Let's Seal This up!!
Step 4- Chinking or Sealing your Log Home
You have reached the final step in your finishing or restoration project. Now it's time to make sure the water, wind and bugs stay on the outside of the home. It's also very important to make sure large checks are sealed up to prevent water from causing rot. Speak with a specialist to help decide on the best size joint for your home as well as different options you may have to make the job simpler and less expensive.
One of the chinking/sealants listed above:
- Log Jam Chinking and/or Conceal Textured Log Caulking and/or Log Builder
- A bond breaker such as Backer Rod, Grip Strip or packing tape
- Bulk Loading Gun and Follow Plate or Loading Sleeve if you are using the 5 gallon pails.
- Utility knife & caulking gun to open if you are using Tubes
- Foam brushes or trowels for smoothing the chinking
- Denatured alcohol if chinking during hot temps (above 27⁰C)
- Damp rags for clean up
- Some flannel to help you feel very Daniel Boone-ish
We often get asked the difference between the three chinking/caulking products. In many cases, they can be used interchangeably.
Log Jam Chinking– Mortar like finish. Often used as a contrasting colour look, but can be blended as well.
Conceal Textured Log Caulking– Wood grain finish. Often used when you don’t want to see the caulking. Good for joints up to 2″
Log Builder Caulking– Smooth silicone like finish.
CLEAN THE JOINTS
If chinking or caulking for the first time
- Make sure the logs are stained with a compatible finish. All of Canada’s Log Home Store’s stains work with our chinking.
- Clean off any dust, pollen, bird poo, etc. The caulking needs to be applied to a clean surface in order to adhere properly and last for years to come.
If repairing or replacing old caulking
- Remove any crumbling or cracked mortar. Mortar that’s still intact can stay as long as it looks good and there’s no rot under it.
- Sand down the joints to remove loose, unsound wood fibers. Those wood fibers will interfere with adhesion of other products (stains and chinking) that are applied.
- Stain the joints with a compatible finish. Again, all of our stains work with our caulking. (We were thinking ahead!)
USE A BOND BREAKER
Why? Because your caulking job will last longer and you’ll use less sealant. (We’re sure your hands and wallet will thank us.
- In joints 1/2” deep or more, use Backer Rod or Grip Strip
- In going over top of existing mortar, you can use clear packing tape in the back of the joint.
- For joints less than 1/4”, do not use caulking. Instead, be sure to back brush the stain into the check. This will provide better water protection than chink or caulking will for joints less than 1/4″
A bond breaker allows the chink or caulking to make a 2 point connection and stretch properly. If you don’t use it, a 3 point connection gets made with an anchor point at the intersection of the logs. Then when it should stretch as designed, instead you may get tearing.
APPLYING THE CAULKING
If caulking for the first time
- A steady hand is imperative, so lay off the caffeine for a bit. Apply no more than 2-3 feet at a time. On wider joints, apply 3 separate beads – one on either side of the joint, and one down the middle – or use a ribbon nozzle to apply one wide bead at a time.
SMOOTH (TOOL) THE CAULKING
Tool it in
- As you go along, use a damp foam brush or a spray bottle with a trowel to smooth (tool) the caulking. This ensures proper adhesion and long-term performance. Don’t apply too much at a time! You don’t want it to skin over before you get a chance to smooth it. In hotter temps (above 27⁰C), a 25% denatured alcohol/water mixture will help slow down the drying to give you more time to smooth the caulking.