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mdobbrow 05-10-2012 09:23 PM

Cracks in Load Bearing Post
4 Attachment(s)
Hello -

I'm doing some remodeling on my house and have exposed a large 8x8 load-beaing post, which is one of the primary posts towards the front of the house. The post has a large crack running top to almost the bottom, and a slightly smaller crack from the bottom to 1/3 up the post. The post is approximately 8' tall. The crack appears shallow in places but does get up to 3-4 inches deep in others, narrowing as it goes inwards in all cases.
(See pix attached - it's the dark beam, there's a screwdriver inserted in the crack)

The post looks like original construction, meaning it's about 80 years old.

Is this normal drying and cracking? Should it be replaced? Shored up? Or perhaps strengthened with several lateral bolts to hold it together? Other options?

Any advice is much appreciated.


mdobbrow 05-10-2012 09:27 PM

ps. the left part of the post is painted beige - i.e. that's not a separate 2x4

nealtw 05-10-2012 10:25 PM

The crack is the same colour as the rest of the post. I doubt if has weakened much. Usually when engineers see this kind of stuff they usually ask us to beef it up with another 2x to fit the post. In your case 2x8 with lots nails like 2 every 4 or 6 inches. When I have questioned them about strength I've always got some dumb answer like " Your here how much does a 2x8 cost."

inspectorD 05-11-2012 04:54 AM

That will be fine. You also have a wall supporting the structure around it.
This "crack" is called a check in the beam. It happens when a large beam dries. This is normal.
Good luck on your project.:)

mdobbrow 05-12-2012 09:16 PM

thank you nealtw and inspectorD for your replies - most helpful.


nealtw 05-13-2012 09:51 PM

Just don't get the idea that it can be removed even if there are walls there, the post may be needed for a point load above.

BridgeMan 05-14-2012 02:10 AM

If it helps you sleep better at night, seal the cracks with a low-modulus epoxy gel. End of story.

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