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Origins of Ipe Wood

It’s a hardwood that comes from Brazil and grows in tropical South to Central America. Recognized as the most durable and hardest species of timber, it the most preferred wood for deck building.

The wood color varies from olive brown to blackish hue and has an oily appearance. The texture ranges from fine to medium and grain that can be straight to irregular. The tree can grow to over 140 feet, with a diameter of 6 feet. It’s one of the tallest trees in the Amazon rainforest.

Properties

Ipe wood has lower maintenance cost than other types of woods. It’s available in long lengths with minimum warp and twist. Wood ‘warp’ refers to the unevenness in a flat surface of timber caused by shrinkage and stress when drying. It is undesirable; fortunately, its timber has minimum warping during manufacture and use.

Compared to Oak, it is three times harder and is so thick that is sinks in water. It has the same fire rating such as steel and concrete -Class A1.

Workability

When working with Ipe, remember that it is very hard. You will need high-quality, durable tools. Have multiple drill bits for drilling before inserting nails and screws. Working with hand tools will be challenging. You can groove the sides and add fasteners. Drying the wood may be required, and the level of drying will depend on your area.

Uses

You can install the wood in an area, which has high traffic due to the high shock resistance is required. It is also suitable for installation in harsh environments like near the beach. More application includes in industries, railway crossties, making tool handles and in heavy construction.

Ipe Decking

This is the most common use of the Brazilian Walnut. It is done in some easy steps. Before installing desk plan the layout. Using the design source of materials – ensure that you add 5% of the total material to compensate for loss during cutting and trimming.

After getting the Ipe wood, don’t expose to direct sunlight but leave it outside for air drying. Shrinkages will happen during this process also known as acclimation. When working with the Brazilian walnut ensure; that you have carbide tipped cutters, and carry out pre-drilling before inserting any nails or screws. Cutting the wood should be done slowly for smooth cuts.

The best practice is to ensure that there is air beneath you decks for proper ventilation. It should have no obstructions. Slight spaces between the planks are required for drainage purposes. Have a bow wrench when building a deck for clamping to the desired positions.

There are two primary methods of fastening the deck; the first involves pre-drilling holes; second, using fasteners that prevents the appearance of screws on the surface.

The final step of installing the deck involves sanding and coating with oil sealer such as Penofin. Alternatively, you can skip this step and let the Ipe wood to naturally age into a silver color.

The wood is appropriate for other uses such as the construction of walkways, docks and in for support in construction. Investing in Ipe ensures that you never have to think about replacing decks or maintaining them in your lifetime.

Advantages of Using Ipe Decking

Are you looking for the best decking material on the market today? Then you should consider Ipe wood. It is an exotic wood from South America that is also known as Brazilian Walnut. Its properties make it the perfect material for your deck.

Ipe wood comes from the Tabebuia Tree that is native to the subtropics of Central America and South America. Part of the reason for its toughness is the tropical environment where it grows. It has oils and natural hardness which results to a naturally treated wood that can last for a long time no matter where it is installed.

Don’t settle for synthetic decking materials when you can have authentic wooden deck that’s more durable and weatherproof. Below are some of the advantages of using Ipe wood for your deck.

Durability

Ipe decking is durable because the material is one of the densest wood species on the planet. Not only that, it is sustainable and eco-friendly. The surface of the wood is naturally resistant to mildew, insect damage, and fire, even without any treatment. Its fire rating is Class A, which is the same class as steel and concrete. It contracts and expands less compared to other materials. Because of these properties, building a deck using Ipe wood will give you a surface that looks good and lasts for more than 50 years.

Looks Good

Another Ipe advantage over other materials is that it looks beautiful with its uniform and smooth texture. Its grains are wavy and straight with very fine texture. It doesn’t need sealing, and maintenance work is as easy as cleaning stain and mopping. It is recommended to apply oil to the wood to increase its ability to repel UV rays and water. Oil will also allow the wood to keep its reddish-brown color.

Wide Range of Sizes

When it comes to wholesale decking, you will find Ipe wood in different sizes. They can be used for decking boards, treads, posts, hand rails, skirting, and joists. They also come as heavy timber that’s ideal for boardwalks and other structural applications. Ipe decking is typically air dried, but they are also available in kiln dried. You can also get Ipe wood pre-grooved and with tongue-and-groove.

