Split/checking in new wood roof support post
About a year ago we had one of our front porch roof support post replaced. The new post is cedar and measures a full 4" by 6" by about 9 foot. This summer it started to show a split. Being a master of procrastination I did nothing to take care of the problem. Now winter is besetting us and my wife thinks is concerned about snow and other moisture getting in this crack and doing additional damage. The split is about 6 feet long almost continuous. About 1/16" inch wide and about an inch deep (seems like a yikes to me).
Normally I would think about using something like Durham's Rock Hard Putty, but temperatures are going below freezing tonight and going to stay there for awhile. I called the Minwax support line to ask about their thoughts of using Minwax Hi Performance wood filler. When I called I said the crack was about 1/4" wide (not realizing it was only 1/16" wide). The rep checked with someone and came back and said none of their products were meant to be used for that type of situation.
Since the post is painted white, I also have a tube of acrylic white latex caulk also sitting around. However I'm reticent about using that also because of the freezing conditions that will soon come.
For the interim I took some clear packing tape and put it over the crack so that it won't accumulate any more moisture. But I'm looking for suggestions.
Split of almost but non-continous but about 6 feet long. Think it is probably a checking split. Split is about 1/16" thick and about 1" deep. Wood is cedar.
Durham's Rock Hard Putty: worried about not drying sufficiently before freeze and then the water expansion doing damage
Minwax High Performance wood filler: Minwax rep said their filler wasn't meant for this type of repair.
Latex Acrylic Caulk: worried about moisture content with soon to develop freezing temperatures.
Have a Great Day,
Personally, I don't think it's that big of a deal. As soon as you get a break in the weather, you might want to work some primer, oil based if possible, into the crack to seal it for the winter. In the Spring, fill with some exterior rated filler, sand smooth, prime and top coat.
This will seldem weeken a post, checking occures when the outside drys faster than the inside. As it drys it shrinks and the outside is like a wrap that is to small to stretch around the center and something has to give. You would have paid a lot more for a post that was dried properly to prevent this. Allow it to dry thru the winter fill and paint next summer.
This guy explains it pretty well. http://www.daizen.com/files/daizen-understanding_timber.pdf
This is normal. No problem really.
You need an expandable caulk like ISO. It is paintable or even comes in 360 colors. You can order it online, or go to your local Lowes DIY store. The caulk will work in freezing weather and takes about 7 days to cure, so don't play with it once you get it set with a putty knife into the hole and scraped down.
I use it all the time, works just fine.
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