When is a log to far gone to save?

Logs need attention when they can no longer do their job. Their job is to hold up the house and keep the weather out. When a log can’t do that anymore, it needs to be repaired or replaced. Because of aesthetic reasons, you might choose to replace a compromised log sooner.

It’s usually pretty easy to detect a rotted log. Most have discolored and soft areas. Some logs that are badly compromised may have missing tissue and large voids in them. Voids can be found by tapping them with a hard tool like a small hammer while listening for a thud or a hollow sound in the log.

Once you determine what logs need attention, different logs may need different repairs. A “Dutchman” is a repair that involves removing a small portion of the log and replacing it in place with a new “patch.” Full log replacement is more involved but is sometimes necessary. In this case, the entire log is removed, and then replaced with a new log.