Many people who want to buy a second home in rural areas tend to choose log houses. However, these houses may have been built more than a few years ago and it’s a matter time before the house will need to be restored. This may involve a significant woodworking project, such as chinking, caulking, re-finishing and others. It is clear that restoring a log house is different compared to restoring a regular house. Water and sunlight exposure that take place for decades can be a major issue for log houses. Ultraviolet ray will definitely cause irreversible damages to any type of wood. A freshly cut wood still has plenty of moisture of inside, in form of sap and water. The drying process starts at the milling facility and when it has become a part of the log house. As log dries out, it will shrink due to the loss of moisture and cracks may start to become visible. These cracks could represent an entirely new problem, when water gets in, providing a perfect habitat for mold, mildew and small insects. Waterlogged wood could rot easily, especially in a wet climate or when the log house doesn’t get enough sun exposure.
It also often depends on the overall design of the log house. As an example, the log house should be high enough, so water won’t be able to splash back into the log house. There should be a gap of at least 3 feet from the ground to the logs and it’s even better, if higher than that. The eves should also be more than 25 inches to keep much of the rainwater off the log surface. Wrap-around porch on all four sides would be quite ideal for a log home and it will keep water and sun away from the wood logs. This arrangement may prevent home owners from looking up at the starry sky at night from the deck or enjoy sunning out during the day, but it’s better than having a log house that’s slowly rotting away. As additional protection, the logs should have a good quality coat of stain, which should be re-applied each year. A proper wood staining product will be absorbed more easily by the logs, ensuring that they will last for many years.
Other than re-staining the logs, we should also inspect them for any first sign of mildew and mold problems, especially at the end of the logs. Log ends are essentially bare wood and they are very porous, so they will absorb water more easily. It means that we may need to apply thicker, heavy duty wood staining solution on log ends, which should be reapplied regularly. Gutters are also essential if we want to keep our log house completely dry, so we will need to check them as well. We need to remove excess stuff located outside of the house, such as yard furniture, charcoal BBQ grills and other things that can cause rainwater to splash to the exterior surface of the logs.