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How to Take Care of Interior Log Walls

interior log walls

If you love the rustic, natural look of wood, you are sure to love the natural feel of a log home. Living in a log house adds value to your routine life. It invokes a sense of tranquility and solitude—if only for a few minutes. But it is also true your log house needs consistent and regular care. Over time, the wood can become dingy, gray and start losing its luster. Yeah, wood tends to look good as it ages—but only with adequate care and maintenance one can maintain interior log walls. Wood is highly prone to many issues such as moisture being caused by rain, snow, and dampness. Moisture can lead to log rot, water stains, mold, and fungus. Another thing to worry about is a team of insects such as termites and carpenter ants that eat wood. 

That’s why it is important to take care of your interior log walls. A little bit of routine preventive maintenance on your interior log walls can save you major repair or remodeling costs in the long run. 

Follow these pointers on how we can properly take care of interior log walls of our home.

Applying a Stain on Your Interior Log walls:

The interior wood should be finished with a sander and stain to prevent moisture and sun damage. Make sure to sand the walls and clean up the debris before applying a stain or varnish. 

Prefer a water-based stain, with low VOC as it lets the wood breathe. Moreover, it creates a tough film that never becomes dingy and is easy to clean and dust. You can also choose a stain with added UV protection for walls exposed to the sunlight. 

Walls in kitchens or bathrooms that are vulnerable to water damage from humidity will be protected by a varnish or a clear polyurethane coating. 

Creating Proper Ventilation on Interior Log walls:

Ventilation helps prevent the accumulation of moisture, aerosolized grease, and smoke, thereby keeping your logs in top shape. 

The oil from the kitchen can impact the nearby wood, changing the color of ceilings, and cabinets. While improving the ventilation of your log house, you should also seal any cracks or leaks to prevent drafts from carrying in dust from the outside. Create the right humidity level indoors by setting your thermostat to avoid any temperature extremities. This will restrict any movement of wood shrinkage leading to cracks. 

Cleaning your Interior Log walls:

Most wood walls just require a little regular dusting with a clean, soft rag, to remove cobwebs, dirt, and other debris. Our favorite method is to use Murphy’s Oil Soap per the label’s instructions once a year. 

You could also choose white vinegar, mineral oil, and lemon oil over chemical cleaners to remove grease, dirt, and other residues. Or you can also create your own cleaning solutions by adding 1 cup bleach to 4 gallons of water. The wall should be cleaned from top to the bottom. Follow it up by rinsing the walls to remove all the salts of the bleach. Soapy water is enough for spot cleaning. 

For light cleaning, knock down cobwebs and dust, especially in hard-to-reach areas using a damp mop or a broom. 

Protecting From Moisture:

Snow, rain, dampness, humidity, and rain lead to moisture damage. 

Moisture can take a heavy toll on your log house as it causes water stains, log rot, mold, and fungus. While it can be instant destroyers of log houses, it can be easiest to prevent. 

To protect your log house from moisture, first of all, avoid having bushes and plants near the wall. This is because plants and bushes can attract moisture. Then, make sure you have gutters, trenches, and overhangs in the place to divert rain from windows and walls. 

Maintain your log home’s sealing by staining it, cleaning it, and repairing chinking. Also, check if you need to replace the caulk applying around windows and other locations. 

You are also required to protect the log walls from ground moisture. If your log house is built close to the ground, then it is highly prone to rain splash, dirt, and moisture. In such a scenario, have a foundation at least 2 feet above the ground.

Protecting From Insects:

Log houses, like all wood structures, are highly vulnerable to insect infestation and deterioration caused by moisture. Here are some solutions to protect your log cabin from pests. 

● Like we have said earlier, keep your wood a full 2 feet above the soil to protect it from moisture as moist wood is a paradise for termites.

● Look for rotten wood and repair it right away. The rotten wood works as a tunnel for carpenter ants which otherwise cannot pass through solid wood. Repair and replace the rotten areas to prevent further damage. 

● Make sure to seal cracks and holes around the attic, door frames, and windows. Log homes might have wide cracks between log courses, especially if the chinking has started to wear out over time. If your cabin house is plagued by a variety of beetles, wood borers, or similar pests, you might also spot visible holes. You can typically seal those leaks and cracks using caulk around windows, door frames, and the meeting points between ceiling and floor. 

●  It is also important to inspect the roof of your log house. If you have noticed cluster flies buzzing around the house, call a contractor to inspect the roof’s plywood joints. If they are not sealed or if the sealant has worn out, they are required to be caulked again. Make sure to check the roof seals each fall. 

●  Make sure to fix the leak pipes. Leak pipes not only inflict moisture damage but also attract insects. Carpenter ants like to settle in leaky and damaged areas. 

So these are some important tips to take care of log cabin interiors. Preventative maintenance not only keeps the problems away from your logs but also restores and maintains the beauty of your woods for years. 

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Browse some of our log home repair questions from log home owners like you.

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See you soon,

the log doctor

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