Log cabins are probably the hottest trend in real estate today. People are in love with these beautiful homes, especially as the McMansions that are so common continue to spread across the country. Who wants to live in something so cheap, especially when it looks exactly like every other boring house on the block?
But one of the downsides of log cabins is that they require more maintenance. It’s worth it, especially when you consider value and permanence. After all, a log cabin can last for generations, where a cheap house can fall apart before the mortgage is even paid off.
Here are five things to do with a log cabin in winter to keep it in tip-top condition.
Inspect the exterior
The exterior of your cab is where problems are most likely to occur. The weather can seriously wear down the condition of the outside and in areas where the weather is more extreme it is worse. Moisture is especially bad for wood, which can rot or warp, although sunlight can cause cracks and dryness in the logs.
Every new season it is important that you do an inspection to make sure there are no impending problems that could cause problems. For example, you may notice a thumb-sized area on one of your walls soften and press inward. This is a sign of rot and once it has started it can quickly grow out of control. Or maybe you see a table that has come off. This is warping of the wood, usually caused by moisture behind the wood that has caused it to expand outward.
Catching these things before the snow falls makes it easier to replace or repair anything that is needed. It also gives you the opportunity to retain, something you should do with wood every three to five years.
Inspect the interior
Once the exterior is secured, it’s time to head inside to see what can be done there. A log cabin is pretty sturdy and cozy so hopefully you won’t have any problems. But there are some that are possible to find, so you should always be vigilant in your inspections.
The first problem to look out for are signs of pests. As the weather turns colder, different creatures will seek shelter from the cold. Mice, insects, spiders, and even small mammals like raccoons could be trying to find a way home as you read this. Once they enter, they can wreak havoc, especially those that have sunk into the wood as termites. They can cause damage to your home, due to scratches, bites, digging, and debris.
Look for any signs of these creatures. Go to the smallest areas of the house, such as dark corners, unused rooms, closets, basements, attics, or driveways. Put a couple of barrier methods around your house to keep something from getting in the way.
If you find signs of an infestation, use a bug bomb / spray yourself or contact an exterminator who can set traps or spray for you. The earlier in the season you do it, the better.
We’ve all heard of spring cleaning, but pre-spring cleaning can be even more crucial. If your home isn’t winterized, it’s not ready for you to settle in and get comfortable during the cold months ahead.
This includes removing all dust, mold and grime from inside your home, freshening out rooms that are not in common use, cleaning carpets or polishing hardwood floors, storing items for the warmer months, and cleaning / preparing for the coldest ones and opening the duct to your fireplace and making sure it is clean and ready to go.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it will ensure that your winter is a wonderland and not a nightmare.
Clean and cover gutters
Your gutters will be a major source of problems if you don’t clean them regularly. When they back up with debris, it allows rain and snow to accumulate and overflow, or to remain stagnant and rot the wood in your log cabin until it clears. You want to make sure that never happens and therefore clean them every few months.
For winter, you don’t want to go out a ladder and risk falling into the ice. Therefore, you need to clean them at the beginning of the season and make sure that there are no leaves left on nearby trees where they can fall.
To keep more debris, you can get gutter covers. These little wonders allow you to attach them over the top, some magnetically and some using little snaps. This keeps things out and protects them during the winter.
You can also add an extender to the drain pipe. It will send water further away from your home and prevent water from pooling as the foundation of your log cabin, where it can damage the wood and foundation.
Weatherstripping your log cabin
Do you want to stay comfortable while the weather turns colder and colder? Stopping leaks and drafts is a good way to do it. Weatherstripping will trap hot air in your home and prevent it from escaping through cracks under doors, around windows, and even through your fireplace, attic, or basement.
You can hire someone to do it for you and it may be worth the extra cost to actually seal things. But weatherstripping is also a DIY project that is pretty basic for most homeowners. You can find supplies and kits online or at your local hardware store. Average cost is around $ 200- $ 300 for an entire house. This can be more or less expensive, depending on whether you do it yourself or hire someone to weatherize your log cabin for you.
All in all, it is worth the effort to make sure your log cabin is well protected throughout the years. Especially during winter, when wood can be damaged the most.