For logs with significant rot damage (50% or more):
If a log on your home is more than 50% eaten away by rot, the structural integrity of the home has been compromised and it is important to move ahead with a plan to replace the rotted log. Make sure to contact an experienced log home renovation professional to replace a log. A number of such professionals can be found on the Find a Contractor section of LogFinish.com.
If you just have the beginnings of a log rot problem (i.e. a soft spot in the log) consider the below treatments:
1. Remove, Protect and Replace
- Make a vertical cut on either side of the soft spot to the depth of the soft wood.
- Then use a coal or vibrating chisel and hog out the rotted wood until you reach solid sound wood.
- Level out the area to a flat surface.
- Coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate) to prevent further expansion of rot.
- Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days.
- Using a piece of log siding or a section of whole log cut to the depth of the hole, cut a segment to precisely fill the gap.
- Fasten the section in place with Liquid Nail and caulk all edges with Energy Seal. Apply Shellguard RTU and then the wood finish you have selected.
- As water is usually the cause of rot issues, make sure that the source of the water problem gets solved.
- Following the steps listed above to hog out the rotted wood.
- When you get to solid wood, coat the area with Shellguard RTU (borate).
- Allow the Shellguard to dry for 3-5 days and then re-coat the area with M-Balm. M- Balm is a 2 part epoxy primer. This prepares the area to accept the E-Wood Filler.
- Fill the primed area with E-Wood and shape to the log profile. The epoxy filler will be stronger than the original wood.
- Sand the area and apply finish.
- Please note: The E-Wood has little absorbency and must be used in conjunction with film forming finishes such as Lifeline Ultra 2 or Ultra 7 , Sikkens Log & Siding or WeatherSeal. Penetrating products such as Q8 Log Oil and Seal Once Poly Blend do not work well in this situation. E-Wood has a wood tone but it may not match your homes exterior wood tone. Use multiple stain coats to minimize any blotchiness and spotting.
Article authored by Bill Frykberg, LogFinish.com