Henry has you covered on this. It is mainly humidity control in the house year around. Winters get real dry. Where are you from? Mountain states are usually the dryest now.
As far as oakum caulking, I saw a show on the titanic a while back and they were talking about when they first saw the ship they though the wood deck still survived but a closer look showed it was just the rows of caulking still there that gave the appearance of the deck. Remember that when you have the next great flood and your house is 12000 feet deep in water. lol