Chinking vs Caulk | When To Use Each

If you have a log home, then you will need both chinking and caulk to keep your log home sealed. Keeping your log home sealed will prevent moisture from rotting your logs and pests from entering your log home. This is essential to the longevity of your log home. A very common questions new log home owners have is: what is the difference between caulk and chinking and when to use each one? We will answer that in this article.

What is the difference between caulk and chinking?

The difference between caulk and chinking is elasticity. Caulk is made to seal small areas and chinking which has less elasticity is used for larger gaps.

What is chinking:

Chinking is a synthetic compound that is used to fill and seal gaps between logs and timber-frame homes. Chinking is less elastic than caulk and requires backer rod to install correctly. Here are the Types of Chinking. Traditional chinking was made out of mortar (clay, sand, cement, etc..) Chinking comes in various colors but can also be painted. Check Can Chinking Be Painted.

Where to use chinking:

Chinking is used for larger and longer gaps that will seal moisture out. Chinking is mostly used on log homes and some timber frame houses. Since the chinking is not as elastic as caulk, you will need backer rod to make sure it only seals to the top and bottom. Check How To Install Chinking. Chinking is very important for log homes and is a necessity for protecting it. Chinking typically will last around 20 years but may need to be repaired through its lifetime. Here is Our Guide On Repairing Chinking.

What is Caulk and where to use it:

Caulk is a synthetic compound that is used for sealing small spaces such as windows and doors. Caulk is what you will use for the very small spaces or to fill some trim holes. Caulk does not need backer rod as it is much more elastic than chinking. Caulk is also a must for any building as it keeps moisture and pests out.

Can I use chinking instead of caulk?

We do not recommend using chinking around your windows, doors, and other places that are for caulk. The reason is that chinking is not as elastic and is not made to seal on 3 sided (Top, Bottom, Back) that is why it needs backer rod.

Can I use caulk instead of chinking?

Chinking is made to last and be more durable for larger gaps. It is not recommended to try and fill in the larger gaps with caulk on your log home. Caulk will most likely not last very long in large gaps like that.

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