Our construction crew recently rebuilt the front porch of a Real Log Home originally constructed back in 1967. Aging porches can be a problem area for log homes.
There are a couple of common issues with log home porches, both caused by moisture. First of all, porches are usually built close to the ground where they can easily absorb dampness. And dampness is the arch enemy of wood. Exterior wood needs to be kept dry, which is why paint and stain are used for long term protection.
Secondly, without rain gutters, water running off the porch roof can splash back onto the porch framing, shortening its usable life. Because this home was built before the accepted use of pressure treated material, moisture from the ground had rotted the bottom log sill material. Over time, the decay had migrated into the flooring (also not pressure treated) and the lower part of the porch posts.
To correct this problem, we removed the porch sills, outer decking and posts and replaced them with new material. To do this, we supported the porch plate log using timbers anchored at the ground level. The timbers attached to planks which were kept in place by stakes driven into the ground. This allowed us to remove all of the damaged material while keeping the porch roof stable.
We used pressure treated 6″x8″ timbers for the replacement sill material. Since some of the existing posts and sills were rough and still covered with bark, there is no question that this porch repair had been attempted before. To fix the outer deck boards, we installed pressure treated 2×10 material.
The new log porch posts were machine peeled, 8” diameter logs, similar to the ones used back when the home was built. However, these new posts were pre-treated with TimBor wood preservative which has excellent decay resistance qualities. This same TimBor solution is commonly used in today’s log homes to protect them from wood-boring insects and decay.
With the untreated material removed and replaced, the result is a new porch that should provide years of shelter and recreational use.