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Hello all. I bought a 25 year old log home two years ago. I had no experience with them. I now find myself with a log rot problem on the back of the house. The problem area is about 9x50 feet. Not all of the logs have rot. I am considering infared imaging to better understand the extent of the issue. Clearly there are logs to be repaired or replaced. Understanding the expense of replacement I would prefer to repair.

I need advice on repair. I have done my homework and think the logs can be be sort of gutted and rebuilt. I would welcome any and all suggestions about how to proceed.

See the picture attached. Thanks very much.    log1.JPG

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I can't give you a whole lot of feedback, but I can tell you that Abatron makes excellent wood rot repair products. They also have great educational videos and technical assistance. You may want to get in contact with them for some assistance. www.abatron.com

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

Without seeing the roof lines and other three sides of the home, its tough to say if this issue is confined to this one side.  Treat the source first, or the patch will be temporary.  

If you ever thought about an addition, or an enclosed shed porch off this side of the home, now might be the time to consider.  Adding space won't be cheap, but it brings more value, might help the floor plan, and you'll recoup some cost.  With a new shed roof to protect, and new exterior walls bumped out at the damaged areas, you can cut out the existing rot altogether and expand the rooms.  

Just an idea.  If you want design some help, post some additional pics with dimensions.  

Media blast that wall to find all of the damage. You will also want to apply backer and chinking between your log joints after staining and repairing to prevent more damage from occurring. You are not alone in experincing the problems of log homes that have been left unsealed. A project like this might cost 40% - 50% of the cost of building a new log home. Abatron is an awesome product but I think that new logs will be cheaper here. Thanks for sharing your story and posting the photo.

Thomas Elliott
Log Home Finishing Colorado

I'm not sure what 'media blasting' does for me. I took a look at a video and understand what it does. It's not an issue of cleaning the logs but rather IDing the areas of the bad logs and deciding if they can be repaired rather than replaced. Blasting won't show me what's inside. The wall has 18 courses of logs. Those damaged appear to be among the bottom 6 courses. I estimate it's contained to less than 10% of the logs. Can anyone comment on 'thermal/infared imaging' to further understand the problem ? I'm not yet concerned about what products to use for repair but need advice on how to 'do' the repair. Thanks again.

Hi Paul
Yes I would recommend thermal imaging it will show you a lot of unseen areas that need addressing. Replacing logs is not as hard as it seems. I would recommend replacing the piece in your photo with two pieces. I would put the join between the upper and lower join. You will need to watch out for the spikes that are placed every two feet. I would agree with Thomas that you will also need to be doing some preventive maintenance.

Just my thoughts
Bill

Thanks Bill. I've been told that to 'replace' I have to jack up the house and remove the upper courses and then replace the lower logs and reset the upper. That is a very very expensive fix. All the logs would be lowered over the pins. I have 18 courses of logs and all the bad ones are within the bottom 6 courses. I think I'll do a trial repair of one log:

 

1. Remove all the loose obvious rot

2. Stabalize what's left using CPES (maybe) to glue the remaining wood fibers

3. Insert new treated wood fit to the cavity 

4. Fill around the insert using ??? An epoxy resin maybe ??

5. Reface the log with new log  

 

It's a lot of labor but less that the replacement strategy.

 

I think it's 11 logs of about 100 feet total. A case study I looked at took 40 hours to do 36 feet.

 

Comments ? Thoughts ? Thanks.

Do you have a reference for the case study?  I'd be very curious to see the source.

Thank you,

Tom

Thanks Paul thats an interesting read. I was thinking something similar possibly after removing the rot fill the void with pressure treated wood. You could then cover the exterior and interior with cedar log siding. I personally would try not using chemicals as it is a health concern.

Bill

I have yet another idea. How about if I remove all the loose rot  and somehow firmup the back (inside facing ) of the logs. Let's assume they are one atop another and I can somehow support the logs above them. I might then treat the firmed up partial log(s) to prevent further decay. Next I might be able to use concrete blocks or bricks to replace the major rot which has been removed. The blocks/bricks would provide support and replace the missing (rotted) wood. The lowest blocks/bricks would rest upon the concrete foundation. I could then face the blocks/bricks with 1/4 surface logs or an attractive stone facing. Please see the attached picture. I would appreciate your comments. Thanks again.

Attachments:
Remove and replace logs. You will feel better knowing it's done right. If you go with concrete make sure the wood and concrete dont touch, use sill gasket.

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