Log Home Maintenance

Log Home Maintenance will keep your home, and your investment, intact

Modern log cabins are nearly as easy to maintain as a more traditional home. However, Log Home Maintenance is still a critical subject to learn. With proper log home maintenance, the log cabins built today will be around for children, grandchildren and more.

As an owner (or potential owner) of a log home, it is important to understand a few basic facts about wood for maintaining your log cabin and to avoid costly future repairs. Your preservation and maintenance decisions should be based primarily on your site and geographic location as well as an understanding of the abiotic and biological agents that are harmful to wood. Considerations of local building codes and regulations, successful local practices, and special situations must be factored when evaluating the information presented here to form your own log home maintenance plan.

The Forest Products Laboratory of the US Forest Service published the Techline publication on durability titled, “Effect of Climate on Durability of Wood”. This report includes a map that illustrates the degree of attention and maintenance required in the different climate regions of the United States to ensure the permanence of log structures. The International Residential Code for One- & Two-Family Dwellings also includes valuable references in Ch. 3, Building Planning (Termite Infestation Probability Map; Decay Probability Map). Learning this information is the first step to maintain your log cabin.

A comparison of the three maps shows strong similarities and interesting relationships. The decay probability map nearly matches the Techline durability map except that the entire Pacific coast is shown to have a low to moderate probability for decay. Both maps illustrate regions of similar relative humidity and precipitation. The termite map indicates the extent of documented colonies, but the probability of termite activity again shows high correlation with areas with greater decay probabilities and climate indexes over 35.

This is only the surface of what you’ll need to know to maintain your log cabin. Once you’ve factored in the special maintenance considerations of your location, you’ll want to move on to find out more about the special considerations of the most important part of your home – the wood. Different types of wood require different ways of log cabin maintenance.

If you’re not used to it, some of this information can seem complicated at first glance. But most of it is common sense. More importantly, learning it will make your log home maintenance a breeze and will make Modern Log Cabins last a lifetime, and more.