Are Garden Log Cabins Watertight?

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


The concise simple answer to your query is a definite yes!


Why would they not be?


Well, let’s take a look at some of the plausible problems with a timber cabin which would make the log cabin not rainproof and quite honestly not fit for purpose.The main thing to appear at immediately is the roof structure, that’s where you would imagine the main issue would commence (this is not always the case but that’s where we will commence today). The main issue with the roof structure would be to have the felt or roof shingles to not be placed appropriately. This is quite easily done if this is something you have never done before and why it should always be undertaken by a qualified professional especially if you are spending a lot of your hard earned money on a timber cabin.


• Make sure that the overlaps are overliing in the right way. You should always commence 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 structure. This will ensure there is a natural run off of the water, if you commence felting at the top of the roof structure and you put the overlie from the bottom pieces over the top of the felt higher up when the rain works off it will run underneath the felt and consequently create a leakage. This is precisely the same when doing shingles, make sure you set up from bottom upwards.


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


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


• It is also essential that when you reach the overhang of the construction with the felt you attach 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 create early rotting of the construction and in some cases create the roof structure to water leak around the top corners of the construction as water could build up.


• Make sure you use the right 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 create the felt nails to come completely through the roof structure. This would not appear cosmetically pleasing and would also be a real chance 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 generally overlooked area on a timber cabin construction is the felt or shingles on the roof structure. This is typically 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 encourage at least once a year or if you notice a leakage. Because log cabins are not built as high as the typical house and the felt and shingles aren’t quite as tough and resilient as a normal house tile they require a little more attention. 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 example would be a children’s toys getting thrown up there which would all create 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 permeate it to create a natural run off and cleaning system (for example if your log cabin sits under a plant).


garden log cabins set up all of our log cabins, we do this because we know you are investing a lot of money 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 appropriately. We’ve been out to repair log cabins in the past built by non-skilled people and if the construction is not put together appropriately then number one it won’t be safe but also it could create a failure in the construction to be rainproof.


A prime example of this would be that the logs haven’t been constructed appropriately on the walls. This would then create 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 gaps 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 set up all of our log cabins so you don’t have this to worry about. As you can imagine if there is an opening in the wall or an opening between the roof structure and the wall this would leave the log cabin open and it would most definitely water leak which is what we want to avoid at all costs.


I also want to bring attention to the floor surface 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 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 escape 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 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 permeate the inside of the log cabin, which again is easily fixed by applying sealants.


Also, at times especially during the winter months, condensation can take place inside a cabin. This is typical due to the cabins not having any insulation fitted, it is not a leakage and can be quite typical. We encourage at Timberdise to get a dehumidifier if you have electric access in there and leave it operating during the chillier months. This will help take water out of the air and further increase the lifespan of your log cabin.


If you observe all the above guidelines you should have a leakage free log cabin for the duration of its lifespan which can supply indefinite fulfillment and relaxation. Bear in mind prevention is much better than the cure.