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Thread: Log repairs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Circle, MT
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    Default Log repairs

    Five year old log home today had several large splits both interior and exterior. Splits are 1/4 - 1/2" wide and up to 3" deep. Logs are 10". Homeowner has filled interior cracks with spray in foam, then painted to match logs. Nothing has been done on exterior. What is the approved method to repair exterior logs?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Southern Vancouver Island
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    Default Re: Log repairs

    It sounds like the logs were green and now they've dried. If a full length groove is cut in the bottom of the log as it is fitted to the one below it, the checking will usually be concentrated along that cutline, and you don't get the big visible checks. On a professionally built log home, you will not see chinking between the logs either. The groove is scribed to fit over the log below it.
    Checks are mostly cosmetic. I would not try to fill them on the exterior, just ignore them.


  3. #3
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Log repairs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    I would not try to fill them on the exterior, just ignore them.
    I would agree with John, but if the homeowner wants them filled they make epoxies and stains specifically for this application.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
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    719

    Default Re: Log repairs

    Quote Originally Posted by Duane Nelson View Post
    Five year old log home today had several large splits both interior and exterior. Splits are 1/4 - 1/2" wide and up to 3" deep. Logs are 10". Homeowner has filled interior cracks with spray in foam, then painted to match logs. Nothing has been done on exterior. What is the approved method to repair exterior logs?
    I lived in a log home for many years. Checking in the logs is not uncommon. The problems are: if the checks go all the way through the log OR if the exterior checks are up-turned to receive rain (both of these need to be sealed). The sealant is an expanding caulk that is heavier duty than mere mortal caulk. Call a log home company in your area for the good stuff.

    Interior checks do not need to be filled. Fill down-turned exterior checks as preferred.

    John maybe right and they could've been green logs that weren't properly dried. If that is the case, there will be substantially more problems than a few checks.

    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  5. #5
    Craig Werner's Avatar
    Craig Werner Guest

    Default Re: Log repairs

    If these cracks are checking from the curing of green wood wouldn't that be covered under the manufacturer's warranty? Homes are not supposed to be built with green wood.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Log repairs

    There is a product approved by the National Park Service that will seal cracks and replace chinking and daubing on log homes. I believe the material is called "Perma-Chink"

    The material is an acrylic caulk product with some texture and UV additives. Perma-chink comes in several colors to match the color of the logs or the baubing, if appropriate.

    I used this product several years ago, but have not had any other contact recently.

    Good luck with log homes, dry-rot is an ongoing problem in our area, central and north west Oklahoma.

    Last edited by Darrell Covington; 12-21-2009 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Left off location

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Circle, MT
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    87

    Default Re: Log repairs

    Thanks for all the info. The reason they crack is easy to figure out: Logs are cut and milled in Washington or British Columbia (humidity 80%) then assembled in eastern Montana (humidity 10%). The fix is what the owners are interested in and now we have a place to start. Thanks again.


  8. #8
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: Log repairs

    All good points. Another point is to treat the logs with a lacquer or a shellac.
    this well hold off wood boring beetles. they get there mandibles stuck in the lacquer/shellac.

    Best

    Ron


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Westminster, B. C., Canada
    Posts
    165

    Default Re: Log repairs

    Hi (all) &

    Yes - recommended (up here in B. C., anyway) to seal logs on the exterior (at least) & keep 'em sealed...

    Merry Christmas, everyone !!!

    -Glenn Duxbury, CHI

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Log repairs

    My log home used dead-standing trees, so they were fully dried, twisted, checked, etc... Straight logs were cut from these trees.

    I sealed them with a 3 step process per the log home company. The first two were stains and the third was a thick honey-like substance that I brushed on. It was a UV inhibitor.

    I wish I still lived in that house.

    Merry Christmas!!!
    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

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