Log home maintenance issues sometimes need to be resolved by experts. That is where we come in. But there are also things that the homeowners can do to insure that their logs stay “healthy”.
Logs naturally do develop some cracks or checks. As wood dries, the difference in surface tension and moisture gradients between the inner and the outer parts of the logs cause checks. This is part of the charm of the log home.
These cracks can face up or down, depending on where they are on a log. Logs with cracks that face upward can be susceptible to rot because they allow the water to travel deep into the logs, where rot starts. The more exterior areas of logs can usually dry out after a rain because of the wind and sun, but the more interior areas can remain wet longer. When this happens, they can reach the right moisture point that allows rot fungi to grow.
Here are the three criteria we generally use when determining if it is necessary to caulk checks on log homes:
- Face upward
- Are more than a ¼” in width at the surface of the log
- Are in a vulnerable place in the wall (i.e. the bottom courses of a log wall near the ground, an area that gets a significant amount of water splashing up from the ground
If all these criteria are met then the check needs to be filled.
Proper log home maintenance is your best insurance against needing more costly repairs down the road.