MY POST HAS A LARGE CRACK IN IT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
“Splits” and “checks,” as they are commonly called in the industry, are a normal and unavoidable part of owning an outdoor product made from pressure-treated Southern Yellow Pine.
A “check” is defined as a separation of the wood, normally through the rings of the lumber and is the result of seasoning. These “splits” and “checks” are part of the nature of lumber and are an unavoidable part of the drying process.
What often happens is once you’ve received your structure and install it, you probably notice the nice finish and smooth lumber. This is because we keep most of our nice kiln-dried and smoothly, milled lumber indoors and away from additional rain and moisture. However, once your structure is re-introduced to the outdoors with external effects, such as humidity, rain, and the sun, those external effects begin to interact with the lumber and the moisture content begins to change.
As a result of the change in moisture, “checks” and “splits” begin to occur due to the outer surface of the lumber drying and shrinking faster than the inside. The center of the lumber, swollen with moisture, holds solid and the shrinking exterior gives way and splits open. Although an aesthetic issue “checks” rarely diminishes the service life of properly treated lumber. Most often, as the post or beam dries to an equal amount of moisture throughout the board, these “checks” and “splits” will decrease in size or disappear over time.
When a check occurs, grab the stain provided with your structure, and touch up the exposed lumber inside the “check” or “split.” By protecting all exposed areas of the wood, this will help keep your structure looking its best and protect the newly exposed wood.
Just know this is simply the nature of lumber and will add to the character of the structure.