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How to Properly Prepare Your Log Cabin for Winter

Winter is coming (no, that’s not a Game of Thrones reference) and it’s time to start preparing that beautiful log cabin for the bad weather that’s just around the corner. Wooden houses are incredible, as they are high value, beautiful, resistant and a dream home for many. Unfortunately, they require a little more maintenance than the average house, given the materials used to build it.

Before it starts to snow, make sure you’ve checked these things off your winterization checklist.

clean the outside

The first step is always to prepare the exterior of the house, because it is what will be affected the most by inclement weather. A good idea is to scrub it off with a hose. If the dirt gets trapped under the snow, it could stay there all winter, which is not good for the wood and could lead to damage down the road.

You should also clean out gutters, which can clog with water and cause wood to rot over the winter. Consider fitting snap-gauge covers and an extender that releases water further from the house. These are an inexpensive investment that will save you much more expensive repairs or wood replacements in the future.

For your garden, it is worth cleaning up and preparing everything for the coming year, such as laying down special soils to heal the soil for the next few months. It may even be a good time to do some gardening, as many companies have lower prices during off-peak months.

clean the inside

Cleaning the inside is just as important as the outside. Because? Think of it like a pre-spring cleaning. Washing walls and windows, getting rid of dust and dirt, and airing everything out is an efficient way to prepare for the months you’ll spend indoors. After all, you won’t be able to keep the windows open in the freezing cold.

This is a great time to clean your ducts, clean your vents, change your filters, clean your carpets, and do other things that will make your home cozier and cleaner.

Look for (and seal) any leaks

There are several reasons to make sure there are no leaks in your house or holes in the wood. Firstly, gaps and leaks can let precious hot air escape. If you’ve noticed that you’ve been using a lot more air conditioning over the summer, there’s a good chance there’s a leak somewhere. As the weather gets colder, it is easier to find these leaks, as there will be drafts in certain areas of the house.

Weatherstripping is an easy way to get rid of the most obvious places where this happens. Air is escaping through windows and doors all the time, leading to increased energy costs and a less pleasant climate in the home.

Another problem that can occur is warping of the wood. Log cabins can have gaps, letting in pests and undesirable critters that are best left outside. Fix these gaps as soon as possible, otherwise the problem will just grow.

pest spray

Even if you don’t have any infestations that you know of, it may be a good idea to spray for pests before winter sets in. As the weather turns colder, insects and vermin of all kinds can crawl into the crevices of your home, make nests, and take shelter from the wind and rain before it turns to snow. You may not know they are there until there are so many of them that they can no longer hide. That’s a common story for log cabin owners who end up finding signs of infestations come spring.

Spend a few weeks setting traps, poisoning, and spraying. Pay particular attention to attics and basements, as well as anywhere you’ve found leaks. Spray along the exterior as they may not have found their way into the house yet.

As winter progresses, you may have to spray again. Log homes are prone to certain sneaky pests, like termites, which can eat away at the wood and cause damage to the exterior and interior of your home faster than you might think. Always be on the lookout for signs of its existence.

Put up energy-saving curtains

If you’ve weatherstripped, checked and sealed leaks, and still want to save energy and keep the house nice and warm, consider installing energy-saving curtains. These are the thick blackout curtains that require reinforced rods to hang.

They are heavy, dense and do not let light into the room, so they are perfect for days spent sleeping, or for those who have a night shift and sleep during the day. These curtains also help prevent indoor air from escaping so your home stays nice and warm during the colder months and nice and cool during the warmer ones.

If you don’t want to use heavy curtains, there is an alternative method. Get regular curtains and place another piece of fabric between them and the window. Not the best way to keep in heat, as some will escape through the layers. But that additional barrier will be some improvement to a single blade.

Evaluate the exterior for possible retention

All log cabin homeowners know that they need to refinish their home every three to five years to keep the wood healthy and reduce the risk of cracking, warping, and splintering. Every year, before the snow falls, you should take a look outside to make sure it’s not time for that new coat of stain.

One thing you may notice is that there are some areas that are more worn than others. This is usually due to exposure to sun, rain or wind, which means that one section might need to be dyed before the rest. Do this before it gets too cold, or you risk the wood rotting from moisture.

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