Are Garden Log Cabins Waterproof?

Are garden log cabins waterproof is a query we got asked all the time here at Timberdise Garden Buildings.

The concise simple answer to your question is an unqualified yes!

Why would they not be?

Well,let’s take a look at some of the potential complications with a timber cabin which would make the log cabin not waterproof and fairly honestly not fit for purpose.The main thing to look at instantly is the roof structure,that’s where you would envision the main complication would start (this is not always the case but that’s where we will start today). The main complication with the roof structure would be to have the felt or roof shingles to not be placed 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 especially if you are investing a lot of your hard earned cash on a timber cabin.

• Make sure that the overlies are overliing in the right way. You should always start 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 start felting at the top of the roof structure and you put the overlap from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain operates off it will work underneath the felt and consequently trigger a water 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 overliing because this could trigger rain to get between the felt sheets and this will trigger a water leak

• Make sure you use ample 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 nails in the middle,possibly two rows but again this depends on the quality of the felt. Failure to put enough felt nails in there could result in the felt blowing off during a bad storm which would then leave your structure exposed to leaks.

• It is also crucial that when you reach the overhang of the structure with the felt you pin the felt to side of the roof structure but DO NOT tuck the felt underneath 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 scenarios trigger the roof structure to leakage around the top corners of the structure as water could build up.

• Make sure you use the right size fixings. If the roof 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 look cosmetically pleasing and would also be a real opportunity of a water 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 water leak.

• The most regularly ignored area on a timber cabin structure is the felt or shingles on the roof structure. This is normally 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 highly recommend at least once a year or if you notice a water leak. Because log cabins are not built as high as the typical house and the felt and shingles aren’t fairly as tough and durable as a typical 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 example 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 penetrate it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for example if your log cabin sits under a tree).

Timberdise Garden Buildings 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 takes place is to take care of the installation and make sure it is placed 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 also it could trigger a failure in the structure to be waterproof.

A prime example of this would be that the logs haven’t been built 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 placed there might be spaces between the roof structure and the wall. Openings could also 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 garden log cabins mount all of our log cabins so you don’t have this to worry about. As you can envision if there is a space in the wall or a space between the roof structure and the wall this would leave the log cabin open and it would most definitely leakage which is what we want to avoid at all costs.

I also want to bring focus to the floor covering a second. Having your log cabin placed 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 log cabin,don’t put it at any place that is at risk of flooding as just like the house that you live in. If the water level rises and there is no getaway 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 log 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 log cabin first and then apply the sealants afterwards. By not fitting the doors and windows with sealants then there’s a chance rain could penetrate the inside of the log cabin,which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.

Also,in some cases especially during the winter months,condensation can arise inside a cabin. This is typical due to the log cabins not having any insulation fitted,it is not a water leak and can be fairly typical. We recommend at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electric access in there and leave it working during the cooler months. This will help take humidity out of the air and further increase the life-span of your log cabin.

If you comply with all the above guidelines you should have a water leak free log cabin for the duration of its life-span which can provide unlimited pleasure and relaxation.Don’t forget prevention is more desirable than the cure.

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