Deck Posts splitting


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Old 03-06-17, 01:24 PM
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Deck Posts splitting

Hi all,

I am new here so pardon me if I am posting in the wrong section.

About 4-5 months ago I had the deck posts in my deck replaced. Today I noticed some awful cracks on the wood. It seems more like it is splitting. I am concern with the safety of this deck as it stands. I am planing on having some professional company come take a look at it but in the mean time, should I be concerned with the possibility of it falling down? I appreciated the help.

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Old 03-06-17, 01:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums. What you see is very common in pressure treated lumber as it dries out. I'd venture to say that most every deck has them. Your deck is safe. Be wary about someone who wants your business and report back here what ever they say as a cross check.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 01:35 PM
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It's called checking, caused from uneven drying.
It has no effect on the strength of the post.
But I agree it would be interesting to hear what they have to say trying to get money out of you.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 01:49 PM
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Yes, it's called checking because of improper drying of the lumber. Joe is correct that it should not have any major effect on the post strength. However if they get any bigger or the checks are allowed to get water and then freeze, it can cause deterioration over a shorter period of time than what would normally take place.

It's not reasonable to expect the contractor to replace or rebuild the deck. However, I think the checks are bit excessive. I would ask for an extended warranty for any rotting that may appear over the next 10 to 15 years.

This is the kind of thing that gives treated wood a bad name. The treatment is only as good as the wood it's used on.
 

Last edited by Norm201; 03-06-17 at 03:01 PM. Reason: changed would to wood. :)
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Old 03-06-17, 02:05 PM
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My front porch has 4x4 oak posts, one of which has cracks which developed shortly after install. The crack was severe enough that I drilled and bolted it with fender washers to prevent further splitting. That was well over 20 yrs ago and that post is just as solid as the others.

As stated above that is pretty common for PT wood and I wouldn't be concerned. If they do open up or split worse you can always run a bolt or two thru the to pull it back together.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 04:31 PM
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Thank you all for the feedback. It makes me feel better knowing this is something normal. i made a video to show the cracks better. It really looks bad!

https://youtu.be/UF8et35eZ9o
 
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Old 03-06-17, 05:10 PM
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A few checks are normal and it does not weaken the ability of the post to hold a load. Imagine if your post was made of 3 individual 2x6's... there would be 2 "checks" in such a post that run clean through the post. Yet it would be strong enough to hold up the deck.

Your checks are nothing like that... plus your deck cant possibly sway as its attached to the house at the ledger.

Get a good night's sleep, you surely have bigger fish to fry elsewhere.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 06:26 PM
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I agree with Xsleeper. Those checks do not appear as bad as the original pics made them look. The only one that I might be concerned with is the one that goes around the knot at the upper section. But again no biggie. You might want to get pole toppers to cover the exposed post tops so that snow and water does not lay on top. You might consider those LED solar lights made for fence post. Might give a bit of pizazz.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 09:08 PM
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even though ty're saying it's checking, I cant help but think that since there's only a post on each end of the beam (12'? span between posts) is helping create those cracks. I mean, I guess it passed code because of having a triple 2x10 beam (or triple 2x12 if I'm not seeing it right), but why did you recently have replace the old posts to begin with?
 
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Old 03-06-17, 09:53 PM
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The thing that caught my eye was how the vertical posts are notched with another piece on the side to support the 3 boards making up the main beam.

Not a construction method I would recommend especially without any cross bolting.

Just curious, was the deck inspected?
 
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Old 03-06-17, 10:20 PM
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The thing that caught my eye was how the vertical posts are notched with another piece on the side to support the 3 boards making up the main beam.

ah that too. It's as if the triple beam is really mostly just a doubled up beam (spanned ~12' and a 2x10 I think not 2x12). It looks like condos next to each other, one deck is the neighbor's. so I guess the HOA is fine with it all.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 10:23 PM
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I think these decks are over garage doors, so adding a center post wouldn't be possible.
 
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Old 03-06-17, 10:26 PM
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ok actually maybe not over garage doors (I can't edit BTW on IE11!?). Because the other photo I see AC units in front of doors that look like garage doors. I don't even know what I'm looking at anymore. Garage doors instead of patio sliding doors? Hit a deck post with a riding mower and it might fall down, let alone back into it with the car.
 
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Old 03-07-17, 02:51 AM
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Hey guys to answer some questions...

This house is about 10 years old and I had to have the original posts because they were rooting at the base and the deck was starting to lean to a side.

Yes, these are townhomes, so houses are right next to each other but do not share any posts. This is the back side of the house and the deck is over the driveway to the garage.

Yes, the deck was inspected when first built with the house and everything that you see is how all the other decks in the street are as per HOA regulations.

Thank you all for the great feedback!
 
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Old 03-07-17, 04:00 AM
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Again, no worries on the structural integrity of the deck. Just let us know what the contractor you bring out to discuss says if you decide to go with local direction. A double beam is probably all that was needed, a triple beam means that they over built the deck for the size I was looking at. May want to trough bolt the extra support scab for the third beam, but not an over concern. 1/2" through bolts if you go there.
 
  #16  
Old 03-07-17, 05:35 AM
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Did they install these new post on post bases?
That would prevent the bottom of the post from rotting again.
Also looks like your missing the required hurricane ties on that outside beam.
https://www.strongtie.com/retrofitpo.../p/aba.abu.abw
https://www.strongtie.com/seismicand...ies/h_ties/p/h
 
 

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