Chink Paint vs Chinking

Article content courtesy of Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.

Many log home manufacturers offer squared log homes with cosmetic chink joints. Although some owners of these style homes ignore these cosmetic joints and just stain over them, others like the look of a chink style home which may be the reason that they bought the home in the first place. The question is…. when should you use Perma-Chink Log Chinking in these cosmetic joints versus using Chink Paint?

When cosmetic joints are less than 3/8 inches deep the answer is fairly easy. Unless the log home manufacturer specifies the use of Perma-Chink, Chink Paint is textured to look like chinking, less expensive and much easier to apply, especially if you are planning to do it yourself. Since there is no room for backing material, we have seen several instances when a thin layer of Perma-Chink was applied directly over bare wood and blisters formed in the chinking. Even if the bare wood is covered with masking tape it may still not be a good idea to use Perma-Chink. If the Perma-Chink only has a 1/4” lip of wood to hold onto on the upper and lower edges there may not be enough surface area for good adhesion. If Perma-Chink is applied and masking tape is used as a backer in shallow chink joints it’s especially important to make sure that the tape does not cover any edges. If it does there will be virtually no adhesion of the Perma-Chink at that point.

Whenever Chink Paint is used and a seam is present within the cosmetic joint the seam may be first sealed with Energy Seal. Once the Energy Seal is dry, Chink Paint can be applied over it. Do not use masking tape under Chink Paint. It will prevent the Chink Paint from adhering to the wood and may eventually peel off.

When cosmetic chink joints are 3/8 inches deep or deeper, Perma-Chink may be used but you should be aware that Chink Paint is a less expensive alternative that’s much easier to apply. If the joint is deep enough to accommodate both backing material and the proper thickness of Perma-Chink, it’s best to actually chink it to prevent water from accumulating on top of the bottom lip.

Learn How to Seal Checks in Logs

Article content courtesy Perma-Chink Systems, LLC

It is virtually impossible to prevent logs from developing cracks and checks as they age and dry. That’s because as a large piece of wood seasons, mechanical stresses build up until the surface stress becomes so great that the wood cracks. We call these stress cracks “checks.”

Do checks need to be sealed? Upward facing checks can collect water increasing the interior moisture content of the log. If they continue to collect water and the wood remains damp, they can eventually result in internal wood decay as well as provide nesting sites for carpenter ants and other insects. It is not necessary to seal checks on the bottom half of round logs since they do not collect water but for a uniform appearance you may want to seal them too. It is not usually necessary to seal checks or fissures that are less than 1/4” wide since they cannot accumulate that much water.

If your home is new and the logs or siding are green, it may be best to wait a year or so before addressing the checks. This allows the wood to reach an equilibrium with its environment and by then most of the larger checks will have opened. On seasoned wood or an older home that’s in the process of being refinished you can seal the checks either before or after applying a stain.

Checks and splits in logs present a different set of dynamics than those typically addressed by a caulk. They open and close as the log’s moisture content varies throughout the year. The opening width of a check may change as much as 50% from summer to winter. Most sealants are designed to cope with a different set of conditions and are ill suited for sealing checks. Check Mate 2 is specifically formulated to meet the particular requirements for sealing checks that appear in logs and log siding.

When initially applied 3/8” thick in a check the Check Mate 2 bonds to the sides of the check. As the check opens, the Check Mate 2 stretches to maintain a water-tight seal. The role the Backer Rod plays is to maintain a Check Mate 2 thickness of 3/8” during the application and two point contact with the wood. Two point adhesion enables Check Mate 2 to elongate and contract.

APPLICATION DIRECTIONS:check mate 2 step by step1. Begin by cleaning any dust, dirt, oil, solvent or previous sealer out of the check. Previously applied caulks can usually be easily pulled or scraped out with a hook knife. If the check is upward-facing and has allowed water penetration, pour some Shell-Guard RTU into it. This will kill any decay fungi present and prevent further deterioration of the log due to rot. If the wood within the check is damp from cleaning, rain or a borate treatment make sure the check has time to dry before applying Check Mate. You can speed up the drying process by blowing the water out of the check with a leaf blower. The last thing you want to do is to trap any water within the check.

