With the cold weather creeping in, drafty windows can be a big issue. It’s more important than ever to make sure your home is properly sealed off from the harsh weather outdoors.
Many log cabin owners struggle with drafty windows, but do not understand the full reason behind them. Good insulation can only do so much when your home is a log cabin. The cracks between the logs are the primary reason for the draftiness.
Step 1: Tape off the areas to be sealed around the drafty window
There’s no reason to get any product where it isn’t needed. So with the tape, you’ll protect the areas that don’t need any product. Use painter’s tape (available at any hardware store) to protect the wood surface.
Step 2: Insert Log Gap Cap behind drafty window
The Log Gap Cap is a piece of pre-cut foam created for the purpose of sealing cracks and gaps around windows. These are proven to increase energy efficiency. They are built to be resistant to mold, rot, and bacteria. They will NOT absorb any moisture.
Step 3: Apply Conceal or Log Builder according to directions. Smooth it to ensure a tight seal.
This caulk is designed to absorb any log movement while simultaneously keeping a watertight seal. Log Builder and Conceal will not crack and peel away like other caulks. It is created to keep water, air, bugs, and more out of your home and last the test of time.
Step 4: Remove the tape after smoothing and before the sealant skins over. Finally, step back and enjoy your handiwork.
Now’s the time you can kick back and enjoy your properly sealed log cabin! No more drafty windows!
Get the supplies you need to seal your drafty windows here
Reduce your utility bill this Winter by checking for air leaks in your home. A few air leaks can cost you many extra dollars per month. The key is to find and seal these air leaks before the super cold weather sets in. Check out the 3 ways to successfully locate air leaks below.
Energy.gov recommends first performing a visual inspection. On the outside of your home, make sure to inspect all areas where two different building materials meet including :
All exterior corners
Outdoor water faucets
Where siding and chimneys meet
Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.
On the inside of your home:
Door and window frames
Electrical and gas service entrances
Weather stripping around doors
Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
Cable TV and phone lines
Where dryer vents pass through walls
Vents and fans
Easy Do It Yourself Method
Set aside time to locate air leaks on a cool Fall day, when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees lower than the temperature in your home.
Items you will need:
Small bucket of warm water
A piece of chalk
A step stool or ladder depending on the height of your ceilings.
Dip your hand in the water and run your wet hand over the interior walls, making sure to keep your hand about 6-12 inches away from the wall surface.
You will easily feel the cold air if there are leaks in the walls.
Make sure to use this method around doors and windows, as those are often places where air leaks develop.
Mark these areas where you feel cold air with the chalk.
Once you locate leaks, the best way to close up cracks and crevices is from the outside. Sealing a leak from the outside will prevent further air infiltration as well as water.
The opening source of the leak outside may be several inches from the spot where it is felt inside the home. Continue to seal the area until the person on the inside no longer detects the air leak. For step by step information on sealing areas on log homes see our Energy Seal application page.
In some areas, it may be necessary to use a flexible backing material, see information on backer rod.
Advanced Do It Yourself Method
For a more advanced and detailed way of finding leaks, place a box fan in a window or door blowing outward.
Cover the rest of the opening with plastic sheeting. Doing this will draw cold air into your home through the leaks making them easier to find.
Once you have located and marked your leaks, continue on with the steps listed above.
Hire a Professional
Another option for dealing with the air leaks in your home is hiring a professional to locate and caulk the leaks. If you know you have quite a few drafts and leaks to caulk, this may be the most time-efficient option.
With a little patience, time and diligence you can be on your way to utility savings and a warmer house.
Thanks to Perma-Chink Systems, LLC for providing inspiration and reference for this article.
It’s October, and that means it’s time to winterize your log home. You may have cold weather already, or it could be just around the corner, but taking these simple steps to winterize now means your home will be protected before it gets too cold to bear!
Inspect Your Logs If you have temperatures above 50 degrees, you can still re-coat your home and decks with stain. Follow-ing recommended maintenance schedules protects the integrity of the wood and enhances the beauty of your home. We recommend washing first with Log Wash for light surface cleaning. Fill checks in logs, and any gaps around doors, windows, and exterior ventilation openings to prevent moisture infiltration from ice, rain and snow, and to keep indoor heat from escaping. We recommend Energy Seal, and Checkmate 2.
Inspect Your Landscaping Trim tree branches resting on your roof or hanging too close to power lines. Heavy snow piling up can wreak havoc! Fall is the perfect time to seal concrete driveways and patios so they hold up to damaging Winter salts and freezing temps. It’s also important to fill cracks while they’re small to prevent spreading. We recommend Seal-Once Concrete & Masonry Waterproof Sealer. Pulling up a dock or keeping your outdoor wood furniture on the patio? Seal it with a good water-proofer to protect it from harsh elements. We recommend Seal-Once Poly Blend and Seal-Once Marine.
Inspect Your Foundation and Roof Rake leaves and excess vegetation away from your foundation to keep unwanted critters and wood boring insects at bay. Dry, brittle pine needles are a potential fire hazard. Reduce your risk by clearing them away from your home and off your roof. If you are in an area prone to natural fires, consider protecting your home with a flame retardant. We recommend Flame Seal Wood Seal.
Whether you plan to stay in your log home through the Winter or leave and return in the Spring, properly winterizing protects your home through those cold Winter months and extends its life for many years of enjoyment.
Many thanks to LogFinish.com’s, Jennifer Fludd for this fantastic article!