Ipe Decking Maintenance: Close to 0, or 5 Golden Rules of 'Ironwood' Care
Every deck surface, no matter whether it's Ipe, treated wood or composite decking, can hardly avoid at least some of possible outdoor effects.
Generally, this can be the sun, rain, leaves, dirt, mildew, mold, insects and the like.
But when it comes to Ipe decking maintenance, every case is quite different.
Believe it or not, but such crucial factors as traffic, termites and fungal growth have nothing in common with the 'Brazilian Walnut'.
As for the sun exposure, aging seems to be an obvious benefit.
That means hardwood is not baked, dried and split, but just gracefully faded.
What to say, its durability is 2nd to none. Ipe boards aren't affected by all those cycles due to incredible density and virtually no moisture absorption.
The only disadvantage is the finish maintenance in tough environments. However, it is close to zero.
Ipe Decking Maintenance: 5 Fundamentals
1. Weather seal all your decks immediately after work completion.
Either an oil based product or good penetrating oil (depending on the finish wanted) goes hand in hand with Ipe decking, all deck sealing materials must come with high moisture content on new wood immediately. This is because of accelerated drying damage, which usually happens the 1st month after the deck has been built. So, double coating, especially wet on wet, is a definite foundation to longevity. More so, Ipe has much natural defense against water absorption, decay, cupping, twisting and splintering.
2. Practice periodic resealing or staining.
It's also necessary to clean or sand Ipe wood surface a little before reapplying. Either bleach + water + detergent mixture, or special deck cleaners with a stiff brush go a long way. The key thing is not to harm the wood. Typically, a few hours twice a year will be enough.
3. Keep Ipe decking clean from tree droppings, leaves & other dirt.
This is elementary: to sweep excess debris off the deck. Cleaning with special wood products, rinsing with water, brightening and neutralizing the pH are the full cycle. If the surface is clean and dry, it's in a good condition.
4. Allow Ipe to age.
In doing so, Ipe decking becomes an unbelievable silver patina. But those who love deep natural wood colors should select Ipe decking maintenance of finish with periodical oiling. Though, patina Ipe won't rot or decay, remaining smooth and splinter free. The tight dense grain also supplies no fungal growth on Ipe.
5. Maintain regularly.
This will greatly influence both the decking beauty and longevity. Such exterior exotic hardwood decks as Ipe, Mahogany and Meranti have been created by the Nature to serve the highest value to any place. So, do not test the 'Ironwood' and its extreme durability, just thank it with regular Ipe decking maintenance!
In general, all exterior surfaces collect dirt and contaminants. As for outdoor woods, they need periodical cleaning and well-groomed appearance. A number of above mentioned things is so little to do, compared with the Ipe benefits, isn't it?