Downside of Ipe Wood

Because of its density, it is a very hard and heavy wood. You will need special tools during the installation process. You also need to do some pre-drilling before screwing it down. Regular oiling is required if you want to maintain its natural color. It is also a bit expensive due to its popularity and high demand. But that’s the price you have to pay in order to get the best decking material on the market today.

However, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Ipe wood is the most popular decking solution because of its durability, beauty, and availability. It comes in dark brown to olive brown. There are even some Ipe wood that are almost black in color. It also has different grain variations, which is why designers love using it.

Tips on How to Build a Deck in the Fall

Now that we are near the end of the Summer, many people are wondering if they should take the opportunity to build their own ipe deck considering that the ipe prices are looking attractive right now.

The truth is that you can definitely take advantage of such a deal. Even though ipe is now a lot more affordable than it was just a couple of years back, the truth is that you never know how the price is going to be tomorrow.

However, when you are building a deck, there are some things that you need to consider. These things will not only allow the installation of the new deck to be simpler and easier as well as it will ensure that your ipe decking will look amazing and strong now as well as in the future.

#1: Before you immediately start cutting the ipe decking as soon as it gets to your home, just let it adapt to your humidity levels and immediate environment. As a rule of thumb, let the ipe bundles be there between 3 to 5 days.

 

 

#2: One of the reasons why a lot of people chooses ipe deckings is because ipe is naturally resistant to mold. However, if even in this situation you are concerned about the wet leaves covering your ipe wood or about the excess moisture, you can always build a simple canopy over the wood. While you could also use a tarp to cover it up, the truth is that a canopy works a lot better because it allows the air circulation and it also is a time-saving solution.

#3: You probably already heard that you should apply deck oil finish. However, make sure that you only apply it once the ipe wood has acclimated as well as after you install the ipe decking. If you apply the Ipe Oil before you finish the installation, you may end up with some scratched ipe boards. Even though they can be fixed, this means more time and energy spent.

 

 

#4: The best time to apply an ipe end sealer is immediately after you cut the decking. Please note that this is a critical step to ensure the health of your deck boards. If you end up waiting for one hour or more, this can be enough for the ipe to end up with split or check ends.

#5: Since you’re planning on installing your ipe deck on fall, it means that in the next few months it will need to deal with rain, wind, and possibly snow. So, your deck will have a lot of moisture content. This is why you need to make sure that you build a deck as tight and stiff as possible because when spring and summer arrive, the boards will start to contract. So, if your ipe decking isn’t as strong as it should be, you’ll start to see some warped and loose boards.

One of the best ways that you have to assure that your deck is well built even if you’re doing it in the Fall is to pre-drill the ipe with deck screws.

 

5 Warning Signs Your Deck Could Collapse – Quick Deck Inspection Tips

When you have a deck at your home, it is crucial that you inspect it at least once a year. The best period to do it is during the Spring or beginning of the Summer since this is the time when the deck boards start to contract as well as this is the time of the year that you should spend more time enjoying it.

So, here are 5 warning signs that you need to be aware off to make sure that your deck doesn’t collapse: 

#1: Are All Your Connectors There?

While many people have decks at their homes, the truth is that most of them may not be as safe as we would think. The truth is that most of them simply use the wood, screws, and nails. However, this may not be enough to make it completely safe. You need to make sure that you are using compliant fasteners. The best ones to use (and the safest ones) are bolts. So, in case you’re not using bolts on your deck, you should really consider replacing them.

#2: Are Your Connectors Tight?

One of the things many people tend to notice when they are inspecting their decks, especially during the spring and summer, is that they have loose and wobbly boards and railings or that the ledgers aren’t as tight as they should be against your home. So, this clearly indicates that you have some loose connections that you need to fix to make sure that your deck doesn’t fall. There are many reasons why this can happen. The important thing is that you verify them and make sure that you get them fixed as soon as you notice them.

#3: Are Your Connectors or Fasteners Corroded?

As you know, your deck is always subjected to the different temperatures and weather conditions throughout the entire year. So, make sure that your fasteners and galvanized metal connectors are still in shape and not at risk of corrosion. In case they are already corroded, you need to change them because this means that the structure is weakened.

#4: Is Your Wood Staying Strong?

