Concrete Logs - There is such a thing?
Concrete Logs—There IS Such A Thing?
Chances are, most of you haven’t heard about logs made out of concrete; and you might be asking yourself, “What in the world?!” Well listen up because some of the information about concrete logs is definitely worth knowing, especially if you’re planning on building a log home.
Log homes have an incredibly rich history and they date back thousands of years, with their genesis from Scandinavia and various parts of Eastern Europe. It is here where some log homes and log churches are still standing strong and remain in full use after more than 500 years of solar bombardment, humidity, winds, snowstorms, rain and sleet. Any typical home erected today would have a very difficult time attempting to follow that kind of track record!
Oh How Log-Home Materials Have Changed!
Log-home materials have certainly changed over the years—chinking material in some of the earliest of American log homes consisted of clumps of moss, mud, rags and rocks; and, thankfully, those primitive materials have given way to readily-available synthetic, stretchable chinking that ‘gives’ when needed and provides airtight barriers.
The roofing material of early log homes or log cabins was crafted from sections of bark right off the trees; or hand-split wooden shingles were used. If a pioneer family was truly fortunate, they would have had access to enough lumber to make log planks that would have, collectively, covered the entire length of the cabin. According to the Rural Life Museum at Louisiana State University, log cabins in Colonial America not only held up to the test of time extremely well, but some of these primitive dwellings required a new roof only once every 50 years, on average—wow!
Today, however, choices for roofing materials range from asphalt shingles, laminated fiberglass shingles, metal roofing, Cedar shakes and shingles, concrete tiles, clay tiles and slate slabs—the variety is impressive.
The walls of early log cabins were usually just logs but if logs were not overly abundant, other materials were used in addition to hand-hewn logs—old timber, native rock, sod bricks or plaster. Today, however, it’s incredibly easy to procure logs for one’s home--whether milled logs or hand-crafted logs, which brings us to our topic-- ‘concrete’ logs!
Concrete Logs Look Exactly Like Wood!
Concrete logs are handcrafted—no surprise there--and have established their mark in the log-construction business, big time! They have found their niche with not only seasonal, vacation log-cabins but with expansive and very expensive luxury log homes, as well. A wide variety of log profiles are available--round, square, and barn-wood, for example, and these concrete beauties duplicate the texture, feel and ambiance of their authentic handcrafted, wooden counterparts. Even fine details such as knots, growth rings and grain marks in concrete logs make it almost impossible to distinguish concrete logs from the organic variety. Concrete logs have an authentic appearance but with the unsurpassed strength and durability of concrete.
Do you have a particular log color in mind? Not a problem! Concrete logs can be custom-colored to meet your exact specifications-- whether you desire grays, wood-tones, gold’s or tans, a variety of colorations are available from various manufacturers.
Advantages of Concrete Logs:
This is where it really gets impressive since the advantages of concrete logs, over wooden logs, is quite surprising! Here are only a few reasons why many people are choosing concrete logs over wood:
1: Maintenance—Easy Breezy!
Do the words “as maintenance-free as it can get” interest you? Real log homes require maintenance involving re-staining, re-sealing, re-finishing, stain additives to prevent insect infestations etc. The cost of maintenance can be a bit pricey but you can say ‘good-bye’ to all that with concrete logs. With concrete, there is no need to preserve, re-stain or re-seal on a regular basis.
2: Fire Resistance—Rest Easy!
Sadly, thousands upon thousands of homes burn to the ground each year due to natural or man-made disasters; and it’s no surprise that some building materials burn much faster than others. Concrete logs offer superior fire protection over any other home-building material, including wood logs. Concrete logs maintain a Class-A fire rating which is the highest level of protection. This, of course, reduces insurance premiums--and in some cases, by as much as 20% or more, especially in fire-prone areas such as California or Colorado.
3: Mold and Mildew—Not A Problem!
Since concrete logs are inorganic, they are not prone, at all, to mold or mildew issues; and, therefore, do not need to be proactively treated or re-treated to prevent or counteract these types of problems.
4: Insects--Be Gone!
Certain insects love wood and because of that, real logs must be treated and re-treated to prevent infestations from occurring. Again, since concrete logs are not a wood material, pest issues become obsolete and no insect-repellent treatments are required.
5: Utility Bills—Noticeably Lower!
Heating and cooling costs are significantly reduced since concrete logs retain internal temperature more efficiently and effectively than natural wood. Concrete provides the most energy efficient building material, hands down! Inherently, the thermal mass of concrete helps to retain heated or cooled air, which is aided by the interior insulation.
So, if we were to wrap this all into a nutshell, we could say, without reservation, that concrete logs are worry-free, environmentally-friendly since no tress are sacrificed, offer the same character, texture and and appeal of wood logs yet eliminate costly maintenance and vulnerability to fire, mold, mildew and insects. Oh, and did I mention that concrete logs won’t shrink, settle, shift, warp and twist? I’d say the advantages of concrete logs are definitely worth looking into!