Is cracking and checking a cause for concern?
Oak structures are simply stunning. Whether an oak porch or an entire oak framed building, there’s no denying the natural beauty of oak as a building material. And that’s no doubt why oak extensions of all shapes and sizes are hugely popular and are guaranteed to draw the enviable eye of any passer-by.
If you’re considering enhancing your home with an oak extension or porch, it’s a good idea to understand the nature and temperament of oak.
Cracking & Checking
Following the installation of your oak frame, you’ll begin to notice cracks in the oak posts and beams. This is entirely normal and is part of the drying out or seasoning process. Green oak will experience more drying out in-situ, but air-dried oak will also continue to season after installation as it goes through the process of reaching a happy equilibrium with its environment.
Due to the nature of wood, every piece of oak will shrink and swell differently, creating different sizes of checks and shakes. These cracks and splits aren’t defects. They are what makes oak timber structures so unique and naturally beautiful.
As splits and cracks (also known as checks and shakes) appear in your oak frame, don’t be alarmed, they are completely normal. Wood becomes stronger as it dries. Your structure is simply seasoning, settling, and strengthening.
A natural check is a long crack that appears as the sapwood shrinks around the timber’s core. This separation of grain happens due to changing moisture levels and as the oak continues to dry. Oak will often develop many surface checks. These checks are not a structural problem and create the sort after rustic appeal that makes an oak frame so popular.
A Natural Aesthetic of Oak Frames
Most of the cracks and checks will appear in your oak frame during the summer months, as the warmer weather will dry your timber faster. Likewise, the position of your oak structure will also influence its number of shakes—a south-facing frame will develop more checks and shakes than a shady, north-facing oak extension.
Checks and shakes are a natural aesthetic of oak frames and help create that sort after uniqueness and character. The structural integrity of your oak frame won’t be compromised as shakes and checks appear; in fact, your beautiful structure is strengthening.
If you’re considering an oak-framed porch or extension, call us today on 01625 347165. Or email us at email@example.com.
‘The service from Character Oak was excellent, from the quotation stage of the project through to the delivery. Antonio has a great eye for design and details and we made several tweaks to our original plans after discussions, all of which enhanced the final result. The price was very competitive, but the quality of work was not compromised. The structure went up without any problems and looks fantastic. We are thrilled with the outcome.’
‘Great to deal with, great ideas about design, quality materials and better than others I approached, flexible if plans change, dedicated to resolving concerns or issues, very knowledgeable’
‘Character Oak designed, manufactured and errected an oak porch for us at our new family home. Antonio and his team went above and beyond to get the project completed within the timescale and against all odds. All in all Antonio and Character Oak were an amazing company to work with and we would highly recommend them to anybody thinking of anything similar’