May
21

Techniques For Chinking Your Log Cabin

Contributed By: BAG Editors

Chinking is very important when you are building a log cabin or log home.  It seals the spaces between the logs to keep exterior air out and interior air in.  It also keeps bugs and moisture from getting in your home.  Chinking is a material that goes between the logs as you put them together to form the walls, and is intended to fill in the spaces.  Once you have the log walls constructed and the roof put on, you can begin the process of chinking.

The first thing to do before chinking is to insulate between the logs.  On the inside or outside of the building, you can use foam board insulation.  This will give the home an additional R factor than if it was just solid logs, which will add to the comfort and energy efficiency of the home.

Once the insulation is complete, the chinking is applied to the insulation.  A synthetic type of chinking is recommended so it will expand and contract with the logs.  Another option for chinking is concrete, however this method has been known to crack and needs to be maintained as time goes on and is not recommended.  During the 19th century, people also used mud, clay and horsehair to chink.

When you chink your home, it prevents air, bugs and moisture from penetrating into your log home.  It also helps to insulate your home if you have a backer rod there.  Chinking can also be used as a design characteristic of your home, and you have many options of chinking materials and colors to choose from to either blend in or contrast with the logs in order to achieve a certain look.  It doesn’t matter if you are chinking a new log home or one that has already been built.  Either way, you will need to decide what type of finish you will use and you need to make sure it will be well-suited for your project.

To be sure you don’t waste your money, you need to make sure the chinking is not applied too thinly or too thickly.  If it is too thin, it won’t stick properly to the logs.  This will result in tears or rips as the logs dry and move with each season that passes.  If it is applied on too thick, it will take too long to cure and won’t set up properly, especially if the weather is cold, resulting in slumping or perhaps a “spongy” feeling.  Ultimately, just be careful not to put your chinking material on too thick or too thin, and also watch the temperature when applying the product.

Chinking is a fundamental part of building a log home or log cabin.   Choosing the proper material and applying the material correctly is essential in finishing the job effectively.  When done correctly, however, the chinking process adds efficiency, comfort, style and value to your log home.

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