Are garden log cabins water resistant is a query we got asked all the time here at Timberdise.
The brief simple answer to your query is an unqualified yes!
Why would they not be?
Well, let’s take a look at some of the likely troubles with a timber cabin which would make the log cabin not water resistant and fairly honestly not fit for purpose. The main thing to seem at quickly is the roof structure, that’s where you would imagine the main complication would begin (this is not always the scenario but that’s where we will begin today). The main complication with the roof structure would be to have the felt or shingling to not be mounted correctly. This is fairly easily done if this is something you have never done before and why it should always be undertaken by an expert most especially if you are putting in a lot of your hard earned cash on a timber cabin.
• Make sure that the overlies are overlying in the right way. You should always begin felting at the bottom of the structure and felt upwards. By doing this you ensure that the felt overlies on top of the piece of felt that is further down the roof structure. This will ensure there is a natural run off of the water, if you begin felting at the top of the roof structure and you put the overlie from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain runs off it will run beneath the felt and consequently trigger a leak. This is precisely the same when doing shingles, make sure you mount from bottom upwards.
• Make sure the overlies of the felt/shingles are fairly generous. You don’t want them to be just barely overlying because this could trigger rain to get between the felt sheets and this will trigger a leak
• Make sure you use sufficient felt nails. Ideally you want to be spacing the felt nails around 6 inches apart from each other. Always do this on both sides of the felt and dependent on the quality of the felt you are using possibly put another row of pin in the middle, possibly two rows but again this depends on the quality of the felt. Failure to put enough felt pin in there could result in the felt blowing off during a bad storm which would then leave your structure exposed to leaks.
• It is in addition crucial that when you reach the overhang of the structure with the felt you attach the felt to side of the roof structure but DO NOT tuck the felt beneath the overhang of the roof structure as this limits the natural run off of the water. This can trigger early rotting of the structure and in some situations trigger the roof structure to water leak around the top corners of the structure as water could build up.
• Make sure you use the correct size fixings. If the roofing boards on your structure are let’s say 10mm,you don’t want felt nails of 16mm. Doing this would trigger the felt nails to come completely through the roof structure. This would not seem cosmetically appealing and would in addition be a real possibility of a leak in the structure. They way felt is now designed, there should be a watertight seal around the nail but throughout the seasons with wear and tear this may fail resulting in a leak.
• The most generally ignored area on a timber cabin structure is the felt or shingles on the roof structure. This is primarily because we can’t see it most of the time and it’s a lot more difficult to get up there and have a look, but this is precisely what you should do and I would recommend at least once a year or if you notice a leak. Because log cabins are not built as high as the typical house and the felt and shingles aren’t fairly as tough and resilient as a normal house tile they require a little more focus. They are exposed to more elements on a daily basis because they are lower, this can result in a number of things from falling debris from trees, or another instance would be a kids’s toys getting thrown up there which would all trigger harm to the felt/shingles. Not to mention lots of bird droppings can rot the felt if it is in an area where natural rain can not permeate it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for instance if your log cabin sits under a tree).
We at Timberdise mount all of our log cabins, we do this because we know you are investing a lot of cash into a timber cabin and you want it to be around for a long period of time. So the best way we can ensure this happens is to take care of the installation and make sure it is mounted correctly. We’ve been out to repair log cabins in the past built by non-skilled people and if the structure is not put together correctly then number one it won’t be safe but in addition it could trigger a failure in the structure to be water resistant.
A prime instance of this would be that the logs haven’t been assembled correctly on the walls. This would then trigger the log cabin to differ from the design as it was intended to be. At this point when the roof structure was mounted there might be gaps between the roof structure and the wall. Spaces could in addition appear on the walls of the log cabins themselves and in some situations if the initial build of the log cabin was so bad you would have no choice but to take down the log cabin and reconstruct it.
This is why Timberdise Garden Buildings mount all of our log cabins so you don’t have this to worry about. As you can imagine if there is a space in the wall or a space between the roof structure and the wall this would leave the cabin open and it would most definitely water leak which is what we want to avoid at all costs.
I in addition want to bring focus to the flooring a second. Having your log cabin mounted on a proper ground base is a must. That could be a Timberdise ground base, concrete base or a paved area. As long as they’re flat, level and solid you should be ok. Be mindful of where you put the cabin, don’t put it anywhere that is at risk of flooding as just like the house that you live in. If the water level rises and there is no escape for it then the log cabin will flood, that is regardless of how thick and tight your logs are.
Lastly let’s talk about sealants around the windows and doors. Make sure after you have treated your cabin you fit the relevant sealants around the doors and the windows. The log cabins don’t come with these fitted as standard, this is so you can treat the cabin first and then apply the sealants afterwards. By not fitting the doors and windows with sealants then there’s a chance rain could permeate the inside of the cabin, which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.
Additionally, occasionally most especially during the winter months, condensation can happen inside a cabin. This is typical due to the log cabins not having any insulation fitted, it is not a leak and can be fairly typical. We suggest at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electrical access in there and leave it operating during the cooler months. This will help take moisture content out of the air and further increase the life of your cabin.
If you follow all the above strategies you should have a leak free cabin for the duration of its life which can supply indefinite pleasure and relaxation. Don’t forget prevention is far better than the cure.