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What’s the worst part of living in a log home?

To be fair, I should clarify the question to read, “What’s the worst part of living in a wooden, timber frame or log home? 

People visit this blog because we all share one thing in common, a passion for log homes.  Any log home owner will tell you log homes require some work.  Obviously, a log wall facing the weather is going to need more maintenance and TLC than a similar wall clad in vinyl siding.  Staining, chinking, eliminating mold and wood destroying insects are just a few of the chores we’re required to do on a regular schedule.  So other than additional maintenance chores, what’s the downside of our dream home fantasies?

To some it is the extra maintenance, to others it is a problem with bears or mountain lions, and to others its the BIRDS!  I’ve heard stories of people who had to take drastic measures to keep the birds away from their homes.  When you have a few woodpeckers the size of roosters pounding on your logs, it doesn’t take long for them to cut out a new window opening. 

I guess when you consider everything, putting up with a few pesky birds isn’t such a bad thing.  The pleasures of log home living far exceed the minor inconvenience of a few creatures pounding on your walls.  But would someone tell me why they choose my stained logs over a gazillion other trees? 

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2 comments to What’s the worst part of living in a log home?

  • Tom,
    I feel for you, having had the same experience on my home and helping others with similar woodpecker problems. The bird on your home is a Pileated Woodpecker, by the way – but he does have a red head.
    Woodpeckers peck for only two reasons – to mark their territory with a loud drumming sound, and to find food. The bird on your home was feeding on insects as you can see him picking them out and also turning his head to listen – they can actually hear bugs in the wood moving or chewing on wood.
    You have bugs in your wood. The first thing to do is determine what kind of bugs you have. If you see holes in the wood which are perfectly round and 3/8″ in diameter, you have carpenter bees. You probably saw them hovering around in the Spring. You can treat the holes and kill the bees and their larvae. Search the web for a carpenter bee kit.
    If there are no obvious holes, then you could have several other wood-eating bugs in the wood. You can easily treat for them with insecticides or borax. Several of the companies that manufacture stains for log homes market a borax product which will cheaply and safely kill the infestation. Other insecticides will also work, but the difficulty you will have with any product is that your logs are stained with a waterproof stain that will inhibit penetration into the wood by any product, making it hard to get the poison into contact with the critter you want to be rid of. My suggestion is to buy some borax, treat the log where the bird has pecked the holes and any other holes or cracks in the wood. You can also drill small holes into the wood and, over time,inject the borax into the wood.See if that works – it takes a while. If it does not, you will have to sand the finish off the log to get to raw wood and then treat the log with the borax solution to get it into the wood.
    I hope this helps and it is an isolated problem on your home. I suggest that, when you have to re-stain your home at some later date, you treat the whole structure with borax to prevent any future problems. It should cost less than $400.00 to do the whole thing before you re-apply a finish.

  • Tom

    Hey Paul:

    I couldn’t have gotten better, or more thorough advice if I paid for it 🙂

    Thank you VERY much, and I’m sure that other readers of this blog will also appreciate your excellent recommendations.

    Thanks again and best to all you folks at Rocky Mountain Log Homes,

    ~Tom

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