The Rot Doctor


Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999

We had a Lincoln Log home built in 1989. From the beginning, we had leaking around the windows almost in every room. The interior walls are stained. My husband has caulked everything in sight and it still leaks. The Lincoln Log company was not helpful at all with any solution - just the recommendation to caulk.

We aren't sure if we have rotted logs or not, but every time we get a really wind-driven rain, the water finds its way into the house around the windows. Although there is no sign of rotting, we know water has gotten into the logs and want to nip any problem in the bud. We are pretty concerned about this.

Have you formulated a listing of companies or contractors around the country who are familiar with the process and products you recommend for log homes?

Thank you.

Ronald S.


I would be happy if I could give you the name of a contractor who could solve your problems, but we cannot. Our products are used by some contractors, but they are usually told to do so by the homeowner.

It sounds to me as if you have shallow roof overhangs which in turn allow the rain to drive against the side of the structure and, as you suggest, drive the water right through the cracks. You have a situation familiar to boat owners, and I'll tell you what they do:

1) Clean out all the cracks you can find where or near where the water is coming in. Scrape them bare of all previous caulk and open them up in the summer, when the wood is warm and reasonably dry.

2) After cleaning, wash/wipe down the cracks with acetone or xylene.

3) Apply CPES (Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer) generously to the cracks and the area surrounding the cracks. Allow the wood to take all the CPES it will absorb. This will solidify any soft wood and severely restrict the possibility of rot fungi infestation.

4) After a couple of days, go back with a marine-grade caulk. We specifically recommend 3-M's 5200, which is a very strong adhesive, is flexible and available in a mahogany color. It's most readily available from a large marine store like West Marine. This is good stuff and bonds strongly with CPES soaked wood.

If you follow this procedure, and you get all the cracks, your leaks should stop, the wood will be highly resistant to rot. Can you get a contractor to do this? Maybe, but it does take some patience and attention and most home owners do it themselves.

Come on back if I can answer any further questions -- we want to be as helpful as we can.