Ipe is one of the best types of wood for decking. It has a beautiful russet brown color with a dense and tight grain. High tannin and oil content makes it naturally resistant to termites, molds, and bugs. It requires low maintenance and has a long lifespan. Ipe decks can last up to five decades or more.
If you have built an ipe deck, make sure to undertake periodic maintenance for a beautiful long lasting deck. Here are few tips for maintaining your very own ipe deck.
Ipe wood attains a silvery gray color within a few months from installation. If this color appeals to you, normal cleaning should be sufficient to maintain the ipe deck.
If you want to retain the original color of the ipe wood, use a penetrating finish with high UV inhibitor rating at the time of installation. This will help in maintaining the brown hues of ipe.
If you have allowed the ipe to weather and turn silvery gray, you can still get the original brown color by removing the gray colored film from the surface by using a cleaner. Pressure washing, if done well, can also expose the original color by removing the weathered layer of wood.
Brazilian hardwood such as ipe does not require sanding. Periodic cleaning and re-sealing help maintain the ipe decking.
Ipe wood does not require any chemical coating to prevent decay caused by termites, molds, and bugs. It outlasts most types of wood since it is naturally resistant to these things.
If you want the ipe decking to keep looking as good as new, use a good-quality finish with UV inhibitors. Most of these finishes last for 1-2 years after which they need to be reapplied. Make sure not to overcoat the wood, else it will become sticky and appear wet from a distance.
Ipe wood is the best choice for all types of decks. Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure its beauty and longevity and give it a well-groomed appearance.