Start Now to Prevent Major Insect Damage

This is the time of year to treat for several wood boring insects …. before they work their way into your logs and cause significant damage over the next few months. 

powder post beetle holes
Powder-post beetle holes are the size of a pencil lead and they leave behind a little “dust”.

Here’s a quick rundown on the insects we see most frequently when inspecting log home’s in the Spring.

Powder-Post Beetles

Powder-post beetles are the only wood borers that commonly re-infest seasoned wood and therefore have potential to do long term damage. Powder-post beetle holes are the size of a pencil lead and they leave behind a bit of “dust” that can be seen outside the hole.

Second only to termites in terms of their ability to damage wood, powder-post beetles will attack softwoods and hardwoods including maple, oak, ash, pine, fir and spruce. If they get inside your home they will infest wooden beams, floors, cabinets and furniture.

termite holes
Termite holes are easy to spot and treat.

Termites
Termites, when they begin to infest a log home, are normally immediately visible. If a termite enters a log, you’ll notice a small-bore hole with a tiny pile of sawdust.  If a termite finds an opening in cracks or crevices between logs, they can be harder to spot.

Termites are voracious eaters and will do significant damage to a log home. To keep termites at bay make sure there is at least 8” of distance between the ground and the first layer of logs and that any wet, rotting wood is not left near your home.  Leave a gap between mulch and your foundation and store firewood at least 20 feet away from the cabin.

old-house-beetle-damage
Old House Beetles leave an oval shaped hole.

Old House Beetles
Old House Beetles are one of the few insects that infest fairly dry wood, usually within five to seven years after construction. The first disconcerting sign of an Old House Beetle infestation is usually the noise made by older larvae chewing in the wood.  Next you’ll see the oval emergence holes appear.  In most cases the greatest potential for long term damage is water seeping into these exit holes and causing logs to rot over time.

A Noisy Indicator
There’s a fairly good chance that if you don’t find these unwanted guests, the woodpeckers will.  Woodpeckers feed on the larvae of these insects and in their efforts to reach this food source, they can do more damage to your logs than the insects.

Woodpecker damage to log home.
Woodpeckers leave large oval shaped holes as they search for food.

An Ounce of Early Treatment
As serious a problem as wood boring insects can eventually become, they usually can be taken care of easily in the beginning stages by having your home treated by an exterminator. Just remember that over time, these infestations can grow into an even bigger problem. That’s why it is so important to take the proper measures to prevent this from happening now.                                    

8 Landscaping Tips to Protect Your Log Home

This is the time of year we all start to get outside to clean up around our homes and spruce them up.  This can entail removing winter’s accumulation of leaves and fallen tree branches; trimming shrubbery; and planting flowers.

Great Landscaping Eliminates Costly Problems

Attractive landscaping can add to your log home’s visual appeal as well as value.  At the same time, when done correctly, good landscaping can prevent a number of costly problems around your log home.

Here are what the experts recommend when doing your spring cleanup and planting.

  1. For log homeowners it is particularly important to clean what nature has left behind away from your home’s foundation and from logs at the base of your home.
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  2. Air flow is essential in landscaping for log homes. Be sure to leave 3’ to 5’ between your logs and any plantings. Your cabin needs to breathe so mold and mildew don’t start.
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  3. Make sure gutters and downspouts are directing water flow away from your log cabin. You want to prevent rainwater from splashing onto your logs as much as possible to reduce weathering and log maintenance.
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  4. Adequate slope and drainage will keep your yard from trapping water and leaving standing pools after a heavy rain.  A minimum of a 6” slope within the first 6’ away from the foundation is typical. Use perforated drain tile with a filter sock to direct water flow.
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  5. Termites can cause real structural damage if not caught early.  To prevent termites, keep the ground around the foundation dry with the use of gutters, sloped ground, and drains. Remove tree stumps and wood debris from around your log home and keep shrubbery and trellises away from the log structure. Any ground covering like pine straw or wood mulch should be kept 6”-12” from your log home. Wood structures should have an 18” clearance from the soil.
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  6. Clear fallen trees and stumps within 50′ of your log home as these can harbor wood boring insects.
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  7. Plan your planting and hardscape together. Pathways of stone, gravel or mulch will lead visitors through your garden. Retaining walls can be appealing as well as functional using stone or timber. Plant a hedge of junipers or hemlock to hide unappealing areas.
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  8. Plant low-maintenance perennials and annuals. Perennials return each year with little or no effort on your part. Look for perennials that don’t require too much ongoing care. Annuals must be replanted each year, but different varieties will keep your garden in bloom throughout the spring, summer and fall.
Log Home Restoration Specialists logo

Need Landscaping Assistance?

