Category Archives: News

The Caitlan Wallace Memorial Scholarship

Caitlan Wallace had just turned 18, when her life was suddenly taken in a fatal car accident on September 29th, 2015. Caitlan was an intelligent, witty, spirited young woman who looked forward to starting adult life and education.

My name is Steven Rossi of Ipe Woods USA. Caitlan was not only my niece, she was also an inspiration to me and our family. Caitlan’s brilliance and charm was the light of our lives. She will not have the opportunity to fulfill her dream of going to College. In Memory of Caitlan Wallace, Ipe Woods USA is offering a College Scholarship in the amount of $1000.

This initial scholarship of $1000 will be offered to someone who needs financial assistance to fulfill their college dreams. Ipe Woods USA is accepting applications with an attached essay to award the first Caitlan Wallace Memorial Scholarship.

Essay requirements for the Caitlan Wallace Memorial Scholarship:
The advent of safe phones, texting, and social media has led to an increase of traffic accidents due to distracted driving. In a two-page essay please discuss the necessity for safe driving and the perils of distracted driving. We ask that this essay be a concisely written creative essay that can be shared in Memory of Caitlan Wallace and her tragic automobile death.

Essay Format:
Use the basic principles of an opinion essay:
An Introduction that previews the 3 essential points of the essay
A Body that discusses each point of your argument for safe driving
A Conclusion that summarizes your points
The essays will be judged on academic excellence, writing style and the concise conveyance of the points you make highlighting the need for safe driving.

The work must be original and unpublished. The writing will be checked for plagiarism and writings that were previously published on any kind of media outlets, including personal blogs, Facebook pages and similar platforms, will not be considered applicable.
The essay must include at least three official and authentic sources to corroborate your argumentation. Once you submit your essay, you give permission to use it for commercial purposes.

Writing Guidelines:
The essay must follow a logical reasoning as your writing must be based on factual and logical arguments to prove your point.
The writing style is free, as creativity is also evaluated. We welcome and cherish conceptual writing, provided that you follow the aforementioned guidelines of argumentation and remain objective.
The writing must explain a particular point of view and prove it reasonable and logical based on the official sources you have to include on your writing.

The sources that refer to objective statements must be cited as quotations, whilst official data sources, like statistical data, can be simply referred at the end of the writing by an index markers system of your preference, i.e., “1, 2, 3, 4….”; “*, **, ***”.

Both types of sources, either quoted statements or data sources must be referred at the end of the essay in a separate section that must be titled “References”. You must include links for the official websites where the information can be accessed or, in the case of books and other printed media, you must include an extended reference with the number of the page and paragraph where the data or statement can be found, as well as the year of the publication, and the name of the book and the author.

Once again, note that the essay must follow a logical reasoning. Religious books or any other kind of abstract, empiric or non-scientific sources are not valid to corroborate your argumentation and you will be eliminated from the contest. Your essay must be saved as a “.doc” file.

Application Guidelines:
Send us your essay by email to [email protected] with the subject “Caitlan Wallace Memorial Scholarship – YOUR NAME”

In the body of the email include the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Telephone number
  • Full name of the school/university you are attending
  • Area of Study
  • You also must submit an official document that proves you are currently studying and associated with your school/university, including an official certification by the institution, as a signature or an official stamp. This document must be scanned with a good resolution and attached to your email.

Review and Winner’s Announcement:
The applied works will be reviewed under the following criteria:

  • Evaluation of the proper grammar usage
  • Evaluation of writing skills
  • Evaluation of creativity
  • Evaluation of argumentation and sources
  • The evaluations will get a grade of excellence based on the performance on the aforementioned criteria. The total highest grade will naturally be selected as the winner
  • The announcement of the winner is made on November 15th. The winner must claim her prize within one month or the second highest grade of the selection will be awarded as the winner.
    To claim the prize, we will contact you and your school/university to prove your association and subsequently, the prize will be sent via check .

Deadline The final date for submission is November 1st 2018, and we will choose the winner by November 15th and the check will be mailed out by November 20th 2018.

Steven Rossi
Ipe Woods USA
In Loving Memory of Caitlan Wallace

Ipe Woods USA Awarded Best Of Houzz 2018

Over 40 Million Monthly Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World and Ipe Woods USA won.

HOUSTON, TX, UNITED STATES, January 18, 2018 – Ipe Woods USA has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The new ipe decking supplier was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We work every day to ensure our customer service is the best in our industry and we are honored to be recognized for the hard work,” said Steven Rossi, President of Ipe Woods USA.

“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”

Follow Ipe Woods USA on Houzz.

