Today we’ll speak about heat insulation of Pavel’s log house. Only good caulking could insure it.
Caulking is the processe of sealing joints or seams, or closing up gaps in various structures. Any log house has some gaps between rows of beams. While they are getting dry the gaps enlarge unevenly.
Modern carpenters recommend to caulk twice. First time during building process, second time — in about 8–12 months, when the house gives the maximum shrinkage. One should caulk all the walls at once, in order to avoid warping of the framework. Nowadays for caulking they use:
- flax-jute fiber;
- basalt fiber;
- polyurethane foam;
- mineral wool.
They use caulking irons of different width and with different blades. A qualified modern team caulks an average log house in a couple of days, achieving very good thermal insulation. And what about the Middle Ages?
Of course, caulking was quite different. Firstly, there was another insulator. Flax oakum was too expensive material, it was used for textile production. There was no jute because there were no contacts between Ancient Russia and Ancient Bangladesh. So, they used moss — a widespread material in our latitudes. Secondly, the caulking technology was different. We know from archaeology that there were different approaches to this question, depending on the purpose of a building and the social status of its owner. There are homesteads with a very neat jointing and temporary or very poor huts, put up and caulked «crudely». In the forest-steppe zone joints generally were insulated with clay. Remains of such coating sometimes allow to determine the height of the walls. There were many reasons why some huts were built rather poor. For example it could be a temporary winter hut for a military or commercial unit, or a jerry building for homeless victims of a fire.
So, not all dwellings of early Middle Ages fit our ideas of «good old architects». Many of these dwellings would make a modern carpenter contemptuously twisting his mouth.