As part of their overall log home maintenance program, Log Home Restoration Specialists will inspect gutters and downspouts and assess how water drains away from your home.  LHRS will help with your property’s landscaping maintenance wherever possible.

Please contact us at 765-838-9082 or by Email. We will be happy to answer your questions.

Getting an Accurate Quote for Your Log Home Maintenance Projects Isn’t Always Easy

This is the time of year to begin planning what repairs, maintenance, or major projects you want to accomplish around your log home this spring and summer. Getting an accurate quote on what these repairs will cost is not always easy.  Here’s why that happens and what you need to do to receive a timely, accurate quote.

Rotting log on log home

An onsite assessment is needed to determine the extent of some log damage.

Assessing the Amount of Repair Work
When it comes to assessing the extent of repair work required on many older log homes, a great deal of the potential damage lies below the surface and out of sight of an initial visual inspection.

As a result, a preliminary quote based on just reviewing photographs of your home, can escalate tremendously once an actual onsite inspection is done and a more detailed assessment is completed.

Onsite Evaluation Required
To protect yourself from budget busting scenarios do not agree to any log home maintenance agreement until an onsite evaluation is finalized.  Having an experienced log home restoration specialist visit your home allows them to thoroughly assess those hidden areas where additional damage might exist.

This includes the extent of water and insect damage to logs; water damage around gutters and fascia; the effects of landscaping and nearby foliage; and how much previous maintenance has been done on the structure.

log-home-replaced-logs

Without an onsite evaluation it is very difficult to provide a “fixed cost” quote on the amount of work required.

Preliminary Assessment vs. Actual Site Visit
Often a restoration specialist will ask to receive photos of your home. Reviewing pictures of your home is an effective means of getting a general idea of your log home, its size, type of construction, and site considerations. 

Doing this type of preliminary review allows a log home restoration specialist to talk intelligently about your home and its perceived problems. Once completed, an actual onsite visit will confirm those initial concerns and allow for a more detailed assessment of what is required to bring your log home back to its original state.

“Fixed Cost” vs. “Open Ended” Quote
Without an onsite evaluation it would be very difficult for a log home restoration company to provide a fixed cost quote to update and repair your log home.  There are just too many unknown factors that may need to be addressed once work is started.  That is why many quotes have contingency clauses that allow any work, not identified originally, to be charged for as it is completed.

To know exactly what your costs will be before repair work begins, an onsite evaluation will almost certainly have to be performed in order to provide a fixed price quote.

Peter Rosi

Pete Rosi

Free vs. Paid Evaluations
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Nothing is for free”.  This also applies to “free” onsite log home evaluations. These evaluations take time and their costs are either passed on in the homeowner’s quote for the repair work, or another homeowner picks up these costs when their repair project is quoted. “Paid” evaluations will also normally come with a detailed proposal of the work to be completed. 

Any Questions?  Just Let Us Know.
Log Home Restoration Specialists has over 25years of log home maintenance and construction experience.  Give us a call at 765-838-8092 to have us schedule a time to discuss the type of maintenance work your log home might require.

 

Maximize Your Options by Planning Now

Now’s the time to call Log Home Restoration Specialists to get your name on our 2021 maintenance and project schedule.  This can entail anything from annual routine cleaning and minor repairs, to completing that total restoration or major addition to your log home.

Scheduling calendar

Do Not Procrastinate
Regardless of when you want the work done, contacting us now will ensure that you are on our schedule when you are ready.  Waiting until later this Spring can lead to fewer options in picking dates for your work.

Most log home maintenance and repair contractor’s schedules fill up quickly.  It is easier on everyone if you get your name added to our list as soon as practical.

The Importance of Routine Log Home Maintenance
Every log home typically requires some maintenance each year.  This can be as simple as caulking around windows and doors to completely restaining and sealing the exterior of your home.  In the long run keeping up with routine maintenance will minimize the more expensive problems that can occur like having to replace logs where water, exposure to the sun, and insects have caused more significant damage.

Look for Future Problems
Walk around your home and look for those tell-tale signs of future problems. Logs that are turning gray indicate that the wood fibers near the log’s surface are drying out. This leads to cracks forming where water and insects can penetrate into the logs. Eventually logs begin to rot and water and outside air can find their way into your home.

Are there areas where the wood is getting soft and beginning to rot, or you notice there are logs with areas that accumulate moisture?  This too, can lead to logs rotting and areas that insects will use to find their way into your home.

