Help with Dormers on a Log Cabin (PICS)

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Old 08-11-13, 08:28 PM
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Help with Dormers on a Log Cabin (PICS)

Hello all, new to the forum.

I'm currently living in a 1930s log cabin that's been renovated a handful of times and needs a lot of work to get back in shape. Great-grandfather bought the land long ago, and lately it's been used as a rental property and recieved a fair share of neglect.

So I'm sure I'll have more threads here (no shortage of work here), so hello, y'all.

This section pictured was renovated by whoever my father got to do the work.



The dormers are proving to be an issue. Aside from the carpenter bees, they are rotting out where the meet the roof line. The logs are true logs, though I think some of the lower ones along the sides may be halved.

They placed flashing behind the logs (or log fascia) along the sides - they're rotting out. The base log in the front is rotting through, especially at the edges - there's a whole now that barely leaks but does a little to the interior of the house. Not a visible stream ever, even in very hard rain (constant for last few weeks), but enough moisture to effect log and drywall inside.

Lots of pics to clarify:







Note the flashing along front and side above.











The overhangs don't seem to be providing enough water protection, I'm assuming that's why this is happening. I don't think the rot is from insects, though I did have to stop an ant swarm from entering.

So the questions are:

1) How do I preserve what I have? How can I modify this roof design the simplest way possible? Flash over the logs? Bitumen? Black goo along the edges? That's what I wish for. Simple. Hopefully not that ugly. It's not very visible from the ground, but it is a little.

Other options seem more involved but might be the best route. Like: Diverting water? Cricket(s)?

One thing about the roof is in the first picture you'll notice there isn't a full gutter and I'm thinking this will need to be changed. (don't even ask about the snake pit crawlspace I'm working on...again)

2) How do I fix the damage? This part isn't so bad, assuming the rot isn't that extensive it seems like scrape out the bad and bondo/paint to match will suffice, yes?

Any help appreciated!
 
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Old 08-12-13, 04:01 AM
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Welcome to the forums! From what I see, it isn't the matter of the overhangs, but the dormers were built after the last roofing job, or so it seems. Note how the logs are sitting on the shingles? There is no flashing up and on the logs to keep run off from entering the bottom of the logs. Unless the dormers are providing a good function (and usually they don't), I would remove them and have a standard roof line. That eliminates all the problems you mention. Since the logs have flat bottoms, they are sitting on something, so removal should not be a tremendous task. Yeah, a lot of work, but you won't have two gaping water sources for future damage to the interior once you are done.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 06:18 AM
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I agree.
The logs never should have been in contact with the roof.
That has to been a DIY roof job.
There's what looks like exposed nails in all the ridge caps.
Looks like they just cut off the tabs on the shingles instead cutting across the whole shingle like it's suppose to be.
cutting shingle caps - Bing Images
Looks like someone bent the shingles down over the fascia boards in one picture.
I see know reason why you should not have dormers, just remove what's there and rebuild a new one that's flashed and built properly.
 
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Old 08-12-13, 06:34 PM
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And here are some interior shots:

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Old 08-12-13, 07:07 PM
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OK, I'm sold. You gotta lot of work to do to try and get good flashing under the shingles and over the bottom logs to prevent water infiltration as you are already experiencing. Step flashing may be the best alternative and easier to work with. You'll have to cut the shingles directly in line with the drip edge of the logs on the dormers in order to insert the step flashing under the shingle. Let us know how it goes, or if we can help further.
 
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Old 08-13-13, 06:43 AM
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Based on visible flashing, I am trying to figure out if the exterior logs on the dormer are a veneer or if they go through to the inside? The flashing makes me think that they are "for show only" on the exterior and therefore can be removed, reflashed and rebuilt. It also looks like the damaged area could be masked with an additional line of chinking to help blend the repair. You would have to match/duplicate on all dormers for aesthetics.

I too, am scratching my head, why the shingles are wrapped around the fascia. I guess with a log home the fascia is round as well. However, IMO it also promotes wicking of water around the fascia and places it closer to the dormer where splash promotes rot.
 
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