Are garden log cabins watertight is a question we got asked all the time here at Timberdise.


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


Why would they not be?


Well, let’s take a look at some of the practical issues with a log cabin which would make the log cabin not watertight and quite frankly not fit for purpose.The main thing to seem at as soon as possible is the roof, that’s where you would envision the main issue would begin (this is not always the scenario but that’s where we will begin today). The main issue with the roof would be to have the felt or shingling to not be mounted successfully. This is quite easily done if this is something you have never done before and why it should always be undertaken by a professional especially if you are spending a lot of your hard earned money on a log cabin.


• Make sure that the overlaps are overlapping in the right way. You should always begin felting at the bottom of the construction and felt upwards. By doing this you ensure that the felt overlaps on top of the piece of felt that is further down the roof. This will ensure there is a natural run off of the water, if you begin felting at the top of the roof and you put the overlap from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain works off it will work underneath the felt and therefor result in a leakage. This is just exactly the same when doing shingles, make sure you mount from bottom upwards.


• Make sure the overlaps of the felt/shingles are quite generous. You don’t want them to be just barely overlapping because this could result in rainwater to get between the felt sheets and this will result in a leakage


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


• It is additionally crucial that when you reach the overhang of the construction with the felt you pin the felt to side of the roof but DO NOT tuck the felt underneath the overhang of the roof as this limits the natural run off of the water. This can result in early rotting of the construction and in some cases result in the roof to leak around the top corners of the construction as water could build up.


• Make sure you use the correct size fixings. If the roof boards on your construction are let’s say 10mm, you don’t want felt nails of 16mm. Doing this would result in the felt nails to come completely through the roof. This would not seem cosmetically appealing and would additionally be a real option of a leakage in the construction. 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 leakage.


• The most regularly overlooked area on a log cabin construction is the felt or shingles on the roof. 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 just exactly what you should do and I would suggest at least once a year or if you notice a leakage. Because log cabins are not built as high as the normal house and the felt and shingles aren’t quite 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 plants, or another instance would be a children’s toys getting thrown up there which would all result in harm to the felt/shingles. Not to mention lots of bird droppings can rot the felt if it is in an area where natural rainwater can not penetrate it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for instance if your log cabin sits under a plant).


timberdise garden log cabins mount all of our log cabins, we do this because we know you are investing a lot of money into a log 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 mounted successfully. We’ve been out to repair log cabins in the past built by non-skilled people and if the construction is not put together successfully then number one it won’t be safe but additionally it could result in a failure in the construction to be watertight.


A prime instance of this would be that the logs haven’t been constructed successfully on the walls. This would then result in the log cabin to differ from the design as it was intended to be. At this point when the roof was mounted there might be spaces between the roof and the wall. Gaps could additionally 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 rebuild it.


This is why premium log cabins mount all of our log cabins so you don’t have this to worry about. As you can envision if there is an opening in the wall or an opening between the roof and the wall this would leave the cabin open and it would most definitely leak which is what we want to avoid at all costs.


I additionally 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,cement 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 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 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 rainwater could penetrate the inside of the cabin, which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.


In addition, occasionally especially during the winter months, condensation can occur inside a cabin. This is normal due to the log cabins not having any insulation fitted, it is not a leakage and can be quite normal. We suggest at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electric access in there and leave it running during the colder months. This will help take water out of the air and further increase the life-span of your cabin.


If you adhere to all the above tips you should have a leakage free cabin for the duration of its life-span which can provide indefinite enjoyment and relaxation. Remember prevention is far better than the treatment.