Since your deck is exposed to the different weather conditions, rot and decay and two possible situations that can affect your wood. So, make sure that you don’t have any weak sections or your deck may become unstable.

#5: Are There Cracks In Your Wood?

 Cracks tend to occur because the wood of your deck is exposed you the UV rays and the sun. So, make sure that you check for excessive cracking or larger cracks.

 

Looking to Build a Deck? Now is the time!

In case you’re considering building a deck at your home, this s a great news. You are increasing your property’s value and. at the same time, you are making sure that you are enjoying it at the fullest whiles you live there.

But why should you build a deck besides the fact that you can definitely enjoy some amazing times, especially in the summer, with your family and friends?

#1: One of the main reasons that has been holding a lot of people back from building a deck or simply from renovating a part of their homes relates with the costs. However, even though you may not be aware of it, building a deck is a lot more affordable now than it sed to be a few years ago.

#2: One of the factors that has a huge influence over the price of building a deck is related with the material that you use. If in some recent years most people were building composite deckings, now most people are opting for ipe deckings. And the reasons are numerous for choosing this kind of wood. The first one if the price. Ever since we started to see an increase on the oil prices, composites deckings started to also increase their prices. However, ipe decking is now a much more affordable solution. Other reasons that have been leading to more and more people choosing to build an ipe decking instead of a composite decking include:

– the price of the ipe wood has remained steady;

– the ipe decking is 100% natural wood while composite decking is made of a synthetic plastic;

– ipe is a more durable wood due to its resistance to insects, fungus, mildew, and mold, and due to its natural density. Ipe wood is a renewable resource and is 100% biodegradable.

#3: When you build a deck you are helping the overall economy and, more specifically, your community. When you decide that you want to build a deck, you are not only helping the workers who will be building it directly. You are also helping the person who is cutting the ipe wood, the person who took your order, the person who transport the ipe to your home, among so many others.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to start thinking about building your ipe decking today. Make sure that you check out the different companies who you can hire and just enjoy your amazing deck with your family and friends.

Build a Garden Bridge with Ipe Decking

When you are considering building an ipe decking at your home, you really should consider different evaluating different designs and configurations.

The reality is that as time passes, we just keep seeing new and modern ipe deckings that are becoming even more beautiful. Many home owners are definitely taking the time and making a strong effort to make their ipe deckings stand out from the crowd. And the truth is that most of them are really succeeding.

One of the ideas that we have been seeing that has been increasing in popularity includes having your ipe deck built as a part of a garden or a pond. For example, you can build a bridge in your backyard area that goes over a garden or a pond. We bet that you are already imagining having something like this at your own home. After all, if you’re one of those people who likes to see renovation programs on television, you probably already had the opportunity to see something similar. And we must say that it really stands out. It’s just a luxury to have such an ipe decking at your home and where you can enjoy life with your family and friends.

You probably noticed that we haven’t been mentioning any kind of decking up until now. We have been always referring to the decking as the ipe decking. And this is meant to be this way because, in this kind of decoration, you can be sure that the ipe wood is definitely the best material you can use.

When it concerns to the looks, we need to be honest here. Ipe deckings are the best option that you have because they will be beautiful not only now, when you build it. as well as in the long-term. After all, we are talking about a durable kind of wood. Plus, depending on the weather on the area where you live, you always have the option to apply a deck finishing such as the Ipe Oil.

However, as you know, it’s not only a question of looks. When you are building a deck with a garden or pond, you need to make sure that you also look at the function, meaning the qualities of the material that you choose. And in case you choose to go with an ipe decking, you need to know that this is the more resilient wood to termites, decay, and mold. But that’s not all. The ipe wood includes some natural oils and also has a tight grain. This ensures that it has all the natural defenses it needs to deal with most decking problems.

Inspecting The Railings And Stairs Of Your Deck

As you probably already know, doing some routine maintenance and inspection is crucial when you have a deck. You want to make sure that your beautiful deck has all the safety conditions in place so that you, your family, and friends can feel secure and be able to relax.

However, most home owners tend to forget about two crucial components of their decks – the railings and the stairs.

Railings

Railings are usually involved when there is an injury on your deck. They are, in fact, the second most common cause of accidents.

When you are giving a party, you might already have noticed that some of your guests enjoy leaning on railings while they are chatting. However, if your railings aren’t in good conditions, your guests may suffer a huge fall. So, you want to make sure that they are well-secured by carefully inspecting them.

