How To Clean Cabin Chinking.
Chinking protects our log homes from the elements by sealing the spaces between the logs. As chinking ages it may reach a point where it looks rough but is not quite ready to be completely redone completely. In this case you may want to clean and paint your chinking to make your log home look better.
3 Steps to clean your log home’s chinking.
While you may be tempted to just clean your log cabin’s chinking, there are a few extra steps that you should include to ensure that your chinking last and log home last.
1. Wash cabin logs and chinking using a log cleaner.
The first step is to wash your logs and chinking using a log cleaner like TSP or OxiClean. Be sure to check with your stain manufacturer and chinking manufacturer in order to make sure that the cleaner is compatible. Wash logs and chinking using a soft bristled brush starting from the bottom up. For more detailed instructions follow this guide: How to clean log cabin exterior walls. Do not use a pressure washer and be sure to get all debris. You can use a knife to remove dangling chinking. Be sure to let everything dry for the appropriate amount of time before moving to the next steps.
2. Fill in cracks with caulk or chinking in a tube.
This is a very important step. Cracks or checks can let the elements in and cause your logs to rot. Use caulk or chinking in a tube to fill in any cracks, gaps, or uneven areas. You can use your finger to press the caulk or chinking in and make it smooth. Make sure that there is not any debris or chinking that is loose. If there is loose chinking be sure to cut it away before filling it in with new chinking. Once you have thoroughly checked and filled in all of the cracks be sure to let it dry for the appropriate amount of time before moving onto the next step.
3. Paint the chinking with a color of your choice.
If your chinking is still discolored or you simply want a different color, then the last step would be to paint your chinking. If you are going to stain your cabin then this should be done after you have stained your logs. It is also important to follow the first two steps before painting. We do not recommend using regular paint and instead recommend using a product like Perma-Chink Chink Paint which comes in 8 different colors ranging from white to a dark brown. This paint is specially formulated to flex and stick to chinking. In order to protect your logs you may want to use painters tape or simply follow the instructions on the can on cleanup while painting. This will give your chinking a brand new look without having to re-chink your entire log home.
Tips on cleaning your log home.
- Weather – Each of these steps requires time to dry and rain can really interfere with the process. Make sure that your weather and humidity will be favorable for at least a week.
- Check with the manufacturer – Not every cleaner, caulk, chinking, or paint is going to be compatible and some might really cause damage. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of all of these products and even your stain used on your logs to ensure compatibility.
- Double check for dirt and debris – During each step you should carry your brush or a rag to remove any dirt or debris that may have blown onto your chinking or logs. This is very important.
- Check your logs – This is the perfect time to inspect your logs for rot, pests, or other problems.
- Remove things that are causing wear or dirt – Which areas are the dirtiest and why? Before you clean inspect the areas that are the dirtiest or have the most wear. Do you need new gutters? Are bushes too close? Prevention is the best solution for log homes. Fix the root of the problem first.