4x4 Beam Checking Concern?

Hi Everyone,

When I purchased this home several years ago this beam was there holding the second floor up. There was always a the crack there but this year it “seems” wider. I am not sure if it is me or not :slight_smile: I am getting older.

In the end is this a concern? The other side has no splitting or checking at all. I live in Canada and it just become humid here a few weeks ago. This beam is about 7-10 year old not quite sure.

Should I be concerned? The beam is not warping or bending, the drywall has no crack and I do not see anything that otherwise concern me other then the crack.


Thank you for your replies

Not a concern. Checking is normal in thick pieces of lumber. It very well may be getting wider as the wood dries more and contracts over time, but that is probably due to the crack being the only one present. You will have to replace it due to its appearance at the request of your “boss” before long. :wink:

Thank you Cameron so other then aesthetics this is a none issue structurally (ie. my second floor wont be coming down :slight_smile:

Is there anything I can fill it in with to ensure the “boss” doesn’t complain and then just paint over it.

Thanks Terry

Thank you Cameron so other then aesthetics this is a none issue structurally (ie. my second floor wont be coming down :slight_smile:

Is there anything I can fill it in with to ensure the “boss” doesn’t complain and then just paint over it.

Thanks Terry

that ain’t no beam

its a column

or. you need to rotate your pic :slight_smile:

Sorry you are correct!

You may want to inject epoxy when the wood is dry…after the epoxy dries fill with a good wood filler. Sand, Paint. Monitor for future movement.
Protect from moisture intrusion.
Just a suggestion

Here is a link to filling checks in log homes: How can I fill the checks and cracks in the logs? - Chinking and Log Sealant FAQs

After using the backer rod to fill the larger holes, one could use a paint-able silicone caulk, that would expand and contract with the check, and paint or stain over that after it dries.

Perfect will do. But as it is now there is no structural concern. Main thing is to stop it from getting worse!

Thanks John

My game plan is to fill it with epoxy and then wrap it in aluminum. This way moisture will not get directly in and it will match the other aluminum!

How does that sound??
Thanks John

Do not wrap in aluminum…in my opinion. The wood has to breathe

So best thing would be just to inject with epoxy and leave it? If so when you say inject do you mean from a professional or just by the epoxy with the applicator and squeeze it in to all the voids?

So I am assuming at this point there is no concern structually it is to ensure no more checking happens!

I am assuming this extremely harsh winter we had here in Toronto was the factor. It was absolutely brutal + we had a huge ice storm that basically took down most of the tree;s and power in the city.

Thanks John

This seems like a good idea. Just wondering if the concept of the backer rod is to fill the void and not allow water to infiltrate. If it does it will go behind the backer rod and I guess out a small portion I would leave at the bottom?

Again in the end this would be just to prevent anymore checking but at the moment not a structural concern??

Thanks John

Absolutely not a structural concern. I know those big checks look scary, but they effect the structural properties of posts like that to such a small degree that they’re only worth mentioning to ease the buyer’s mind, because if the buyer is observant at all, you can bet they will ask.
No need to fill checking in posts, since they will drain and dry naturally. Filling checks is more of a concern with log homes, since the logs are installed horizontally and the checks can hold moisture to a degree that encourages decay.
The little slash cuts mean that it’s already been pressure-treated for decay resistance. Don’t wrap it, don’t inject it.

Wood structural members develop checks as they dry after they have been cut. The faster they dry, the more extreme the checking will be. It’s a result of resistance to shrinkage as the outside surface exposed to sun and wind loses moisture faster than the interior of the framing member. It’s the same principal as shrinkage cracks in concrete. Also, Hemlock is not a very stable wood, and all (rare exceptions) pressure-treated wood you see will be hemlock.

Thank you so much for the reply. I figured it was normal but the OCD in me wanted to be 100%. I will leave it as is for the reasons mentioned. I went driving around and noticed almost the same thing from all 4x4 and 6x6 peices.

Thank you appreciate the reply! On to the next thing in this house.

Thank You