Proper Chinking Application
Your log home is full of charm and character, but if the upkeep and periodic maintenance is not properly managed, the charm and character can quickly turn into an overwhelming burden. One of the key elements in minimizing this burden is the proper choice and application of the log home chinking.
We recommend Weatherall Triple Stretch Textured Log Home Chinking. This product is made strictly for the log home market to adhere tightly to the logs and to move with the logs as they settle or expand and contract with seasonal moisture variations.
It has been successfully used on literally hundreds of log homes worldwide in some of the harshest climates for over 30 years and is still keeping them tightly sealed from the elements.
Chinking is usually applied shortly after the logs are stacked and the windows and door are cut and framed. When properly applied, using a high quality chinking material, the chinking should last a lifetime.
Staining the log home should be done before the chinking is applied using a quality water-based stain such as Weatherall UV Guard or UV Guard II. Apply the stain and let it dry according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Pro tip: Do not use oil-based stains, because they’re incompatible with most water-based chinking.
Staining before chinking provides an excellent bonding surface for the chinking and eliminates the coloring of the chinking with the stain.
After the staining is complete, a flat sided backer rod such as Grip Strip should be installed in the chink joints.
Pro tip: Round rod is not recommended for most normally sized chink joints, because it makes the chink joint thin in the center and can cause premature failure.
Proper backer rod installation provides the desired, industry standard, two-point adhesion for this type of joint. Additionally the foam backer will add significant thermal resistance—R Value—to the chink joint which is typically the weakest thermal path in the wall.
The best time to apply chinking is in dry weather with temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees F. Avoid chinking in direct sunlight or when rain or freezing weather are predicted.
Chinking can be applied with a bulk loading caulking gun and a trowel. It is also available in prepackaged 10.3 & 30 oz. tubes which can be applied with a manual caulking gun.
The proper technique is to gun the material into the log joint, pressing it against the logs for good adhesion. Smooth the center with a margin trowel, using a 50/50 water/alcohol mix in a spray bottle as a release agent for the trowel.
Be careful to keep the chink edges clean and crisp. Don’t get so far ahead of the troweling that the material starts to skin over. The chinking is easy to water cleanup or trowel with the spray mix when it is moist. It becomes very difficult when it dries.