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STRUCTURAL INSPECTIONS & DEFECTS
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DEFINITIONS of Mobile Home, Doublewide, Modular, Panelized
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DISASTER BUILDING INSPECTION & REPAIR
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
FIRE DAMAGE vs MOLD DAMAGE
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
FRAMING DAMAGE, INSPECTION, REPAIR
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LOG HOME GUIDE
MOBILE HOMES, DOUBLEWIDES, TRAILERS
MODULAR HOME CONSTRUCTION
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
PRE-CUT & KIT HOMES
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
ROT, FUNGUS, INSECT DAMAGE
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
STRUCTURAL WOOD ASSESSMENT
TIMBER FRAMING, ROT
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
Log home air & water leaks: Log home spline and sealant mistakes: here we dexplain methods to detect the omission of splines or gaskets during the construction of milled log or solid log houses, and we suggest repair methods to stop log house drafts and leaks.
Readers should also see Log House Leak Diagnosis & Cure. Our page top photo (discussed below) shows that without a doubt the butt joint of these two logs was not splined nor sealed against water leaks and air drafts. The stains on the log ends confirm that water has indeed leaked into the structure at this point.
This series of articles provides information on the inspection and diagnosis of damage to new and older log homes and includes description of log house and log siding insulation values and alternatives, and also a description of the characteristics of slab-sided log homes as well as all other types of log home construction. We include illustrations of log structures from several very different areas and climates in both the United States and Norway. Our page top photo shows a modern kit log home constructed in New York State.
For modern kit and factory-sourced log structures we include details of common construction and building defects that cause water and air leaks and ultimately rot damage and we point to key problem areas that need to be inspected carefully when buying or maintaining a log home.
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What goes wrong during construction of a log home wall? This article describes gasket and caulk omissions and failure to keep the wall plumb and true.
Rushing Log Set Crews Omit Sealants?
Air & Water Leaks at Log Home Corners
We couldn't see any sign of a gasket in this receiving groove at the corner of a log home where stains and draft complaints were traced to the building corners (photo above left). Often the builder will run the gasket wild past the end of the overlapping corner logs, then trim it off later, leaving a visible gasket end to confirm its presence. (Log home manufacturer instructions may vary on this detail.)
Omission of Splines or Gaskets on Log Homes at Log End Butt Joints in Log Houses
Omission of T-jambs, Splines, Gaskets Causes of Leaks at Log House Windows
Where the window side splines are omitted, such as at this New York log home, the window will leak air and water around its frame. A retrofit project using caulk and custom window head and sill flashings might avoid having to completely remove every window and reinstall them with correct seals.
Probing horizontally into the openings cut for log splines you should be able to feel the presence of a gasket or caulk along-side or atop the spline openings.
From inside a building if you see daylight between logs of an exterior wall, or if you feel drafts during windy weather, or if you can probe all the way through the wall such as in our photo above, splines and/or gaskets may have been omitted.
Keeping Log Home Walls Plumb During Construction
Another detail about log home construction is worth mentioning, though it's not a spline or sealing defect.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about mistakes in applying or omitting splines used between logs in log home construction
Questions & answers or comments about how to detect and correct missing splines and sealants in log home walls and at windows or doors
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Log Home Design, Inspection, Maintenance, Repair References & Product Sources