We perform log home inspections throughout CT. Log cabins are a wonderful thing to have and bring years of enjoyment to your family. Like any other building though, they have their issues. And, while the following two issues are not the biggest, we find that they are two of the most common things to look out for during a log home inspection.
Air Leakage – For a long time, log homes have had problems with leaking air and even logs that are air-dried can contain 15-20% moisture even after the home has been constructed. Over time, logs will dry out and shrink and as the contraction/expansion process takes place, gaps can appear in the logs. In turn, this allows warm air to escape and cold air to enter. To stop this from happening, logs need to be seasoned for between six months to a year before being used in construction. Also, there are certain woods that perform better than others; typically, cedar, fir, larch, spruce, and pine are seen as the best.
For manufacturers of log homes, they are well-aware of the consequences of not allowing the seasoning process so many use kiln dryers before installation. Furthermore, many attempt to seal gaps with plastic gaskets and caulking. Over time, these seals will need regular attention and re-application when necessary.
Moisture Control – Because wood actively looks to absorb water as a tree, they will also do the same when dried. Therefore, log homes have been known to absorb water quickly which can lead to problems with insects, rotting, and mold. With this in mind, log homes should always be kept away from water and the logs themselves should be waterproofed and insecticide-treated. As years pass, these coatings will need to be reapplied. In order to further control moisture, a combination of the following can also be used; drainage plains, high-quality gutters and downspouts, and roof overhangs.