Seeing large cracks in your log home might lead you to worry. But how do you know if they are damage or just checks? Here is how to tell the difference between checks and rot in a log home.
What are checks?
Checking or checks in a log home are cracks that appear as the log dries. Checks in pine will not penetrate the center and generally are not threatening to the log home or structure. Checking can appear on the outside of the log home and on the inside. Checking typically happens within the first 2-3 years after the log home is built.
Is checking bad?
Checking is generally not bad. In most cases it is harmless as long as you have treated logs. If your logs are not treated, then you may want to fill the checks and treat the area. If the checks are on the inside and appear after 5 years of owning the log home, it might be too dry in your log home.
What does checking look like?
In the image you can see checking are smooth solid cracks.
What is rot in a log home?
Rot in a log home is when the log begins to decay and becomes soft. In most cases you can chip away at rot with your hands. With checks the log is still solid.
What causes log rot in a log home?
Log rot can be caused by many things. The most common cause for log rot is moisture. Moisture can get into logs due to: logs that are not treated regularly, bad chinking, logs that are damaged, or damp areas where water sits or runs down the log.
What does log rot look like?
Here is an example of log rot. As you can see the log is soft and the rot has spread into a few logs.
How do you fix log rot?
In most cases rotten logs will need to be replaced. You can learn more with: 7 Steps To Replacing a rotten Log.
How to prevent log rot?
In order to prevent log rot, you need to perform proper maintenance on your log home. Keeping moisture out is the most important think that you can do.
Checking vs log rot vs decay.
Checking is normal and the log is still solid. Log rot is bad and will most likely need log replacement. Decay mostly refers to the beginning of log rot, where the outer layers is damaged. If you are unsure it is always wise to ask a professional. If there is a problem, it is important to catch it early. The longer you wait, the more damage that will happen.