Hello everyone. Our log home was built in 2010 and there is one large (our largest) exposed wall that leaks through the log checks during wind-driven rains. We have had the house sealed and stained twice in 7 years (other than the original stain). While it has helped, we still have the problem every time we get wind-driven horizontal rain. We have resorted to filling all the checks we can get to with log caulk which has helped greatly, but we know it is just a temporary solution and it becomes unsightly after several applications.
Other than spending the rest of our natural lives sealing checks, does anyone know of any other solution? We have even considered some type of siding for that wall (perish the thought).
I've enclosed a picture of the wall in question. The change in color is caused by the caulking we applied, not by sun exposure. If anyone has any suggestions, we would certainly appreciate it!
I'd suggest you have a thermographic imaging of the home done. This will help pinpoint where the leaks are happening and help you seal the right areas. Your local energy provider probably knows of a few contractors who can do that for you.
That said, on "chinkless" style log homes, those internal gaskets eventually give way and it usually means caulking most joints between the logs. The butt joint and corner joints are usually the first culprits, but the others will need to be sealed over time. There's just no way of ensuring moisture won't get in otherwise. Thankfully, there are sealants out there that are textured to mimic wood grain so they won't stand out like a sore thumb. (After all, you didn't want a chink style home.) We make a sealant called Conceal that is textured to blend in with wood grain and comes in colors that match the most popular stain colors out there. I'd be happy to send you a color card for your information. Simply email your info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be sure we send that your way.
I hope that helps for now. Please feel free to email me with any other questions you might have - happy to be a resource to you.
--- Charis w/ Sashco - www.sashco.com/log-home - email@example.com
Hi Carlos - the leaks are probably not the checks, it's more than likely in a joint, corner or where the logs transitions to log siding. A simple solution is to take your water hose and start in the lower right hand corner of the wall. Work in a 4x4 square foot area spraying water on the log wall. With someone standing inside, have them indicate when water starts coming through the wall - and where. Work from the bottom of the wall up to the top of the wall, waiting about 3-5 minutes between each 4x4 area. It may take this long for the water to find it way in and then to come out. Sometimes the water finds it's way in, then travels to a location where it come back out of the wall inside the home. Although you may find one leak, continue with the process (working from bottom to top, then move over and start from the bottom again). Waiting after spraying between each section is important - don't rush the project. Also, don't use a pressure washer - the water coming out of your water hose is forceful enough to duplicate a hard rain. Also, don't stand right up against the log wall or use a forceful single stream. Try duplicating a hard rain with the sprayer - you'll find the leaks soon enough. Hope this helps.
Looks like time for a log home restoration. The steps will include:
I don't see a simple solution, it's time to do the real deal project unless you really want to chase leaks forever.
Looks like extending the shed porch roof awning and gutter across that wall would do wonders to keep rain off the logs. Even if only 36" coverage, it would help. Using diagonal braces on either side of window would help support and look good.
Of course, a full 8' or 10' covered porch would solve issue.
Hi Chris. This is something we actually considered and we brought a contractor to give us an estimate. However, for some reason he seemed concerned about the weight of the extended roof awning and was worried about the location of the supporting beams which he said should not rest on the porch itself but instead go all the way down to the ground floor. This left us a bit more confused than we were. We should probably explore with another contractor. Thanks!
What is your email and I'll send you a sketch of the porch awning concept you can share with your two local builder/carpenters? I'll assume a 22' gable end length and 3.5 : 12 porch shed roof pitch for now. If you had a photo of same wall looking back the other way towards gutter, it would clarify pitch and overhang dimension....
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I just sent you my email address and a picture of the wall facing the opposite direction as you suggested. Many thanks!!!
Just sent sketch to clarify awning suggestion.
This is just a reminder of how much I like this forum. People willing to help, so strings attached. It's great!
Porches are awesome. They really protect your logs, and in snow country almost no shoveling snow off decks. We have a lot of porch, and we live in our porch a lot of the year. :)
I also built an awning over the garage door which keeps the rain off the cedar door (you could do something similar).
I used scrap leftover roofing and only extends out about 34", but made a great difference.
I forgot to mention, on the porch, we used clear roof panels above the windows which lets a lot of light into the home. Worked out very nice. Not traditional, but worked.
Thanks, Shanny. I like your idea but I'm concerned that the naturally curved surface of my D logs might make it a little difficult to achieve a tight seal. Your walls are flat so that may not be a problem for you. If you have a picture from underneath the awning to see how you attached it to the wall, it would be of great help. Thanks again!