Tuesday, December 15, 2015
As we’ve already mentioned, geothermal heat pumps are remarkably energy efficient. Rather than relying on the burning of fossil fuels, geothermal heat systems work in much the same way that a refrigerator does, using a series of liquid-filled coils to draw underground heat up into your home. Once the heated liquid rises above ground level, it’s distributed throughout your home with a blower and ductwork. Rather than creating a new heat source, a geothermal system simply moves nearby heat from the inside of the earth to your home. Geothermal systems are also quiet and low maintenance because there are very few moving parts involved.
The first thing that usually deters homeowners from getting geothermal heat is the installation cost. This initial investment may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 dollars. It will increase your home’s resale value and significantly lower your energy bills, but unless you’re planning on staying in your home for a number of years in the future the cost of installation can be a bit hard to swallow. The installation also requires a considerable amount of digging and drilling in your yard. The overall difficulty of installation will depend on your locale and soil conditions.
Want to learn more about geothermal heating? Check out this helpful guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Here in Minnesota, the nights are getting colder and the days are getting shorter. Winter won’t officially begin for a few weeks yet, but already the snowy season is beginning to take hold. Is your log home ready to weather the elements? Log homes might be famously sturdy and rugged, but it’s always a good idea to perform a thorough inspection and treat them to a little TLC to prepare for winter. Today, we’ll look at a few steps you can take to winterize your home.
Check the Exterior
This is perhaps the most important step in the winterizing process. Take a walk around your home and keep a close eye out for gaps that need to be sealed with fresh bead of caulk. Inspect weather stripping for damage as well. Wash your home’s exterior to remove mildew, grit and grime and reveal any areas where the stain is peeling. Apply new stain if necessary, but take to mind the temperature. Stain should typically not be applied in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t Forget the Foundation
Check the foundation for cracks and gaps, and seal them if necessary. Clear any organic debris such as leaves and sticks away from the foundation. Rotting vegetation can be a haven for burrowing insects and rodents. Likewise, you don’t want it anywhere near your home’s foundation. Keep firewood elevated and stored away from your home, too.
Clear Gutters and Downspouts
To prevent mold and mildew growth, it’s especially important to keep water runoff away from your log home’s exterior. This is where your gutters and downspouts come into play. Make sure they’re clean and free of debris, and consider installing leaf guards on gutters to keep them from clogging during the winter.
Protect your Pipes
In sub-zero temperatures, frozen pipes are an ever-present threat to your home. Insulate any exposed pipes and make sure that you know where your water main shut-off valve is in case of an emergency. It’s also a good idea to keep a space heater on hand in case of a pipe freeze. If you go away for the winter, be sure to set your heat to at least 55 degrees to keep pipes from freezing.
Remember: if you have a fireplace in your log home, it’s important to have it cleaned prior to using it this winter as well. Want to learn more about cleaning and maintaining your log home? Stay tuned for more updates from Schroeder Log Home Supply!
Monday, October 19, 2015
Your cabin’s fireplace provides a cozy and relaxing atmosphere, a gathering place for the family and brings a warm, glowing feel to your home. There is nowhere else I’d rather be on a cold winter’s day than in front of a roaring fire with my blanket, a good book and a cup of hot chocolate.
Your fireplace may also provide the main source of heat in your home and used all winter long. The more frequently you use your fireplace the more soot and smoke can billow out and coat the face of your fireplace as well.
Every area can become dingy and ugly caked with dark black stains.
As the winter months approach, it is extremely important to make sure you fireplace is clean and ready to go for the season. There are plenty of do-it-yourself homemade cleaners on the internet, but they all seem so messy and require a ton of elbow grease.
No one wants to go through that and now thanks to American Building Restoration Product’s Waterless Fireplace Cleaner you don’t have to.
ABR boasts a revolutionary waterless fireplace cleaner that removes dirt, soot and grime from multiple surfaces including brick, slate, tile, granite, marble, stone, ceramic, terrazzo, and more.
The process is simple. Just apply the waterless cleaner, let dry, and peel away the dirt. It’s like a beauty mask for your fireplace.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
It has been said that if you read seven solid books on one subject then you may be considered a “subject matter expert”. If you own a log home, wouldn’t it make sense to become an expert on how to care for and preserve your home?
