More Questions About Chinking

by Ben
(Ontario, Canada)

I've come across your site via a youtube video and I have some more questions about chinking.

We've just moved in to a log home circa 1880 and are repairing some of the chinking. I have run in to a few snags.

Firstly, I mixed up your 3 to 1 recipe with seemingly great success and realized I was using sand mix instead of straight sand. So the final ratios will be off. I'm wondering if this will cause me problems as I know using the wrong mix can destroy a wall in other applications, such as brickwork.

My second question has to do with the use of the diamond lath. Looking at the chinking on the house now, it seems that eventually there are cracks and the chinking separates slightly from the wall possibly allowing water to get behind. So my concern is that deliberately leaving a space behind might promote an environment for rot to occur. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Thanks for taking the time to make this helpful site,


From Banjoe:

Dear Ben,
I made a similar mistake once using the pre mixed mortar. It began falling apart within 3 years and had to be replaced. I am not one hundred percent clear which way your mistake has gone.

If you have too much sand and this is the exterior we are talking about, you'll probably want to break the chinking out and start over. Otherwise, it will fall out soon enough and begin letting moisture in.

If, on the other hand, you have too little sand becasue of your mistake, I would not worry too much about that. It might not be ideal, but it should still hold up well. Also, if you are repairing interior chinking, it will probably last a lot longer either way. If that is the case, you could just watch it awhile and only replace it when it becomes necessary...maybe never!

On your second question: I trowel the mortar up into the slot made with the chainsaw. I dont cram it full, but I let the tip of the trowel get enough up in there to cover the lathe. Between this and the angle of the lathe which causes the chinking to slope outward, it keeps the moisture out very well.

I hope this helps! - Joe

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