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Replacing Rotten Logs

Replacing Rotten Logs

The rotten log dilemma

Wood only rots between a moisture content of 30 to 60%. Thus if you find a log that is rotten, it is due to the wood/log getting too wet. Generally this results from a few basic causes of water reaching the logs in fairly large amounts. Many times I have talked with people over the telephone and told them their problem without them telling me much about their home.

There are many reasons for wood to rot:

  • The roof is the umbrella that protects the home from the elements. Thus minimal overhangs results in rain drenching the logs.
  • The lack of rain gutters and down spouts allows the water to run off of the roof and be blown onto the logs by the wind. In many cases rain running off of the roof will hit the open deck and splash water against the logs.
  • Finally bushes planted too close to the home can also divert rain water against the logs and this will leave the logs damp for some time as the bushes keep the sun from hitting the logs and drying them.

    Repairing Rotten Logs:

    If you have logs which are rotting (generally the lower courses of logs), then you must repair or replace them and then be prepared to take care of the root cause of water saturating the logs.

  • If the logs have some surface rot, you can chisel out the rotten part of the log down to good solid wood.
  • Then drench the problem area with a wood preservative such as Penetreat. This wood preservative would be the water soluble type which is a borate compound.
  • Then use wood epoxy to cover the area in need of repair.

    Replacing Rotten Logs:

    1. First obtain a suitable replacement from a supplier that handles the same log type as found in you home. ( www.WesternLogHomesuppy.com can manufacture replacement logs for your home. Just give us a call and we would be happy to talk with you.)
    2. Then cut out the offending log using a saber saw with a blade made for cutting metal. This will cut through the spikes or log screws holding the logs together. You will then need to remove the rotten logs using a chain saw and wrecking bar. If the log is badly rotten then this job should not be hard to do.
    3. If the logs are tongue and groove type then the new logs will have to have the tongue removed on top of the new log so that it can slipped into the space left by the old log. It can be attached to the solid logs of the home with the use of plated deck screws.
    4. The final touch is to use a good grade of chinking to seal the joints between the new logs and the existing logs in the log home.
    5. Now apply a wood preservative or to the affected area (preferably the whole home) and then refinish the home. You may also want to look into a wood repair epoxy product to touch up small areas of wood rot that dont require the replacement of the entire log.

    As was mentioned earlier, now take care of the problem that resulted in the logs getting wet in the first place!

    For more information about replacing rotten logs, chinking material, stain or log cabin kits contact us at 970-315-2660