2. For sealing checks 1/4″ wide or larger, Check Mate 2 should be always used in conjunction with Backer Rod. Insert the Backer Rod into the check and use a trowel or other implement to push the Backer Rod about 3/8” to 1/2” deep. If you push it deeper than 1/2” the cured Check Mate 2 will be too thick and may rip away from the sides of the check. If the Backer Rod is placed too close to the surface the Check Mate 2 may end up too thin and split.

3. For a neat, clean appearance you can use masking tape to mask off the wood on either side of the check. Be sure to remove the masking tape right after you tool the Check Mate 2 smooth. If you remove the masking tape after the Check Mate 2 has begun to dry you will pull the top layer of Check Mate 2 off along with the masking tape.

4. Cut the tip of the Check Mate 2 tube to about the same diameter as the checks you plan to fill (a little smaller diameter is better than one too large). Fill the space between the Backer Rod and log surface with Check Mate 2 using a standard caulk gun. Check Mate 2 must have good contact with wood on either side of the check and be sure the crack or check is completely sealed from end to end.

5. Tool the surface smooth with a trowel, spatula or wet finger and remove overflow immediately with a damp cloth. Don’t forget that the masking tape must be removed while the Check Mate 2 is still wet.

6. Check Mate 2 will dry to the touch in about one hour but complete curing may take several days depending on application thickness, temperature and weather conditions. The color of Check Mate 2 as it comes out of the tube is always lighter than the final cured color. Note: Newly applied Check Mate 2 Clear is white but turns clear when cured.

7. Clean tools and hands with soap and water.

Learn to Calculate How Much Caulking or Chinking You Need

Article content provided by Perma-Chink Systems, LLC.

When it comes to ordering sealants like Perma-Chink or Energy Seal there are two dimensions that you need to know in order to determine how much product you will need:

  • the width of the gaps or joints that you want to seal
  • the cumulative length (linear feet) of the gaps or joints that you want to seal

The width is fairly easy to determine. If it is a chink joint on a squared log, it is the average distance between upper and lower log surfaces.square log chink joint

If it is a round log chink joint, you first have to insert a length of proper size Grip Strip and then measure the distance between the top and bottom logs about 3/8 of an inch in front of the surface of the Grip Strip.

round log chink joint

In the case of Energy Seal caulk it is the width of the gap and size of the backer rod that determines the width of the Energy Seal.

backer rod energy seal

When estimating your purchase requirements for an entire log home the task of determining how many linear feet of sealant you will need can be somewhat overwhelming. However, if you break it down to one wall at a time and then add all of the walls together it becomes much simpler. Calculating the number of linear feet of chink joints or sealant gaps in a log wall is fairly easy when following these steps:

  1. Start by measuring the length of the wall with a tape measure.
  2. Then count the number of joints you need to seal. Usually it is the number of log courses minus one.
  3. When you multiply these two numbers together you have the linear feet of sealant required for that wall. Don’t worry about subtracting the windows or doors unless they take up a substantial portion of the wall area. You will need to seal around them anyway.
  4. If you are planning to run a bead of sealant in the corners or other vertical seamsenergy seal corner of round logs you need to know the height of the wall then multiply the height by a factor of 1.25 to compensate for the increased surface area created by the curvature of the logs.
  5. Once you have determined both the width of the sealant joint and total number of linear feet you will be sealing, reference the charts below to find out how many tubes, cases or 5 gallon pails you need for your project. If  you were thinking about using tubes of either product consider this, the price difference between two pails of Perma-Chink or Energy Seal and an equal amount of material in tubes more than covers the cost of a Cox bulk loading gun and follow plate.

