Cracks in 6x6 Posts A Concern?

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papakevin

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I recently had a contractor build an overhang on my back patio. Because the first floor of my house has 10' ceilings, I asked him to make sure he didn't block the view from the windows looking out. When it was completed last Summer I was very pleased, but now large cracks have appeared in the support posts.

My question, is this a structural concern? While it looks terrible, not sure the long term impact it will have on the structure. Should I fill the cracks in with some type of resin compound? Suggestions?View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Repair1431345398.593658.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByHome Repair1431345410.476392.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByHome Repair1431345421.276405.jpgView attachment ImageUploadedByHome Repair1431345435.627397.jpg


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joecaption

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It's called checking, caused from uneven drying.
No filler is needed or would work.
That beam should have been double through bolted to the 6 X's, not just nailed.
 

CallMeVilla

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He used unseasoned wood. May not have known but that is an ugly check. You could make him replace it.

My larger concern is the lack of metal joining between the new posts and the joists. I blew up your photo and I don't see any ties at the top of the posts. Are they simply nailed? That is not adequate or allowed.
Here is a tie that would do the job, requiring thru-bolting to hold the beam and post together.

TIE 100.jpg

PORCH 1.jpg
 

elbo

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those cracks are usually not a problem for non structural use, however, I would be concerned in your case,because that wood is going to expand and contract with the weather changes especially during the winter when any moisture freezes. Repairing the cracks with filler isn't going to work. But there is a fix.
1- carefully lay out location for holes to be drilled all the way way through the posts
2- using a forstner bit , drill into the post only as far as you need to go to allow a bolt head to be below the surface of the wood, and the same for the other side for the nut.
3- now drill through the post using whatever size drill you need for the shank of the through bolt. If you laid it out carefully, both ends should match at the center of the hole made by the forstner bit
4- insert bolt and secure with a nut, but before tightening the nut, inject polyurathane glue into the crack ( you might have to use compressed air to blow the glue in deep ) poly glue is best for this as it needs moisture for it to cure properly, and the posts are probably damp, if not , squirt some water in the cracks and let the excess run out.
5- now tighten up the bolt/nut,but do not over tighten it.
6- now, insert a plug in the space that you left when drilling with the forstner bit, or, if you're going to paint it, use body filler
7- now repeat the process about a foot down from (or up ) where you started
Its a lot of work but but less than rebuilding if the posts split and fail.
 

joecaption

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If it's through bolted there is no need for that ugly bracket.
The post is under compression, not side loaded so the checking has no effect on strength.
Unless you use kiln dried after treatment lumber all pressure treated lumber is soaking wet when you buy it.
 

Sparky617

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It's called checking, caused from uneven drying.
No filler is needed or would work.
That beam should have been double through bolted to the 6 X's, not just nailed.

If the OP was going to paint or solid stain the posts he could caulk them to make the cracks less noticeable. I too would through bolt the beam to the posts and it they don't have hurricane clips between the roof rafters and the beam I'd add them as well. Hurricane's may not be a problem in Tennessee but they can probably get some pretty strong gusts of wind there without it being a full blown hurricane. They'd be pretty cheap insurance against the roof being lifted.
 

papakevin

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Exactly my master plan, to eventually extend the living space or at least create a three season room.


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Sparky617

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Thanks guys. There is a bolt going thru the backside of the post which is countersunk and clips on the underside of the joists.

Tried to take a photo, but it was dark. View attachment 9105


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Good to see the bolts and hurricane clips. That is a thru-bolt and not a lag bolt correct? By thru-bolt we mean a nut and washer on both sides. Also, at least around here we need to use a bolt with a hex-head on it with a washer. We can't use carriage bolts any more. Bolts need to be 5/8" galvanized.

Adding a deck at the level of the door would really lower the ceiling height in the space. I'm not sure I'd go there. I might raise the floor up a foot or so to allow insulating it if you go for the three seasons room.

On the recently completed This Old House project they used a really cool product to close in the three season porch to allow glass panels to be installed during the winter. Here is a link to the manufacturer.

http://www.harveybp.com/vinyl-porch-enclosure.aspx
 

papakevin

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Appreciate the link and the information. I think I will be ok with ceiling height when I do add the deck as the roof height was kept high so not to block the view from the windows. (First floor has 10' tall ceilings.) I will probably keep a small step down just to be safe.

I've also attached a better photo of the construction from the inside of the deck. I'm very please with the overall construction quality, just not pleased with the cracking of the posts. View attachment ImageUploadedByHome Repair1431646277.231105.jpg


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Sparky617

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You could wrap your posts to hide the checking. As the link Neal provided shows it really isn't a problem for your posts, it is more a cosmetic defect than structural. Very common in pressure treated wood, especially in the larger timbers.

Depending on the finish you're going for in your screened in/three season porch you could use rough sawn cedar 1x stock for a rustic look, smooth finished wood for paint or use cellular PVC (Azek is one brand) for a rot free smooth surface that wouldn't require painting unless you wanted a different color than white.
 

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