Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Log Home maintenance: chinking or caulking checks

Now that I've got the new addition and old southside stained it's time for some more maintenance. Chinking is sealing between logs, caulking is using a sealant to fill in upward facing cracks, or "checks" in log walls.

When we first moved in we had some water leaking in around the 3 south facing windows during heavy wind-driven rain which occasionally pounds the south side. For about 3 years the carpenter couldn't stop the leak. Finally the carpenters son was able to do it. Now for the last 2 years all has been fine with the windows. I attempted many times to caulk the checks around the windows, and the frames themselves inside and out during that time.

Now that all but the kitchen, south facing log wall are pretty much overhung with eaves or roofing, I can focus on the remaining trouble spot. (The north facing rear of the house is in pretty much mint condition, paint wise.

However: here is a big upward facing check that I improperly caulked with silicone sealant. The log pro's say don't use silicon. You must use non-silicone based, read -very, very expensive stuff.

So for 5 years now this check has been gathering rain into the log, oh sh*t.

I did a borate treatment when the home was built, so hopefully this will help if too much water got in.

I don't see why silicone isn't acceptable, maybe the pro's just want you to buy their stuff? They say silicone will not seal properly and moisture can pass where the silicone adheres to the check.This was done about 3 years ago? looks good to me, if it fails I can always replace it.

This one is completely sealed, I see no gaps for water to enter, forget the aesthetics

fully sealed , but will check into caulking and chinking more on the net

The new extension of the front porch roof. Before we used to get good and soaked running into the house on rainy days, which is often.

The front all stained. Reaching the peak was lots of fun of course. First I had to remove a large hornet or wasp nest. This took 5 days. They were not happy in the least. The nest was melon sized and just under the peak beam. I wore a netted hat and improvised bee suit of rain gear while doing the entire upper section. The worst was of course painting the peak, and wasps would return looking for home. All the while waiting to be stung on the back or neck or somewhere, and not fall off the ladder while instinctively swatting the bastard. Oh and it was nice and windy too of course. But the new addition makes it so much easier to get to the peak now. Before my 8 meter ladder made it only to between the peak beam and the window.

Next: stain the dormers, deck floor, top rail and deck stairs!


  1. Otsukare on the maintenance work. I bet your place will last way longer than any of these new 'eco-homes' I see being built.

    The new stain brings everything together well. You must be so proud of yer home. I would. Beautiful place you've built.


  2. Thanks Ken, funny thing is I actually enjoy some of the maintenance, must be getting old or something. Was looking forward to staining the deck floor today, but then this rain came out of nowhere.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Awesome article! I want people to know just how good this information is in your article. It’s interesting, compelling content. Your views are much like my own concerning this subject.