Energy Seal Coverage Rates 

When applied to 5/16th to 3/8” thickness

(Note: 1 x 5 gallon pail = 20 x 30oz tubes = 55 x 11oz tubes)

Bead Size 11 oz 30 oz 5 gallon
1/2″ gap 16 LF 48 LF 975 LF
¾” gap 11 LF 32 LF 650 LF
1” gap 8   LF 24 LF 490 LF
For gaps over 1” use Perma-Chink For gaps over 1” use Perma-Chink For gaps over 1” use Perma-Chink For gaps over 1” use Perma-Chink

Perma-Chink 5 Gallon Bucket Coverage

(Note: 1 x 5 gallon pail = 20 x 30oz tubes = 55 x 11oz tubes)

Gap Width Coverage of 1-5 gallon Bucket
For Gaps Smaller than 1” in Width Use Energy Seal Caulk
1” 380 Linear Feet
11/2” 256 Linear Feet
2” 192 Linear Feet
21/2” 154 Linear Feet
3” 127 Linear Feet
31/2” 110 Linear Feet
4” 96 Linear Feet
41/2” 85 Linear Feet
5” 76 Linear Feet
6” 63.5 Linear Feet

Learn How to Apply Energy Seal

Article is provided  with the permission of Perma-Chink Systems, LLC.

Energy Seal™ is specially formulated for sealing narrow gaps in log home joinery such as butt joints, window trims, door trim and corners. These gaps should be no larger than one inch wide. Energy Seal contains a fine aggregate that gives it a texture which enables it to more closely match the texture of wood and accept a stain, so that it will blend in with the stained wall color if so desired. Although it can be used in wider joints, we typically recommend using Perma-Chink® Log Home Chinking for wide chink joints.

When Should Energy Seal Be Applied?
The best time to apply Energy Seal is after the home has been cleaned and before the finish is applied. The wood surfaces will be fresh and clean and Energy Seal adheres best to bare wood surfaces. That’s not saying that it won’t adhere to stained and/or top-coated surfaces, but it adheres best to bare wood. Application to surfaces with a freshly applied oil-based stain should be avoided. For the least visible caulk lines choose a color that’s a shade lighter than the stain color you plan to use. It’s easier to cover a lighter color sealant with a darker color stain than it is to hide a dark colored sealant with a light colored stain. However, if you prefer the look of visible caulk lines, apply Energy Seal after you stain. Just be sure that the surface is clean and dry.

If you are going to be applying Lifeline Advance Topcoat, apply the topcoat after the Energy Seal. This results in a more even appearance to the sealed areas and helps them blend in with the rest of the wall. Furthermore, it helps keep the Energy Seal application clean and easier to clean when maintenance cleaning is required.

Using Backing Materials
Backing materials furnish an even surface for the application of a sealant and make it easier to apply a uniform thickness across the joint or gap. They also provide two-point adhesion to ensure maximum elasticity and flexibility after the sealant has cured (they form a bond breaker in the center of the sealant band with adhesion to the wood at both sides). The use of improper or poorly installed backing materials can result in unsightly sealant joints and substandard performance. They are an integral part of the sealant system and should always be used whenever and wherever possible.without backerrod

There are a number of products specifically designed for use as backing materials for sealants. For smaller gaps, joints and cracks the most commonly used material is round backer rod. It comes in a range of sizes and is relatively inexpensive. Since it is flexible it can be pushed into a crevice without needing to be nailed or stapled. Grip Strip is designed for sealing larger gaps. Similar in composition to backer rod, it is shaped like a trapezoid so it can be squeezed in between round logs although it can be used in a variety of situations. It provides a flat surface for chinking or sealing.attaching backer rod

In situations where a joint, seam or gap is too small to insert Backer Rod you can hold it in place by applying small dabs of Energy Seal along the seam and then pressing the Backer Rod into them. The dabs of Energy Seal will hold the Backer Rod in place while a proper thickness of Energy Seal is applied on top. You can also use a narrow strip of water-resistant masking tape. You don’t want to use masking tape that wrinkles when it gets wet, since the wrinkles may show through the sealant. For extremely narrow seams an excellent option is to use pinstripe tape available at most automotive supply stores. The tape is vinyl; therefore, it’s waterproof and since our sealants do not bond to it, it makes an excellent material to use. Pinstripe tape is available in widths down to 1/8”.

