Log homes have a natural allure that attracts lots of homeowners across the country. Both rustic and charming at once, log homes have a timeless aesthetic that never goes out of style, so it comes as no surprise that new homeowners and those looking to remodel the exterior want real wood siding.
Wood siding carries distinct beauty, but it requires a significant amount of upkeep. Wood-look alternatives, on the other hand, are able to replicate the look of real wood without the exhausting maintenance that comes with it.
Take a look at some of the routine maintenance that is typically required to keep log siding looking and performing its best:
Importance of Maintaining Seals
Since wood is a natural material, logs are somewhat susceptible to damage. Moisture poses one of the biggest threats to log homes, as excess wetness can cause rotting, splintering, and decay. It occurs at or near the seams, it can accelerate weakness and cause the seams to split even faster. In addition to moisture, dramatic changes in temperature can cause logs to shift and warp, expanding with increased heat and then shrinking and shriveling when the temperature drops.
Maintaining healthy seals is absolutely essential for the longevity of a log home. If seals are weak or broken, the home becomes exponentially more susceptible to damage. Moisture can get in through the gaps, causing mold and rotting. Insects and rodents can also find their way into the home through chipped or broken seals. If homeowners are lucky enough to escape those two threats, chances are that they’ve seen the results on their energy bill, as broken seals can dramatically reduce the energy efficiency of a home.
Routine maintenance is a must for a log home to remain safe, liveable, and attractive. Take a look at some of the most common seal maintenance questions:
How Expensive is it to Reseal Logs?
Resealing logs comes with a hefty price tag, and the cost only grows if you let more time go between resealing applications. In general, it can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $7,500 to reseal the logs on a home with 1,500 square feet. The price varies based on the amount of damage present. In some cases, the sealant has not been maintained effectively and the wood has incurred damage from UV rays, moisture, or impact. In these cases, it is often recommended to strip the logs before resealing them, which can add to the expense.
Which Types of Sealants are Needed?
A variety of sealants are available on the market. In most cases, caulk specifically designed for use on log cabins is recommended as a sealant. Pay attention to whether you pick up an acrylic, water-based sealant or urethane-based sealant, as it may not be compatible with certain stains or paints. Acrylic sealants tend to perform better. In addition, it can be helpful to select a sealant that is already mixed with a contact insecticide, since it can help deter carpenter bees from nesting in the logs.
Do Log Homes Require Professional Maintenance?
This truly depends on the homeowner’s level of expertise. While there are several sealants available for DIY maintenance, it can be beneficial to have a professional apply the sealant the first few times until the homeowner is confident enough to manage the upkeep on their own.
How Often Should You Seal a Log Home?
The average log home needs to be resealed every 3-5 years. South and west-facing walls tend to show signs of damage earlier than north and east-facing walls, as they experience longer exposure to UV rays. Some north and east-facing walls that do not regularly see extreme weather can sometimes go up to 8 years before being resealed. The amount of maintenance will depend on the location of the log home and the quality of sealants applied during the initial construction.
A Low-Maintenance Alternative: Wood-Look Siding
If all that upkeep is not something a homeowner can commit to or enjoy, there is an easy alternative. TruLog siding produces a vast array of metal siding options that look just like real wood. From traditional stacked logs to modern shiplap, Trulog’s metal products combine an innovative approach with the traditional look of real wood. These wood-look siding options require no initial sealing and no continuous resealing — even after several years.
Wood-look siding is the perfect solution for homeowners looking to cut down their maintenance duties and expenses. It’s carefully crafted from strong metal, so TruLog siding cuts out all the common concerns of real wood, like rotting, denting, warping, and resealing. Homeowners won’t stop to wonder, “How often should you seal a log home?” With metal wood-look siding, homeowners can kick back and enjoy the beauty of a log home without the hassle of expensive, time-consuming upkeep.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that takes the guesswork out of wood, download our Log Siding Buyers Guide today for more information on wood-look siding projects.