How to restore an old wooden cabin?

Posted May 01, 2020, Category: How-to

It’s well-known that a log cabin can survive for a long time. Through storms and dry seasons, wood is a  surprisingly durable material and with good care will survive multiple generations. So, maybe you’ve inherited an old glulam log home that belonged to your great-grandparents. Or maybe you’ve bought an old property that came cheap because it needs to be restored. Whichever reason for restoration, there are general guidelines and advice you can follow and restore your glulam beams house to its former glory.

Take the advice from us: we’ve been in log cabin production business for 27 years and have seen our products stand the test of time. In this post, we will share Eurodita’s knowledge on how to take care of old log houses and make them look like new.

General inspection

Before you start any works on your old log home, first step should be a general inspection. Starting from the outside, check for rot and mould. Pay special attention to the corners, since they see the most wear and tear. Check the roof for its structural integrity: when log homes settle over time, the top glulam beams sometimes get pushed out from under the rooftop. This is something that will be very important to get fixed, because you will be running the risk of collapsed roof. The corners also play an important role in determining the general state of your log home, so pay attention and look for mould and rot.

On the inside of the log house, corners are also the most important aspects. Especially on the inside, the mould tends to accumulate in corners, towards the roof. Also check the flooring, make sure the planks have not rotted and are still safe to step on. If not, they will need to be replaced. Check the doors and windows and where they meet the walls, look for gaps and mouldy corners that you will need to fix. Check the window frames for water damage and see if you don’t need to replace them.

Fix, Replace and Wash 

Once you’re done with the inspection, it’s time to get down to work. All mouldy places will need to be dried out, all rotten ones replaced. In some cases, you will need to replace the flooring of an entire room or spend a lot of time drying out the mould. Don’t skip these steps. Replace windows and doors if need be, fix the roof and make sure to secure the rooftop beams.

Finally, wash the inside and outside of your log house. There are two main ways to do this efficiently: the pressure washer or the media blaster.

With the pressure washer, make sure you pick a good quality wood cleaner. This chemical is balanced specifically for the log homes and will not cause extra damage. Also, make sure that the pressure washer you rent is low-intensity – around 1500 psi – because anything stronger will definitely cause damage to an already worn wood.

If you choose the media blaster, you will lower the risk of damaging the glulam beams house. This is achieved by eliminating any and all chemicals from the cleaning process. The only thing about media blaster is that they can be hard to obtain, but once you do, your log home will be extra clean.

Apply stain and sealant 

Now is the waiting part. After the cleaning procedure, you must wait for your log home to be completely dry. Then the last part can take place: applying stain and sealant. Pick a stain that fits your type of glulam beams house, match a colour that you envision. Also use a sealant in more sensitive corners and around windows and doors. Make sure you don’t leave any hole and cranny unsealed. We also covered the best process of selecting stain and paint for your log home in our previous post.

Taking care of an old house can be challenging. While you can take up the challenge yourself, it’s also worthwhile to discuss the steps with professionals. Contact your local log home wholesalers after you’re done inspecting your log home and discuss the steps you need to take. Budget the amount of money you are willing and are able to spend on the restoration project and make an informed decision. There are many possibilities for you to pick from. Make the right choices. Good luck!