Approved Backing Materials
Grip Strip
Backer Rod
Log Gap Cap
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) beadboard, foil-faced
Polyisocyanurate board (Polyiso or R Max)
Polyurethane foam (Pur Fill, Great Stuff, etc)
Water-resistant masking tape or pinstripe tape

DO NOT USE
Extruded Polystyrene (causes blisters)
Blue Board, Pink Board or any other colored board (outgases and causes blisters)
Bare wood or strips of bare wood (outgases and loss of elasticity, 3-point adhesion)
Anything that you are unsure about check with Perma-Chink Systems before using it

The Role Backing Materials Play When Sealing a Seam

backer rod role

Round Logs
When deciding the width of a sealant joint between round logs a good guideline to follow is for the width of the sealant to be one-sixth the log diameter. For example, with six inch diameter logs 6” ÷ 6 = 1.0” wide sealant joint. The width of the backing material you require depends on the profile of your logs but you need to take into account that you will be applying a 3/8” thick layer of sealant over it and you’ll need at least ¼” top and bottom for adequate adhesion to the wood.

square logsSquared Logs
We rarely see squared log chink joints less than 2” wide, so Energy Seal or Woodsman is seldom used in these situations. However, for cosmetic chink joints less than 3/8 inches deep we recommend sealing the seam with Energy Seal and then applying Chink Paint over the entire joint. On the other hand Energy Seal is often used on squared logs for sealing corners, butt joints, widows, door frames and other areas where a visible chink joint is not desired.

Applying Energy Seal
The overall performance of any sealant system is dependent on the use of proper application methods. Any sealant must be applied in a manner that will allow it to stretch in order to compensate for log movement. If it is applied too thick, once it cures it won’t be able to stretch enough to compensate for the movement and it may tear away from the wood. Think of it like a rubber band. A thick rubber band will not stretch as far as a thin one. However if the rubber band is too thin, it will break when it is stretched. The same thing applies to sealants. If applied too thick, they can’t stretch and if too thin they may be weak and will tear when pulled apart. In the case of our sealants the magic number is an applied wet thickness of 3/8”. When cured this results in the best elongation with maximum strength.

Have the Proper Tools
Before you start have all of the tools that you will need at hand and be sure that they are clean and in good working order.

These may include:

Weather Conditions
Freshly applied sealants should be protected from direct rainfall for a minimum of 24 hours. Either watch the weather or drape a newly sealed wall with plastic film. Be sure to allow some airspace between the wall and the plastic to facilitate drying. Avoid applying sealants in direct sunlight or when the temperature is less than 40° F. In cold weather it’s important that the logs be free of frost and dew in order to ensure that the sealant adheres tightly to the wood. The best surface temperature range for easiest application and best results is between 50° F and 80° F.

Application
Cut the applicator or tube tip to the desired diameter of the sealant bead you want to apply.

seal step1
Step 1: Begin by holding the tip firmly against the seam or joint and apply a bead of sealant. You need to apply enough sealant to maintain a wet thickness of at least 5/16” and no more than ½” (target = 3/8”) across the entire seam or joint after tooling. Only apply as much sealant as you can tool smooth in about 15 minutes.
seal step2
Step 2: Once the joint is filled trowel it out to approximately 3/8th of an inch thick across the entire joint. Do not spray it with water at this time! Make sure there is good contact between the sealant and the exposed edges of the wood. The most difficult areas to tool are corners. You tend to drag product out of the corners resulting in the sealant becoming too thin. You can occasionally check the thickness of the sealant using a toothpick to see if you are maintaining the proper thickness.
seal step3
Step 3: Once the sealant is roughly in place and any entrapped air worked out of it, spray it with a light mist of water. Do not saturate the surface with water. If water begins to run down the wall, you have applied too much.
seal step4
Step 4: Tool the surface smooth with a trowel or spatula. If you used masking tape to protect the surrounding wood be sure to remove it as soon as you are finished tooling and make sure that you have not left any lip on the top edge of the sealant that may catch water. If you have, tool it smooth.

Sealing Window & Door Frames

sealing window doors1

Clean-Up
If you get any sealant on the surface of the wood, be sure to wipe it off with a wet rag as soon as possible. If you allow it to dry it will be just about impossible to completely remove. Make sure to clean your tools and equipment with clean water occasionally during application. Dried sealant is difficult to remove from just about anything including clothes.

Drying and Curing
Drying time and curing time are two entirely different terms. In warm or hot weather, Energy Seal may begin to skin over in as little as ten minutes while a complete cure may take a couple of weeks. Cooler temperatures will slow both the drying time and curing process.

