Split Stair Balusters

These split stair balusters are not uncommon, especially on exterior decks, stairs and siding. These 2 x 2's made from kiln dried lumber, only increased the chances of your materials splitting. Moist lumber wont split as often as dry materials.

Now if that's the case, why wouldn't everyone use moist lumber to build their wood decks or exterior projects around the home. Good point, moist lumber will dry out eventually and this leads to lumber shrinking, cracking, splitting, twisting, warping, cupping and in some types of wood, like cedar, the knots will actually fall out, leaving a hole in your home project.

These problems can also be found using kiln dried lumber. However, you decrease the amount of problems, as more of the moisture is removed from the wood.

Now with that said, why wouldn't you want to remove all of the moisture, would this be better lumber to build with? Dried lumber is harder to work with and could increase the amount of time it would take to complete your project.

These building materials could even create safety hazards as nails are driven into the wood, causing small chunks of debris to break away. These high-speed chunks of debris could injure you or someone else, especially someone without safety glasses or goggles.

Home Repair Solution: How do we prevent the lumber from splitting? You can solve this problem by, pre-drilling your nail holes or using smaller nails. Neither one of these are going to guarantee that the wood will not split, during construction or years later.

Smaller nails used in constructing deck or stairway guardrails, might not be strong enough to build a safe guardrail system.

Screws can also be used in a situation like this, by pre drilling the holes.

Use a drill bit that is a little smaller than your nail. You could always do a little trial and error, until you find an acceptable drill bit size.