www.rotdoctor.comShopping CartWood Treatment & Preservation Products
OrderProductsUsing EpoxiesUsing PolyurethanesTestingWooden BoatsFiberglass BoatsHomesLog HomesQ & A
ProtectionLog RepairInsect DamageCompatabilityRepair ProductsApplication ChartQ & A

Site Map

Protecting Your Log Home Against Rot
We are not experts on the protection of log homes, but we are experts on the protection and restoration of wood. Log homes are big and there's a lot of wood and often that wood is of unknown quality. It may be beginning to rot before it is even in place. You just don't know. It will certainly be subject to the environmental conditions which can lead to rot after it is constructed.

Our products are all epoxy-based, and nothing protects wood better than epoxy - if you can get it into the wood. So what you need is a penetrating epoxy, one that is carried into the wood, one that is slow-curing and has a special affinity for wood. This is our Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer™ (CPES).
Click here to see the test results that prove this.

But epoxy is expensive - all epoxies are expensive. To keep costs within reason, we have recommendations about the special places that you should use our CPES, as well as other suggestions on how to help prevent wood rot and deterioration in your log home. What we have to say should be helpful.

a bad roof design
a good roof design
Over Hangs

Preventative Measures: General
•Keep rain water off the logs! Many log homes are designed without adequate roof overhangs. The result is that the logs are constantly wet in bad weather, and wet wood, some air and a little warmth are perfect for the propagation of rot fungi. Take a look at the pictures here. The first is a large log home, tall, and with minimal roof overhangs. Extend those overhangs by several feet, as the folks did in the second picture, and you are adding some protection to your walls. Nothing you can put on the logs, with the exception of coating them in epoxy, is going to keep all the water out. Builders and log protectant people may tell you otherwise, but it isn't true. Like wooden boats, log homes are going to take in water.

Know before building from which direction the wind-blown weather comes, and on that side of the home take special precautions with long overhangs and foundation walls to protect the logs and keep them well away from the ground. A porch with a roof can be very helpful.

•Protect decks with roofs or large overhangs, or at least have gutters on the roof above the deck to keep the water from falling directly onto the deck. The water hits the deck near the wall, splashes against the sill log and first log courses and you have the potential for problems.

•Don't build your log home too close to the ground - put it up on a non-wood foundation. Water splashing from the ground to the logs equals wet logs, and wet logs equals almost certain rot.

•Avoid long log overhangs on the ends and corners. A few inches overhang is plenty. The long overhangs are just channels to get water to the inner parts of the log, where conditions for rot and deterioration are ideal. We know... the overhangs are part of the rustic look. If you gotta do it, then at least apply Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer™ generously to the endgrain of the logs, and to all checks and cracks for the protection of the wood. And don't allow the tops of the log overhangs to be flat, which only adds to the problem.

•Make sure chimney and gable dormers are properly flashed. This is a problem in any home, but it's worse on a log home. If you see water leaking into the home, you can be sure it's also saturating the logs.

•Make sure all windows and doors are flashed above the trim top, or at least have a log with a positive drip edge.

•Exterior sealing between the logs is essential. Systems such as the grooves with tape sealants are not enough. The water will get in.

Preventative Measures: Using Penetrating Epoxy Sealer
•Make an active search for wood problems. Open cracks, checks, soft wood, deterioration, rot - and apply CPES™ when the weather is dry. Epoxy will not displace water in wet logs. If you catch it when the wood is dry, you can act immediately to correct and repair. If you wait, the weather will turn on you and it will be too late. The good news is that rot is a slow process, generally, and the wood will still be treatable the following spring.

Basically, we suggest that every area of potential rot be coated with the Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer™. We make some suggestions below. You must remember this: There are a wide variety of surface sealers and caulking compounds available and featured on the log home web sites, but none of them are penetrating epoxies! Many will not penetrate very far and none will reconstitute wood that is beginning to decay or is decayed. Their protection, if any, is limited. Wood soaked in epoxy will last almost indefinitely. Rot fungi and insects will not eat it or chew into it. Water and weather will not wash it away. You can put whatever you want on after the CPES, but it is the CPES that will do the protecting. The CPES will penetrate through and around wood soaked with water/borate solutions and glycol/borate mixes. But we still recommend the CPES first.

Pay special attention to the following areas:

1. Checks, cracks, knots and log ends
Cracks, knots and checks should be saturated with CPES. You can fill them later, if necessary, but the epoxy soaked into the interior wood will help protect the wood from rot and insects. There are soft fillers available on which we have no opinion (other than the fact that they almost always leak and they do not prevent rot or restore rotted wood), or you can use a filler made of our Layup & Laminating Epoxy Resin and sawdust or wood flour. It's the sturdiest, longest lasting filler you can apply.

log ends

The log ends should have the CPES soaked in as well. They will accept a surprising amount, which is what you want, because the mixture is wicking deeply into the log. Sure, the epoxy is expensive, but not nearly as expensive as replacing or repairing rotted logs. Apply as much CPES™ as the wood will accept, and coat the exterior ends as well.

log cracks

2. Corner Joints
Corner joints are a prime area for water entrance into logs. Rot can develop and often will run down the inside of the timber. You may not see it for years. Again, in dry weather, saturate the corner joints with Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer™. It will follow the same paths as the water and if deteriorated wood is present, it will reconstitute it. In new homes, presoak the corner joints with CPES.

corner designs

3. Joints and Cracks Around Windows and Doors
The log/frame area around windows and doors is a prime spot for water saturation and rot. The frame rots, the log rots. Even if properly flashed, water can still seep in. Give these areas a good treatment with CPES.

window frame

4. Interiors
If you have rot outside, there is a possibility that you have it inside as well. Examine especially the inside of sill logs, doorways and window areas. For other interior areas, we refer you the Home Section of our web site.

Log home owners need to pay particular attention to high-up joists and girders. Due to the nature of log home construction, water is easily trapped in notches and joints. These need to be inspected periodically, and especially if knowing leaks have occurred in roofs or upper outside walls.

log girders

UPS Logo Rot Doctor, The BBB Business Review

www.rotdoctor.comShopping CartWood Treatment & Preservation Products
OrderProductsUsing EpoxiesUsing PolyurethanesTestingWooden BoatsFiberglass BoatsHomesLog HomesQ & A
ProtectionLog RepairInsect DamageCompatabilityRepair ProductsApplication ChartQ & A

Rot Doctor Logo The Rot Doctor, Inc.
P.O. Box 30612 • Seattle, WA 98113
Voice: 206.364.2155  •  Fax: 206.364.4744
E-mail: drrot@rotdoctor.com
Order by phone, fax, mail, or e-mail.
Accepted Creidt Cards
© 1997-2020 The Rot Doctor, Inc.
All products ship within 2 business days from both coasts!
Our business hours are 6:30 AM to 5:30 PM Pacific Time, Monday-Friday.
Tech support is available over weekends and holidays.