Residential Property – Understanding Your Wood

From early in the development of history, log homes and structures have been part of the human shelter system where forests provided the primary source of building material. The preservation and need for permanent structures became a necessity as civilization evolved and grew. Ancient log construction, known to have started around 700 BCE in Eastern Europe, used certain techniques to make the logs last as long as possible. For example, special corner notches were made to shed water, organic coatings were made to block water and protect against fungal growth and other innovations such as large roof overhangs and stone foundations were used to protect the logs from insects and fungal decay.


From this short summary of ancient techniques to preserve wood, we can see how important it still is to us today with our modern methods of preservation. It is important to remember, before planning and building a log home, that there are special consideration with wood as opposed to brick or concrete.

You should understand your wood on a microscopic and organic level in order to get the best out of its beauty and exquisite look. There are a few important facts to know about wood before you begin planning to own or build a log home for yourself. Wood must be professionally maintained and protected or you will have some unwanted, expensive repairs. There are a couple things to know about your wood’s effectiveness. Your geographic location is primary. Weather determines how your wood will react to a climate.

For example, humid weather will expand wood but dry weather will preserve it. Secondary to climate, are the biological agents specific to your region that can deteriorate wood such as termites or other forms of bugs. More factors to think about are the local building codes and rules on local practices and unique situations that have been favorable to others in your area. Let’s begin by focusing on the stuff that dream homes are made of: Wood. It is a cellular substance that makes up the bulk of a tree and is made up of water, waxes, gums, starches, alkaloids and oils composed of in the cell cavity. It is like a honeycomb composed mainly of hollow, tubular cells that give wood its amazing strength, insulating value and allows it to hold water, oxygen and nutrients. The primary source of much of wood decay are insects to which wood is their primary source of food and shelter. Termites and several other species of beetles eat at the cell wall of a wood structure to lay eggs. They colonize the wood and come out when hatched.


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