About Ipe Woods USA
Ipe Woods USA is one of the leading suppliers of Ipe wood for decking, siding, flooring, and fencing in the United States. Supplying from coast to coast and across the world and delivering straight to job sites, also offering over 200 locations for pick-up upon request. Bringing the lowest prices on Ipe and the highest quality of Ipe direct to customers. Ipe wood is milled differently, installed differently and worked with differently than most other woods. Working with Ipe Woods USA ensures you have experts to consult with during your project(s). For more information visit their website at

About Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit

Dale Johnson
Ipe Woods USA
email us here

General Types of Decking Information

One of the essential additions to a home for entertainment or recreational purposes is the decking space. This is why a lot of homeowners around the world are constructing this appendage so that they can entertain their families, friends or neighbors. But choosing the material to use for your decking can be very intimidating. The following is a compiled summary of the most commonly used materials used today for decking.

These are some common alternatives to Ipe decking. Of course, the closest one is 1/3 the life of Ipe. We highly recommend you pay a little extra and get an Ipe deck.

Cedar decking
The price point of cedar decking falls between composite and treated wood. Cedar is visually appealing and is resistant to rot – to some extent – and purely resistant to insects. Cedar also has beautiful coloring. The best grade of cedar which is used for decking is commonly referred to as ‘Select’ tight knot cedar as it has minimal defects. The only disadvantage to using cedar for your decking needs is that it is a soft wood and likely to show wear if you happen to drag heavy furniture across it. You will also be required to reseal and stain your cedar deck annually to retain its beauty. This, however, gives no guarantee that the natural color of the cedar decking will not fade away. The natural lifespan of a cedar deck is between fifteen to twenty years on average
Treated decking
One of the things you should keep in mind when looking for the appropriate material for your decking needs is maintenance. Although treated decking is cost-effective, you need to factor in the costs of sealing, staining or painting each year. You will also be required to wait – which may be from two weeks to six months, depending on the environment as well as the type of pressure-treated process it has undergone – to paint, stain or seal a treated deck after each new build. Power washing your treated decking at least once a year is required before you re-stain it. The average lifespan of treated decking ranges between ten to fifteen years, and this depends on your environment and maintenance.

PVC decking
The use of this sturdy, synthetic material for decking has grown in popularity over the past few years. It is newer than composites and much more expensive compared to other types of decking. Composite brands such as Wolf and Fiberon also have PVC line, too. Not only is it durable, but PVC is also capped on three sides, similar to composites. It has a better tendency than composites to expand or contract according to changes to the weather. PVC decking is commonly used in water applications and has been found to be slip resistant, although this property varies from one brand to the other. PVC decking is also apparently resistant to rot and come with fade and stain warranties.
Composite decking
Composite decking is revered for its durability and strength. It is one of the most popular decking materials and made from materials that have undergone recycling such as sawdust, plastic bags, etc. Some composite decking is capped on three sides – sometimes, on four sides though this depends on the brand you select or go with. One cap prevents moisture and water from penetrating while another prevents staining and fading of colors. This is the most significant complaints lodged by users against composites. Composite decking also comes with embossed patterns that make it resemble natural wood grain as well as for aesthetic purposes and to minimize slippage. Some composite decking comes with variations in color while others come with solid colors to imitate natural wood. Almost all composite deck brands offer rot, splintering, fade, stain, and decay warranties which can cover as much as 25 years, depending on the brand.

Choosing Wood For Decking

One of the hardest choices you will ever make as a homeowner has to do with selecting the type of wood to use for your decking. The right board or type of wood is not just about the budget, strength or even looks but an excellent combination of these three attributes!

You may also be considering giving your old decking boards a face-lift suing new decking material, or maybe you just want to add a new deck to your house. But whatever the reason is, you need to be careful about the type of boards to purchase. The decking market has experienced a recent boom and with so many decking materials shoved literally into your face which is capable of confusing you the more.

Therefore, here are some of the things to consider when choosing wood for decking:

What do you intend to use your deck for? – The answers to this question will help you in making up your mind about the type of wood you should choose for your decking. Different decking boards have different holding power, especially under hard use. If your deck is used for entertaining your friends or neighbors and treating them to nightly barbecues, then the wood to be used for decking must be very sturdy. If, however, your decking area will be less frequented, then a less hardy and pressure-treated wood is the best choice.

Available materials – This is another thing you need to consider when choosing wood for your decking. You need to assess the decking materials that you can quickly acquire. Do you have Ipe wood close by? Ipe is a very durable lumber that when used for decking, lasts very long and is resistant to insects, fire, and mildew.

