Log homes must be maintained properly to control moisture

Home Inspector with HouseProbe Inspections LLC

    Log homes must be maintained properly to control moisture. I recently inspected a home in Virginia that had numerous problems due to moisture intrusion into the logs. The logs will tend to split over time and water from rain will run into these cracks. This is conducive to wood rot and insect infestation. This house had both on a massive scale. Some wall sections will need to be completely rebuilt meaning big $$$$$$$. This could have been prevented with some simple maintenance

    Trees absorb large amounts of water as they grow, this means that the tree cells are also able to absorb water very readily after the wood has dried. For this reason, a log home is very hydroscopic—it can absorb water quickly. This promotes wood rot and insect infestation. It is strongly recommended that you protect the logs from any contact with any water or moisture. One moisture control method is to use only waterproofed and insecticide-treated logs. Reapply these treatments every few years for the life of the house. Generous roof overhangs, properly sized gutters and downspouts, and drainage plains around the house are also critical for moisture control. Cracks surely will develop in the wood logs as the wood dries. These cracks must be filled with sealant to prevent damage.

    If you own a log home, protect your investment, Log homes must be maintained properly to control moisture.

David DiRienzo, Richmond Virginia Home Inspector





Comments (3)

Judith Abbott
Coldwell Banker Residential - Dallas, TX

Thanks for the post...I really hadn't thought about it, but what you say makes sense. Wood and water do NOT mix!

So, do the commercial companies that build log cabins do anything to treat the logs?  Inquiring Minds, etc.....

Aug 01, 2012 03:20 AM
David DiRienzo
HouseProbe Inspections LLC - Richmond, VA


    The companies that sell log home make recommendations to the home owner on how to maintain their home, however some people just don't heed the message.

Aug 01, 2012 05:13 AM
Randy Ostrander
Lake and Lodge Realty LLC - Big Rapids, MI
Real Estate Broker, Serving Big Rapids and West Central MI

Good afternoon David. That's the reason I always recommend not only an inspection but by someone familiar with a log homes special needs. The time to find out is BEFORE purchase.

Aug 01, 2012 07:24 AM