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Hey everyone,

I have a 6x6 milled butt-and-pass log home we bought last summer. The guy who built it 7 years ago failed to use any caulk or gasket foam between stacks of the logs I later found out. Much of the exterior chink was cracked and failing, I repaired the worst of it last summer with log builders caulk and re stained the whole house with sikkens log and siding.

Over the winter I noticed a dozen or so areas with water staining inside, most can be traced back to upward checks on the exterior and the butt-and-pass corners.  

Two questions here:  What is the best methods for chinking butt-pass corners? Im thinking just pull out stuff out and snake some backer rod back and forth all the way down and re chink. 

The rest of the chinking is in OK to not so OK shape. The builder also didn't use any backer rod anywhere so there's lots of cohesion and also some adhesion failure. It would take FOREVER to cut out all the old stuff and stuff backer then rechink . . . I read somewhere you can use pin stripe tape or a similar as a bond breaker which would allow me to just chink over the old stuff. The current chink/caulk is only about 1/2 in wide and the beveled edges of the logs would give me about a whole inch I could use for the new chink. Would it really be worth the effort to cut all the old out, stuff backer and rechink or would I be OK with simply using tape as a bond breaker and chink over the top, enlarging the chink joint to the full inch.  

Really want to get this place tightened up and seal the drafts/water out. Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

Thanks!
Jon

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Hi, Jon. Welcome to the forum! I saw your other post, too, but am leaving that to folks more knowledgeable than me. That said, if you don't get a response, let me know and I'll get some names of folks to you who may be able to help.

Now on to this question:

No, it's not worth cutting everything out unless it nets you the aesthetic appearance you want. :-) But before I go further, here are some tips.

Repairing cohesive failure is fairly easy, so long as what's in there doesn't have silicone in it (and it sounds like it doesn't, so that's good). Most any acrylic sealant will adhere to itself, so repairs are pretty simple: 

1) Take a razor blade to the failure and cut it open a bit more to relieve the pressure. 

2) If you can, fit backer rod behind there. You might not be able to do that, depending on the size of the opening.

3) Clean off any dirt, pollen, etc.

4) Go over top with more chinking or caulking.

5) Smooth it out.

6) Stand back and admire your handiwork. :-)

Adhesive failure takes more to repair since you'll need to actually start from scratch. That said, if you don't mind a slightly wider bead, as you suggest, there's no need to cut everything out. You can go over top of what's there with clear packing tape to create that bond breaker. Be sure there's a good 1/8" to 1/4" of product adhering to either side of the existing product to ensure a good bond. So, your 1/2" wide bead may end up being that full 1" after all is said and done.

Yes, take backer rod to those corners, all the way down, and chink or caulk them. Corners are the hardest thing of all and where you'll find you have the most leaks. 

The blower door test will help a lot, too. I'd almost encourage you to have that test done first and ensure your logs are good and dry before you seal things up. You could end up sealing too much moisture in and causing further issues (peeling stain, possibly rot, etc.). If you're certain where the water staining is coming from and are certain you've addressed any moisture currently in the logs, you should be good to go getting things sealed up.

Hope that helps some. Let me know if any other questions come up. I'm happy to be a resource to you.

--- Charis w/ Sashco - www.sashco.com/log-home - cbabcock@sashco.com 

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