Composite decking is made using wood furniture quality which is mixed with a polymer to produce a high-density and sturdy product. It does not expand or shrink according to the weather, and you will never notice anything like splitting or warping on composite deck boards.

What is your budget? – This is another factor you need to consider. You may come across different price levels which cover different types of woods ranging from wood composite boards, pressure-treated wood, capped wood composite boards, etc. Ipe wood, for instance, is a bit pricey, but its durability, strength, and its resistance to fire, insects, and mildew makes the price to be worth it.

Different materials call for varying levels of upkeep and maintenance. Therefore, it is highly crucial that you ascertain your price range while considering what you’d like to use your decking for. Nevertheless, do not go for cheap wood up front as you may have to bear with high maintenance costs later on in life.

Finally, it is expected of you to be environmentally responsible when it comes to using wood. When you go for treated wood – which requires less energy to produce compared to other building products – you will be assured of using lumber which is durable and environmentally friendly. This implies that your decking will last for a long time, thereby reducing the demand on forests for lumber.


Well maybe if it came from Krypton, along with Superman, and he had a flare for horticulture . . . but that’s just a little too crazy.  So the answer is, not really.

However, when it comes to fire resistance, not all woods are created equal.  Especially when it comes to wood you’re using for decking, siding and fencing.  Now, we all know that when it comes to hardcore wildfires, no matter how fire resistant wood is, when a firestorm is bearing down on your place, all bets are off.  But in normal circumstances, naturally fire resistant wood is a smart and sound investment.  

The King of Fire-resistant Wood

When it comes to fire-resistant wood, the king is Ipe wood, of course.  As we’ve said before they don’t call it ironwood for nothing.

If you have been through a fire and are in the process of rebuilding there are many solid reasons to consider using Ipe wood as siding, decking and fencing.  

Just like everything else on the planet these days, there are tests to see just how well wood stands up to fire.  And when it comes to Ipe nothing touches it.  Essentially how they do it is they install and 20’x25’ sample as the ceiling of a test chamber, and then see how fast the fire spreads.  Of all the woods, Ipe came out on top.  It has been given up a an A rating for fire resistance.  That means it’s the best.

Ipe lumber is so naturally dense that it resists fungus, rot and termites.  It even sinks in water.

Accidents Happen

Wildfires are dangerous and unpredictable, as we unfortunately seen these past months with all the wildfires around the country.  Fortunately, most of us will never have to worry about losing our homes to one.

However, accidents happen, and that’s when using Ipe lumber for your decking and siding and fencing really comes in handy.  

Imagine you’re hosting a barbeque on your deck with friends and neighbors there.  You’ve got the barbeque going, and next thing you know someone’s knocked over a grill filled with white-hot briquettes.  Or maybe it’s a tiki torch that was knocked over. It can be any one of a half-dozen unexpected things.  

If your deck is made of pine, or redwood, or oak–FOOM!–everything goes up a flash.  You barely have time to look for the fire extinguisher before things get out of control.

If you’ve used Ipe wood as your for your deck, you’re able to get things under control before the point of no-return. The dense ironwood takes so long to ignite, that life can be a little calmer when an accident happens.  

Fences Make Good Neighbors

When it comes to neighbors sometimes a fence can help keep peace.  Unfortunately, sometimes fires have been known to jump, and ignite the house next door.  

Using Ipe fencing, can help keep the neighbors happy.

A fence made of Ipe lumber can slow the spread of a fire to the point of helping to keep it contained.  

An Ounce of Prevention . . .

For all these reasons, Ipe Woods USA suggests you keep Ipe wood in mind when you’re planning on adding a deck, building a fence, or putting on siding. The high fire-resistance of Ipe wood helps prevent the flames from gaining a toehold and doing more damage. Alas, no organic product is fireproof, but Ipe is a close second.

Characteristics of Ipe Decking

When it comes to hardwoods, one of the preferred materials for decks is Ipe. Contractors, builders, and homeowners love its durability and hardness. Ipe decking will last for a long time. A tropical hardwood is native to South America; there are various sustainable sources of the wood.

Appearance and Color

The heartwood of Ipe has a color that ranges from reddish brown to blackish brown to yellowish olive brown. It is normal to see the wood having black and brown stripes. The Ipe wood has fine to medium texture. It features straight to their regular pattern of the grain.

Ipe is often mistaken for the Cumaru, which is another dense wood from South America. The difference is that the former is darker and don’t have the cinnamon/vanilla scent of Cumaru.

