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This is a log home I visited today which is D-Log and never been stained or chinked, located in Colorado.  The home was built 16 years ago and has been severely neglected on maintenance.  Any suggestions?

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Hello. My name is C.L. Atkins. If the home in the photos was built 16 years ago and had no kind of protection applied it is in excellent shape.

The pictures show no extreme deterioration that I can see whatsoever. It looks as though a good thorough cleaning is all that is needed before applying a good sealer.

I am in Ga. so there is a lot more moisture around, if you left a wood home unprotected for a year or two here it would be in a lot worse distress than this home shows to be.

A good cleaning with a quality cleaning agent is about all you need it looks like unless there is something that is not showing in the pictures.

Good luck with the project.

Chemical washing would absolutely work.  However, this home is in the desert and introducing that much water to the equation could cause unpredictable damage.  Also, this home has never been chinked inside or out.  Water would for sure get inside and cause damage to the interior of the logs.  Lastly the homeowner specifically requested soda / walnut blasting.  Soda to remove the water damage and burned looking areas, and walnut on the rest.

 I can agree with you on the water seario. I don't like to use water pressure washing on an all wood, especially log, home even here where we have quite a bit of rainfall as well as humidity.


 The main problem with water pressure washing is that most of the people doing it really do not know what they are doing. They tend to use a very high pressure and it does not take a lot of pressure to accomplish cleaning of wood.


 If a person finds it needs excessive pressure they need to resort back to trying a little elbow grease with a stiff brush or chemical and/or blasting media of some sort.


 This home is a D-log home and looks to be log on log so it had no need to be chinked. It should have a bonding sealer of some sort between the logs and/or tongue and grooves with some sort of gasketing material.  (I did say "should have")


 That was my point on pressure washing above. If you use excessive pressure then it will blow water through the joints no matter what.


 I had posted about media blasting the same day as I posted on here:


 Another guy posted about dry ice blasting as well. That I believe I am interested in learning more about.  The walnut blasting you mentioned is interesting to me as well.


 I see your title here as Colorado Log Home Finishing so I assume I am talking with a Professional Log Home Finisher and/or Refinisher?

Yes, I am the owner of Log Home Finishing and we are based in Colorado.  There is need for chinking on d-log homes. Yes that gasket is in there, but without chinking, the stain will never last.  Skipping the chinking is cutting corners in the building process.  As I always say, 50% of homes that we chink are sold to the homeowner as 'chinkless'.  There is no such thing as a chinkless log home.  There are those that are chinked in the beginning, and those that are chinked during the restoration phase which will be necessary if you skip the chinking on a d-log.  Chinking a d-log home makes the stain last twice as long.  Here is a d-log home we just finished. 

 I looked at those pictures. Your outfit did a great job with that home. What is the advantage of the walnut shell blasting over other media  such as glass or soda?


 Can you give me some idea of cost on the job in the pictures?


 I have built log homes for the past 25 years, a lot of them D-log. I respectfully disagree with some of your thoughts in the last post.  In my experiences we have had little need for chinking on a d-log home. There have been about 2 in the time I have been doing this that we eventually went back and chinked the lateral joints as you did with the home in the pictures. Those were because the drying process did not get the moisture down to where it should have been.


That generally is what brings on the need to chink a D-log. I have done chink jobs on a few more in this area built by other folks. The reason on those were improper building methods on a log home that did not alow for settling and shrinkage.


 A couple of those were put together with fastners that had not been countersunk and when the logs shrank a little bit they were held up. A couple more had places at the window and door opening intersections that were caused by hard spiking the end of the logs to the door and window bucks instead of creating a slip joint and allowing the buck to float.

 You say without the chinking the stain will never last. What would be the reason for that?


 I have a cabin that was built in 1988. In that time it has been restained one time and that was just a refresher coat. It has never been chinked nor caulked on the exterior. The staining held up well and the home is still water tight.


 These questions are just curiosity as I want to hear opinions of other folks in this business. Our difference of opinion on some things does not make either wrong, we have different experiences and it is always good to hear from others for future reference.


Why are you asking a public forum how to restore this home? Aren't you supposed to be the professional? 

I'm not sure I understand what you are asking.  I thought the forum was open to anyone asking questions about log homes.  I don't know, am I supposed to be the professional?

WOW! I agree that with little or no maintenance, this home is in fairly decent shape. Obviously media blasting will help to clean and brighten the wood and prepare it to accept stain but some of the media may enter the home as well. Another option is dry ice blasting, a newer method for the log home industry but it can be expensive; maybe a little less messy.

It sounds as if the dry climate may have caused the logs to shrink more and therefore opened gaps that are allowing drafts and water penetration. Another option besides chinking is to use a premium caulk designed specifically for log homes. It has a tendency to have more flexibility and can blend in better.

Visit this link to find more info or contact me directly if you wish at


Have fun, it looks like a big job.


Weatherall Company



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