Look for missing chinking and caulking.  If you see gaps and holes forming, you’ll want to temporarily fill them with caulk to stop water and air leakage until you can make more permanent repairs.

Make sure your gutters and downspouts are mounted securely and water is not able to run between the edge of the roof and the gutter.  Ice dams that form along your roof line can cause damage to gutters leading to water not flowing properly away from your home.

Schedule Your Spring/Summer Log Home Maintenance Now
Contact Log Home Restoration Specialists at 765-838-8092 and we will add you to our schedule.  This insures that your home’s maintenance needs will be addressed in a professional and timely manner.  It will also give you peace of mind and a log home that is ready for next year’s inclement weather.

Peter Rosi
Peter Rosi

Lack Reliable Information
Procrastination is often the result of a lack of reliable information.  Have a question on a maintenance concern or what steps to take next?  Give us a call at 765-838-8092 or send an email to pete@repairmyloghome.com.  We are happy to help.

Why Doing a Good, No, Great Job is So Important to Us

Reputation is important.  Having a good reputation leads to future referrals and new business. All of which is important to our future.  But doing a great job for each of our customers goes deeper than just wanting to look good to everyone for the sake of future business.

Each log home has a special meaning for its owner.

A Special Bond
For those of us living in log homes we are part of a small community of like minded individuals that appreciate and understand the nuances of log home living.  It’s a special bond we share.

Being close to nature, caring for our environment, and enjoying the solitude and peaceful lifestyle of a log home is important for us to consider when we work on your home.  Your log home offers a special way of life we want to perpetuate.

Providing the Best Advice
We strive to provide the best direction and workmanship on a project regardless of what it is. From restaining the exterior of your home, to adding a deck, to fully restoring an older log home, our goal is to offer the best advice and the highest quality of workmanship possible. 

Feel a Sense of Pride
It is important for us to feel a sense of pride in our work when the job is complete. Log homes can present many challenges.  But they also offer the chance to create something really special in how a cabin looks and how it complements the way each family wishes to live. 

Our Extended Family
Perhaps the most important reason for us to always do our best is that in some small way, every family that lives in a log home that we have worked on becomes part of our extended family.  It just seems natural that through the interaction of our team and each homeowner that we become closer as we work together to turn their log home into that special place they will cherish. 

Log Home Restoration Specialists logoDon’t Hesitate to Call
We are extremely grateful for the friendships we have made over the years.  A number of you have passed along remarks that we have posted on our website at Doing Our Best. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for any reason.  We’re always happy to speak with you and help in any way we can.

Vote For Your Favorite Style of Log Home

In keeping with the times we thought we’d get into the spirit of our upcoming elections and have some fun learning from our many customers and friends just what style of log home was their favorite. 

Rustic, Traditional or Modern

It, of course, all comes down to personal preference when choosing the style that appeals to your inner soul.  The Log Home Restoration Team has worked on a wide range of cabin types, and being nonpartisan, we can say unequivocally that we like them all. 

What Makes a Log Home Unique and Special
Part of the appeal of log home living is that no two log homes are alike. Log homes can be constructed in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles. Even the species of wood used in a log home can vary with dozens of wood species used in homes throughout the country.
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The timbers cut for a log home can be shaped into a number of different profiles. These timbers are stacked horizontally to form the walls of your home.  The log’s profile, finish, and amount of chinking that is visible, will often determine how rustic, traditional, or modern your log home looks.  Roof lines, accents incorporated in the home’s design, and style of windows also dictate your home’s style.

HOW TO VOTE
Click on the link below the image of the log home you wish to vote for.  It will take you to an email that will record your vote when it is sent to Kelly Rosi at Log Home Restoration Specialists.  To indicate your choice please note your preference of Rustic, Traditional or Modern in the subject line.

If you’d like, please attach a photo of your log home to the email.  We’d love to see the log home you call home.

Take Advantage of the Fall to Get Your Log Home Ready for Winter

For log homeowners there are a number of important tasks that need to be done to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months.  Doing these routine tasks will allow your log home to weather the cold and snow and freezing rain that lies ahead.

Fall Log Home Maintenance Tasks

Fall is a great time to do a few quick and easy tasks to ensure that your home is warm and comfortable throughout the colder months. For log homeowners there are a number of important tasks that need to be done to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months.  Doing these routine tasks will allow your log home to weather the cold and snow and freezing rain that lies ahead.

log home maintenance

Inspect the exterior of your log home for gaps that allow air, water, and rodents to enter.

  1. Inspect the Exterior of Your Log Home.  Walk around the outside of your home and inspect your exterior logs.  Look for bare spots, areas with peeling stain, places that appear to have insect damage or where the wood is soft and rotting.  Clean those problem areas and apply stain and a clear coat finish to minimize further decay.

