Warmer weather and greener landscapes mean it’s time to give your cabin a well-deserved spring cleaning. Here are six ways to help your cabin shake off the long winter and give its exterior a much-needed refresh.
Perform a Walk-Around Inspection
To begin your springtime cabin maintenance regimen, take a leisurely walk around your home’s exterior. Bring some painter’s tape, a notepad and pen, and a camera to record maintenance issues that need attention.
Look for cracked or peeling finish along with caulking issues around windows and doors. Note if vegetation is encroaching on the house, as that could enablmoisture-related problems to develop.
Inspect the Cabin’s Foundation
Winter’s extremely cold temperatures, followed by spring’s warmer weather, can cause cracks to form in the cabin’s concrete foundation. On the rainfall side, your area may have received tons of precipitation or been locked in a drought.
If either condition applies, see if the ground fill level sufficiently supports the foundation. These two issues can impact the home’s structural integrity, so contact a recognized expert for help.
Seal All Cracks and Gaps
Because of wood’s natural properties, your cabin’s logs can often expand and contract with temperature changes. Cracks and gaps often develop, inviting water intrusion and reducing your home’s energy efficiency.
Seal all cracks and gaps as quickly as possible. If you discover large cracks that extend through at least half of the log, call in a professional with proven log construction expertise.
Clean the Logs’ Surfaces
Like any other home’s exterior, your log cabin accumulates pollen, dirt, and other airborne particles on its exposed surfaces. During the spring and fall (or more often), remove this undesirable layer with a special-purpose log cleaning product. And, use this cleaner to prepare the wood’s surface for a new coat of stain.
Refresh the Cabin’s Stain
To see if your logs need a new coat of stain, splash or spray some water on several log surfaces. Because a log’s end grain soaks up moisture more quickly, remember to check these areas as well.
If the water beads nicely and rolls downward, your logs are protected for another year. If the water soaks in, it’s probably time to re-stain the logs.
And, if you haven’t stained the entire cabin for two or three years, put that on your springtime cabin maintenance “To Do” list. By also staining the deck(s) and railings, all exterior components will display the same finish.
Look for Insect Intrusion
Watch for signs that ambitious insects have taken up residence in your cabin over the winter. Carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and termites are pests that often invade wood-exterior homes. Over time, all of these insects can cause serious damage to your cabin. Contact a professional exterminator to resolve your insect problems.
Once you’ve identified (and resolved) the problem issues, and finished your spring cleaning projects, plan to repeat the process in the fall. By keeping on top of cabin maintenance projects, you can spend more time enjoying the cabin with your family.
As spring and summer approaches it’s important to maintain your Log Cabins energy efficiency so you’re not wasting money on cool air that escapes! Check out our 4 tips to improve your log cabin’s energy efficiency so you can save money and keep comfortable in these warmer months.