Chinking is a very important step in protecting a log home. Chinking is a flexible textured sealant that seals open gaps between logs to eliminate heat loss and air infiltration. While chinking can look similar to traditional mortar used in masonry work, it is actually quite different. In most cases it is a pure acrylic that adheres to logs and stretches with heating and cooling cycles to maintain a tight seal despite the logs' movement.
Chinking is usually applied on the horizontal lines between the logs, at vertical corners and anywhere that logs meet siding. For additional protection it is sometimes applied around windows and doors. Chinking should always be applied on both the interior and exterior of the home. Like caulking it is imperative that chink is applied properly, with backer to create two point adhesion and to prevent future tearing. Of all the sealing steps, chinking is usually the most expensive.
Chinking comes in a wide variety of colors and textures to match your finish and desired aesthetic. Some home owners like the contrast of the chinking to the color of their logs, but some prefer that they blend into the same color. In many cases this preference means the difference between putting chink on before or after you stain. I personally prefer a dramatic contrast as I think it makes a log home look great, and offers the timeless look of a log home we're all so accustomed to. Either way, when performed properly, it really makes the exterior of your logs look incredible!