When you are putting up a deck in your home, you have to choose the best decking material that you are confident will give you the best service and longevity. Most homeowners will use Ipe wood when putting up a deck because of its capability to last for long. However, no matter the type of wood that you go for, it is important that you take care of your deck to extend its life. When you build a deck using Ipe wood, there are certain facts that you need to know from the start. Continue reading to find out.
Wood is Organic and May Warp if Not Installed Properly
When you buy Ipe wood, you have to check it to make sure it doesn’t look like its warping. Don’t assume because it is tropical wood it will not warp. Wood usually has different moisture contents which mean that it might not dry at the same rate, we typically sell 15%-18%. Therefore, if you are planning to use it on a later date, you have to store it well so that it does not warp. Also, ask your supplier to supply you with Ipe wood that is dry to avoid inconveniences if you don’t have space where you can place the wood to dry.
Ipe Is Hard Wood and Tough
Ipe is hardwood. There are other species that are classified as soft and can be used in decking. If possible, I would advise that you stick to Ipe wood or other hardwood. However, you might need strong tools and nails when putting up your deck. This is because if your tools are weak, Ipe is tough and for this reason, you have to be extra careful so that you don’t break the tools. Therefore you have to use a firm saw to cut the wood because it is tough.
Ipe Color Changes with Time
Being a natural wood, it will lose the color and might turn grey. This might happen if it is exposed to the weather. The surface of the wood might oxidize and therefore the reason why it turns grey. You might need to apply a fine coat of vanish overtime as it turns grey. The choice of vanish should be of good quality to avoid disappointments. If possible, apply finish immediately after building your deck. The best option you can go for is UV protection finish.
Ipe Wood Is Not to be Nailed
You might think that because it is a hardwood, it will not break if you drive nails on it. No, ipe is brittle because it is so dense, and if you hammer nails on the edges, it is likely to split. Therefore, the best option might be to use stainless steel screws on the wood.
Ipe wood is expensive than other types of wood, and therefore you should be willing to pay more. However, it is resistant to insects and will last for long. Being a tough material it is ideal for decking.
Visit our “What is Ipe Decking?” page for more information.