  2. Inspect the exterior of your log home for gaps that allow air, water, and rodents to enter. Inspect Your Roof. Look for shingles that are loose, cracked or showing signs of wear.  In your attic look for pinholes of light or signs of water damage along the roofline.  Timely repairs will eliminate water finding its way into your home later.

  3. Clean Your Gutters. While inspecting your roof, it’s a good time to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves, small sticks and other debris.  This will allow water to drain properly and minimize the chance that ice dams will form.

  4. Seal Air Leaks. Fill in gaps where electric
    caulking exterior log

    Seal large checks and holes in your logs to prevent moisture and insects from entering.

    al wiring, dryer vents and pipes enter your home. Feel for drafts around windows and doors.  Seal leaks with caulk or insulation to keep out cold air and those pesky ladybugs, cluster flies and boxelder bugs, and an occasional mouse from finding small holes to enter your home through.

  5. Inspect the Fireplace.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  If the damper isn’t closing tightly, heat will escape up the chimney – leading to higher heating bills. If you use your fireplace regularly you’ll also want to clean your chimney’s flue.

  6. Prevent Plumbing Freezes. Locate your water main in the event you need to shut your water off in an emergency. Check for plumbing under your home and insulate any exposed pipes.

  7. Look for signs that water is entering your cabin through small openings or around windows and doors.

    Check Your Home’s Foundation.  Fill in any cracks or chinks along your foundation.  Also remove all leaves and other debris that is close to the house.  This will keep insects, mice and other rodents from finding their way into your home.

  8. Shut Off Outdoor Water Spigots.  Disconnect your garden hoses from all spigots, close the shut-off valve (if there is one) and drain the faucet.  This will prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. 

  9. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors.  Make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors work. Buy a fire extinguisher or replace any extinguisher older than 10 years.

  10. Don’t Store Firewood on your Porch or in Your Home.  Keep all your firewood at least two feet from your home and keep no more than what you’ll need for a day in your house.  This keeps insects out of your home that are living in the firewood.

Better Now Than Later

By taking care of these outside tasks now you prevent bigger problems from occurring later.  It also keeps you from having to deal with problems when it is much colder outside.

Log Home Restoration Specialists logoNeed Help?

If your fall inspection finds that you have air or water leaks due to old or missing chinking, let us know right away.  If you need our help to fix these leaks, we will do our best to address them at this time.  Give us a call at 765.838.8092.

Is Your Log Home’s Railing Safe and Secure?

Now is a good time to inspect your outdoor railing around your log home and check for rotting or worn rails and spindles.  With more inclement weather on its way in the fall and winter there are a couple of steps that can be taken to prevent further deterioration of your pine or cedar railing.

Metal railing on log home

Now is a good time to replace unsafe railing and spindles.

Moisture is the Problem
The main problem with log railings is that they are often out in the rain and snow where they soak up a lot of moisture.  Excess moisture is the main contributor to wood rot.  By doing a couple of preventive measures your logs will be less affected by rain and snow in the coming months.

Caps and Strategically Placed Holes can Help
Unfortunately the very design of log railings and their continual exposure to the elements makes them susceptible to water damage. The tops of posts where water collects is the most vulnerable place for rot to appear. Putting copper caps that fit snuggly around the top of the posts will go a long way in minimizing potential damage to the tops of the posts.

Another vulnerable spot on log railings is the top edge of the bottom rail where there are several holes facing up where the spindles pass through. When it rains water follows the contour of the spindle and flows right into these holes where it soaks into the bottom rail as well as the end grain of the spindle itself.

To prevent water from accumulating in these holes drill a ¼” hole up from the bottom into each of the larger holes coming from the top. This will allow water to drain out the bottom of the hole.

Protect Your Railing with a Good Finish
The last important thing to do is to keep a good finish on the railings. This will protect them from the effects of rain, snow and the sun. If your logs appear faded, weathered or are showing signs of decay, now is the time to apply a quality stain and sealant. This is an important step in maintaining and extending the life of the railing and spindles.

Metal railing on a log home

Metal railing can offer an attractive alternative to traditional pine or cedar railing.

Consider an Alternative Type of Railing
Traditional pine and cedar railings will deteriorate over time from exposure to rain, snow and sun.  Replacing older, rotting rails and spindles with pine or cedar replacements is certainly an option, but we have seen a number of log home owners upgrade to more easily maintained steel railings.

