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I have some Portland cement chinking that is otherwise in good shape, but there are some small gaps or cracks where it has shrunk and no longer adheres to the log. I can see daylight from the inside, which has not been chinked yet. Is there a way to repair this short of removing all of the chinking and starting over?

Thanks for any advice you can give me?

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Hi, John.

There are some things you can try....

1) Some people will just put more portland cement in those gaps. Of course, the same thing will happen over time because cement isn't flexible, but it will hold a seal for a bit.

2) Some people will use synthetic chinking just in those small gaps. This, too, can work for a short time, but portland cement is an inherently weak substance. It doens't hold up to the pull that synthetic chinking can put on it and will readily fail (crumble! yuck!) if there is extreme or prolonged movement of any kind.

3) The third thing people do is tape over the existing portland cement with clear packing tape or duct tape, then chink over top with synthetic chinking. This generally lasts the longest but is also the most expensive option (at least up front).

There's no need to dig out the portland cement all unless it's crumbling & falling out. If the cement is in otherwise OK shape, just not up against the log as normal, there's no need to take it out. Do make sure it's dry if you go the route of using synthetic chinking, as any excess moisture can cause problems with adhesion & curing of the synthetic applied over it.

Hope that helps!

-- Charis w/ Sashco - www.sashco.com/log - cbabcock@sashco.com
Thanks, Charis. This helps a lot -- I'll try not to despair!

John

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