ANTIQUE & OLD LOG CABINS - CONTENTS: Guide to Diagnosing & Repairing Leaks & Other Problems on antique or historic log homes. Guide to Identifying, Diagnosing & Repairing Older & Antique Log Homes. Log caulk, spline, gasket, and coating product guide for antique or restored log homes. Log checking, cracking, shrinkage, & leaks in antique log homes, historic log cabins, or other old log-framed and sided structures. Window & Door Installation Details for repair or renovation of antique Log Homes can prevent later leaks & Damage
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Antique & traditional log cabins & homes: this article explains the inspection and diagnosis of rot and leak damage on older log homes and other log structures. This series of articles provides information on the inspection and diagnosis of damage to new and older log homes and includes description of log home insulation values and alternatives, and also a description of the characteristics of slab-sided log homes. Our page top photo shows an antique log cabin in Molde, Norway.
The antique log cabin shown in this photo was found along the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania during a log cabin driving tour we took in 2007.
In photos and with comments below we point out some of the construction techniques and the resulting condition of these homes. These small cabins varied considerably in condition; the second cabin in this row was collapsing, almost certainly because its owner did not maintain the roof, which was collapsing when we found these homes.
The principal causes of extensive rot damage we observed on this string of log cabins along the river included:
Failure to keep the roof intact, letting water enter the structure and run down both sides of the log walls
Logs at ground level not protected from soil contact
Leaks around the chimneys, sending water down the logs behind and abutting the chimney
Rot at the ends or at lap joints of logs in an antique log homes is a principal point of damage on these structures, as evident in this photo (left) of an antique log structure in Molde, Norway.
Notice that it was the lower splice log that has suffered most in this construction detail.
Notice the careful detailing at the log ends in this photo of another antique log structure in Norway?
Those sloping covers and sloping sides of wood piers shed water to extend the life of these wood members.
Below we show what happens when the ends of logs are not properly protected from water uptake.
Here we show that a simple stone slab can break the insect and water path between the supporting structure of a log home and its wooden pier.
This construction detail was observed in many log homes in Norway.
FAQs below discusses field reports of problems & solutions for this topic
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about antique log cabins & homes
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"Shop Talk," Martin Mintz, AIA, Builder Magazine, April 1986, detailed solutions for log shrinkage movement by using a "T" jamb at windows and doors. A January 1986 Builder Magazine article shows window installation details in 8" thick log walls.
"Caulking, Chinking, Insulators, Sealants - which System works Best," Log Home and Alternative Housing Builder, Nov-Dec 1983.
Lincoln Log Homes Marketing, Inc., 6000 Lumber Lane, Kannapolis NC 28081 704-932-6151
Insulating Characteristics of log homes were neatly summarized by Roger Rawlings in "Log Homes in a New Light," Rodale's New Shelter, April 1983, p. 28
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume. Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Or choose the The Home Reference eBook for PCs, Macs, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, or Android Smart Phones. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference eBook purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAEHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
Diagnosing & Repairing House Structure Problems, Edgar O. Seaquist, McGraw Hill, 1980 ISBN 0-07-056013-7 (obsolete, incomplete, missing most diagnosis steps, but very good reading; out of print but used copies are available at Amazon.com, and reprints are available from some inspection tool suppliers). Ed Seaquist was among the first speakers invited to a series of educational conferences organized by D Friedman for ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors, where the topic of inspecting the in-service condition of building structures was first addressed.
Design of Wood Structures - ASD, Donald E. Breyer, Kenneth Fridley, Kelly Cobeen, David Pollock, McGraw Hill, 2003, ISBN-10: 0071379320, ISBN-13: 978-0071379328 This book is an update of a long-established text dating from at least 1988 (DJF); Quoting: This book is gives a good grasp of seismic design for wood structures. Many of the examples especially near the end are good practice for the California PE Special Seismic Exam design questions. It gives a good grasp of how seismic forces move through a building and how to calculate those forces at various locations.THE CLASSIC TEXT ON WOOD DESIGN UPDATED TO INCLUDE THE LATEST CODES AND DATA. Reflects the most recent provisions of the 2003 International Building Code and 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction. Continuing the sterling standard set by earlier editions, this indispensable reference clearly explains the best wood design techniques for the safe handling of gravity and lateral loads. Carefully revised and updated to include the new 2003 International Building Code, ASCE 7-02 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, the 2001 National Design Specification for Wood Construction, and the most recent Allowable Stress Design.
Defects and Deterioration in Buildings: A Practical Guide to the Science and Technology of Material Failure, Barry Richardson, Spon Press; 2d Ed (2001), ISBN-10: 041925210X, ISBN-13: 978-0419252108. Quoting: A professional reference designed to assist surveyors, engineers, architects and contractors in diagnosing existing problems and avoiding them in new buildings. Fully revised and updated, this edition, in new clearer format, covers developments in building defects, and problems such as sick building syndrome. Well liked for its mixture of theory and practice the new edition will complement Hinks and Cook's student textbook on defects at the practitioner level.
Straw Bale Home Design, U.S. Department of Energy provides information on strawbale home construction - original source at http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/designing_remodeling/index.cfm/mytopic=10350
More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw (Mother Earth News Wiser Living Series), Chris Magwood, Peter Mack, New Society Publishers (February 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 0865715181 ISBN-13: 978-0865715189 - Quoting: Straw bale houses are easy to build, affordable, super energy efficient, environmentally friendly, attractive, and can be designed to match the builder’s personal space needs, esthetics and budget. Despite mushrooming interest in the technique, however, most straw bale books focus on “selling” the dream of straw bale building, but don’t adequately address the most critical issues faced by bale house builders. Moreover, since many developments in this field are recent, few books are completely up to date with the latest techniques. More Straw Bale Building is designed to fill this gap. A completely rewritten edition of the 20,000-copy best--selling original, it leads the potential builder through the entire process of building a bale structure, tackling all the practical issues: finding and choosing bales; developing sound building plans; roofing; electrical, plumbing, and heating systems; building code compliance; and special concerns for builders in northern climates.