What is Wood Checking?

Have you ever looked at a wooden log and noticed a large crack flowing through it? Ever wonder what caused it to split? Well, cracked wood is known as wood checking.

If you’re not really familiar with wood checking, noticing this type of structural damage could cause you concern. Cracks in wood are normal and not always a sign that there’s something wrong.

However, there are ways to prevent this from happening and ways to verify that the cracks aren’t dangerous. Continue reading to learn more about it.

What Causes Wood Checking?

Shrinkage occurs as the moisture in solid wood posts evaporate and the wood cures, resulting in wood checking. It also causes a reduction in beam or post lengths. However, big cracks are normal and usually not a cause for worry.

The greater the volume of shrinkage that occurs throughout the wood and the broader and more widespread the checking cracks are, the more moisture that was present in the wood at the time of construction.

While excessive weight or poor notching can cause a wood post to split, most of the cracks in wooden beams are caused by shrinkage as the wood dries. They occur down the grain and are not structurally significant.

Checks are mainly an aesthetic issue unless they are absorbing water and creating leaks into the building, decaying, or causing insect damage. This is especially true if the checks transport the water to a badly sealed window or door frame.

When a wooden beam is cracking from high stress the split will reveal evident breaking of wood fibers and drooping in the span of the wood beam.

A wood post with excessive notching or an inadequately drilled hole can put stress on the frame, resulting in a split or structural damage to the structural part.

How to Avoid Leaks in Log Houses

If you’re using milled logs or a log house kit, please follow the manufacturer’s directions for receiving, keeping, and safeguarding logs from the elements on the job site.

Learn beforehand if your log house logs are green, kiln-dried, or sticker-dried. This is important because the moisture level of the logs may vary significantly based on these states.

A property’s framing operations must consider the quality of the framing timber, beams, and logs. Don’t construct with green timber or green logs if you expect them to shift and fluctuate in diameter significantly.

Evaluate the moisture content of structural logs for a log home both before and after they are delivered. Before utilizing the material, talk to your supplier about any surprises or variations in the moisture.

Also, safeguard the wood beams from weather during construction.

To find out more about wood checking prevention, follow the highlighted link.

Understanding Wood and Wood Checking

Hopefully the information above helps you to learn more about wood checking. As you can see, you don’t have to feel nervous about it, unless you notice significant damage!

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