One of the things that you might be wondering is that with so many different types of railings, how can you see if they are in good shape? Even though you can have glass, cables, balusters, or wire mesh railings, they all have one thing in common – they all came in with manufacturer’s instructions. So, make sure that you grab your instructions and follow what it says.

One of the things that you should know is that your major potential problems may be on the fasteners that are used to attach railing posts to the deck. The truth is that that hardware can loosen up or rust. So, when looking in this particular area, make sure that you check for wood rot and fastener corrosion.

Stairs

The stairs are one of the areas of your deck that will need to support more foot traffic. Either to go to your deck or to go from the deck to your home, everyone needs to use the stairs. Plus, when you have a large object, you sometimes use the back door of your home to be easy to transport it. So, this means more weight and more pressure on the stairs.

When doing an inspection to your stairs, there are a couple of things that you need to do. The first thing you should do is to start with the stringers. These are very important since they are the major support platform that you have when you walk. When they are overcut, they are more subjected to rot as well as they are more likely to suffer from severe structural weakness.

The second place that you need to carefully inspect is the area where the stairs attach to the deck. No matter what material you used to build the stairs, you need to know that specialized material is necessary to support heavy loads. So, make sure that this hardware is in good conditions and that there aren’t any signs of corrosion or any loose nails.

Last but not least, make sure that you check for rot and cracks in the steps. In case you notice there are any protruding screws or nails, make sure to refasten them.

 

Inspecting The Under-structure Of Your Deck

One of the best times to inspecting the under-structure of your deck is usually before summer arrives. And the reason is simple: you want to enjoy your deck during the hotter nights of the year. So, as always, safety should come first. So, by inspecting everything related to your deck beforehand will allow you to enjoy it with your family and friends without any safety concerns.

However, what exactly should you inspect? How can you make sure that your deck can be used safely?

Before we talk about each specific thing you need to look at or task that needs to be done, it’s important to acknowledge that you should always follow local building codes as well as you should be wearing the right safety gear to protect you.

So, here is all that you need to do when you are inspecting the under-structure of your deck:

#1: Ledger Board

In case you don’t know, the ledger board is the board that makes the connection between your house and the deck. This is always a key point of support and this is one of those places that you really should inspect every single year.

The first thing you should consider doing is looking at the fastening method used to connect the ledger board to your home. In case you see nails or any other material that isn’t bolts you should definitely replace them with bolts only. And while you’re making the change, don’t allow anyone to be on the deck.

In the second place, it’s time to check flashing. Flashing is what prevents the water from penetrating into the wood which generally leads to rods and possible failure. While you may not notice any flashing, make sure that you check the board itself and look for penetration. Sometimes, they may not be evident marks but the danger is present.

The last thing that you need to check out on the ledger board is to see if there ate any corroded or loose fasteners.  

#2: Joists & Beams

Both joists and beams are pieces that carry the deck’s weight to the posts and to the ledger board. Each joint and each beam need to be carefully examined to check on termites and rods.

One of the easiest ways to do it is to poke the wood. If it breaks apart or you feel the wood spongy, you need to change that specific joint or beam.

When you notice you have one joint or beam that needs to be replaced, make sure that you carefully check the ones around them.

One of the most common places for failure to occur is where the connections are made. This is why it is especially important to check the hardware for corrosion and rust.

#3: Posts

The posts are the ones that carry the entire deck structure, your family, and your friends. While traditionally they aren’t involved in a failure of a deck, it’s always best to be safe and sorry. So, just do the same process as you did with the joints.

#4: Concrete Footings

The concrete footings are, basically, your foundation. In this part of your deck, you need to check for cracks. In case you notice that your concrete is dry or cracked, this may mean that your post is standing on an unstable ground, which can cause the post to sway, leading to the deck’s collapse.

Plus, you should also check the hardware that connects your footings to your posts for rust.

 

 

 

Tips on How to Build a Deck in the Fall

Now that we are near the end of the Summer, many people are wondering if they should take the opportunity to build their own ipe deck considering that the ipe prices are looking attractive right now.

The truth is that you can definitely take advantage of such a deal. Even though ipe is now a lot more affordable than it was just a couple of years back, the truth is that you never know how the price is going to be tomorrow.

