Chinking, along with caulking, are two of the final products which go into the makeup of any log home, and they are also some of the most important products used in construction. Chinking will help to seal air leaks and repel rainwater, and it will also discourage any kinds of pests, insects, or varmints from wanting to feast on your log home. However, it’s good to keep in mind that chinking and caulking will only do their job correctly if you choose the right products, and make sure those products are appropriate for your log home design, and the finish or preservative used on the logs.
Chinking and caulking both belong to a group of products which are known as sealants. All log homes must have some level of caulking, because this is the material that goes in between log courses and makes the home weathertight. Caulking comes in a variety of different textures and colors, so that it can easily blend in with any stains which have been applied to the log home surface. That makes it nearly invisible to detect to the naked eye.
Some homes in addition to caulking, will also require chinking, and this depends on the building system that was used and the log profile itself. Chinking is also used between log courses, but it’s used especially for those which are designed with a horizontal gap between the logs. Chinking is readily observable on the surface of any log walls, and it’s both functional and very decorative.
It’s immensely popular with homeowners who want their residence to have a classic or historic look. When deciding whether you need chinking or caulking for your log home, make sure to be aware that whichever sealant you choose has to be compatible with the chemicals included in your stain or preservative.
In historic times, it was very common to apply wide bands of chinking to log homes, primarily for their functionality. This is because the logs usually interfaced at the corners and the chinking was necessary to keep out all the weather elements. In those days, chinking consisted of any material that people could literally stuff between logs to keep out the wind and rain. One of the more popular materials used at the time was clay mixed with straw.
In more recent times, mortar or cement chinking was used, but this was ultimately rejected because it had the habit of drawing away from the logs when it became hardened. Modern chinking products are far superior to those initial products, and perform much more like caulking does. Modern chinking products will be soft and pliable for many years after application, and that means they will be effective for all that time as well.
These chinking products have terrific flexibility, durability and adhesion, and they are great at preserving the sealing around your home. You can use chinking products on both the interior sides of your home as well as the exterior walls. Eventually, even the best chinking with products will require reapplication. The best time to apply any chinking product is after you have already applied any other finish to the logs. To make sure that your chinking product is compatible with your stain, it’s advisable to choose the same manufacturer for both.
Nowadays, most of the superior chinking products are acrylic-based. If you are a big do-it-yourselfer, you can of course try to do the chinking yourself, but to make sure that you have a really effective application of your chinking, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Contact us at WNC Blast/Wash and Staining when you’re ready to have your log home chinked and sealed.