When properly applied chinking will dramatically improve the energy efficiency of the log home. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works has chinked many Oak log cabins over the years and we would love to share a few of the things we have learned about chinking.
- Today’s chinking material is elastometric (very flexible) which can stretch and contract with the logs as they move seasonally. Chinking is needed to stop air, moisture and insects from getting into the log home. Chinking also increases the insulation of the home substantially.
- It is necessary to use a backer rod behind the chinking. This fills the air space between the logs, which improves insulation increasing the r value of the log. The baker rod also creates a non-adhesive surface for the chinking. This allows the chinking to shift with the logs. Backer rod also helps reduce the amount of chinking used by filling the space between the logs.
- Chinking can also be a design element in the home. Today’s chink comes in a variety of colors which makes it possible to add contrast and style to the log home.
- There are several methods of applying chinking to the log home. Manufactures make a variety of caulk type guns which can be used to apply the chinking. At Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works we use the old fashioned low tech method of a putty knife and a small container of chink. We tape above and below the chink void in the wall, then fill the void with chink using the putty knife. It is important to go back over the area with a wet brush to smooth the chink. This method may not be the fastest or easiest way but we like the results and feel extra effort is worth it.
- Chinking is a water based polymer that can freeze before it fully dries. Some chinking materials are not affected by freezing, the curing process will continue when the chink thaws. Check with the manufacturer.
- Your chinking and log finish are important aspects of your log home. Be sure you’re your log treatment and your chinking material are compatible. This just takes a quick phone call to the manufacturer to verify and can save tons of time and money in the long run.
- Although it is unlikely properly applied chinking will split or pull away from the log it does happen in some cases. This does not mean the chinking is defective. If the chinking tears in the center just clean the affected area and reapply new chinking to the affected area. If the chinking pulls away from the log it will need to be replaced. This is not a difficult process. Cut the loose sections away, make sure the backer rod is still intact (replace if needed), clean the area and reapply the chinking.
- This is a chinking coverage estimator. This will help when figuring how much chinking you will need for your project.
Chinking is an important aspect of log home building and living. A good understanding of the purpose and process of chinking your log home will go a long way in achieving the look and feel you desire for your log home. Schutt Log Homes and Mill Works we hope your log cabin dreams become a reality. We are here to help in any way possible.
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