Moisture Content

Air-dried Ipe decking has around 12-15 percent moisture content, which is perfect for decking purposes. If you are using it for indoor spaces exposed to air conditioning and artificial heat, then look for kiln-dried wood.

Planks can air dry fast and can show some checking if dried quickly under the sun. It can lead to warping, especially in large timber pieces, such as 2×12. In some cases, screws are pulled out of the stringers. It is advisable to use 2 pieces of 2×6 instead of a single 2×12 plank.


Ipe is a very durable wood for decking. It is resistant to insects, fire, and rot. You don’t need to worry about the wood touching the ground even if you didn’t apply any preservatives to it. It can last for 15 years in the ground without any attacks from termites.

It has received the highest possible durable rating from the US Forests Products Laboratory. Ipe decking can last for at least 20 to 25 years. Your deck can easily last for three to even four decades with minimal maintenance work. If you apply deck oil or finish to all sides of the plank, your deck can last for a hundred years.


The downside of using Ipe wood is that it is difficult to work because of it of its density and hardness. It also has a high cutting resistance while sawing. Ipe can make cutting edges blunt that tradesmen require constant sharpening of their tools when cutting Ipe wood.

It is easy to plane the wood, but the grain can tear out on areas that are interlocked. It is also difficult to glue the wood properly, and it is advisable to prepare the surface first before applying the glue. The straight-grained wood also interferes with its finishing and polishing process.

Strength of Ipe Wood

Ipe is three times stronger than Cedarwood. It exceeds all the code requirements for decking and other exterior constructions. Your deck can easily handle snow, rain, and other harsh elements of nature.

These characteristics make Ipe the ideal material for outdoor decks. The best thing about the wood is that there are sustainable sources for it. Ipe is a beautiful dark brown wood that will last for years to come.

For more information check out our Ipe Facts page.

Synthetic Allura Decking Recalled

And again another synthetic deck fail. Plycem Recalls Allura Decking Due to Fall and Injury Hazards. The United States CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION reports that defective decking needs to be completely recalled. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission says that “Consumers should immediately stop using decks with the recalled decking materials and contact Plycem to schedule a free repair. Plycem is contacting all known purchasers directly.”  Stating that “…reports of the recalled decking cracking, resulting in one report of a leg injury to an adult male whose leg went through the cracked decking.

For more information visit the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission.


Uneducated Contractors – Ipe’s Biggest Threat

Uneducated contractors are perhaps the biggest reason Ipe is not used more. If you have a contractor, architect or carpenter that does not recommend Ipe for use on your deck you should run and not walk away. Having someone that calls themselves an expert and they do not recommend the best material either shows gross incompetence or lack of knowledge.

To address a few of the comments I have heard over the years from “professional builders”.

“I do not recommend Ipe because it is too expensive.”.

First of all, Ipe is not that much more expensive than many other kinds of wood. In fact, it is cheaper than some. When a “professional” thinks that recommending the best material for a job is not a good idea, I would think twice about using them. What other materials is he substituting because he thinks they are “too expensive”. The truth is that as a building professional unless you are specifically told by a customer that they want a cheap deck, you should always give at least the option of the best material in a quote.

“Ipe is too hard to work with.”

Ipe is denser than other woods. So cutting it will take longer if you do not have the right blades. Remember that it’s that denseness that also makes it last so long and maintain its integrity. That is what you want! Make sure you are using the right blades and cutting will not take long. But you will have to predrill the holes. One time we figured out that using a drill & drive kit for an Ipe deck added 45 minutes on an 800/sf deck. I would argue with anyone, that this 45 min of labor is worth having a deck that can last over 75 years.

“I am not familiar with Ipe, what is that?”

Having worked in the industry for many years, I am still shocked when contractors do not know what Ipe is or do not recommend Ipe first to their customers. Thinking that Ipe is the best material for decks is not just of opinion but a fact. The wood is simply denser, longer lasting and better suited to protect against bugs, mold and other outdoor problems. If a contractor does not know what Ipe is, you have to wonder what else they don’t know. It would be like saying you are a mechanic and don’t know what a Ferrari is. I would be very cautious of anyone that does not know what Ipe is.

“I use Synthetics (Trex, Fiberon, Azek) for all my decks.”

