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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of MOBILE HOME, DOUBLEWIDE, MODULAR, PANELIZED CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSSES, FLOOR & ROOF
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WOOD STRUCTURE ASSESSMENT
This log home maintenance and repair article explains the basics of log wall chinking, caulks, gaskets, and coatings and sealants for log buildings.
We provide links to log home sealants & coatings, product sources for log homes. Our page top photo shows a Pennsylvania log home that was left to the elements. Ultimately the roof failure, leaks at the chimney, and a bottom course of logs in ground contact were the three areas of failure on this structure. Other, nearly identical cabins in this location along the Susquehanna river were in good condition where basic roof and wall maintenance had been kept up.
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A traditional log home constructed of individually-cut rough (and varying-in size and shape) logs is shown in our photo at left. Concrete chinking was used, here painted white, to fill in the irregularities between the mating horizontal logs to stop drafts and water from entering the structure.
Some of the really unfortunate disasters we've seen on log home exteriors were caused by use of a log coating or sealant which was not recommended by the log manufacturer. Use of the wrong sealant can lead to peeling and ugly surfaces that can be very costly to correct.
Here are some Log Home special sealants and caulking or chinking products. But before applying anything to the logs on your home, inside or out, find out what products your log manufacturer recommends.
Our photo (left) shows concrete chinking on an antique log home in Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River. Click to enlarge and you can see the exposed log mating surfaces where chinking has fallen away from between the second and third logs near the corner of this wall.
Also note that the bottom logs were placed on flat stones set right on ground level. Original growth first-cut timber that grew in the United States produced trees that grew slowly and produced wood that was quite durable, resisting rot and insects for decades.
The growth rings in these logs were close together and the wood dense. But even first growth timber eventually rots when left on or close to the ground, exposed to ground moisture and splash-up from roof spillage during rainstorms.
Producers of products for the construction, maintenance, repair or protection of log homes are welcome to submit product data for inclusion; there is no fee; our website has no financial relationship with any of the products or materials discussed here. Contact Us with any suggestions.
This series of articles provides information on the inspection and diagnosis of damage to new and older log homes and includes description of log house and log siding insulation values and alternatives, and also a description of the characteristics of slab-sided log homes as well as all other types of log home construction. We include illustrations of log structures from several very different areas and climates in both the United States and Norway.
Continue reading at SHRINKAGE & HEIGHT CHANGES, LOG WALL or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about log home coatings & sealants
Questions & answers or comments about choosing and using sealants, caulks, chinking on log home exterior walls
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Log Home Design, Inspection, Maintenance, Repair References & Product Sources