Q: Do I have to seal and caulk ALL of those checks and cracks in my logs?
A: Yes and no. Let me explain.
First, YES - everything needs to be sealed somehow. Remember: sealing those checks and cracks means preventing moisture, bugs, and air from getting into your home. So, sealing them somehow is important. However, NO - they don't all have to be caulked. (Phew! That's a relief!)
Generally, it’s best to take a two-pronged approach to sealing checks and cracks:
- Flood all checks and cracks with a good quality stain. This is helps prevent moisture, in particular, and some insects will be deterred, as well.
- Seal checks that are larger than ¼” wide with backer rod and an elastic sealant (caulking) made for logs. This is especially important on check and cracks on the upper curve of the log. Moisture likes to sit in those and create localized regions of high moisture content, which can damage your stain, lead to peeling, and possibly even rot. (Oh my!) While it’s less important on the lower curve, it’s still best to seal those up, too. Water can travel horizontally.
At the end of the day, the goal is to keep moisture, bugs, and warm air (in the summer) or cold air (in the winter) where they belong – outside. Understanding the goal will help you determine where and when to seal up those checks and cracks.
Handy hint: like the look of the cracks, but still want to seal? Use a very dark brown or black caulking and just slightly recess it in the joint. You get the look of the crack still with the protection you need.
Published on: June 13th, 2019
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