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Decks/Ipe railing posts splitting


Hi Michael,
I am currently having a Feeny cable railing system installed on my deck. The contractor is installinf 4x4 ipe rail posts and 2x4 ipe rail cap. The 4x4 post are developing hairline splits and they have not been installed for 10 days at this point. All of the end cuts have been sealed with wax. Is this splitting normal? I am worried that it may get worse as time goes by. I am located on the gulf coast. Lots of heat and humidity.
Thank you,

    As with any lumber exposed to the elements, splitting, checking, cupping, bowing, and the rest of things wood can do to displease us, is not uncommon. The main attribute of Ipe in particular, is it's density, which is way up on the scale.
    Basically, if it's problem is thin fissures, usually known as "checking", I wouldn't worry too much about it. You might want to store the material out of the rain and direct sunlight until installation. That might help with any further degradation. Some oiling may help as well.  


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Michael Romano


I can answer any questions relating to decks, porches, exterior stairs & railings, walkways, access ramps, pergolas, deck roofs, screen rooms, etc... These may include design ideas, footing to framing design & construction methods, various species of woods vs. composites & pvc/vinyl materials for decking, skirting, or railing applications. I also have expertise in various rain-free systems for under-deck storage & living spaces.


I have designed and built decks and many other types of outdoor structures for over 25 years for my own home improvement company. We also perform many other types of home improvements, including window & door installation, molding & trimwork, siding, basement finishing, siding, etc. Our main love however, is decks!

NADRA - The North American Deck and Railing Association. Several Small Business & Home Improvement Contractor Alliances & Associations.

I have written several articles over the years for,, and many other deck & construction related websites.

High School graduate. 2 years of Mechanical Drawing & Architecture classes. Vocational School graduate. 2 years of Construction Technology & Carpentry classes. Many years of reading, researching, and application in the real world.

Awards and Honors
I am certified by several decking manufacturers for expert application & installation of their products.

Past/Present Clients
Mainly local residential clients, and occasional commercial clients, including restaurants, nightclubs, office buildings, etc.

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