1. Wash your logs. Use a specific log cleaner (most stain manufacturers sell this) to get rid of that summer grime of cobwebs and pollen. This is especially important if you need to reseal your logs.
2. Check to see if the stain is still working. Spot-check by spraying a little bit of water on the logs — if it beads up, you know the finish is still good. If not, it’s time to apply a new coat.
3. Locate and seal air leaks with caulk. Finding the leaks can be tricky. Perma-Chink Systems has a fairly easy method in their own fall maintenance newsletter.
4. Watch for checks.Checks can allow water into the wood and act as an invitation to water penetration and eventually rot. Fix checks by filling them to absorption with stain and caulk.
5. Check your window and door weather stripping to make sure it’s in good shape. Bugs can squeeze through even the tightest openings.
6. Inspect your roof. Check the flashing in valleys, around the chimney and areas enclosing plumbing vents to ensure a tight seal against water. You can seal any lifted edges with roof tar.
7. Seal exposed timbers. The ends of exposed timbers are susceptible to rot, so check and reseal these every year. Pay special attention to log ends on the underside of eaves that are flush with or extend past the overhang.