Timber trusses and frames are is some of the most popular building materials because of the beautiful and natural finish that it gives structures. It is used in making support structures of the house such as trusses. However, because it is a natural material, wood is susceptible to both natural and artificial defects. Natural defects in timber occur when the tree is growing. Understanding these defects will help you work around them in a way that reinforces timber before construction.

Timber knots

Many trees get knots during their growth process. They happen because, when the tree is developing, some of the lower branches die, and the scars which these branches leave behind become the knots. There are two knot categories, dead knots and knots that are alive. Dead knots are a challenge because the remains of the dead branch are rotting, and eventually, they fall out, leaving a hole. On the other hand, the live knot is firm. Before using the timber for construction, check whether it has knots and whether they are alive or dead. Note that knots can cause a lot of strain on the wood and eventual breakage, especially when the load is in the opposite direction to the grain.

Timber twists

A timber twist is a situation where the edges of the timber have been twisted in different directions. The defect is caused when the tree is growing in areas which experience strong winds, and the force of the wind makes the branches to twist around. Some twisting might be minor and easy to overlook when constructing with wood, however, when the twisting is severe, it will be close to impossible to shape the wood. Twisted wood is already weakened and cannot effectively handle extra weight such as the weight exerted by a roof.

Timber shakes

Shakes are weaknesses that affect the area around the annual ring of growth. Cracks and spits, which occur along the growth ring, are all known as shakes. Shakes are not as serious as other problems with the wood; however, they do affect the aesthetic value of the wood. Shakes can be cup-shaped, star or heart shaped.

These defects affect the quality of the wood and its integrity as a building material. It is therefore essential to ensure that you select wood which has very few flaws. If you cannot get blemish-free wood, think about ways in which you can reinforce it to give you many years of reliable service.