When you think of a log cabin, what do you think of? Many people may think of our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, who grew up in a log cabin in Illinois. His father built the original and now you can visit a replica to see how Honest Abe lived as a young boy.
If you don’t think of President Lincoln, then you might start thinking of the classic toy set Lincoln Logs. For those that played with Lincoln Logs, there was so simple that it made them delightfully fun.
But, have you ever thought about building or living in your own cabin? It may not be a full-time living situation like it was for Lincoln, but it can be great for weekend retreats or summer vacations.
One of the biggest questions people have about log cabins is how to maintain them. Maintaining a house is more straightforward, but how do maintain a cabin?
Below, we outline a few ways you can maintain your cabin and keep the place looking great and make it long-lasting.
Regular Log Cleaning
If you watched the log cabin builders go to work, you know that it was pretty amazing how they made everything line up perfectly and fit together. The logs are so shiny, smooth, and perfect. Once the builders head off, it’s your time to keep them clean.
In general, you want to make sure there is no dust, pollen, or mold accumulating on your logs. The rule of thumb is to give them a deep clean every six months.
Naturally, there is going to be some dust and grime along the walls but don’t fret. Keep your eyes out for mold, especially the side of your house that doesn’t get much sunlight.
Keep Away the Carpenter Bees
While the world is on watch with the declining bee population (or at least the unevenness in our winged friends), those that regularly deal with wood swear there are more carpenter bees than ever before.
While termites used to be the scary critters of the past, pest control has become so advanced that termites aren’t as big of a deal.
Carpenter bees, on the other hand, need to have your full attention.
These bees shake and vibrate their bodies to create tunnels in the wood and after time, the wood becomes weak and collapses. In order to prevent them, you need to use a liquid fill to keep them out or trap them inside. There are also various sprays and paints you can use to make sure they don’t come back.
A Good Staining
Just like cleaning, you need to make sure you’re applying stain on a regular basis but thankfully, this regular basis is once every three years.
Whichever side of your cabin is receiving the most sunlight is going to require more stain on a regular basis, but the rest of your cabin can wait a bit longer.
Depending on what kind of stain you use, you will start to notice signs that you need to stain again. If you’re imploring a latex-based stain, make sure and restain once you see the finish has turned dull or faded.
For those going with the oil-based stain, check the log knots. If you see they’ve turned to blonde color, then it’s time for a new coat.
While you might have ideas of having a perfect garden right next to your cabin, it’s best to make sure any growth, plants, or brush are at least 4-5 feet away from the cabin walls.
Even though this may not look quite as pretty, this will ensure that any debris, pollen, bugs, critters, and excess water will stay away from the walls and foundation. It’s an easy step to make sure you’re preventing mold or insect damage as well.
You’ll also want to make sure that trees aren’t overhanging your roof so that twigs and branches don’t collect on the top of your cabin.
Keep Calm With Regular Maintenance
One thing you will notice is that cabin maintenance is a bit more time-consuming and intentional than home maintenance. A huge mistake people often make is using a power-washer instead of more intensive cleaning techniques. That’s going to ruin the stain and the wood’s quality.
In addition, don’t freak out if you find cracks. Cracks are a part of wood but need to be filled so moisture doesn’t seep its way into the house.