Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Is a Geothermal Heat Pump Right for Your Log Home?

Because they’re extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly, geothermal heat pumps have become increasingly popular in the last couple of decades. Many log home owners find that geothermal heat pumps are a great way to keep energy bills low while keeping their homes at a comfortable temperature all year round. Before you commit to a geothermal installation, however, some research is in order. Today we’ll weigh the pros and cons of geothermal heat.

In Favor of Geothermal Heat


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.

Drawbacks of Geothermal Heat


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

Winterizing Your Log Home

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

The Importance Of Cleaning Your Log Home’s Fireplace Before The Upcoming Winter



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. 

The Importance Of Cleaning Your Log Home’s Fireplace Before The Upcoming WinterYour 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.

American Building Restoration Product’s Waterless Fireplace CleanerABR 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.

Schroeder Log Home Supply Inc. carries this product plus much more in their expansive selection of quality log home supplies. Ordering is available via the web, by phone or in our store. Contact us today for your log home needs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Educating Yourself On Log Home Maintenance



Educating Yourself On Log Home Maintenance
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

 

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.

Re-staining

 

Depending on the exposure to the elements your log home or cabin will need a new coat of stain every three to seven years. 

At Schroeder Log Home Supply, we carry high-quality log cabin building materials and supplies plus deliver knowledgeable staff to answer your questions and concerns.  For more information or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us today.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Don’t Let These Ruin Your Log Home!



Don’t Let These Ruin Your Log Home!
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.

Schroeder Log Home Supply has a wide variety of products to help you avoid any of these issues. There is nothing worse than a pest, so let us help you get rid of them and keep your log home in great condition. For more information on any of our products, please contact us today!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Get Your Log Home’s Power From The Sun!



Solar energy is becoming more and more popular as time goes on and one of the reasons is because of its numerous benefits. Between saving the environment as well as saving people money, it’s easy to see why this has become the go to for many people when it comes to power their homes or businesses.

However, if you decide to implement solar power energy on your log home, there are a few things to prepare before you switch the power on.

Become A Solar Powered Wizard!

Get Your Log Home’s Power From The Sun!
Before you even lift a finger, assess how much the installation and maintenance is going to cost. Then you have to make sure that when you are going to install it, you have a prevention system in place to keep animals, like birds and squirrels, from living on top of or nesting around the panels.

These local animals may not seem like they are bothering anything, but one wrong move from them could ruin all that was installed and end up costing you a good amount of unplanned money to replace some panels, fabrication or wiring. Plan out what you can to prevent animal interference or how you can install your solar power to avoid having any critters find home in them.

If you find that the job is over your head, there is nothing wrong with calling in an expert to handle the job.

Schroeder Log Home Supply offers a wide selection of solar energy manuals and books to get your home powered by the sun. Learn the ins and outs of it all so you can avoid any critters or pests from damaging your log homes power. For more information on our products, please feel free to contact us today!