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Log Home Chinking
If you plan on building and living in a log home or log cabin then you will need to familiarize yourself with a process known as chinking. Chinking is a mixture of acrylic and elastic compounds that produce a textured, mortar-like material which is used to stop air, insect and moisture infiltration into your home. Acting much like caulk or sealant chinking is applied between the gaps and openings that naturally exist between logs of a log home or log cabin. It is best applied during the construction of the home though you will want to re-chink and caulk sections of your log home over time.
Chinking along with a well placed backer rod can also act to insulate your home and depending on the color you choose can provide a contrasting two-tone look to your logs. In addition to the actual chinking material other tools and products may be used including backer rods, grip strips and gasket tape to provide an effective a strong seal for your log home. Many hand-crafted log homes not built in a scribe-fit style are referred to as “chink” or “chinker” style log homes due to the unique look chink provides.
You’ll want an elastic compound that can stretch when chinking because logs and timber have a natural tendency to move or “settle” after being laid down for construction. Many log homes and log cabins have been structurally compromised due to lack of a strong chinking and the swelling and shrinking that wood undergoes over time can cause the framework to become unsound. Using a high quality caulk or chinking product will not only effectively seal the gaps between logs but also move with the wood to keep a strong hold on the overall structure of the log home or log cabin.
There are many methods to applying chinking to log homes and log cabins but the most common is through use of a chinking or caulking gun that evenly distributes the chinking compound into the log openings. Any method will often involve going back over the chinking surface with a brush or spatula to even out the chinking and clean up any mistakes. Be sure to have a bucket of clean water alongside so you can continually wash the brushes and spatulas. Rinsing off the brushes is recommended for keeping a clean edge on the brush that will be used for establishing a smooth chinking surface.
Before starting any chinking or caulking procedure make sure the area you are working in has been cleaned of mill grime, debris and dust. Logs are sturdy yet special building materials that need maintenance to be effective. Use any number of log-cleaner products including Perma-Chink OXcon to properly clean the logs of your log home or log cabin before applying caulk, sealant or chinking.
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