Before pre-cut log packages became popular, many cabins and camps were constructed from locally available conifers with no tongues or splines to seal out the elements. These logs could be sealed with oakum (loosely twisted hemp fiber impregnated with tar) and or mortar chinking. This chinking usually was white or gray and contrasted the color of the logs.
Today we use caulking products specifically formulated for Log Homes. This would be available in a smooth or sand texture to simulate real mortar. There a number of colors available to achieve the contrast or matched with a quality stain that is fully compatible. These products come in standard size, small or large caulking tubes or bulk applied from a five gallon bucket. Any joints larger than 1/8” should first be filled with a backer rod spline (backer rod is a closed cell foam strip that comes in a variety of diameters). The use of backer rod promotes three point adhesion that allows the expansion and movement of the logs without cracking the seal of the caulk.
Most Log homes could benefit from caulking or re-caulking all exterior seams around windows and doors. This will result in a warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer, and quieter home. New logs should be caulked as well a year after construction to allow for settling and any shrinkage of logs. The caulking can be inspected from time to time as part of a regular maintenance schedule and touched up as needed.
Call us today to speak with Log Home Professional.
John A. Ross and Son Inc. is a family owned and operated business specializing in consultations, sales, construction and maintenance of Log Homes proudly serving eastern Massachusetts and the western Maine mountains since 1973
John A. Ross & Son, Inc.