Log homes are much beloved for their nostalgic appeal but one downside is that they typically form leaks between the timbers. Luckily, True North Log Homes has come up with a couple of nice tricks to keep their logs homes from coming apart at the seams and avoid the issue and cost of chinking every year. The walls are literality pushed down and springs squeeze the gasketed logs together for the life of the home. The environmental impact of the relative energy savings of these log walls is complemented by the fact that the wood is all FSC-certified, reducing the home’s impact.
What’s not to love about log homes? Well, a lot. A log home is very inefficient compared to even basic standard wall systems but they do work well in some climates. While wood is an OK insulator, measuring R 1.4 per inch, logs also have a tendency to move a lot, and all those openings between joints lead to huge heat losses. The solution thus far has been to chink the logs every year, which means most of the time the walls leak air.
True North Log Homes puts a rod every 6 feet or so and adds a spring on top to keep the logs held tight as they settle over time. What makes the system unique is a self tightening cap dubbed the Log Lock which ratchets up the bolt as the wall moves downward thus allowing the spring to keep its original tension. To reduce air infiltration between the log joints, 6 gaskets are employed creating multiple isolated air spaces and reduced vertical thermal bridging.
The system is pretty clever in keeping the air out, but also impressive is the sourcing of all the logs from an FSC certified forest— which means that the homes’ construction footprints do minimal damage to the environment. Wood is one of the few building materials that acts like a carbon sink, and done well, wood buildings may be the lowest impact type of construction.
Photos © True North Log Homes