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A useful guide to help preserve your Garden Log Cabin.
Our Log Cabins are built using 44mm thick logs, which provide greater natural insulation and strength compared to many of our competitors. However like most purchases they do require some basic maintenance to ensure they stay in good condition and ultimately last for a lifetime. With a car for example, they require their oil to be topped up occasionally and even changed from time-to-time. There are similar maintenance tasks that need to be performed on Log Cabins. We recommend you follow each and every one of these processes, as they will greatly increase the life-span of your garden building.
The timber used in Log Cabins are untreated, this means they will be permeable and will absorb water. If the timbers are left without treatment, this absorbed water will become a breeding ground for mold. This mold will spread and cause the timber to rot, destroying the log cabin very rapidly. Your log cabin will look something like the model on the left without treatment. Although some people prefer this natural look, the cabin still needs treatment. Don’t worry, you can use clear treatments allowing you to preserve the natural look of the timber.
Every Log Cabin comes with a free can of Protek Wood Preserver, you must use this immediately after erection of the building. This step is vital as this preserver kills any traces of mold or fungus. It is a clear treatment that can be painted on using a brush, however we prefer using a pump sprayer as it’s a little more efficient.
We advise to cover hinges, locks, handles and edges of glazing with masking tape, similar to how one would prepare a room before decorating. Ground sheets are also advisable as splashes of treatment can be difficult to remove. Check your cabin is completely dry before beginning the treatment.
Apply at least two coats of a proprietary Wood Stain & Protector, we recommend using Protek’s Wood Stain & Protector. Application should be performed on a dry day and the first coat should be left to thoroughly dry before the second. There is a huge range of colours to choose from and this step really allows you to make the cabin your own. Typically most customers pick two colours, one for the main wall sections and one for the trims. Obviously now remove all the masking tape and ground sheets!
Every six months apply an extra coat of Wood Stain & Protector. Not only will this protect your building, it will also improve the appearance of the building.
Note: Water should bead and run off the treated surfaces. If this does not occur and the timber appears to absorb the water, apply another coat of Stain & Protector immediately.
Trees and Bushes
We always recommend situating a Log Cabin in an area free from overhanging branches and bushes. This is for several reasons. Firstly in a storm a tree branch will move around and potentially hit your log cabin. This might not cause much damage to the overall structure of the building, but rather it may tear roofing felt or damage felt shingles. Prevention is better than cure in this case, so make sure you prune trees adequately.
Secondly a bush or shrub may grow closer and closer to the building. This means that applying treatment will be difficult. Furthermore a shrub or bush will hold water in its foliage, even if the cabin has been treated, this is forcing water unnecessarily onto the building’s surfaces. Again, its just a case of ensuring the area is kept clear, and pruning shrubs & bushes when required.
After the building has been assembled it will go through a period of settling. This is where the timbers react to their new environment, shrinking or expanding depending on humidity. This is a normal and natural process which occurs with all timber products. During this period you may notice cracks in the timber or logs slightly moving apart. This is normal and natural, however it does need to be anticipated. Cracks in the logs can be filled in using a flexible sealant.
If you are installing an electrics pack, ensure that your electrician understands that the building will move slightly. Therefore its advisable to opt for conduit pipes that have a certain amount of flexibility in them rather than rigid ones.
Although its preferable to place the cabin on the highest part of the garden, this is not always possible. If this is the case we recommend you opt for our heavy-duty timber base, which is a frame leveled onto 4″x4″ pressure-treated posts concreted into the ground. This provides an elevated frame, allowing water to pass underneath it.
If you are self-installing, do not place the cabin directly onto the earth under any circumstances. Although the floor bearers have been treated, they are not designed to be in direct contact with the ground. Our heavy-duty timber base uses pressure treated posts, which are used for that purpose.
If you are unsure on any of the maintenance procedures, do not hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to provide advice to existing customers and even if you are unsure if a log cabin is right for you. We can also organise a site visit to your property to advise on individual requirements.