SEALING THE JOINTS AND FILLING CRACKS OF A LOG HOUSE
Tips for installing sealing materials
Insulation of a log house using sealing materials
The joints of a log house can be insulated using multi-purpose sealing materials. Sealing materials Perma-Chink and Energy Seal can be used for insulating the joints of both internal and external walls. In addition to the fact that sealing materials installed in the joints help to preserve the thermal energy of a log house, they can be used to fill cracks caused by the drying out of a wooden house. With the help of sealing materials, protection from the wind is achieved in the log house, while at the same time, the installed elastic layer of sealing materials allows the house to sink evenly into place. Perma-Chink and Energy Seal are available in a wide range of colors, while Perma-Chink is more reminiscent of old-fashioned masonry mortar and fits well with the environment of a rustic home, Energy Seal also fits well with the look of a modern log house.
Follow the guidelines below to get the most out of your sealants
Preparation of logs
The wooden surfaces where the sealing materials are installed must be clean and dry. Do not apply sealants to waxed or oiled surfaces. Also, old filling materials and stains on the log can interfere with the setting of the sealing material and spoil the appearance. If in doubt, do a test with a small amount of material before planning a big job.
Weather conditions during installation of sealing materials
Installation of sealing materials must be avoided in extremely cold or extremely hot weather. In very hot weather, especially in low humidity, it is better to move the filling material under the shade. Timing the smoothing of the sealant is difficult in hot weather, so do not pre-apply large amounts of sealant to the joints. It must be taken into account that smoothing is possible before the appearance of film-order. Avoid installing the material at temperatures above +30°C and also when the treated surface is exposed to direct sunlight.
In low temperatures, never apply sealant to frozen surfaces. It is better to use Perma-Chink, Energy Seal and Check Mate 2 at a temperature of at least +5° C. Remember that minus degrees extend the drying time of the sealing material, thus also the hardening period, when the sealing material reaches its flexibility. Thus, persistently low temperatures during installation can affect the setting process and thus the future performance of the sealant.
After installing sealing materials, the surfaces must be protected from water and rain until the material has dried properly. We must also not forget about protection against rainwater pouring down from the roof in case of rain.
A common mistake made when sealing home walls is to just fill in joint openings or cracks with sealant. The composition of the sealing material makes it possible to adapt to the sinking of the logs. However, if the layer of sealant is too thick, it will lose its ability to accommodate the movement of the log, tearing away from the surface of the wood - sealant should never be applied more than one centimeter to the wood. A support strip is installed at the bottom of the joint to help the sealing material to be uniform, with the help of which the sealing material achieves its maximum possible flexibility during the movement of the logs. A backing strip should be used under the sealant whenever a joint or crack allows it. The main purpose of the backing strip is to prevent the sealant from spreading unevenly. The support strip supporting the material helps to form an elastic and even sealing layer between the logs.
A foam strip, e.g. Backer Rod, as well as a thinner moisture-resistant strip or other material offered by the log house manufacturer is suitable as a support strip. Make sure the material is suitable for the purpose. Press the sealing strip cut to the correct size firmly into place. The sealing strip must not be left outside the joint. Burr-out strip parts can cause too thin parts in the sealant layer. If necessary, fix the sealing strip with stainless fixing clips. However, the fastening clips may be visible through the sealing material. To prevent this, a layer of moisture-proof tape is additionally installed on top of the backing strip layer. The sealing strip can be fixed in the joints of the logs using the same sealing materials, Perma-Chink or Energy Seal. At the same time, it must be ensured that the sealing material used for gluing the support strip does not differ much from the color of the upper sealing material.
Attention! It has been discovered that if log walls are exposed to high temperatures for any reason, the EPS insulation material installed behind the sealant can begin to melt. When this happens, the sealing layer becomes unsightly, but otherwise does not affect the sealing material. The melting point of EPS materials is similar according to all interviewed manufacturers, so one manufacturer's EPS material cannot be preferred over another manufacturer's. The foil-coated EPS insulation did not melt during our tests. Melting has never been noticed with BackerRod-like products. For more information, contact a Perma-Chink Systems representative or log house manufacturer.
Avoiding air bubbles
Air bubbles can form on sealing materials if it is applied to an unsuitable surface or which has been pre-treated with certain finishes, or in excessively hot weather. Walls exposed to direct sunlight should be covered until the sealant is at least partially dry.
The right choice of support material, or support strip, is very crucial for curing air bubbles. You should definitely not use materials that you are not sure about. If you don't know if a material will cause problems or not, don't use it!
Can be used to support sealing material
- Backer Rod products
- only foil-covered EPS insulating materials
- various moisture-resistant foam strips
- materials recommended by the log house manufacturer
Do not use!
- extruded polystyrene materials
- painted sealing strips
In order for the sealed joint to be optimal and allow the logs to sink, the layer of sealing material must be wide enough. The wider the joint, the less likely it is that the log will sink and break the sealing layer.
Before you begin, have all the necessary tools ready at hand. They should be clean and in good working order. Specially designed tools for installing sealants make the job easier and faster and ensure a professional result and appearance. Perma-Chink Systems offers tools and aids for installing sealant.
Installation and smoothing of sealing material
The installed Perma-Chink and Energy Seal joint is easy to smooth. Place the sealing material about a centimeter thick against the wood - this will ensure proper attachment to the wood surface. Spray a little water on the sealant and then smooth with a spatula or other suitable tool (see photos 1 and 2).
Cleaning the log wall after compaction
The sealing material is water-based and can be easily removed from the wood surface with warm water. It is important to clean the stains of the sealing material during the work immediately, while all surfaces are still wet.
Storage of sealing materials
Sealing materials must be stored at a moderate temperature. Avoid hot summer sunlight or sub-zero temperatures. Although sealants are subject to some degree of temperature variation, it is best not to allow them to freeze through. If this does happen, it is better to keep them cold until ready to use, rather than letting the products freeze and re-thaw repeatedly. Also keep sealants away from heat sources such as stoves or fireplaces.