Post and Beam Cracks

We’ve got a 40 year old wood cottage in northern climate with cracks starting to show in one of the major ceiling support beams (checking?). The beam itself is slightly twisted. Wondering if we should be concerned, or if it’s normal. Can anything be done proactively to mitigate before the problem worsens?

We had a particularly cold winter last year, and one thought was that frost might have gotten lower than usual and lifted a foundation post up and back down. Replaced one of the posts this year and the post itself was in good condition. Also there were add-ons done on each side of the structure (garage, boathouse) and we’re wondering if that might be “pulling” the structure or otherwise contributing warping stresses on the building.

Appreciate any thoughts / advice.

Cracked beam:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/00.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/01.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/02.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/09.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/13.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/14.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/15.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/17.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/18.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/o18.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/o20.jpg

Normal beam:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/n04.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/n6.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1056718/PostBeam/n16.jpg

“Checking” of solid wood beams/posts like that is typical, not to worry.

And could you please resize the photos to a more appropriate size?

Thanks for the response. I reduced the photo resolution, let me know if they’re still too big.

Note the other beam 6’ away has no or negligible cracks. Cracks on North beam were really noticed a couple years ago.

They’re still too big and it would be best to have fewer as well.

Now we haven’t been discussing whether the framing is sized properly for the load. That’s impossible to determine from photos.

If you are concerned then consult a structural engineer.

I like the natural check cracking in the beams a lot better than the post to beam connections.

Is that a vapor barrier above that 12"x24" ceiling tile?:slight_smile: