Lumber checking. How much is too much?

How about some opinions.
I’ve seen some info on the forum in the past, and some info on the Googlesphere. Although much of what I’ve researched makes sense, and seem to be from reliable sources - none refers to a code or authoritative reference.
So what say ye, fine inspectors?
Case in point:
NRS Inspection (that’s a “new build” for yall non-Virginians). Elevated rear deck (160sf, elevated to 9 feet), attached with proper bolted ledger. Four total 6x6 treated support posts.
I typically see normal and tolerable checking in various areas of one or two posts. I inform the client, through the report, that checking is present, and it appears normal with no unusual affects, however this condition should be periodically monitored as the components age…etc etc.
BUT TODAY (see representative photos) - I find what appears to be an unusual amount of checking in all support posts. Includes checking on more than one face of posts, some with measurable split depth to 1.5" - 2". and checking running almost full vertical length of post. I also noticed pencil markings (apparently by the deck builder, or the home builder’s QA) that might suggest repairs are intended.
I’m just wondering - What level or amount of checking freaks you out?

I have no problem with the checking in the posts you posted. Too much is when the post is split. I’d be more concerned with proper footing.


Pish-posh, that ain’t nuthin’. I wouldn’t even give that a second glance!


This is a good article that I use when evaluating checking and splitting. I do not see an issue with your posts.


I agree… …that would be too much checking when it has split through the length.


Unless split into two pieces I would worry, but sealing the cracks to keep water out would be a maintenance item for me.

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