However, when you are building a deck, there are some things that you need to consider. These things will not only allow the installation of the new deck to be simpler and easier as well as it will ensure that your ipe decking will look amazing and strong now as well as in the future. 

#1: Before you immediately start cutting the ipe decking as soon as it gets to your home, just let it adapt to your humidity levels and immediate environment. As a rule of thumb, let the ipe bundles be there between 3 to 5 days.

#2: One of the reasons why a lot of people chooses ipe deckings is because ipe is naturally resistant to mold. However, if even in this situation you are concerned about the wet leaves covering your ipe wood or about the excess moisture, you can always build a simple canopy over the wood. While you could also use a tarp to cover it up, the truth is that a canopy works a lot better because it allows the air circulation and it also is a time-saving solution.

 #3: You probably already heard that you should apply deck oil finish. However, make sure that you only apply it once the ipe wood has acclimated as well as after you install the ipe decking. If you apply the Ipe Oil before you finish the installation, you may end up with some scratched ipe boards. Even though they can be fixed, this means more time and energy spent.

#4: The best time to apply an ipe end sealer is immediately after you cut the decking. Please note that this is a critical step to ensure the health of your deck boards. If you end up waiting for one hour or more, this can be enough for the ipe to end up with split or check ends.

#5: Since you’re planning on installing your ipe deck on fall, it means that in the next few months it will need to deal with rain, wind, and possibly snow. So, your deck will have a lot of moisture content. This is why you need to make sure that you build a deck as tight and stiff as possible because when spring and summer arrive, the boards will start to contract. So, if your ipe decking isn’t as strong as it should be, you’ll start to see some warped and loose boards.

 One of the best ways that you have to assure that your deck is well built even if you’re doing it in the Fall is to pre-drill the ipe with deck screws.

 

 

The Durability Of An Ipe Decking

When you want to build a deck, one of your main concerns is usually related to the material that you are going to use. After all, you want to make sure that your deck is not only beautiful as it is durable as well.

In what comes to the materials used when building a deck, they have been changing throughout the years. In the olds days, the materials that were used more frequently were cedar, redwood, and pressure treated wood. In the last couple of years, a new trend emerged and home owners started using composites. However, this was never a unanimous position since while some home owners love it, others just can’t stand it. And then you have ipe decking.

In order to make a well-thought decision, you need to know a bit more about each one of these materials.

#1: Redwood And Cedar:

Both redwood and cedar were usually preferred because of their strong performance records. They used to have a life span of more than 30 years and were extremely resistant to bugs. However, with the huge demand and the fact that these woods started to become scarce, the prices increased a lot. So, home owners needed to look for better options.

#2: Pressure Treated Wood:

There are many advantages when you choose pressure treated wood. One of the main ones is the price that is quite affordable. Plus, the fact that it’s very easy to work with led to many home owners to choose this material for their decks. However, there’s a great catch – the maintenance. When you decide to use pressure treated wood in your deck, you’ll need to strip, sand, and stain every single year so that your deck continues to look amazing. As if this wasn’t bad enough, there were some recent studies that showed that this kind of wood can release chemicals when wet.

#3: Composites:

When composites appeared, they seemed like the “holy-grail”. They hadn’t any disadvantages and had the best qualities of wood. As you can imagine, this turned out to be false. What happened was that after a lot of home owners used it to build their decks, they started noticing unstable boards as well as mold formation. While most companies tried to handle the complaints as they could, the truth is that the problems are still very evident up until today.

The truth is that composites are not really wood; they are more a kind of plastic product that isn’t as strong as wood, as well as it needs special installations processes and techniques to make sure that you get a safe deck.

#4: Ipe:

One of the latest trends for building decks is the use of ipe. When you are looking for a 100% natural dark brown hardwood that requires almost any maintenance, then ipe might be a great option to consider. One of the main advantages of this wood is the fact that it has a lifespan of more than 75 years due to its naturally occurring preservative oils as well as to its high density.

In terms of the maintenance that it requires, you just need to do a casual sweeping and rinsing with some warm water. In order to preserve the color, you can do some coating with Ipe Oil and your deck will as good as new.

As you can see, you have a lot of options from the more expensive to the most affordable ones. The truth is that when you build a deck, you want to make sure that it lasts in good conditions. Considering the pros and cons of these 4 materials, there’s no question that the best one you can choose is ipe.