How to Remove Chinking | Full Guide

Chinking typically last 20 years and for most of its life will only need small spots replaced. At the end of the chinking’s life, you will need to fully replace it. In the guide we will tell you when and how to remove your chinking.

When to remove your chinking.

Whenever you find a piece of chinking that is damaged beyond the ability to cover it with new chinking, you should cut out that section. Typically anything under 3 feet can be repaired. If your chinking all over your log home is failing, then it is time to replace all of your chinking. Here is our Guide On Repairing Chinking.

How to remove chinking from your log home.

How to remove chinking
  1. Determine how much you need to remove:
    Before you remove your chinking, it is important to determine how much you need to remove.
    Chinking is slightly unsealed from top or bottom on small sections – Then you may be able to go over the chinking with a new layer to fix the seal. See How to clean chinking first.
    Chinking is very damaged and peeling for lengths more than 3 ft. – In this case you will want to cut out the bad sections only.
    Chinking is failing all over the entire log home – If the chinking is failing all over the log home, then you will most likely be better off removing all chinking.
  2. Use the right tools:
    For Mortar Chinking: Mortar chinking is made from clay, sand, or cement. This chinking will be attached by metal lath. So you will typically use a hammer to break the chinking and then remove the metal lath.
    For Synthetic Chinking: Synthetic chinking can easily be cut out with a knife. Behind the synthetic chinking should be backer rod. Use a knife and cut out the bad chinking. If you are cutting all of chinking out, you can easily cut along the top and bottom and then pull it all out. If you are cutting sections out, make sure to cut as small a section as you can and make sure the ends you leave are sealed.
  3. Scrap the excess chinking off:
    There will typically be chinking that is still stuck to the logs. You can use a sharp scrapper to scrap the excess off of the logs.
  4. Sand the logs smooth and clean them from debris:
    Now you will want to use a sander or sandpaper to sand the places where chinking was clean of debris. You can use a log wash to clean the area from debris after you have sanded. This will help for when you want to apply knew chinking.
  5. Stain the log before re-applying chinking:
    If you have removed all of the chinking, it is a good idea to stain the entire cabin before chinking again. If you are simply fixing a certain spot… it is a good idea to stain that spot before applying chinking again. This will help add an extra layer of protection from moisture and bugs that might find their way behind your chinking.

If you are replacing chinking check out our article on How To Chink Your Log Home or Check How To Repair Chinking. Always check with a professional before diving in! Often people dive into projects and create more work than was required. A professional might guide you in a better direction.

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