Saturday, September 8, 2018

Let the chinking begin

Chinking these days is done with foam material.  We ordered a 500' roll of 1" foam to do our chinking.  In the past, chinking was done with rocks, sand, hair, leaves, old rags, whatever was at hand to fill the cracks between logs.  We cut some of the foam lengthwise to fill cracks that varied in size.  Some had to be nailed in with a nail gun and finishing nails, some could be stuffed into the crack with a putty knife.  
Once the chinking was done, we moved on to "daubing".  For this we used a material called "Permachink" which is a mortar mix that is a bit more pliable than cement mortar as it has a silicone additive.  We bought a couple of essential tools:  A refillable caulking gun, and a plate with a screw hole the size of the end of the caulk gun that fit over the 5 gallon bucket of Permachink. This tool moved down in the bucket as the material was sucked out, so it kept a seal on top of the mix in the bucket. I wasn't strong enough to fill the caulk gun so that became solely Ron's job.
We developed a procedure that worked pretty well.  We both worked on chinking, then Ron squeezed the Permachink material over the foam.  I followed with a putty knife smoothing out the material and then used a paintbrush and water to give a final touch to seal the edges and make it look nice.
  While not rocket science, it is a huge job to chink an entire house! We used up the first five gallons of Permachink on the little section under the window on the back porch.  We ordered 10 more buckets of chink.  It took us four days to do the first side - but at our age, we only work about 6 hour days.

We moved onto the other "easy" side of the house facing the lake on the 5th day.  We were coming down a pretty nice improvement curve and finished that side in three more days.  So far we had been working on nice flat decks, with a little overhead work, but all could be done from a nice safe step stool.
Now we got to the steeper part of the house and bigger ladders became a part of our work.  But we've got the work down and are working faster and better, so we finished this side in just two days.

The final side of the house is without a doubt, the scariest. 
Probably not OSHA approved - but it was surprisingly stable and we are nearly done with the last side of the house.  It takes about 2 to 5 weeks to completely cure, so when it's ready, we'll restain the entire house and it should be good to go for our lifetime.  It is becoming much more clear why the previous four owners of this house never did chink it.