Below is a list of things to watch for. Many of these can be seen in these pictures. Noticing these design flaws could be helpful for anyone who owns a log home with similar architectural features or for someone considering purchasing one.
- Look for flat surfaces that might allow water to sit and soak into the log
Make sure that finish is beading up water on all logs that are exposed in the truss system
- Examine any upward facing cracks that are ¼ inch or larger and make sure to put backer rod into them and then caulk
- Check to see that overhanging roof eves are far enough over any logs (16 to 24 inches is ideal)
- Check if screw holes and exposed bolts that are not facing up – they can catch water. Consider caulking them.
- Watch for water coming off adjacent roofs that might be splashing or causing excess moisture on the logs
- At the bases of vertical posts, make sure there is clearance from water that sits on concrete or stone against the logs (It is advised that they sit on stand-off plates.)
- If logs are mortised into each other, look for tenons going vertically into the top of an open spanning truss, which is another place for water to become trapped
- Look for caulking or chinking around any joints exposed to the elements
- Be sure that the overall structure is adequately built to carry the load of roof. (I have seen underbuilt trusses.)
These concerns are the primary areas that I look for when assessing whether an open-air log truss is going to stand the test of time. I always want to see logs protected from rain/snow with the finish/stain in good condition, i.e. not pealing, darkened or missing completely.