As the temperature drops, problems arise especially to those living in log homes. Before the snow flies, make sure to inspect the condition of your logs. Pay attention to the areas of your home that are subject to splashing or accumulation of heavy snow.
Take the following pieces of advice to maintain your log homes cozy and energy – efficient during winter.
* Know your maintenance duties to deal with before winter starts
Inspect the chinked joints of your log homes. Pay special attention to seals at corners and in vulnerable locations close to the ground, where rain or snow from previous winters may have weathered or loosened the sealant. If the sealant is damaged, pull it off and replace it.
Sometimes, what you only need is touch up gaps. In other instances, you might have to remove the sealant and replace it. Never add new sealant on top of the old, loose materials because this will only join the old one allowing air and water in your log wall.
Spray your log walls with a garden hose to determine if the wood preservative has been compromised. If water beads and runs off, they’re ok. If the wood darkens and stays damp – or you find gray or black splotches on the logs – its time to reapply a preservative.
Give your gutters a thorough cleaning, and make sure downspouts are free to carry water away from your home. Position splash blocks so water can’t reach the logs. Trim shrubs and don’t forget to rake leaves – they absorb moisture like a sponge and create conditions favorable to wood rot.
Call a professional to checkup your heating system thoroughly. Make sure that the furnaces, boilers and heat pumps are in good condition and do not forget to replace the filters. Check the fireplace chimneys if there are birds or chipmunks nesting there. Install a damper in the flue.
Examine the window glass seals and check if they’re carefully intact. Look if the area between the double – pane windows is clear and not cloudy.
* Prevent critters from hollowing up your log homes
Do not just sit there and wait for the critters. Remember the medical saying that it is always important to prevent than cure? This is also true to our case during winter season. So, get up and look for any opening in your roof which can allow critters to enter. Make sure to cover up the soft ball – size openings by heavy gauge wire mesh. Do not use light window screens because these can be easily chewed by these not so friendly creatures. Remember to check the crawlspaces that can provide entry to chipmunks, mice, squirrels and the like. After all, they are tenants during winter that do not pay rent at all.
* Avoid the formation of ice dams in your roof
When moist air inside your log homes settles underneath your roof, snow on top of it will melt; thus, ice dams form. The said melted water runs down the roof until it hits the overhung unheated roof and freezes. The ice tends to accumulate and forms a dam in that part of your roof and a fabulous ice sculpture will be formed. However, your problem will start here because this ice formation can destroy your gutters and create leaks into your roofs.
But don’t panic. You can still do something about it. If you log home has an attic, always inspect it regularly to make sure that the insulation layer is intact. Just in case you’re just on the planning stage of having a log home, you still have the chance to prevent this worse scenario. Involve yourself in the construction part of building your homes. Be sure that the workers will install vapor and insulation barriers to prevent having ice dams.
* Make sure window glass seals are intact
Create a seal that stops air and water as close to the surface as possible. Keep water from getting behind the trim. If you prefer to have the caulk seal visible around the window and door trim, remove the trim and seal behind it before replacing. But remember that exposed cavities between logs and trims provide habitat for the insects during warm weather. Thus, make sure your window glass seals are intact. If there is cloudiness in between the double – pane windows, that means the seal has been broken. Call a window manufacturer or window company to replace the glass units.
* Check your wood burning place
During winter, everyone loves to sit in front of the roaring blaze set in the fireplace. If you don’t want to spoil your ultimate time to warm your body, get ready for the winter. Install glass doors to prevent the warm air to go out.
Consider the installation of dampers to the chimneys. When the fireplace is not in use, cold air settles in the chimney and flows through the damper back inside your home. A top damper seated on the op of the chimney and prevents the water and air to come in.
These are just some of the tips we can check out when the winter season comes. This will definitely ensure the safety and comfort of the log home owners.
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