Deck built in April, columns splitting

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Old 07-29-16, 08:02 AM
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Deck built in April, columns splitting

I purchased a new construction home, and the deck was made in April. The columns on it are splitting, one worse than the other. I filed it with the builder, and the warranty coordinator said they will keep an eye on it and for right now it is okay.

I wanted to post pictures to see what you guys who see and have delt with splitting over the years thought. See below, thanks!

Left side front:
https://imageshack.us/i/po6p8UK7j

Left side back:
https://imageshack.us/i/pnHwyUtgj

Right side front:
https://imageshack.us/i/poWYbOjPj

Right side back:
https://imageshack.us/i/poMvbRCpj
 
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Old 07-29-16, 08:24 AM
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Splitting like that is common with that type of wood. New ones would probably do the same. I will often look for lots of small knots as those pieces usually have less risk for the splitting you are seeing.

As an added note, those posts should be resting on an approved base and not just buried in the soil. I don't know your location so not sure is frost is a problem but either a pad (no frost) or a support column with an elevated attachment.

Bud
 
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Old 07-29-16, 08:28 AM
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Thanks bud. They're on concrete block and connected with brackets. They're were just covered during grading.

I was just concerned as the one on the left had pretty wide splits. Do they ever become to a point where they're unsafe and how would you know. Thanks!
 
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Old 07-29-16, 08:51 AM
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I can't say for certain, but my guess is they will hold up fine for the life of the deck. The bad news is, that deck life may be much shorter than you were hoping for. It may last 10 years but I doubt 20.

My concern would be the moisture and insects that can get in past the pressure treating.

Since you are in a low/no frost climate and the posts are on pads where they ca easily be replaced I would push for that while the warranty is fresh. That reply to wait and see sounds like a stall.

Bud
 
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Old 07-29-16, 12:23 PM
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As Bud said it isn't uncommon for PT lumber to split as it dries. Keeping after the builder might get them replaced .... and he'd probably hand select the replacement posts.
 
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Old 07-29-16, 05:55 PM
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#1, If they where going to be notched they should have been 6 X 6's not 4 X 4's.
#2, To meet most modern codes the post should have been been sitting on Sono tubes set below the frost line sitting on post bases.
It's called checking, all pressure treated 4 X 4's, 4 X 6's, 6 X 6's do it from uneven drying.
It's not going to effect the strength.
I'd be concerned with just a single outside rim joist.
I'll be amazed if any builder is going to replace the post that are doing what all of them do anyway.
There's been hundred's of this one subject on this and any DIY site.
 
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Old 07-30-16, 07:48 AM
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FWIW, my neighbor had a deck built and they used steel posts rather than wood, and it's still standing strong almost 30 years later.
 
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Old 07-30-16, 08:29 AM
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I would hope they're "pressure treated"; but I don't see a hint of green. My 840 SF Deck was built in 1993 (yes, some lumber checked), and still shows green in the wood when I'm underneath . . . . maybe they no longer treat woof with the same substances ?

And "covered over during grading" means the posts, pressure treated or not, are prone to absorbing moisture from the soil by osmosis.
 
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Old 07-30-16, 09:17 AM
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They've changed the chemicals they use to pressure treat numerous times over the years. Today's PT lumber looks nothing like it did 10-15 yrs ago. I'd be shocked if the lumber shown in the pics isn't PT.
 
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Old 07-30-16, 09:18 AM
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Putting aside the splitting,I have concerns about the structure, itself. But before I get into that, was this a permitted project? Did you have inspections?
 
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Old 07-30-16, 09:24 AM
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With it being a new construction home you'd think it was permitted/inspected - be easy to check out.
 
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Old 08-01-16, 07:01 AM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. I will communicate to the builder about possible moisture/bugs getting through the splitting and shortening the life.

As far as structural integrity, being on slabs of concrete and anchord through metal brackets is how it is standing currently, is this not good practice?

I belive it was permitted and inspected. This was done during the construction of the home so i don't have information on that, but maybe i can call city hall and ask for a reinspection? Also the splitting of the wood occured after i moved in. I don't recall the splits looking the easy they are until a few months after i moved in.
 
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