How to Store Sealants and Finishes During Winter

Freezing temperatures are here! In order to get the best value out of your product investment, know how to store your leftover or unused sealants and finishes during Winter. Here are some guidelines on storage:

In general, it is best not to let any of of these products freeze.  Though some sealants and finishes may be listed as “freeze-thaw stable” it is important to know that any finish or sealant that has been frozen will never completely regain all of the initial properties it had before it was frozen, however, it may still be usable.

Each freeze/thaw cycle log cabin drawingcontributes to the degradation of sealants and finishes. In the event that the product went through multiple freeze/thaw cycles (or more cycles than recommended by the manufacturer) it is most likely that the product is no longer suitable for use and best to start again with a fresh batch.

In the event that the sealant or finish does get frozen, it is best to let the product stay frozen for the duration of the season, rather that bring it inside to thaw and risk it being frozen again. The succession of the freeze/thaw cycle occurring repeatedly is  what primarily causes the breakdown of the product.

See below for product by product guidelines for freeze/thaw stability. Unless otherwise stated all products distributed by LogFinish.com should ideally be stored in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

Product Classification Shelf Life
Outlast Q8 Log Oil Freeze/Thaw Stable Indefinite when stored in a cool, dry place.
NBS 30 Freeze/Thaw Stable Indefinite when stored in a cool, dry place unopened.
Mold-Buster Mildewcide Freeze/Thaw Stable 3-4 years when unopened and not allowed to freeze.
Bug Juice Freeze Thaw Stable Not opened should last up to 2 years. Opened but recapped/tightly sealed same amount of time. If container is not sealed properly, over time it will dry out.
Sikkens Proluxe Cetol Log & Siding Freezable 5 year maximum shelf life when unopened.
Sikkens Proluxe SRD Freezable 2 years maximum when unopened.
Sikkens Proluxe Cetol Maintenance Freezable 5 years maximum when unopened.
WeatherSeal Freeze/Thaw Stable (through at least 10 cycles) 8-10 years when properly sealed. Make sure to remove skin and stir thoroughly before use.
Lifeline Ultra 7 Limited Freeze/Thaw Stable (through 5 cycles) 3 years
Lifeline Ultra 2 Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 years
Lifeline Interior Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Lifeline Acrylic Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Lifeline Advance Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Energy Seal Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
Perma-Chink Log Chinking Freeze/Thaw Stable 3 Years
CheckMate 2 Freeze/Thaw Stable 1 Year
Seal Once Poly Blend Freeze/Thaw Stable up to 3 cycles Unopened shelf life of 18 months.
Seal Once Total Wood Protection Freeze/Thaw Stable up to 3 cycles Indefinite when unopened and stored in  cool, dry place.

 

Introducing Log Gap Caps – Perfect for Sealing Around Doors and Windows

log gap cap foam insert

No more hand cutting foam inserts before caulking around your doors and windows! The Log Gap Cap™ reduces air infiltration where round logs meet window and door trim. Though designed to work with 6″ to 10″ diameter logs, the Log Gap Cap’s uniform shape fits most log profiles. With an easy scissor cut along the flat side, they work in log siding applications. The material is resistant to mold, rot, bacteria, and will not absorb moisture. A perfect companion to Energy Seal applications. Check out step by step instructions on using Log Gap Caps below:

log cap caps log home

 

 

How to Check Your Wood Home for Air Leaks

Reduce your utility bill this Winter by checking for air leaks in your home. A few air leaks can cost you many extra dollars per month. The key is to find and seal these air leaks before the super cold weather sets in.  Check out the 3 ways to successfully locate air leaks below.

Energy.gov  recommends first performing a visual inspection. On the outside of your home, make sure to inspect all areas where two different building materials meet including :

  • All exterior corners
  • Outdoor water faucets
  • Where siding and chimneys meet
  • Areas where the foundation and the bottom of exterior brick or siding meet.

On the inside of your home:

  • Electrical outlets
  • Switch plates
  • Door and window frames
  • Electrical and gas service entrances
  • Baseboards
  • Weather stripping around doors
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Wall- or window-mounted air conditioners.
  • Cable TV and phone lines
  • Where dryer vents pass through walls
  • Vents and fans

Easy Do It Yourself Method

Set aside time to locate air leaks on a cool Fall day, when the outside temperature is at least 20 degrees lower than the temperature in your home.

