Aftercare Information For Log Cabins
Wood As A Natural Material
Wood is a natural product and will be subject to movement and weathering as it seasons.
After construction the wood will settle. It will also expand and contract in the different seasons, temperatures and humidities.
This can cause window and doors to become tighter or looser and, in some cases, small gaps may appear between the wall logs. This will be especially noticeable if the weather is extremely hot or wet.
Such issues will probably right themselves once the weather changes again but if required there are some small adjustments you can make. We can talk you through them.
Wood may also have knots and small splits (called shakes). These are part of the natural beauty of wood and cannot be avoided. The shakes may get longer and deeper and the knots may dry out a little. You can seal the knots with a knot sealant if you prefer.
All pine wood contains a natural pigment which may start to come out. It can be light blue right through to black and can be in single patches or lengths. It is not mould or rot.
Our doors and windows are made from the same softwood as the log cabins so they will behave in the same way.
All of these things are perfectly normal for wood and wooden buildings and are not considered a fault.
External Wood Treatment
Your log cabin is made from natural, untreated wood (except the bearers and any decking which have been tanalised).
You must treat your log cabin externally, with a good quality coloured wood preservative, within 7 days of delivery to prevent deterioration. Pay particular attention to the corner joints.
The wood must be protected from UV rays from the sun as well as water, bugs etc. For this reason we recommend using a coloured wood preservative (not translucent) as the pigments help filter the UV rays.
If you don’t protect the wood from the UV rays from the sun by using a coloured wood preservative the wood will go an unpleasant grey colour.
It is important to use a good quality product and to ensure it is a preservative rather than just a paint. Make sure you follow the manufacturers guidelines on application, number of coats, re-application etc.
You must still treat your log cabin externally with a coloured wood preservative, even if you have had Clear Dip, to protect it from the UV rays from the sun.
Internal Wood Treatment
We recommend that you treat the inside of your doors and windows as well as the outside. Include the sides as well. Our doors and windows are made from the same softwood as the rest of the log cabin and so are subject to the same movement. By treating one side and sealing it against moisture but not doing the other sides you allow the wood the possibility of uneven movement.
It is also a good idea to treat the inside of your log cabin walls and floor too. This can help to keep it looking fresh but it is not compulsory.
You can use a translucent wood preservative on the inside of your log cabin. You should use a wood preservative or wood paint as these will allow for movement. Do not use a general purpose paint or varnish.
Fixing Things To Your Log Cabin
Bearing in mind that the wood will settle and then expand and contract in the different seasons, temperatures and humidities you need to plan how you fix things to your log cabin.
You can fix into an individual wall log with no problem, for example, a single picture hook.
You can also fix things horizontally along the length of a single wall log, for example, an electric cable running at the same height around the log cabin.
If you need to fix things vertically over a number of different logs, for example, items that need to be fixed top and bottom; cables running down to light switches or sockets, you will need use slotted batons.
The slotted batons (like the weather bars we provide) allow for the movement of the walls logs up and down.
If you try to fix anything without allowing for this movement you will find gaps can appear in the walls and in some cases there has been damage to the item that has been fixed. Please ask if you need any advice on this.
You should not fix anything directly above or below the door and window frames. It will restrict the movement of the log cabin causing gaps and problems with the doors and windows.
Door & Window Care
The doors and windows are fitted with multipoint lock systems – the metal bars you will see up the sides with hooks and round ‘mushrooms’ on which move when you use the handle.
You should spray the hooks and ‘mushrooms’ on the multipoint locking bars every now and then with a silicone spray. This will keep them working smoothly. Silicone spray is available in most hardware stores.
The frequency will depend on how often they are used and the environment they are in i.e. if they are used a lot and are in a dusty area you may need to spray the locking bar more often.
As the wood settles after construction and then expands and contracts in the different seasons, temperatures and humidities your doors may move.
They may become too stiff or too loose, the mechanisms may move out of line and the door/frame may move out of square.
It is a good idea to keep the door shut and trained into the lock as much as possible to stop the wood warping. Although we try our best to avoid this by laminating 3 sections of wood together, there is still a chance it can happen.
Any of the above issues are not considered a fault and are likely to put themselves right when the weather changes again but if the movement is preventing shutting/locking the door there are some small amendments that you will be able to make yourself. We can talk you through them.
The British Weather
The design and construction of a log cabin allows the wood to move in the different temperatures and seasons which is very important but, it also means that it is impossible to make your log cabin a sealed unit like a house or office building.
This means there are areas where, in some circumstances such as extreme weather or in very exposed settings, the outside can come in. This perfectly normal and one of the joys of owning a log cabin.
We do everything we can to minimise the effect such as larger overhangs, offset interlock corners, window and door seals, we recommend damp proof on the bearers, offer guttering and give advice on wood preservative (see above).
If you do find you are affected, you can try a number of things to minimise it:
Ensure your log cabin is treated with a good quality wood preservative and keep up to date with re-applications.
Protect the internal wood with a wood preservative to minimise staining.
Remove or reduce splash back around the bottom of the log cabin i.e. replace paving with gravel or soil which will make a softer landing ground and help water drain away too. It is worth considering guttering to direct rain into one place where it can drain away or go into a water butt.
Apply a wood sealant around the corners, log ends and window/door frames.
Draughts can be reduced with wooden trim or foam strips.
Call Out Charges
If your log cabin has a fault which is covered by your statutory rights (12 months) then we will come and try to put it right free of charge. Because we travel all over the UK we may ask that you wait until we are next in your area. In all circumstances you will have to wait until we have an available slot on the calendar.
Please note, there are several things, as outlined above, that will not be considered a fault. If this is the case, we can still try to help you put them right but there will be a call-out charge if we need to visit you.
There will also be a call-out charge if the fault is not covered by your statutory rights (12 months).
The call-out charge will be based on the mileage and labour involved, we will tell you in advance what the charge will be, so you can decide if to go ahead.