When purchasing a log home or when deciding what maintenance or log restoration should be done to your cabin, there are several things to inspect and look for. Look for log rot which which shows insufficient sealant or chinking between the logs, look at the overall stain application and whether or not stain has been applied at regular intervals and look for checks (cracks in the logs). Log Home Finishing performs log home inspections all over Colorado and below are some examples of things that we have discovered while inspecting log homes.
Pictured above, the logs are beginning to rot because stain has not been reapplied to this log home for at least 10 years. Water based or oil based log stain finish should be applied to the logs via spraying and back brushing at regular intervals or every 3–4 years depending on the product used, Sashco, Permachink, or Sikkens. When stain is not recoated, the logs are exposed to UV damage and water damage and the logs begin to deteriorate and rot causing expensive damage. The log home repair cost on this example pictured may be $1500.00. Staining the logs at regular intervals would have been much cheaper than repairing the log rot.
Pictured above are holes caused by bats entering the log home at the roof line. The bats leave the white residue behind which is dried up saliva from the bats cleaning their wings. No one likes bats inside of their log home. When there are bats there are likely other insects like flies that the bats are eating. Keep mother nature out of your log home by sealing holes like this with log chinking or caulking.
When inspecting a log home in Colorado, the inspection process should involve looking for checks or cracks in the logs (pictured above left). Checks like this are normal but show great movement in the logs when they are this large from settling and not sealing the log home cabin correctly. The checks can be filled using foam backer and Conceal log caulking.
Chinking is the sealant between the logs. Pictured above right, the corner on this log home is missing Log Jam Chinking. The corners are more difficult than the horizontal lines and take time, and the previous chinking applicator literally cut corners when applying this log chinking leaving the cabin not properly sealed.
In Colorado, unsealed logs which have not had proper chinking application and logs which have not been stained regularly over time can easily become damaged. Hail damage causes an unsightly appearance of pitting on the log surface and occurs from not recoating log stain. Logs which have not had a proper application of log caulking or log chinking will leak water to the inside (pictured above right) leaving an unsightly water damaged vertical streak appearance. Repairing hail damage and water damage usually involves media blasting at a cost to the log home owner in Colorado of about $5 / square foot. The cost of log home restoration could have been avoided by sealing the log home properly.
Log Home Finishing has been serving Colorado log home owners for 20 years. Contact us for a log home maintenance inspection and we can keep your log home looking like the log home in Silverthorne pictured above.