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Old 08-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #1
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


Greetings, I have some pressure treated fence posts (11' 6x6) that are twisting and splitting down the length. These posts were set two months ago and I think they have mostly dried now.

I have read that the only way to fix this is to replace them, however in my situation it's not the twisting that's the problem, it's the massive splitting that is occuring that concerns me.

My gates still operate properly, but if these posts split down the middle it will result in me having to dig out the 5' concrete footings. Is there an easy way to use some hardware to hold the post together? A couple thoughts were using two metal strips with one hole on each side, some threading and bolts to essentially clamp it together, or those metal versions of zip ties that have the hex head screw to strap around the entire post tightly so the post stops seperating along the grain.

Here are some pictures of the twisting/splitting. Also note each post is supporting a 5' x 6' wood gate panel.

http://i37.tinypic.com/34ozqmu.jpg
http://i36.tinypic.com/30mobx0.jpg
http://i33.tinypic.com/2qrzo00.jpg

Thanks for any advice!

- Lindsey

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #2
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


not to be concerned until the gates fail to work or fall over.

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Old 08-28-2010, 04:18 PM   #3
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


I'd cap the top to minimize water infiltration. This checking is an expected result of pressure treated lumber drying out. More ascetic then structural.
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Old 08-28-2010, 05:06 PM   #4
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


Thanks for the quick confirmation. I was also thinking about post caps and using some wood fill to prevent water from getting in and freezing in the winter (I'm in Calgary).

I should be ok to stain the fence anytime before Winter comes right?
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


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Originally Posted by lmcarriere View Post
Thanks for the quick confirmation. I was also thinking about post caps and using some wood fill to prevent water from getting in and freezing in the winter (I'm in Calgary).

I should be ok to stain the fence anytime before Winter comes right?
Wet, pressure treated lumber can take up to 6 months to dry enough to accept stain. The end grain absorbs water like it was a large straw. Whether you do a decorative or functional cap is irrelevant. Just cap it.
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Old 08-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #6
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


Get some wood filler in the cracks and mount caps on the tops of the post

Stain as soon as the wood filler dries, do not wait for the pt to dry any further or the twisting and splitting will only get worse.

Last edited by gjjr2001; 08-28-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:11 PM   #7
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Fence Posts Twisting/Splitting


“I should be ok to stain the fence anytime before Winter comes right? “ ----- Yes.

“New wood, once dry, should not be allowed to weather. Short-term (4 weeks) weathering prior to application of this product can decrease its service life.” From: http://cabotstain.com/products/produ...od-Primer.html

“New wood should be coated as soon as possible to prevent damage
from water absorption and UV. Wash with WEATHER PRO Wood
Cleaner & Brightener to remove slickness (mill glaze) or waxes often
found on new wood. New non-CCA pressure treated lumber should
be treated the same as other new wood even though it may be very
wet. Traditionally such surfaces would be allowed to dry completely
before coating. Because of the wetness, the first application of stain
on pressure treated wood may last only a few months but the option
is to risk severe cracking and splitting as the wood dries if left
unsealed.” From: http://rustoleum.com/cbgimages/docum...gFence_209.pdf


“New pressure-treated lumber requires a six-week drying period prior to application. Water-repellent treated lumber requires one year of weathering prior to application.” From: http://www.nam.sikkens.com/pdf/Cetol..._app_guide.pdf

Used a water-proof treatment: “Convenience
  • One Day Project - Applies to Both Damp or Dry Wood in just one coat.
  • Waterbased: Easy, Soap & Water Clean Up.
  • Low VOC: Low Odor.
  • New Pressure Treated Wood Application: No waiting while wood can be damaged.” From: http://www.thompsonswaterseal.com/pr....cfm?prod_id=2


Did you use 6” of gravel under the post, with no concrete touching post bottom, otherwise it may take a very long time to dry. The concrete acts as a water storage vessel because it is porous. Any sub-grade capillary action will be sucked up through the concrete because of the top of the post drying in the wind. http://www.sciencebuddies.org/scienc...Bio_p033.shtml
I hope you water-proofed the post before embedding it, or bought special water-proofed p.t.wood, not just direct burial.


Gary
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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I did backfill around the base of the posts with the larger debris before we put in the post-haste concrete in hopes to help drainage.

Any kind of wood filler should work alright eh? Any specific qualities I should look for in a stain? Is spraying it or brushing it on preferred?

Thanks again everyone for your input.

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