal the leak from the outside of your home. This small fix will save you a bundle in heating and cooling bills.
Checks (cracks) are quite common in log homes, and most checks are not an issue. However, upward-facing checks can allow water to absorb into the wood, creating moisture problems. Fill these checks with caulk to alleviate issues. If checks are larger than 1/2 inch, backer rod may be needed before caulking.
Check the weather stripping around windows and doors. Keeping the weather stripping in top shape will keep both cold air and bugs outside where they belong.
Give your home a bath. Using a log cleaner and a pressure washer (on the “FAN” setting with light pressure, and from a proper distance), wash off all of the dust and pollen that have accumulated. It is recommended that you do this twice a year, and more often if high dust or pollen is common.
Every four to five years, you will need to reseal your logs. Make sure you use a good product to best protect your home. Remember to reseal all exposed timbers and eaves, as these can be easily overlooked. Areas of high sun exposure are often the most noticeable for signs of damage. These areas may need to be resealed more often.
As with resealing, you will need to apply a top coat of stain to your logs every four to five years, depending on the level of sun exposure your home receives, and the type of stain you use.
Before staining, check to see if the stain on your home is still working. Simply spray a little water on the logs and check for beading. If the water beads up, your stain is still working. If not, it may be time to re-stain. Check with the manufacturer for proper signs of problems and things to look for when inspecting.
Giving your roof and logs a good once-over will allow you to be proactive, and to catch small issues before they become major problems.
As always, we are here to help. If you need something looked over for problems, or if there is something you would prefer not dealing with, simply let us know, and we can either refer someone or come out and help with inspection personally.