Protecting Your Log Home: Strategies Against Wood Borers, Moisture, and UV Rays

Owners of log homes face various challenges that can compromise their homes integrity. Wood boring insects and animals pose another threat to log homes, these pests eat into the wood. Moisture, whether from rain, snow, or humid environments, poses a significant threat leading to log rot.  Furthermore, the effects of Ultra Violet rays cannot be overlooked. UV radiation from the sun initiates the breakdown of wood surfaces, marking the onset of rot.

Wood Borers

Insects and animals are drawn to our log homes just as much as we are. Wood-eating insects like beetles, termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees can reside in and damage the wood. For instance, carpenter bees may drill small holes into logs around the home. Similarly, animals such as woodpeckers, squirrels, mice, and raccoons can pose a threat to log homes by causing damage. 

How to Keep Away

The majority of insects are attracted to damp or decaying wood. To protect your log home, it's essential to keep dead or rotten wood at least 6 feet or more from your home. Try using stone, instead of mulch, around your home. It is also a good practice to keep stacked firewood away from your log home, as insects may make home there as well. Borates are also a great way to maintain those pesky insects!

Woodpeckers are notorious for drumming holes into our cherished log homes, pecking in search of insects or for mating purposes. To keep woodpeckers away from your log home, it's important to keep insects at a minimum. Also, consider using fake decorative owls to scare them away.

Squirrels often hop from tree to tree, and if they can access your roof, there's a higher chance they might invite themselves in, so keeping trees and branches away from your cabin is essential. If given the opportunity, they love to raid bird feeders. To deter them, it's advisable to use a rotating bird feeder or place bird feeders away from your log home.

Animals such as Raccoons are fond of rummaging through garbage. Using a sturdy, lockable garbage can is recommended, as raccoons are attracted to places with a readily available food source. To prevent these creatures from taking up residence, inspect potential entry points like eaves. Avoid leaving dog or cat food outside, and if you have a doggy door, lock it when not in use.


Among the various threats to log homes, moisture stands out as one of the most rapid destroyers, yet it is also one of the simplest to prevent. Moisture damage can be caused by rain, snow, humidity, and even just damp environments. Wood and moisture do not go well together, leading to issues like water stains, fungus, log rot and mold.

How to Keep Away

Ensure the integrity of your log home's sealing is maintained. Regular cleaning, staining, and inspecting chinking are crucial. Examine areas around windows and other vulnerable points for caulk that may require replacement to prevent moisture infiltration. It is also important to take measures to divert rain away from your log home. Without proper protection, rain can result in significant issues. 

Guard against ground moisture. If your log home is situated close to the ground, rain can splash, dirt may accumulate, and moisture can lead to moss, fungus, mold, and rot. It is recommended to have a foundation approximately 2 feet in height with proper drainage. Periodically clean the lower logs to eliminate any moss or dirt buildup.

Avoid planting shrubs or plants in close proximity to your walls, as plants and shrubs naturally attract moisture. If positioned too near log walls, they can lead to moisture damage. It is advisable to maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between all plants and shrubbery and your walls.

Ultra Violet Rays

UV rays can have a significant impact on log homes, primarily affecting the exterior surfaces. Over time, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can lead to several issues. These issues can range from the woods natural color fading to an overgrowth of fungi. 

How to Keep Away

Applying a UV protective finish to the exterior surfaces of log homes with can provide a barrier against UV damage and help preserve the natural color of the wood.

Periodic inspections and maintenance, including reapplication of finishes, can help address any signs of UV related damage and prolong the life of the log home.

Consider planting trees or installing shading structures strategically to provide some relief from direct sunlight and reduce the intensity of UV exposure.