All homes suffer damage of one kind or another, but when it happens, do you DIY or hire a pro? Some repairs you can do yourself. Others will need an expert. When it comes to log homes, there are added considerations before starting the job yourself. Neglecting the repair should never be an option.
As a log homeowner, you should be aware of the types of repairs or fix-its required on your home, what you can do yourself, and what should be left to a professional. Proper design and continuing maintenance are essential. Annual maintenance, upkeep and repairing issues immediately will go a long way in the preservation of the integrity of your log home.
Here are a few tips to DIY projects for some Log Home repairs.
Rot in the logs of a log home is an indicator of a moisture problem. Both the rot and the underlying problem must be dealt with right away. For rot, cut away the damage, be aware you could need to remove more logs than originally planned. Buy log sections to match and make the repair as described above. Coat the new log sections with finishes that resist insects, mold, and mildew, and complete the work with a coating that allows the log to “breathe” (allows water vapor inside the log to escape while at the same time repelling moisture).
Termites carpenter ants and carpenter bees are prevalent in most parts of the country. Logs properly treated and maintained are not vulnerable to the damage these kinds of insects’ cause. Nevertheless, you should be on your guard. Telltale signs are little piles of sawdust below the holes insects bore. Moist wood is very attractive to these insects. If you find insect damage, look for underlying causes that keep the logs moist. Eliminate the excess moisture and generally you won’t have any further insect problem. You can plug insect holes with insecticide; you can pour in borates or insert borate plugs. Borates are nontoxic to humans but lethal to insects and are widely available for log home maintenance companies.
Exterior Structural Damage
If a tree was to fall into the side of your home, some logs might be so damaged that they may need to be replaced. Making such a repair is not outside the scope of a reasonably handy owner, but it’s a big job. First, get the replacement logs from the company that milled the original logs. If you can’t get them there, try local mills or a special log home repair company. Then you would need a heavy-duty reciprocating saw to cut the damaged portion away. You might also need to use metal-cutting blades to cut through any spikes or bolts that held the old log in place. If the damage is wide or high enough, the wall might have to be jacked up while the work is being done, generally a task for professionals. Once the damaged log sections are out, the new log sections are installed and toe-nailed into position.
Hiring a Professional
Log home maintenance and restoration contractors have experience dealing with the unique characteristics that come with a log and timber home. Their experience will give you a better result and save headaches down the road. Not to mention the benefit of building a long-term relationship with the contractor and the relationship they have with product manufacturers. When it comes to caring for your log home, it’s reassuring to know that you work with a contractor on whom you can rely on for good advice as well trust that they’re dedicated to providing you with the best results possible.
When selecting your contractor, check references carefully. Ask to see photos of finished projects. If possible, see if you can talk to other clients of theirs, and of course check online ratings, reviews and testimonials.
The old saying of spend now, save later has never been truer than when it comes to log homes.
For larger tasks such as log replacement, media blasting, chinking and caulking, and to some degree even staining, a professional, experienced company like 888 Log Guys is the best bet to make sure the work is done to last, avoiding expensive repairs down the road. We help homeowners throughout Mid-America with log home maintenance, restoration and repairs and are here for you.