Log home maintenance – Issues with covering up logs with siding

We recently received this question: “I am tired of the maintenance on my log home. Are there any problems with siding the whole house with steel siding? Like condensation under siding? I want to keep the logs inside the house.”

Our response: You are not alone in your frustration with log home maintenance. It can be a time consuming and in some cases very expensive. While I would never want to see beautiful logs get covered up with siding, I will say that it is possible to cover the logs with siding.  Having said that, there are a few things that you might want to think about.

If resale of the home is a consideration, be aware that covering up your logs with siding is most likely a drawback in a future sale.  Potential buyers and inspectors  raise lots of questions when the logs are covered up with siding.

Secondly, siding the house will create some irregular cavities between the logs that will need to be filled with insulation. If they are not fill properly, these areas may be inviting for critters like mice and bats looking for a place to live — in your walls or condensation in colder and warmer climates as you mentioned.

I recommend using something other than steel siding such as cement board or cedar, which are more breathable products.  The more  breathable the wall is, the less likely that you will develop problems due to moisture building up in your log walls.

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  1. Kenneth Pinard says

    I own a log home built in 1983. We have an exterior inside corner that is where the electrical service enters the house at a low level and I am very concerned with moisture problems in this area. I have seen other log homes with rooting problems along the lower portion of exterior walls. How could i prevent any possible or further damage to this area ? The wall area is 17′ in both directions on the inside corner. My home is a Northeast Log Home manufactured in Maine.

    • Edmunds & Company says

      The basic answer to your question is that preventing rot is all about keeping the logs dry. Without actually seeing what your issue is, it is hard to say specifically what needs to be done. If it is possible in install gutters on the roof in that area to divert the water away, that could be helpful. Keeping the logs clean from dirt and well stained also helps. Another thing to keep in mind is that if there are cracks or checks that are wider than 1/4″ on the upside of logs, in exposed areas, they should be caulked. I hope this is helpful.