Chinking in some styles of log homes is done when they are built. In others, over time, it becomes necessary to keep the logs sealed from the elements. Sometime it becomes evident that chinking is necessary when you find that your log home leaks during a driving rain.
The term chinking came from the marine industry where it means to fill a crack in a ship. In the case of logs, chinking fills the space between the logs.
In the old days, chinking may have been mud and straw, newspapers, oakum or mortar. Today we use synthetic chinking. Modern chinning is a combination of latex based materials and sand. This combination creates a strong, flexible bond between the logs.
We use chinking for most log homes we work on. Our replacement logs are most times chinked after installation because we find the material to be superior to caulking. Chinking is an important part of log home maintenance.