Primary Menu

Log Home Design that Reduces Maintenance

Log Home Design that Reduces Maintenance

“When it comes to log home design and maintenance principles, I have developed a few rules by which I live…Understanding this will help you sleep well at night.” What are these peace-proven principles? Our very own log home expert and Southeast Territory Rep extraordinaire, Paul Peebles shares his experience.

Maintenance and Staining Principles to Live By

Over the years, I have developed a few rules by which I live when it comes to stain. The number one principle anyone working on or living in a log home must understand is that the products you apply to the exterior of a log home will eventually fail. It’s a fact. All exterior coatings eventually fail, including paint on a conventional home. Understanding this principle will help you sleep well at night.

Clear expectations are always helpful. Even when applying coatings that are among the best in the world (cough cough…Sashco’s), maintenance is always necessary. Great products will still last longer and maintain their beauty better when properly maintained.

So then the key is: what helps to reduce the maintenance needed?

The amount of maintenance is determined by many factors, some I’ll touch on in more detail. For you as a contractor, properly selling the system and managing customers’ expectations is paramount to customer satisfaction.

Maintenance Factor #1: Design

Repeat with me: wider is better. A one-story home with wide, covered porches, minimum 2 ft. roof overhangs, 6 in. gutters, that is properly oriented so that porch roof will block the south and west sunlight will require very little maintenance. A yearly wash and a touch up every two to three years, done! Conversely, a two-story home with no porches, standard 16 in. soffits, and no gutters will require yearly maintenance on at least part of the home. In addition, keep that foundation well off the ground. Three to four ft. off the ground is a safe distance, but two feet can do the trick when the covered porches and wide overhangs are also present.

Maintenance Factor #2: Landscaping

A home in the woods with tall trees that provide proper shading will need much less maintenance than a home in a cow pasture with no shade. In addition, a home with bushes and mulch right next to the walls, where moisture finds a home and bugs build their cities is going to require more maintenance. Keep landscaping at least 3 feet away from log walls.

Maintenance Factor #3: Texture

A blasted or sanded log surface can hold up to twice the stain of a smooth surface. Twice the stain will result in twice the durability of the coating.

Maintenance Factor #4: Climate

The amount of sunlight in South Florida or at altitude in the Rockies is obviously greater than in Wisconsin. So, where there is more sun, choose colors that contain more pigment to give you added UV protection. In general, grays, dark browns, and reds contain more pigment than yellows, golds, and “naturals.”

Maintenance Factor #5: Stain Colors

The more pigment, the longer lasting the stain. And we’re not afraid to say it: never use a clear. It just won’t last.

Maintenance Factor #6: Water Management

I mentioned gutters above. Let’s face it, though, having gutters, and having working gutters, are two different things. Clogged gutters can cause the equivalent of 60 in. of rain to run down a wall during a rain event of as little as one inch. In addition, much of this water will hit the walls twice if it splashes back up on the home after hitting the ground or a deck. Improperly maintained gutters cause billions of dollars in damage to homes in the US. In addition, posts, siding or logs that are in contact with stone, mortar, roofing material, or concrete draw water into them, which severely degrades coatings. Keep water away!

Better Maintenance = Jealous Neighbors

Sure, go ahead and make your neighbors jealous, but be willing to share you knowledge with them and set them (and the whole neighborhood) up for success. The more you share your knowledge with them and set them up for success.

Request A Free Stain Sample

Don’t surrender your fate to an online color chart. Order your free stain samples today.