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Whether you have a log home or are thinking about building one, chinking is a term that you should get familiar with. In this article we are going to answer all of your questions about chinking. The first question that comes to most people is, what is chinking
Chinking is important in keeping moisture, insects, wind, and other forces of nature from entering logs. So, what is chinking made of Chinking used to be made using a mixture of clay, lime, silt, sand, ash, and dirt. This mixture used to vary depending on what was available in the region. Old mixtures were not made of elastic and would pull away from the logs. Chinking today is made of an acrylic elastic compound with special components that allow it to adhere to the logs and flex with the log movement. This new synthetic chinking is often called Elastomeric chinking and does not chip like cement mortar. Today there are three different types of chinking synthetic (most popular), cement chinking, and traditional or homemade chinking.
If you are purchasing a log home or thinking about building one, you might wonder how long does chinking last and how much will it cost Chinking like everything else lasts longer if you maintain it. Chinking on average lasts around 20 years if it was applied correctly using a backing rod. Chinking can last up to 40 years if maintained annually and not exposed to extreme weather conditions. The cost of chinking a log cabin yourself is between $3 and $6 per linear foot. This price can vary depending on many factors such as gap size, choice of material, height of gable wall to the ridge, and more. Chinking from start to finish on the average sized cabin cost between $3,000 and $7,000; this is normally a one time cost and yearly maintenance costs on average around $200.
The first step is to gather your tools and materials. In this tutorial we are going to use the bulk loading gun and foam brush method. You can learn about all 5 chinking methods here. These are the materials that you will need to chink your log cabin:
The method that we are using allows you purchase your chinking in 5 gallon buckets (cheaper than buying it in tubes) and the bulk loading gun comes with a variety of nozzle sizes which make chinking much easier.
Before you start chinking, there are some preparations that should be made. The most common question is should I stain or chink first While, this is not a requirement there is one method that is easier. You should almost always plan to stain your cabin before you chink. There are many reasons for this. Stain does not stick to chinking and will create drip marks. It can also create discolor effects depending on your chinking. Staining first adds an extra layer of protection to your logs from bugs and rot. It is important to let the stain dry for 2 to 7 days before chinking in order to ensure that the stain is completely dry. If you try to chink before the stain is completely dry then your chinking might not adhere. It is also a good idea to check with the manufacturer or dealer to ensure the stain and chinking are compatible. When preparing your log cabin for chinking you will want to make sure that the space between the logs is clear of grass, bugs, and other debris that might cause your chinking to peel later on. You will want to use a mild cleaner and NOT a strong power washer. Attention to detail will make your chinking last longer. Logs should be anywhere between 40 F - 80 F. If the logs are to hot it will evaporate the water and if they are to cold then the chinking will not seal.
The next step is to prepare your tools for chinking. When chinking, water is your best friend. You will want to use water and a spatula or foam brush to go over your work. As you apply your chinking you will want to go over it in order to clean up your mistakes and smooth your chinking out to ensure that it is adhering to the logs. A tip is to have two buckets of water. One bucket will have your foam brushes and water. The second bucket will be full of clean water and is where you will place your dirty brushes. In order to get the most out of your brushes, you will want to use each side of the brush. Many people buy up to 50 brushes at a time. More brushes allow you to keep going and rinse less often. Some people choose to use spatulas instead. You can view our tool description and best practices here.
Once you are ready to go over your work, it is time to start chinking. The first step in chinking is to apply backer rod. If you have a large crew and the weather is cooperating then it might make sense to apply backer rod to the entire building. If it is just you or a small crew then you will want to only apply backer rod to a small section. Some of you might be wondering what is backer rod and what does it do Backer rod is a necessity when chinking. Backer rod is a synthetic foam which is placed in the cavity between logs. Backer rod makes sure that the chinking only adheres to the top and bottom of the log in order ensure movement. When the chinking adheres to only 2 surfaces (top and bottom) and not 3, it allows for much more movement and prevents checks. Checks are cracks that will appear in logs and chinking. There are four types of backer rod; round, triangle, trapezoid, and open cell formulation. Most log cabins will require a few different sizes. You can view our Backer Rod Guide here.
How long will my chinking last Which chinking should I use Are all chinking materials the same What type of warranty comes with your product If you find yourself asking these questions, we recommend you view our log home chinking comparison chart. We hope this helps!
Triple Stretch chinking makes the entire process that much simpler. Instead of heading out and spending money every year on new log cabin chinking products and materials, owners can now buy one set of Triple Stretch chinking and seal their home for good.
No matter the color of your log home, Triple Stretch chinking will be able to provide you with the chinking you need. You are able to choose between many shades of chinking to either give your home that mortared darkly sealed look or to blend in with the shades of your logs. Another feature is the ability to tool the log chinking into different textures depending on the aesthetic you are trying to achieve. From semi-smooth to rough to anywhere in between, the choice is up to you.
Large chinking product containers are able to be stored with relative ease for later projects. Simply place a small layer of water over the material along with a thin sheet of plastic, and tightly re-lid the container. Storing your chinking materials in a cool place out of direct sunlight will allow you to use the materials another day.
If you have owned or built a log cabin before, you understand the harmful effects that toxic chemicals can have not only on the home but on the people applying the chinking too. With Triple Stretch chinking products being non-toxic, you are able to create a seal on your home that is safe for both the exterior and interior of your home. The finish is completely odorless as well.
Log homes encounter many different issues during their lifespan. Log cabin owners understand that keeping them protected from these problems will ensure that their cabin is around for a very long time. If the issues are ignored, they tend to stack up and eventually will all need to be fixed - sometimes at the same time. With Triple Stretch chinking, you will be able to avoid some of these issues easily. Here are a few common things that Triple Stretch chinking products are able to help log cabin owners get a handle on before they become a real issue.
Triple Stretch chinking products are perfect for creating a permanent seal on your home that will keep the elements from seeping into the wood. The Triple Stretch chinking will shift with the wood without causing any cracks in the seal. Non-elastic sealants allow moisture and sunlight into the wood.
The temperature outside of your log cabin can easily affect the temperature inside if it is not properly insulated. If you neglect your log chinking too long you could be left with a temperature issue in your log home. By using the right log chinking materials you will be able to regulate the temperature during the entire year - not just the winter or summer. Cracked chinking means that your home will leak warm air in the winter and cold air in the summer. This can cause damage to your logs while wreaking havoc on your energy bill for your log home.
Firstly, the chinking material is the most important. Available for purchase are 10.3oz cans, 30oz cans, and 5 gallon pails of Triple Stretch chinking product so you can tackle any size of job. Also available are different trowels and sizes of chinking guns (depending on whether you purchase cans or pails. Grip tape and rods are also available for purchase to aid with your log cabin chinking needs.
Any seasoned renovator will tell you that having the right tools for chinking or caulking jobs can mean the difference between still finishing up on your refurbishing project for another weekend or using that time to enjoy the fruits of your labor with family and friends. Weatherall offers Bulk Loading Guns, Osborn Brushes and Backer Rod products to get your projects done efficiently and professionally!
Chinking is an elastic sealant with a textured surface intended to replicate old-fashioned mortar used on larger log home joints. Whether chinking is used for beautifying purposes or for strictly practical reasons of keeping anything from the outside from coming in, or vice versa, Weatherall has its own, uniquely-developed chinking product called, Triple Stretch Chinking!
The chinking and caulking in log homes should not be overlooked. Routine maintenance of your log home includes keeping an eye on sealing up the gaps between the logs. The design of some log buildings requires chinking or caulking but for others, it becomes necessary to do this for various reasons. 153554b96e