Take the time to read it: Shrinkage, not settlement: Contrary to popular phraseology, wood- frame buildings don't settle, they shrink. The year- round average equilibrium moisture content of studs, joists, and rafters in heated buildings is about 1.
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DIY - Repair Cracks in the Ceiling by Removing Old Drywall Tape (Part 1). DIY - Repair Cracks in the Ceiling by Removing Old Drywall Tape (Part 2).
But since framing lumber is exposed to outdoor relative humidity, and possibly precipitation too, during shipment, storage, and construction, it's usually sold at a moisture content of 1. Beginning once the structure is weather- tight, most shrinkage takes place during the first heating season. A two- story, platform- framed home built with HEM- FIR lumber at 1.
MC, for example, will shrink about 3/4 of an inch in height as it dries to 1. MC. Virtually all the shortening is due to across- the- grain shrinkage through the depth of the rim joists and the thickness of the wall plates.
And that can lead to a multitude of headaches for builders. For starters, joist and plate shrinkage can cause buckling of plywood siding panels outside or of drywall inside, especially in stairwells and spaces with cathedral ceilings.
The problem arises when a panel crosses the rim joist between floors so that it's fastened to the studs above and below the joist. Vertical shrinkage of studs is virtually nil, but vertical shrinkage of joists and plates can be substantial. As the joist and plates shrink, studs on the two floors are drawn together, compressing the panel fastened to them. Being stiffer, plywood siding buckles, while drywall may buckle or crush. The solution is to break panels between floors. For drywall this may mean using an expansion joint at the joist and a control joint at the ceiling, or applying the drywall to resilient channels. For plywood siding, it means providing a flashed gap of about 1/4 in.
The initial shrinkage of framing can also lead to roof leaks when chimney flashing is rigidly - and thus incorrectly- connected to both the masonry and the wood frame. I've read one case history in which casement windows on the top floor of a three- story apartment building clad in brick wouldn't open after the first heating season because the platform- framed floors shrank below the openings in the masonry veneer. Framing members that bulge out of the plane of a wall, floor, or ceiling as they dry often contain abnormal wood that shrinks excessively along the grain (ten or more times as much as normal wood), causing lumber to crook or kink. One kind, juvenile wood, forms around the center of trees for up to the first twenty years of growth, so just about all lumber sawn near the pith of a tree contains it. Another type, compression wood, forms on the bottom of branches and on the underside of leaning softwood trees.
Lumber with lots of knots is apt to kink as it dries because of this. Cut excessively knotty or pith- containing lumber into cripples, blocking, and other short- length uses when you can. I don't want to argue either, but let's get real. You may have had 3. My banker has done that, and I doubt he would know one claw hammer from another. For the record, I have a Masters in forestry and wood science.