Chinking is an essential part of your log home. However if chinking becomes damages, outdated, or is installed improperly it can fail. Failing chinking can lead to rot and other big problems. Check How to prevent rot. In this guide we will tell you what to look for and how to fix the common problems with chinking in your log home.
Common chinking problems and how to repair them:
Chinking tearing from from the top or bottom.
Problem: Logs will expand and contract. If chinking is not applied properly, it can lead to the seal being broken at the top or bottom of the chinking. This will lead to small spaces where water and insect can get inside. It will typically also cause more of the chinking to unseal.
Solution: To repair chinking that is tearing from the top or bottom, you have two options. If the section is less than 3 feet, in most cases you can clean the chinking and add a new layer of chinking using a bulk loading gun and foam brush. Make sure that the new layer seals to each top and bottom log. The seal is important. If the area is larger than 3 feet, you will need to tear out the old chinking and replace it with new chinking. Here is our Guide to chinking.
Bubbling or indented chinking.
Problem: Sometimes you may notice chinking that is bubbling out or chinking that is sinking in. This can also cause the top or bottom to come unsealed. This can be caused by a few things. Chinking that applied in weather that is to cold or to hot will not seal properly. The other cause (hopefully not your case) is lack of backer rod. If there isn’t backer rod behind the chinking, then the chinking will be pulled in 3 directions and that does not work.
Solution: If you know that there is backer rod behind your chinking, then you may only need to cut that spot out and replace it. If you are unsure, then you need to cut out the spot. If there is no backer rod behind the chinking, then that is a bad sign for the rest of your log home. The best solutions for no backer rod is to tear all chinking out and reinstall it the correct way. You can Check how To Chink Your Log Home.
Failing chinking all over the log home.
Problem: If the chinking is failing in more than one spot on your log home, it may mean that the chinking is due for replacement. New chinking should last up to 20 years, but some older chinking may not last that long.
Solution: The best solution for chinking that is failing all over the log home is to replace it all. In this case we recommend staining your log home after you remove the chinking. You want to add a layer of stain before you add new chinking. In this case check here: How to stain a log home & How to chink a log home.
Old chinking made out of a different material.
Problem: Synthetic chinking is fairly new to the log home industry. Before synthetic chinking they used mud, clay, sand mixes, and other mixtures. If you purchase a log home that has an older form of chinking it may be more difficult to fix.
Solution: Older chinking mixes can be patched with mortar mixes that are on the market. If there are holes or cracks you might get away with using a mortar mix to fill them. If the old mortar chinking is failing, the best solution is going to be to replace all of it. This will require you to remove the old chinking, fix and stain the logs, and then replace it with new chinking. If it is a small cabin you can use mortar mixes for the old style, but synthetic chinking will last much longer.
Those are the most common problems with chinking and how to fix them. Of course each case may vary and it is best to ask a professional. Chinking is essential to your log home’s health. Be sure to inspect it often and quickly fix any problems that you find. Failed chinking can lead to rot. Here are the most common log home problems and how to prevent them.