It is very import that you know the ins and outs of your log home or cabin in order avoid costly and potentially disastrous situations that could have been prevented if you knew what you should, and shouldn’t, be doing to your home.
Owning a log home is quite different from owning any other type of home, there are numerous common problems caused by Mother Nature that you must prepare for or spend time and money to repair.
If you’re not sure how to solve a problem or are looking to educate yourself with books that can help; we suggest our Log Home Maintenance Guide and now our new edition; A Field Guide for Identifying, Preventing, and Solving Problems.
Carpenter Ants are known for creating tunnels in your foam panels, they do not eat the wood, and they chew their way through to create a home for themselves. To prevent these tiny nesters insect resistant foam panels are the perfect solution.
Beetles, Wasp & Bees
These three can become a deadly trio. Wasps and bees us a beetle’s exit hole as a storage place for both food and for their eggs. To prevent this make sure to clean off any excess dirt and fill the holes by caulking or chinking.
Depending on the exposure to the elements your log home or cabin will need a new coat of stain every three to seven years.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Many look to their log home as a place of respite from the rest of the world and some call it their everyday home. Yet, that peace can be shattered by a group of common problems that can lead to big headaches if not taken care of.
Arm yourself with knowing the warning signs so you can take the necessary steps to stop the problems in their tracks.
Protect Your Log Home!
Every once and a while take the time to inspect the foam panels in your ceiling. If there are holes in them, you might have carpenter ants creating tunnels to move in and around your home.
To fix and prevent this from happening, use borate infused panels in your log home and if that doesn’t work you might have to invest in a Bug Kit.
Also, take the time to walk around the house and look for any holes in the wood as these are breeding spots for wasps and bees. To prevent this, clean out the holes and fill them with either caulk or chinking.
One common problem with log home could be water spots on the deck. To fix this you could either use a wood cleaner and clean the deck or simply strip the finish and reapply it after everything is dry.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Whether it’s lacking time to keep up with regular maintenance or you’ve just moved into a log home, restoring it’s beautify can be a big project. If you’re interested in doing the repairs yourself, here are a few tips that can help you with your project.
Check for large cracks where dirt and rain could accumulate. Use a good quality caulk that allows for your logs to expand and contract. You’ll be able to find a caulk that matches the stain or finish of your home. However, if it is a large area, you may need to contact a professional.
Mold can grow where finish is coming off of the logs; use a soft brush or one of our buffing brushes and a bleach/water mixture to clean it off. Hose it off thoroughly and let it dry before moving forward with other repairs.
If there is an area where the finish is wearing off prematurely it is most likely where water is dripping or splashing often. This can lead to mold and wood rot; add gutters or redirect the water away from the logs.
If there is an area of rot or damage, you can use Penetreat to keep the logs from rotting further and then use Liquid Wood to seal the cracks. Then, use new wood to fill the damaged area. If the logs are painted, then the logs would need to be stripped with a chemical stripper or sanded before starting the rot removal process.
You can find a more detailed process on our Log Home Restoration Maintenance Products page.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your home repairs or have any questions, please contact Schroeder Log Home Supply, Inc. today.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Everyone can enjoy and appreciate your beautiful log home unfortunately, not everyone you want. Bugs and snakes could potentially become your unwanted roommates and ruin the integrity of your wood. Not only should you be able to control the unwanted guests in your home but you should be able to preserve and take care of your house.
Here are a few products that will keep the bugs and snakes from making a home out of your home!
Armor-Guard Borate Wood Preservative is borate preservative that is dissolved into water and it will protect wood from decaying and from insects that could do damage. The preservative does not affect the color or application of the wood and is very easy to mix and use. It protects wood from a variety of beetles, ants and fungi.
There are two Carpenter Bee Kits available, one with Delta Dust and one with Drione Dust. Although it says it’s for carpenter bees, it can be used on ants, wasps, cockroaches, and other indoor and outdoor pests. The Drione kills in minutes, while the Delta takes hours; they’re equally effective. Each kit comes with Delta (or Drione) Dust, 4 oz. of Viper, a Crusader Duster and a face mask.
You can buy Delta Dust or Drione Powder as well as the Viper Insecticide separately. For more information about preventing unwanted visitors in your log home, please contact Schroeder Log Home Supply today.
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