Items you will need:

  • Small bucket of warm waterEnergy Seal Box Logo
  • A piece of chalk
  • A step stool or ladder depending on the height of your ceilings.
  • Caulking material
  • Backer rod
  • Caulking gun
  • Masking tape
  1. Dip your hand in the water and run your wet hand over the interior walls, making sure to keep your hand about 6-12 inches away from the wall surface.
  2.  You will easily feel the cold air if there are leaks in the walls.
  3. Make sure to use this method around doors and windows, as those are often places where air leaks develop.
  4. Mark these areas where you feel cold air with the chalk.
  5. Once you locate leaks, the best way to close up cracks and crevices is from the outside.  Sealing a leak from the outside will prevent further air infiltration as well as water.
  6. The opening source of the leak outside may be several inches from the spot where it is felt inside the home. Continue to seal the area until the person on the inside no longer detects the air leak. For step by step information on sealing areas on log homes see our Energy Seal application page.
  7. In some areas, it may be necessary to use a flexible backing material, see information on backer rod.

Advanced Do It Yourself Methodblue fan

  1. For a more advanced and detailed way of finding leaks, place a box fan in a window or door blowing outward.
  2. Cover the rest of the opening with plastic sheeting. Doing this will draw cold air into your home through the leaks making them easier to find.
  3. Once you have located and marked your leaks, continue on with the steps listed above.

Hire a Professional

Another option for dealing with the air leaks in your home is hiring a professional to locate and caulk the leaks. If you know you have quite a few drafts and leaks to caulk, this may be the most time-efficient option.

With a little patience, time and diligence you can be on your way to utility savings and a warmer house.

Thanks to Perma-Chink Systems, LLC for providing inspiration and reference for this article.

Additional Source:

http://energy.gov/energysaver/air-sealing-your-home

Should You Choose Energy Seal or Perma-Chink?

LogFinish.com is a stocking distributor of Perma-Chink products. The following article was provided to LogFinish.com for re-publication by Perm-Chink Systems, LLC.

Which Log Home Sealant Should I Use?

We are asked this question very frequently about our two biggest selling log home sealants. Both of these sealants were formulated to weatherproof joinery in log and log sided buildings. Our simplest answer is that in general, Perma-Chink should be used in applications where the seam width is one inch or wider and Energy Seal is a better choice in sealant seams that are narrower than one inch or where joinery was not intended to have chinking applied to it. However, this answer is overly simplistic when you consider the variety of log profiles and joinery types and many different surfaces that come together to make up a finished log structure.

What is the Difference?

Log Home Interior Using Perma-Chink®
perma-chink

Perma-Chink is our original log home sealant (and the company namesake). It was formulated to look like the concrete mortar that was typically used on full-log construction at that time. It is the original elastic log home sealant. Today Perma-Chink is available in eight different colors, some of which look like concrete, the others are various wood tones.

Log Home Interior Using Energy Seal™
energy seal

Energy Seal was formulated at the request of our customers at a much later date. These customers had homes that were usually built with log profiles that did not use chinking, but required weatherproofing some time after they were finished and in use. Because the application surfaces were never intended for a sealant application, they don’t have proper geometry that includes a caulking well to allow for sealant and backing material installation. Consequently, we formulated Energy Seal to have higher elongation performance. Energy Seal comes in a wide selection of 12 colors for customers who would prefer to conceal the sealant or even to match the chinking on their log home.

es-pcEnergy Seal is a Better Choice in the Following Situations:

In general, Energy Seal is a better choice for very demanding, narrow seam application where more stretch is required in a narrow sealant seam. It is also the best choice if you would like the sealant to blend in with the wood surface and not be easily seen. Energy Seal is an excellent choice for use in sealing around doors and windows, butt joints, corners, and junctions between log walls and other surfaces such as beams, rooflines or framed walls.

Perma-Chink is a Better Choice When:

Many log homes are designed, manufactured and constructed with chinking an integral part of the building envelope. Perma-Chink is the clear choice in this situation.  Additionally, Perma Chink is ideal to use when sealing up the junction between wood walls and concrete, brick or stone features like fireplaces, stone accents and walls.