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Observation: Wood beam or post is split.

Performance Standard: Beams and posts, especially those 3 1/2 inches or greater in thickness (which normally are not kiln dried) will sometimes split as they dry subsequent to construction. Such splitting is usually not a structural concern if posts and beams have been sized according to National Forest Products Association span tables. Unfilled splits exceeding 1/4 inch in width, and all splits exceeding 3/8 inch in width, are unacceptable.

Corrective Measure: The remodeler will repair or replace any beam or post with a defect exceeding the standard. Filling splits is acceptable for widths up to 3/8 inch.

Discussion: Some characteristics of drying wood are beyond the control of the remodeler and cannot be prevented. Compensation is made in span tables for the probable reduction in strength resulting from splitting caused by drying. Therefore, splitting is primarily an aesthetic concern rather than a structural problem. “Checks and splits which occur during the drying of lumber have the effect of reducing the area in the plane of shear resistance. Consequently, laboratory data developed for shear parallel to grain are reduced substantially for design purposes in order to accommodate the probability of the occurrence of checks and splits after drying.