What is acceptable time for post checking?

Help Support House Repair Talk:

dcny6923

Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Firstly, thank you for the advice. I've been browsing previous threads and read that post checking in itself is not a structural issue. My question is, how quick checks start appearing is considered normal. For example, I had a deck build recently with has 6x6 pressure treated lumber posts. The posts were put in around early/mid November 2019. Now by March 2020, checks have started to appear. Here's some pictures to get context. I live in the North East US, so the deck has gone through a mild winter season with mostly rain and entering spring.

Would this be an acceptable timeframe for checking to appear? And if I put a water based stain on the posts, would it help with future checking?

Thank you for any guidance.
 

Attachments

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,409
Reaction score
1,924
Location
Erie, PA
It looks pretty normal to me and I would wait a few months for the hot dry summer months and then give it some stain. I don’t think the stain does much on posts to help with checking but wont hurt and they will look nice.
 

dcny6923

Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
It looks pretty normal to me and I would wait a few months for the hot dry summer months and then give it some stain. I don’t think the stain does much on posts to help with checking but wont hurt and they will look nice.
Thank you for the reply.

If staining wont prevent the checking, would there be anything that will? Would I have to worry about water getting into the cracks and rotting the core or freezing over and causing larger cracks?
 

oldognewtrick

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
11,343
Reaction score
1,677
Location
Nashville, TN
I have posts that are 8' tall under my deck that look like yours, been that way for near 25 years. I've already replaced the decking, but the framing is still in great shape.
 

dcny6923

Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
I have posts that are 8' tall under my deck that look like yours, been that way for near 25 years. I've already replaced the decking, but the framing is still in great shape.
Anything that you did to keep them that way?
 

bud16415

Fixer Upper
Staff member
Admin
Moderator
Joined
Feb 5, 2013
Messages
5,409
Reaction score
1,924
Location
Erie, PA
Thank you for the reply.

If staining wont prevent the checking, would there be anything that will? Would I have to worry about water getting into the cracks and rotting the core or freezing over and causing larger cracks?
I agree wood is not a perfect material and a certain amount of flaws are calculated into the strength calculations. It is pressure treated and will stand up to weather and insects etc. for 40 years without much help. Most people don’t stain the parts that don’t show. The stain is cosmetic and also helps the surface remain smooth and nice longer. If nothing is done it will still last a very long time but will get splintery but will still maintain its strength.



I have a 6000 pound hot tub sitting on(12) 4x4 post deck (12’x16’) and I have checking similar to yours, and I have no worry about the strength or it taking on more winter weather. I also have never got around to staining anything other than the top deck and what you see.
 

dcny6923

Member
Joined
May 8, 2016
Messages
19
Reaction score
0
Did you just put your posts on gravel? no footing View attachment 23445View attachment 23445
There is a concrete footing there and also a "post bracket" between the post and the concrete that looks like the attached.
My yard is inclined so one side of the footing is about 2-3 inches below grade, and the other side is at grade allowing water to drain. The rocks around are just for aesthetics.
 

Attachments

Group Builder
Top