Log Home Chinking, Fix Drafts Around Doors, Windows, Energy Seal, Caulk Installation & Repair Log Homes & Cabins MD VA WV
Log home chinking is the gritty, mortar-like material between the courses of logs on many log homes and cabins. Modern log home chinking is a flexible, mortar textured sealant. Additionally, chinking can be a necessity or simply an aesthetic addition to a log home’s appearance.
Notably, chinking stops air and moisture infiltration into your home, making it more energy efficient while reducing entry points for insects. Because it stops water intrusion, it can also help protect against rot in between the logs. Furthermore, chinking or energy sealing addresses gaps between logs which have settled over time. Only specially created materials for log homes should be used on checking and chinking. It’s not surprising that standard box store caulks are not appropriate and often fail quickly.
Elastomeric Chinking VS Mortar Chinking For Log Homes
Traditionally log home and cabin chinking were once a mixture of clay, lime, and sand with variations based on what was locally available. Typically, old fashioned log home chinking often fails by pulling away from logs and cracks, allowing water, organic debris and insects to enter the logs. Sometimes even pests and rodents will get behind chinking and make nests. Gaps between the logs can also be a source of air and water intrusion, or drafts that need to be fixed. Water intrusion can lead to rot.
Today’s materials are flexible and made of acrylic elastomeric compounds that adhere to the logs, stretching and flexing as the logs settle and move during seasonal expansion and contraction. Every year, your logs move during the freezing and thawing cycles. Depending on the severity, chinking can be repaired, or may need to be replaced. Proper chinking repair or chinking replacement using a backer rod to create the proper two point adhesion is critical. Likewise, when installing energy seal and removing old caulk a proper two point adhesion is needed.
|Similarly, if the checking was improperly filled with caulk and no backer rod and has since failed is should be replaced with the proper checking material and a backer rod. Upward facing checks on exterior logs represent a problem area. Standing water and debris enter the checks and become the ground for fungus and rot to set in. Checking also represents an intrusion point for air, water, and insects. Contact our office to have the checking on your log home properly taken care of.|
Elastomeric Chinking Is Best For Log Homes
Many contractors will take the cheap way out using mortar instead of elastomeric products. Unfortunately, it’s a bad idea for several reasons. First, one of the most common problems associated with mortar chinking is log rot. Because the mortar is NOT flexible, normal expansion and contraction will quickly create small gaps and fissures that will allow water behind it. Secondly, since mortar contains water, when it is drying the water will be absorbed into your logs, and that can create rot issues, especially in older log homes.
Scribe fit log homes tightly stack one log on top of another. However, there are many hand-crafted homes which aren’t built in a scribe-fit style, referred to as chink style log homes. Several log home manufacturers also offer log home packages requiring chinking. Typically these homes are built leaving gaps between the log courses where the chinking will be installed. During construction, the gaps are typically created with small spacer blocks that help hold the logs apart. At the corners the logs are held apart by the notches. As the building progresses a backer rod is pushed between the courses of logs and then a chinking compound is applied both inside and outside of the home.
Keep Chinking, Checking & Energy Sealing In Proper Condition To Avoid Problems
Generally it’s important to make sure that any log home chinking or caulk that is installed on your log home is compatible with the installed finish on your logs. This helps you to avoid poor adhesion issues. For more information about chinking or energy sealing (caulking) your home please contact our office. We offer a full range of services from historic chinking repair and replacement to new chinking installation or repair of elastomeric chinking. Many owners don’t like the look of chinking and elect instead to have us install energy seal between the logs. Don’t forget the check filling, as it is important to the health of the logs. If you want to change the color of your chinking without replacing it, let us know. Painting your chinking is also possible.
Newer homes are often more energy efficient than older homes and have fewer drafts, but over time as the home settles and the logs shrink, drafts can occur and your log home can become drafty. If you are experiencing problems with drafts, consider having a thermal energy audit conducted to pinpoint where the areas are that need to be fixed.
Our Log Home Chinking & Energy Sealing Service Areas
So you say you are not located in Maryland? We also work out of state offering services in the following areas: Maryland (MD), Virginia (VA), West Virginia (WV), Delaware (DE), Pennsylvania (PA). We will consider traveling to other areas on a project by project basis for log home blasting and other services.