Maintaining Your Log Cabin in Winter

2018-10-24 10:34:43
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Winter Is the Best Time of Year to Enjoy Log Cabin Living

Old man winter is heading our way faster than you might like, so there’s no better time than now to get your log cabin ready for the cold and wet weather. There’s nothing like the rustic beauty of a log cabin, but a log cabin’s exterior has two natural enemies that it must deal with all year round: sun and water. Because of this, fall is when you want to check for any problems summer’s sunshine might have caused and repair them before the wetness of winter rolls in. With that in mind, here are some things you’re going to want to do when prepping and maintaining your log cabin for winter. Inspect the Finish on the Wood The UV rays produced by summer’s harsh sunshine can break down your cabin’s finish, making it susceptible to absorbing moisture and rotting, so the first thing you should do is take a walk around your home to look for signs of degradation. The wood should still have most of the color you applied if you used a colored stain. If you used clear stain, then the wood should still retain its natural beauty and luster. But, if you find areas where the color has dulled, or the wood has turned black or dirty looking, then these areas have lost their finish. Look closely at the wood that is closest to the ground, as this wood is most at risk of becoming damaged by moisture. Test the Finish if You’re Unsure If you’re a new log cabin owner or you’re just unsure if your finish is still holding up, then you can test the finish by spraying water from a hose onto the section of the home you’re concerned about. If the water beads and runs down the logs in rivulets, then the finish is still working. But, if the water turns patches of the wood darker, then these areas have lost their finish. Test the Wood in the Unfinished Spots If you have patches of wood that turn dark with the water test, then you need to see how bad the moisture problem is. Take a nail or screwdriver and press the tip into the wood. If the tool sinks into the wood, then you will have to scrape out the damaged wood and fill the hole in using an epoxy wood filler. Let the epoxy dry and then apply a fresh coat of sealant over the areas that need it. Inspect the Seals The sun’s UV rays can also cause the seals on your home’s exterior to become dry and brittle, thus increasing the risk for air gaps and insect infestations. While you’re checking the finish, pay attention to the seals between the logs, around the windows and doors, and your chimney flashing. If you see areas where the seal is cracked, stretched, or missing, then remove the bad section and apply fresh caulk. When checking the flashing around your chimney, make sure there are no wasp or bird nests inside your chimney, and check that the rain caps on your roof are in place. If necessary, call in a chimney sweeping service to get your chimney primed for use. Inspect the Gutters and Eaves Clean your gutters and downspouts often during fall to ensure they remain open and unclogged, so they can be ready to handle winter’s wet weather. When cleaning your gutters, check the eaves for signs of discoloration. If you notice patches of discoloration on your eaves, then this is a sign that water has been allowed to stand too long. Clean Vents and Exhausts Any exhaust or vent that exits your home, such as the dryer duct or kitchen or bath exhaust, should be inspected to ensure nothing is clogging them. It’s not uncommon for birds to build nests in these locations over the summer. Lastly, install a new air filter in your home’s furnace. With these tasks done, you’ll be able to enjoy the warmth and coziness that you can only get from a log cabin in the winter.
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