Log Home Maintenance – Caulking Repair

Interior caulking on log homes – We got a call this morning with a question regarding repairing caulk lines on the inside of a log home. People are starting to do their spring check list for their log homes and cabins and there will be lots of inquiries.

The technique for repairing caulk (or chinking) on the inside of the home is the same as on the outside but the reasons for doing it are different. On the inside it is primarily to prevent air leaks or for aesthetic reasons. On the outside, it is for the health of the logs themselves, as well as to prevent air leaks.

On the outside, you don’t need to caulk unless the following three things are at play:

  1. There are checks that face upward and are more than 1/4″ wide
  2. The gaps between the logs are open and water is likely to flow between the logs
  3. Light can be seen from inside the home through or between the logs, i.e. the wall has significant air leakage

On the inside, most caulking and chinking becomes aesthetic. The reason for this is that if you have significant air leakage, it should really first be taken care of from the outside because this is where water leaking in from the exterior can really do some damage.

What to do if you decide you do want to caulk the inside of your home? Purchase a quality, latex caulk like Big Stretch or Check Mate or consider chinking it instead if the log gaps are a bit wider. Caulk is best for narrow gaps, while chink works better for larger gaps.

What’s the difference between caulk and chink?  The basic difference between caulk and chink is that chinking has fine, sand particles added to it. This sand makes the appearance of the chinking dull or “flat”, and in the same way that aggregate adds strength to a concrete slab, the sand adds strength to the chinking material.

Make sure that the surface you are repairing is dry, clean and free from dust or dirt. If the existing caulk is pulling away from the log, carefully remove it so that there is a solid surface to caulk over. Apply foam backing rod if the manufacturer recommends it or if conditions warrant its use.

Apply a consistent line of caulk and do it a section at a time. If you are new to caulking, don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Smooth the caulk line with a tool or your finger, making sure to press hard enough so that it adheres to both the upper and lower log. The goal is to make a smooth line that does not have gaps and creates a bond, so to speak, between the logs.

Interior caulk repair is important primarily for how it looks but exterior caulk plays an integral role in the health of your logs and may require more expertise than what a beginner might be capable of.

If you are looking for some help with caulk or chink repair, contact us if you want it done by experts. Call 715-373-5744 or Contact Us