The Choice Makes Sense
What Is Ipe Decking?
Ipe is a very popular exotic hardwood used in the lumber industry for a variety of different projects. Ipe, which is also known as Brazilian Walnut, is one of the highest quality decking materials available. You will typically find Ipe in South America and in certain areas of Central America, but the supplier will use the term Brazilian Walnut rather than Ipe. This species of wood is so well known because of its durability and its density. Ipe wood is rated 3 times harder than cedar which can cause complications especially when you are working with Ipe, however there are some benefits to it as well. Ipe can withstand a lot of high traffic and occurrences like high wind, frigid temperatures, high temperatures, insect damage, and potential rot and mold.
With Ipe, you will find that there is a guaranteed 20 years with no preservatives which is unheard of for many wood species. As a result of this incredible life expectancy, architects, designers and builders are using Ipe in their home designs in many different applications indoors and out.
The Most Common Uses for Ipe Decking
When it comes to Ipe, it is used for a multitude of different things from decking, flooring, and furniture. Because of the benefits that Ipe decking has, it allows it to be the perfect building material for all of the following uses:
This is the most common way that Ipe is used, which is among homeowners as a deck. Because Ipe is so durable and sustainable, you can have a deck that is long lasting and strong enough to stand up against the high levels of traffic and weather exposure a deck gets. Ipe is also resistant to water damage, which is a huge benefit for decks that are exposed to rain and snow.
Marinas and Boardwalks
Like we mentioned, Ipe is very resistant when it comes to water exposure, so it’s a great option for marinas and boardwalks that are often exposed to water. Marinas deal with a lot of traffic from boat crews and passengers and are exposed to a lot of possible damage from boats and all their equipment.
Ipe is a harder wood to work with, but with the right tools, you can work with Ipe and use it as a material to build furniture. Because Ipe is so dense and strong, it makes it a great material for chairs, tables, or stools that hold weight from us sitting on it or the things on top of them. Ipe wood is a great species to make outdoor furniture with because it’s heavy and strong so it will last longer and is harder to damage.
Every homeowner wants to use a material that is safe and will help keep their home safe against natural disasters like fire, for example. With Ipe, it is highly rated on the fire resistance scale, which can benefit you especially if you are using Ipe on your deck under a fire pit or just to act as extra protection.
Eco-Friendly and 100% Natural
Ipe wood is a completely natural product that is made without any preservatives or additives. It is eco-friendly and safe to use in your home.
Mold and Pest Resistant
Mold and pest resistance are especially important when you are using Ipe outdoors with the exposure to rain and snow. With Ipe, you don’t have to worry about mold build-up or damage from insects and pests.
Three Times Harder Than Cedar
Cedar is a very popular building material and is used for a lot of the same applications as Ipe. There are pros and cons to both wood species but at the end of the day, Ipe is much harder than cedar, which means it can withstand a lot more than cedar just on a daily basis.
25 Years of Long-Lasting Material
Once you build your Ipe deck, you can rest assured that your deck will last over 25 years with no damages or repairs needed.
Strong wind, rain, hail, and high sun exposure are no match for Ipe’s durability and dense composition.
The Highest Density
Among all the different species of wood out there, Ipe is among the densest.
Resistant to Scratches
Because Ipe is so strong and dense, this means the chances of it scratching are very slim. You don’t have to stress about dragging furniture across it or the Ipe scratching from just simple things like walking.
The Benefits of Ipe Wood Outweigh the Downsides
Even Though Ipe is Tough to Work With, It Can be Beneficial
Ipe Is Hard to Work With
Ipe is a very dense species of wood and that makes it very hard to work with. When it comes to nailing, screwing and cutting, Ipe can be very tricky and damaging to your tools if you don’t use the right ones. Ask your supplier if they have any recommendations on how to work with Ipe and what tools can make it easier.
Ipe wood is very dense, which is why it also makes it hard to work with. However, the density makes Ipe extremely durable and able to withstand any and all possible damage from weather and high traffic.
Ipe is among the higher-priced exotic hardwoods and decking materials on the market. However, the higher the price – the more long-lasting and reliable a product may be. Ipe is a very high quality and durable exotic hardwood which is reflected in its price.
The first step to cleaning your Ipe deck is removing all your outdoor furniture and clearing off the surface. Once you have furniture cleared off, take a broom and sweep all the debris and dust off the surface of your deck. You can even use a shop vac to get all the debris off the surface and to get into crevasses. You can even use a power washer or a hose to completely clean off the surface.
Once or twice a year, it’s always a good idea to re-seal or re-stain your Ipe deck with either oil or the stain of your choice. This not only keeps your deck looking incredible, but it allows you to keep your deck protected. Before you re-stain or seal your deck, make sure to do a once over and make sure you don’t notice any damage or imperfections that need to be fixed.
If you have any questions about how to care for your Ipe deck, give us a call and talk to a decking specialist today.
If you are interested in purchasing Ipe for your deck renovation, give us a call or come see us and sit down with a decking specialist who can guide you through the process. We want to help you start your renovation and look forward to working with you!
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