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Question and Answer ArticleLeaking Logs

By Cherie Parker
Published: December 1, 2006
Q: I have a log cabin that is constructed with male/female cut logs. When it storms with high winds, water flows through the logs and runs down the inside front wall, wetting my floors, carpets and furniture (against the wall). The cabin is 6-7 years old. What can I do to correct the problem?
– L.A.Overton; Onaway, Mich.

A: Before working on your immediate leakage problem, take a quick survey of your long-term water repelling plan. Untreated logs absorb water quickly, which can lead to rot and decay; so have your logs been treated with a waterproofing agent? And, if so, has the waterproofing product been reapplied every few years? Do you have an adequate overhang (at least 6 feet)? If you haven’t addressed these issues, water problems may continually plague you.
   
As far as your current leaky-log problem, we asked Steve Erickson from Schroeder Log Home Supply to weigh in. He says your situation is fixable but time consuming.
   
You need to inspect each layer of logs (known as a “course”) for whatever openings are letting in water. When you find an opening, seal it up with a sealant product such as caulking or chinking (a synthetic mortar used to seal the joints between logs).
   
Upward-facing cracks that could pool water are especially dangerous and need to be filled. Erickson says it would be prudent to check around windows and doors first. These areas are usually the most vulnerable.

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