CHECKING (the cracks)
Checking in solid logs is caused by the greater amount of tangential (circumferential) shrinkage as compared to the radial shrinkage (in-out direction of the tree) seen upon drying. Houselogs typically take 1-2 years to dry to the moisture content established when they are in equilibrium with their environment. Numerically, most locations in the United States have exterior Equilibrium Moisture Contents (EMC) of approximately 8 to 12% outside, and 4-8% inside.
Summer-to-winter variance in a log’s moisture content can amount to a few percentage points in humid areas, but the initial drying to EMC will routinely cause solid logs to undergo checking to the center of the log.
Timberhaven solid logs are milled with heartwood. The use of heartwood in the log prevents the checks from extending through the entire log. This makes for a stable and air-tight log. With the kiln-dried process, the majority of checks are present before milling which allows for proper grading. With these checks are already present, the logs can be properly sealed during the building process making for an energy efficient home.
Still not sure on the checking? Not to worry, we have a product with minimal (if any) checking. Lumber, being thinner, can be efficiently dried, with a minimum amount of checking, to a moisture content approaching the EMC of a building log, in a relatively short time. When laminated at 6 to 10% moisture content, the laminated log will undergo very little drying, even in arid climates or inside heated homes during winter. Built without the large checks common in solid logs, the laminated log will retain its smooth, nearly check-free surface through the years.
To learn more about Laminated Logs visit our Kiln-Dried Laminated Log section under Products.