Chinking Mistakes to Avoid

Published on | Log Home Chinking |Josh Horner

Chinking for log homes can be used for aesthetic reasons or can be done to ensure the elements stay outside. Some homeowners like the look of chinking while others don't want to see any chinking on their home. Typically chinking is required on your log home if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Can you stick your hand from the inside of your log home to the outside?
  • Do you want the joint between your logs to stand out?
  • Do you want the joint between your logs to be greater than 3/4''?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then most likely your home will require chinking material. Chinking is designed to stand out from your logs because of the heavy surface texture and the available colors. It is important to remember that chinking can only do so much. The performance of the chinking will depend a lot on the application of the material. When applying chinking take the following items into consideration:

  • House Logs that exceed a 20% moisture content will put an abnormal amount of stress on a chinking joint.
  • Large house logs will require a wider chinking joint.
  • Chinking joints should be approximately 1/12'' the size of the diameter of your house logs. (Example: A 12'' log would require a 1'' chinking joint.)
  • Chinking performs best when it has 2-point adhesion. This is accomplished by using some form of backer rod.
  • Chinking should be applied between 40-90 degrees.
  • Chinking typically takes 3 weeks to fully cure.
  • Chinking will remain pliable throughout the lifetime of the product.
  • Chinking should be done after a compatible stain is applied.

In conclusion, chinking for log homes can provide a weather-tite seal or aesthetic appeal. In either case, it is important to remember that the material will perform much better if the proper guidelines are followed. Check with the different chinking manufacturers for warranty information. I recommend Log Jam chinking by Sashco because it is the only chinking that offers a lifetime warranty.

For more information about chinking material, chinking warranties, chinking application tools or chinking contractor referrals contact Mountain Home Building Products toll free at 800-490-3695 or send an email to