Every homeowner has found checks in the logs at one time or another. Checks are those longitudinal splits that appear as logs lose their moisture. While you may like or dislike checks, they are a part of the character of wood. Some species of wood are more susceptible to checking than others.

This susceptibility comes from the different rate at which wood shrinks in its own geometry. Because wood dries out from the surface, the wood at the surface shrinks faster than the wood further down in the core.