Metal railings come in multiple styles, colors and sizes and give your home an attractive look with less work required to maintain them.

Let Us Help
Log Home Restoration Specialists can help you either repair older, decaying railing and spindles or assist in selecting and installing new metal railing. Both options work.  Just give us a call at 765-838-8092.

New Windows Add to Log Home Appeal

“I just wanted to drop you a note to let you know how great we think the new windows look. They look fantastic. The color really looks nice with the logs and No More Storm Windows.  Yeah!!! The entire LHRS crew did a great job and answered all of my questions and concerns.  We still get compliments on the house, now the windows will just make it that much better looking,” stated Kim O., a satisfied LHRS customer.

New windows in log home

Replacing old windows can prevent air, water and insects from entering your log home.

New Windows Make a Big Difference
Updating your windows has a number of benefits.  As noted in the testimonial above new windows can improve the appearance of a log home considerably. But just as importantly, new windows eliminate gaps that develop over time that permit drafts, moisture and insects to enter your home.

Moisture seeping in can lead to older windows swelling, binding and rotting. Hard to open windows and doors eventually need to be replaced.  Newer windows are also much more energy efficient.  For log homes with windows more than 15 years old, replacing them can have a significant impact on lowering your energy bills.

There Are Differences
Replacing windows and doors in a log home is not the same as changing them in a conventional home.  The connections used between logs and windows are unique.  In some cases, the new window will fit cleanly into existing framed opening.  Other times, the opening in the log wall will have to be enlarged or padded for the new window to fit correctly. When older windows leak it can lead to rotting around the jamb, which will need to be repaired prior to new windows being installed

New window installation

Knowing the differences between conventional and log home construction is important when installing windows/doors in a log home.

Another unique characteristic to take into account when installing windows and doors in a log home is the exterior logs will absorb moisture and expand and contract throughout the year.  If this characteristic is not factored in when replacing windows or doors, it can lead to air and moisture leaks developing.

Replacing Old Windows Can Enhance Your Log Home
Replacing windows can be done in several ways.  You can replace the entire window and frame; replace only the window, or add a window where one does not presently exist.  Because older log homes tend to be dark inside, adding windows can provide more natural light and really enhance your home’s interior.  Having knowledge of log home construction is essential to ensure the new windows are installed correctly.

Experience Is Important
Finding the right person(s) to replace windows/doors on your log home is very important to avoid problems surfacing at a later date.  We highly recommend finding a contractor who has built log homes and understands the differences between log and conventional homes.  It takes a very experienced person to do the job properly.

Log Home Restoration Specialists logoYes, We Do Windows (and Doors)
Log Home Restoration Specialists built log homes for over 20 years and today focusses on helping log home owners maintain and renovate existing homes.

Please give us a call at 765-838-8092 if you would like to discuss replacing your windows or exterior doors.  We’ll be happy to give you an estimate, and more importantly, you can be assured the job will be done right.

Why Inspecting Your Chinking is So Important At This Time of Year

exterior logs

Failing chinking can lead to more substantial problems if not repaired.

The primary role of chinking is to stop air, insects and moisture from finding their way into your log home. It also plays an important role in insulating your home which keeps the heating and cooling bill lower.

Moisture intrusion through cracked or missing chinking is also a major contributor to log damage caused by water penetrating into the logs themselves.

It’s Time to Assess Your Log Home’s Chinking
Each summer it is important to assess the condition of your log home’s chinking.  As logs shift and settle the potential exists that your chinking may crack, allowing crevices and holes to develop that permit air, water and insects to enter your home.

Problem areas will show up where old mortar has cracked, or the chink has lost its adhesion to the logs. This leaves gaps between the logs that will lead to bigger problems if not repaired as quickly as practical.

Properly applied chinking keeps your log home looking great and more energy efficient.

Properly Applying Chinking
Today’s more flexible chinking can be applied over old cracked mortar.  First remove any loose or crumbling chinking and make sure the logs are clean. Then fill in any gaps in the mortar with a backing rod, so that the surface of the backing rod is level with that of the original chinking.  Cover the joint with bond breaker tape and apply a full-thickness application of the new chinking according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Keep Your Log Home Looking Great
Chinking is one of those characteristics of a log home that give each home its unique style. Chinking comes in several colors and you can choose whether you want the chinking to blend in or contrast with the color of your logs.

Log Home Restoration Specialists logoHave More Questions?
Keep your log home looking great and energy efficient with a routine summer maintenance program that assesses the condition of your home’s chinking.

Have other questions on proper log home maintenance?  Just give us a call at 765-838-8092.  We’ll be happy to make a recommendation based on our experience.