More than a million log homes built in the United States in the 19th century are still standing. Many are still being used as primary residences. As long as you protect your log home from weather and moisture, you will ensure its longevity.
First, the logs themselves are shaped and fitted to minimize air and water infiltration. They feature any number of different horizontal interfaces, from the simple Swedish cope, where the bottom of one log is curved to fit the curve of the top of the log below it, to a more intricate tongue-and-groove profile.
In addition, log-home companies may prescribe the use of flexible sealing materials—such as foam compression gaskets, adhesives and splines—to reinforce the seal between their logs. Caulk is also a mainstay, preferably one that will adhere to both log surfaces as the logs move while settling.
Some sealant manufacturers have developed caulking specifically intended for log homes. Chinking is a variation of caulking that provides a decorative touch, as well as functional application. Today's chinking formulations adhere during log movement.