You probably haven’t used your furnace in since the snow melted and birds started singing, but now is a great time to make sure it is in shape to keep your home cozy all winter long. You can begin by replacing the furnace’s air filter and stocking up on enough filters to get you through the winter. Although many filters say they last for 90 days, your filter should be replaced once a month to keep your furnace working as efficiently as possible. If your furnace is getting a little older, you may want to call in an HVAC professional to give your furnace a tune up and make sure it’s ready to keep you warm.
If you enjoy snuggling up next to a crackling fire during the winter, it is important to sweep your chimney out annually and, you guessed it, fall is a great time to get it taken care of. Make sure your have enough firewood to keep your fireplace crackling all winter long. Don’t store your firewood on your deck or too close to your home. Not only does it pose a fire hazard, the bugs that often live in woodpiles can damage your log home. We recommend storing firewood 30 feet away from your house.
Winter heating bills can get expensive. So don’t waste money on a drafty house. Check the caulking around windows and doors and look for checking, or cracking in logs. Replace any caulk that is missing or pulling away and fill in checks that are bigger than ¼” with sealant. Examine your weather stripping and trim work to make sure it is in good condition. Tack down anything that is loose and replace it if it is missing or rotting.
Turning your heat down at night or while your gone during the day is another great way to save some money. If you have a hard time remembering to turn down the heat, consider installing a programmable thermostat that will automatically take care of it for you.
We hope our simple fall maintenance tips will help keep you warm and cozy all winter long!
Checking occurs as the logs dry and shrink. Because logs dry from the outside in, the log is shrinking at different rates. This puts pressure or stress on the log, causing it to check or pull apart slightly. The majority of checking in logs occurs during the first two years after construction.
The amount of checking and the size of the cracks in log depend on a variety of factors. Typically, checks are narrower in smaller logs and the closer you get to the center of the log. Another important factor is the amount of moisture in the logs at the time of construction. Logs that are air-dried or are used when they are still “green” will have larger more extensive cracks. Although logs that are factory dried are not immune to checking, drying wood in a kiln will speed up the drying process allowing the wood to dry at a more even rate resulting in less checking. Cutting logs in the winter can also help to reduce checking, due to the lower moisture content in the log.
Checks in logs are rarely a structure problem, but they can lead to other issues. Checks that appear in outer walls may lead to water damage or rot issues if its position or shape causes water to run into the interior of the log. Checks that appear near windows or doors can break a seal causing air or water to leak into your home. The final concern for homeowners is insects. If left unattended insects or even mold can take up residence in your home.
So, what should you do about checking in your home?
- Build your home with factory-dried logs.
- Be sure to install all of the spines, gaskets, caulk, T-jams and other sealing mechanisms between logs and at window and door openings.
- Monitor checks in your logs. Sealing openings larger than ¼” with sealant approved by your log supplier.
Come see Hiawatha Log Homes at the Johnson’s Log Home & Timber Frame Show in Baltimore, Maryland April 1-3, 2001
Whether you’re building a log home or timber frame home, or looking to furnish a home with rustic lodge style furniture and décor; or just trying to learn more about this growing segment of the home building industry…no matter your interest you can’t miss our log home show experience. We have assembled the very best in log and timber frame home companies, 2nd home builders, architects and designers, and leading home suppliers, along with incredibly talented craftspeople offering one-of-a-kind rustic furniture and accessories that define the lifestyle for rustic living.
Schedule all or part of your weekend in advance as you make plans to attend our MD show. Wherever you are in your home journey—fact-gathering as you search for land, selecting the manufacturer and dealer to build your dream, the builder or architect or you’re living in you home and always on the lookout for just the right furniture and accessories—we’re confident you’ll find what you need at our weekend shows and seminars. And if there’s something or someone you’d like to see at our next event, just let us know!
What To Do
- Meet leading log and timber frame home manufacturers and dealers
- Expand your knowledge about the homebuilding process
- Attend seminars and demonstrations focused on your needs and interests
- Meet the financial experts, home designers, and skilled artisans who will make your home vision complete.
- Have fun!
At our shows, our attendees are pursuing a lifestyle in one of the fastest growing custom home segments in America. And we’re here to help in that pursuit of the log and timber home dream. Come to one of our shows and you’ll find experienced, friendly hosts, seminar presenters, and booth exhibitors, happy to provide you further information now or down the road.
We’ve planned our shows not only to add to your knowledge, but also to make sure you enjoy your time as well. Our presenters are experts, and you’ll also find action-packed presentations on our “Main Stage”.
This is the place—come see (and feel!) the logs and timber designs on display. Come hear about the typical considerations of a custom home, and the unique aspects of a log or timber home—but don’t worry, the dream is an attainable one. One visit to our weekend shows and seminars, and you’ll be confident in your next step. You may even meet the people who will hand you the keys to your dream home.