If you have a log home, then it is vital that you do a walk around inspection once a year. This will make sure that you are aware of any potential problems before they escalate out of hand. You don't need any special tools to do the inspection. All you have to do is take a slow walk around your house and inspect the logs.
Here are the trouble signs you need to watch out for.
Mold: Your Logs Are In Danger
There should never be mold on your logs. If there is mold, then your sealer needs to be reapplied. The sealer is designed to prevent moisture from reaching the log. If the sealer breaks down, then moisture can attach to the log. In areas where there is lots of sunlight, this is not a big problem. However, the areas of your home that are in shade are in danger. Mold and mildew cause the logs to begin to break down.
You can't clean mold on a log like you would a bathroom tile. Harsh chemicals such as bleach can destroy the log. You need to contact a log home restoration company. They will use an abrasive that won't damage the log anymore than is necessary.
Sawdust Means Carpenter Bees
Anytime you notice sawdust on the ground, or on sill, then you should be concerned about carpenter bees. These bees look like bumble bees, except they don't feed on flowers, they feed on your logs. You should notice perfectly circular holes in your logs. This is where the bees enter the log. If you stand around and wait long enough, you will see the bees entering or leaving the log.
Carpenter bees don't live in large honeycomb hives; they live inside your logs. If there is a carpenter bee hole in your log, then there is a giant maze work of tunnels inside the log that you cannot see. If left alone, these bees will eventually hollow out the log.
These bees are really hard to handle. You can't simply plug the hole with caulk because they will tunnel out from inside. You need to contact a specialist who will fill the entryway with a poison and then seal it.
Cracks In Your Chinking
You should check to make sure the chinking is intact. If there are sections that look like they have separated from the logs, then you need to have it immediately fixed. Without proper chinking, moisture and insects can get inside and damage the interior of the logs.
It is possible that the original chinking might need to be replaced with a modern chinking that is capable of flexing with temperature differentials. Old-fashioned chinking would often crack due to the extreme cold temperatures. If you're living in an older log home, then it might be beneficial to have the chinking re-done.
The best time of year to do a walk around inspection is in the spring or early summer. You want to check the logs after the winter because the extreme cold can do damage to the log exteriors. If there is a problem, you will have several months to fix it. You don't want to wait until the fall because it might be too late in the year to apply stain, sealers, or caulk due to the cold temperature. Log home repairs do not have to be extensive if you pay close attention to your home.