Winter is coming, the temperature is dropping, and snow is already starting to fall on some of the towering peaks in the world. If you look up at the Rockies you can see the glimmering beginnings of frost on the quickly dying trees.
For those who have a log cabin, it is time to begin preparing for the coming weather. While all houses need to be winterized, log cabins are particularly affected by the snow and cold. Here is what you need to know to get ready.
Increasing Energy Efficiency Is All About Proper Insulation
The first thing you need to prepare for is the cold. Log cabins are cozy, but they have to be properly insulated from the beginning. Otherwise they will leak air between the gaps of the logs, and let in the cold air from outside. Your energy bill will go through the roof to compensate.
Insulation should be redone about every 3 – 5 years. The average cost is around $1,300 for the entire cabin, though that may be higher or lower depending on the insulation process you select, and whether you use a company, or do it yourself. While it may seem pricey, consider that additional energy costs and damage due to leaky walls can end up running you twice as much, or more, in the long run.
Regular Staining Could Save Your Home
Your house needs to be restained every couple of years, or you could damage the exterior of your home. If it has been awhile, or if you have never stained it, it is time to do it before the weather gets too cold. The perfect temperature to stain a cabin is around 60 F… under 50 F or over 70 F may impede the process.
The average cost to stain a cabin is $3.90 per square foot. So for a log cabin of about 1,500 square feet of exterior siding you should plan for around $5,850. If you consider that you will be restaining about every five years, that comes to under $1,200 per year, and will be your biggest maintenance cost. If you have to, you can do a section per year and rotate to make sure it all remains newly stained.
Hiring a Plumber For a Checkup Is Better Than a Busted Pipe
Pipes can begin to have problems long before you see any serious symptoms. For example, you might notice a bit of a clog, but it is taken care of with a plunger. In the meantime, it can be a sign of a serious issue that will lead to thousands in repairs months from now
A plumber will charge a per hour rate for an inspection, and they may or may not find something that has to be fixed. In some instances they can take a peek and discover future problems that they warn you about. It is better than the alternative, which can be much more expensive.
Ditto On An HVAC Pro To Look At Your Furnace
Take the above issue, and apply it to your furnace and heating system. The last thing you want is to be half way through winter and have your heating run out. Then be forced to wait a week before someone can get out to you, and fix the problem. It would be a long few days with heavy sweaters and blankets, that is for sure.
Have an HVAC specialist come in and take a peek to make sure everything is up to code. If you can afford it, and you have had your furnace for awhile, consider getting it replaced with a more energy efficient model.
You Will Get Vermin, So Be Prepared
Whether they are bugs or mice, something is gonna get in during the winter… that is just what vermin do. They seek to escape the cold, and your log cabin makes for a tempting and ready place of warmth to nestle into.
Make sure you prepare and minimize the risks of infestations as much as possible. Check all canned and stored food items to make sure they are protected, and nothing is leaking or opened. Clean all crevices carefully, and get rid of any dust particles and dirt. Check corners and along walls for any hidden holes. You may also want to do a quick spray through with an insecticide to take care of any possible nests through the winter.
A Fireplace Is Great For Warmth, But Needs Some TLC
Fireplaces make a gorgeous, comforting addition to any log cabin. But you have to maintain them properly, or it could be both a fire and gas hazard. The last thing you want is a buildup in the chute causing a potential health risk for your family. Making sure it is cleaned properly before using it, and before closing it for the season, is a must for homeowners.
Hire a chimney sweep to come in, clear it out, and make sure it is functioning properly. Then when winter is over, have them clean it again and decommission it for the warmer months. You never know what could have gotten up there, including small animals, birds, and insect nests.
Clean and Extend Those Gutters To Keep Them From Damaging The Exterior
Your gutters are probably full of leaves and debris. Make sure you get up there and clean them out before it gets too cold. Also consider adding an extender to the pipe, to take any draining water at least a few feet from the house. This will keep the outside staining from becoming damaged, or water pressing in through unsealed portions hidden in walls.
An extension costs around $10, and takes seconds to install yourself.
Don’t Get Caught By Surprise, Winter!