When you move into your custom crafted log or timber home, the last thing you want to worry about is filling your precious free time with home maintenance projects. There are several details that can be incorporated into the design of your log home in order to minimize the amount of maintenance your home will need. We had the opportunity to chat with Beaver Mountain’s own Drew Prochazka, Vice President of Business Development, to share his personal experience of log home maintenance. According to Drew, “While it’s true that log homes require a certain type of maintenance, there’s no such thing as a maintenance free home”. Even conventionally built homes require regular maintenance to last for years. As someone who has lived in a Beaver Mountain log home for two decades and has worked within the log home industry for the past 21 years, Drew knows a thing or two about taking care of a log home.
The Importance of Wood Finishes In Log Home Maintenance
In order to keep your logs looking great, it’s recommended to keep up on regular home maintenance. This task might seem daunting, but Drew has plenty of great tips to share with homeowners thanks to his first-hand experience. Before jumping into your wood finish project, it’s best to clean the outside of your home first. “I use a wood cleaner along with pressure washing the logs to clean them. It’s important to remember to not use too much pressure; otherwise you can accidentally damage the logs.” While cleaning, inspect for checking that may have occurred after construction. Drew advises that “checks on the upper side of logs can collect rainwater, so it’s best to fill them in with a stainable caulk before you follow up with sealant or finish.”
Once the house is free of dirt or debris and has dried, it’s time to start the wood finish application. When choosing a sealer, stain or topcoat, look for a company that has specifically designed products for log and wood sided homes like PermaChink, SashCo, Sikkens, Woodguard or Outlast. Some homeowners prefer water-based stains, some prefer oil-based, and other projects need only a topcoat or sealer, so choose one that fits your needs.
You can certainly do the maintenance yourself, but many of our clients choose to hire a professional. They typically have the lifts and tools to get the job done quickly. Need a contact? Let us know. We have a list of companies that have done maintenance for our clients in the past.
Recommended: Clean and reapply finish approx. every 5-7 years depending on product used
Keep Those Gutters Clean
One of the most important considerations for any homeowner, regardless of home type, is maintaining a structurally sound roof and keeping up with regular gutter maintenance. For a log home, this is particularly important. Thanks to clean gutters and a well-designed roof, water can quickly be moved away from your home’s logs. The goal is to direct water away from the home, minimizing the moisture that comes in contact with the logs and gutters will help move that water toward a drain or rain chain.
Recommended: Check and clean gutters 2x/year
Staying Mindful of Landscaping & Pests
One of the easiest ways to keep your log home low maintenance is to thoughtfully design the landscaping around your home from the get-go. “Make sure landscaping is set away from the home far enough to prevent plants from overgrowing and touching the home. Proper landscaping can promote good drainage around the home as well”, advises Drew. In addition to keeping plants from growing along the sides of your log home, owners should also be mindful of common pests of log homes. Drew explains, “One of the pests we see in the Northeast are wood boring bees and the areas they go after the most are wood soffits. Beaver Mountain offers aluminum soffits as an option to help prevent this.” Simple choices in the design process of your log home like these help owners to avoid issues down the road. Additives such as Outlast NBS 30 can also help deter insects.
Recommended: Check and cut back landscaping 1x/year
Why Porches & Overhangs Are Key To Low Maintenance Design
One of the best ways to protect the longevity of your logs is to design a home with porches and overhangs. Covered exterior spaces protect logs from water as well as intense sun rays-both of which can wear down the effectiveness of the stain on your logs. Drew explains, “The sun and rain will eventually break down the finishes, so [the more protection you have against those two elements], the longer the wood protection will last. Beaver Mountain typically designs homes with 24” overhangs and can incorporate wrap-around porches to keep rainwater off the home’s exterior and keep logs protected.”
What About ‘Conventional’ Siding? How Do Log Homes Compare?
There’s a common misconception that log and wood sided homes are significantly higher maintenance than conventional siding like vinyl, composite materials, or aluminum. However, that’s simply not the case. All homes, regardless of exterior type, require some level of maintenance and cleaning. It’s true that logs and wood sided homes require woodcare, but even conventional sided homes need maintenance: cleaning, repairing, repainting and replacement, etc….
Even options like metal siding still require upkeep. “We’ve investigated options for clients such as metal siding that is painted to look like wood. It looks great when it first goes up, but how do you repaint it when it fades?”, explains Drew.
Log and wood sided homes like the ones Beaver Mountain provides are designed to last a lifetime – and beyond. Maintenance is a regular part of homeownership for all homes; even if log and wood sided home maintenance looks a little different from conventional homes. Our team of experts have spent the past four decades bringing thoughtful design to every house they custom craft to ensure that the homes we provide will last for generations to come. We understand the steps needed to ensure homes stay free of common issues, and happily share our knowledge with clients to ensure they will always have an exceptional experience living in their Beaver Mountain log or timber frame home.