When people think of log cabins Ireland, and living in a timber home, one of the most important questions they ask is about log cabin maintenance and how easy it is to maintain the exterior of your log cabin home.
Is it hard to maintain a log home?
Of course, this is a valid concern. Particularly considering the fact that most people are not familiar with maintaining timber homes in Ireland. But we must remember that there are thousands and thousands of timber homes being lived in all across Europe, the United States and many other parts of the world. And methods of log cabin maintenance have been developed over the centuries to make sure that log cabins can stand up to all of the vagaries that the weather can throw at them.
Are Log Homes High Maintenance?
You would think that with all of the modern conveniences that technology has benefitted us with in the last few decades – dishwashers, washing machines, hoovers, smartphones and the rest – that life would be a bit easier, and we would all have lots of free time to do the things that matter. But no! It seems that nowadays, we have less time than we ever had to do the important things in life. Anyway – back to the question.
Are Log cabins easy to maintain?
The truth is that the maintenance of a log cabin is very, very straightforward. People are concerned about the durability of timber, but we like to remind them that they make boats out of timber. Every hall door in the country was made out of timber, before the advent of PVC and aluminium windows and doors, and they lasted forever, as long as they were well maintained. Timber is a fantastically durable material, as long as it is well maintained. Have a read of our blog post about the quality of wood we use in our log cabins. What timber should a log cabin be built with?
So how do we maintain our log cabin home?
The most important thing to remember is not to use paint! Paint forms an impervious skin on the surface of your wood and seals it so that any moisture within the wood cannot get out. This is not a good thing, and that is why we recommend that you use a stain on the external surface of your log cabin. The correct stain will allow the timber of your external walls to breathe, but will also prevent the rainwater from penetrating the surface of the wood. If yu come along to the Boyle Log Cabin showhouse, you can see (on a rainy day) how water runs down off the sruface of the cabin walls. We have three coats of stain on the external walls, and it looks great from even a short distance. But if you look closely, you can see the timber beneath the coating.
What should I treat my log cabin with?
What we recommend is to use a material called Sikkens. Sikkens is a Dutchproduct, and it has been highly recommended to us by a number of professionals in the business, not least a colleague who is a professional in the business and based in The Netherlands. We have a very detailed blog post all about the exterior treatment of your log cabin, which I suggest you read. Once your log cabin is built, you need to apply preservative to the timber and then 3 coats of Sikkens. After this initial task, there is no need to treat the exterior of your log cabin for another 3 or 4 years.
Sikkens for Log Cabin exteriors
How much does log cabin maintenance cost?
Sikkens is a highly rated product throughout Europe, and on the continent, it is more expensive than standard paint. Fortunately for us in Ireland, though, a tin of Sikkens stain is about half the price of the equivalent item on the continent! What is that? I cannot be sure, but I imagine it is because there is so much more timber on the continent to be treated, so people, in general, know a lot more than we do in Ireland about treating timber buildings, and they are experts in knowing what product works well. And when you know a product is the right one for your log cabin, you are happy to pay more for it.
It is also important to keep an eye on the clear mastic seal around your doors and windows and make sure to repair this if there is any break in the material. It is a quick job and easily done. A stitch in time saves nine, as Granny used to say.
The only other major maintenance task but you need to perform is a very light one. It is very important that there is no way that moisture can get into your log cabin walls. The only way this can happen is if you allow earth or other materials to lie against the cabin walls. Anything that enables moisture to gather and seep into the walls will cause you problems. As long as you can keep your walls clear, everything is going to be ok.
Your log cabin is raised off the ground for this very reason. We have been asked now and again if we would build a cabin in an existing yard, and e always insist that a two-inch high pad be built, upon which we would build the cabin. This is in order to ensure that the cabin never ends up sitting in a pool of rainwater on the yard surface. Something like that would be very detrimental to the cabin.
Why is proper Log Cabin Maintenance important?
Here are a few pictures of a log cabin that was not treated properly.
These images illustrate how important it is to treat your log cabin exterior well. There are plenty of examples of old cabins that are in great nick. All of these have had regular log cabin maintenance carried out.
If you have any questions in relation to log cabin maintenance, or if you would like to visit us in one of our showrooms, please contact TimberLiving Log Cabins now.
Tullow, Co Carlow (05991 81 039)
Boyle, Co Roscommon (086 817 0429)
Carrigaline, Co Cork. (087 6464 280)