Log Home 1970 Inspecting

Log Home-Half log 1970-Inspecting
I recently inspected this half-log home with a lot of problems…What do ya think?
Loking at the old casement duo-pane windows, I’m thinking it’s built around 1970.
The logs are cut on three sides to aproximately 6”x 6” width resting on the foundation wall. The interior has been finished with 2x4 stud walls. The exterior second floor is wood plank and ply sided.
The log (and exterior) condition is poor with a few soft spots and one “Local Rot” location, including the sill rot. There is a lot of void between the logs and any filler used appears to be fiberglass and expanding foam. At this point, I’m thinking that the sheathing and weatherproof membrane are doin’ all the work behind the faux logs…and recommendations are to repair localized rot and monitor…
Other problems with the exterior are: No flashing above/around windows, no flashing beneath exterior plywood (t-111). Caulk used above bay window roof/wall, etc…
Going inside, I see that there are many water stains. Realtor reminds me of the new roof…
Here’s the thing…In the area of the “Local Rot” (and beetle holes), there are the two main electric panels…around the panels is opening enough to see the log wall from behind. Now I see that the logs are stacked outside the stud walls with an inch or two between them. In this section there’s no weather barrier. The only thing resembling a weather barrier is the urethane sheet backing the insulation between the studs. The insulation has a vapor barrier on the house side.
So now I’m looking at a half log wall with a lot of voids and no moisture barrier and no sheathing. More rot is evident on the log interior here…Of course, I can only see a small sample. It’s a moisture, varmint highway! Q? Has anyone assembled/gutted this old veriety of log home? It appears to me that one must have gutted the house (newer interior finishes) and torn out old damaged felt/barrier and not replaced it…or, they relied on the 6” logs to do the weatherproofing here. Recommendations to seal exterior? Or rebuild the exterior? I passed it on for ‘further evaluation’ spelling out all the shoutcommings “visible”.
Bill O

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Bill did you take the Inspecting Log Cabins course offered by InterNachi.
There is allot of info in it that you can apply to this report and really there is no easy solution for what you are describing.

the log style is a D exterior
the tongue & groove tops & bottoms come in a variety of configurations
most of what you depict with probe is absent-improper chinking, requires immediate removal of deficient materials w/replacement of approved materials

the open checking should also be repaired at the same time

as far as air/vapor barriers @ the furred or interior walls would have been determined by what was acceptable for your region during original construction or at the time the remuddle occurred and not much different than any other veneer app
many are just left as is at the interior

leaks are leaks regardless of the roof-wall system
they all require immediate repair & remediation


Bill, did you perform a termite (WDI) inspection on the house as well?

I did an inspection on an 1898 log cabin, 5000 SF along with a WDI inspection earlier in the year and there were whole portions of logs that were missing, I couldn’t believe the roof wasn’t sagging were the logs were gone.

I’ll post pics tomorrow if I get a chance.

Thanks for the input…

  • I’ll soon cross the INACHI course off my list…
  • So the original log stack wouldn’t need horizontal chinking, but after the years someone should have sealed/chinked the voids and checking. Vertical seams probably shrank away from original seams. Seams to me like it was built with non-cured lumber.
    -Are they spiked together? This was built prior to state code here, but without plywood/planks on the studs, the engineer would have relied on these for structural bracing also, I’m thinking…not just veneer, weather guard. The upper wall sits atop of the log veneer, atop of the block wall. More like a sheathing than a veneer.
    -I’m still thinking that a moisture barrier/wrap/felt was originally here…Now it’s not…Proper chinking should take care of that…The new insulation has a vapor barrier on the correct side…
    -Thanks for the drawing…
    -No, no WDI inspection. Made reference to the beetle holes (local at the wet rotten sill) and recommended one. I couldn’t access the crawlspace. Remodelers apparently covered up the hatch. I’m sure everything’s fine down there! Hah!
    Thanks y’all…

all modern (late 50s on) log homes should have some kind of gasket material installed between log courses. In older homes it’s usually fiberglass batt. If the walls will not prevent air movement through the wall, they should be chinked with modern synthetic chinking.