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Thread: 1986 Log Home- leaking... help please

  1. #1

    1986 Log Home- leaking... help please

    New to the forum- so please excuse any faux pas. I would appreciate your thoughts... My father built a kit home in 1986 in NY. It was a sturdy home for lots of years, but it is showing its age now and we are getting leaks in the south wall. Additionally, we also had carpenter bees, flies and bats. It's been a rough couple of years. I think we have the bee/bat problem taken care of, but I'm not sure what to do about the leaking. The leaks begin around the upstairs windows but not because of the windows. The last time the logs were stained was about 7 years ago. The house never had any chinking/caulking and I am hesitant to use it and create a worse problem. My mom's handyman did put some caulk in the checks, but I question that as well. The water comes in especially when we have storms (my mother doesn't use the upstairs often so it was only noticed when we visit). The logs are made of pine and aren't really rounded- they had a tongue and grove in the center with only a strip of foam insulation in between. The birds started going into the soffits through the vents and we tried to cover them up with hardwire cloth. My mom is getting desperate and people are suggesting she clad the eves and soffits in vinyl. She thinks she needs to chink the exterior too but I don't think that is the solution. I'm not sure our log profiles will support it.

    Also- just put a new roof on this past summer but they never painted the fascia.

    Our goal is to create a weathertight envelope and give my mom peace of mind. Any advice? I'll try to post a couple pictures, but unfortunately, I don't have a whole image of the south elevation.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me protect my family home!

  2. #2
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Sounds like you need to find the source of the leak. Does it have gutters?

  3. #3
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Grants Pass, Oregon.
    Blog Entries
    San, this won't help you but it will illustrate why we LHBA members do some of the weird things we do.

    Most normal houses, and most log kit houses as well, have about 18" of roof overhang. Even with gutters that allows a moderate rain to wet the logs. 10 or 20 moderate rains per year for 20 or 40 years is a lot of water soaking into every little crease between logs. Once it soaks in it tries to stay there and do the dastardly stuff that moisture wants to do to wood.

    The LHBA method preaches at least a 4' roof overhang to keep all but the most drivingest of rain off the log walls. Personally, my overhangs are between 6' and 11' and my walls are very rarely damp.

    I'm not there where the action is, so I may not be much help with the solution, but I thought I'd make a stab at guessing part of the problem. It doesn't matter now what the original problem would be called, but I'd label it a design flaw. You are not alone. It is a very common problem.

    How about a photo or six.

    Sent from my Pixel 3a XL using Tapatalk
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  4. #4
    LHBA Member rckclmbr428's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Roanoke, VA
    Photos would be beneficial
    "Hand Crafted Traditions"

  5. #5
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Poolesville, MD, building in WV
    An IR camera will show wetness where the naked eye will not. It appears very dark, if not black, where the dampness is.

  6. #6
    Thank you everyone for your replies! We probably do have about 18 inches of overhang... My previous attempt to post photos failed. I'll try again. The roofline is kind of a saltbox with a low roof over the front porch and a short overhang over the rear. The north and south sides are what I would consider the "gable end." Even if we tried to extend the roofline, the weather all comes from that direction (south), so I don't think it is leaking from the roof. I did buy an IR camera, but haven't been up to the house lately due to COVID.

    PS- I can only upload photos from a link, not from files...

  7. #7
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    East TN, Western NC
    Blog Entries
    Creating a link is how a lot of us post pictures here.

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