The Restoration Process Consists of 4 Basic Elements: Surface Preparation, Preserving, Staining and Sealing
Article Credit: Jim Renfroe
The last thing to do is to seal areas of the home that allow air and water transmission. The most obvious places will be where water seeped in during the cleaning process. Other areas where leaks often occur are in the corner notches, around doors and windows and at the top of the walls. These should all be sealed from the outside, not the inside. There are many high quality caulks on the market and caulking is much less visible than chinking. Caulk is also a very good way to fill and seal checks or cracks in the logs that may collect precipitation and lead to rot. It is a good idea to fill each check with a borate based liquid before you seal it up. This will take care of any rot or decay that may be active in the check. Just because you have a few air or water leaks doesn’t mean you have to chink your home. However, any log home can be chinked and if the leakage is extensive, chinking may be a very good alternative.
Chinking is usually applied over a backer rod, which fills the opening and allows for greater elasticity. Chinking must be applied at least 1/4” thick and the bead width should be at least 1”. The chinking bead should be continuous, around every corner, and log joint on the outside. Butt joints can be caulked with clear or wood colored caulk so they don’t stand out as much. If you feel the need to chink, give considerable thought to having it done professionally. Chinking is a very meticulous process and if it’s not done right it will not perform. Also, spend some time with the chinking contractor and get him to teach you how to make repairs or fix minor splits that may occur.
Log home restoration can be avoided with systematic and ongoing maintenance. If you’ve just purchased a log home that’s a few years old, then restoration should only have to happen once. After it’s done, maintain the wood in your home just like you maintain your body or your car. Remember, house logs are really just tree cadavers. Once a tree is cut down, it’s life support systems are discontinued, and there is a host of natural process that begin attacking the wood in a attempt to return it to the earth. It’s nature’s way of recycling. You have to take a proactive approach to interrupt these natural processes and postpone them for as long as possible. Wood can last indefinitely with proper care and periodic maintenance. Taking care of the wood you own is an investment, not an expense, and it’s smart money.
Log homes have a special place in the hearts of many and if you are fortunate to call one home, take care of it. The team at 888-Log-Guys are passionate about the preservation of log homes and are here to help you keep your home looking beautiful as ever!