These brands have done a great job of marketing to contractors. They are also easier to work with. The truth is though that these materials are easier to work with because they are not dense or load bearing and they are made in a factory. They have been known to harbor mold in many cases and fade easily. Also, do not be fooled, they do in fact require annual maintenance. Not to mention they look good from some angles, but it’s basically a plastic deck and it looks like it. If one board gets damaged, when you replace it what do you think the new board looks like up against the faded ones? While synthetics have come a long way and many lawsuits later. They are still a cheap alternative to Ipe. Even based on how long manufacturers say their boards last, Ipe will last over 2 times longer. I do not have to sit and badmouth synthetic boards though. I only tell people looking into them, to go find a deck made from them 10 years ago near you. You will never want one after that, but Ipe can last over 75 years and it is natural and can always be reconditioned. Unlike synthetics, whose appearance only worsens with time.

Simple Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

They don’t call Ipe wood “ironwood” for nothing.  You can break screws on it, dull saw blades, and Ipe lumber laughs in the face of rain and snow.  Rot and molds hold no fear for this beautiful Brazilian hardwood.  Using it on your deck, your fence, siding, whatever, will make your neighbors jealous.  The true handymen in the neighborhood will ask to come over just so they can touch it and caress it.

It can be done

As wonderful as Ipe wood decking is, you can mess it up, if you don’t care for it properly.  Just think of it as an expensive car.  It’s made to take stand up to practically anything and everything.  But if you don’t tune it up, care for it regularly, things can go wrong.

So we have a list of suggestions that can help you keep it the envy of your neighbors for decades to come.  You know they say that properly cared for, Ipe lumber can last anywhere from 25 to 75 years.   With the right attention, you can will it to your children.

Keep it clean

  • The first is the easiest and most sensible: keep your decking clean.  It’s really as simple as keeping the leaves and refuse off your deck.  Sweep it off once a week or so.  When the dog or the kids get mud all over the deck, hose it down.  Make sure that you get anything that has fallen between the cracks out as well.
  • Don’t let anything that can leave rust on the deck sit there, such as metal chairs, or propane tanks. Wooden chairs are best.

Sealed nice and tight

  • When installing the deck make sure that all the all your deck wood is sealed on all four sides, including the ends. Though Ipe wood is highly resistant to mold and fungus because of its dense make up, if the ends aren’t sealed, that can be the easiest place for it to enter.
  • Next, make sure the wood has time to dry after you’ve sealed it. If not, it’s going to look a fright after it’s installed.
  • Don’t use film forming coatings. They may be great for boats that have teak wood and such, but not so much for your deck.

A light touch is all it needs

  • You most certainly need to use penetrating oils to help the wood keep that dark color. But when applying the oils, a light touch is what you need.  Ipe wood throws the excess oil right back at you.  If you leave the extra oil, it will become tacky and can become a breeding ground for molds and/or fungus.  Apply the oil with a brush and use a cloth to wipe up the extra oil.
  • Don’t use a sprayer to apply the oil/stain. It goes on best when you use a brush, and remember to wipe up after yourself, as it were.

Keep a weather eye out

  • Finally, pay attention to the weather forecast for when you plan to clean and restain. You need to allow for drying time.  If it starts raining while the finish it still drying you’re going to see all the little rain drops captured in the spots they’ll leave on the deck.  Make sure it’s going to nice a sunny for a while when you do the job.


These simple steps will help you dodge easily avoidable mistakes, and keep your Ipe wood deck looking great till the next generation.


A Lifetime Investment

The great thing about choosing Ipe wood for project(s) is that it’s one and done.  Whether it’s decking, siding, fencing, or any of many other options, Ipe lumber is so tough, and durable resistant to water damage and molds, that replacing it is the last thing you’ll have to worry about. I mean it’s so tough you need to hold a hardcore hockey match on it for it to see much damage.  Or else drop a bowling ball from about ten stories high on to it.  (You may just break the ball instead.)  You spent the time to research costs and pricing, made your decision, and there it sits, the apple of your eye, and maybe the envy of the neighborhood.  If you’re lucky, you’ve just become the Jones’s that everyone is working to keep up with.

But even a lifetime investment needs attention to stay looking as good as it did the day you first put it in.


You’ve got a couple choices when it comes to your Ipe decking (let’s stay with decking just for the sake of convenience, but this applies to whatever you’ve used your Ipe wood for.)

You can either let it just age without staining it.  If that is the case, it will ultimately fade to a silvery grey, shade much like teak.  Even that choice will require you to reseal it once every year or two.  (Don’t go any longer than two years between resealing.)  Yes, Ipe is amazingly impervious to water damage and rot, but it still needs to be treated with care.

The other choice is to restain the lumber.  Restaining the Ipe wood will keep it looking beautifully dark for ages.

You can’t lose either way.  It’s just of question of what you prefer.


Always stick with the KISS formula:  Keep it short and simple.  You need to start with the basics.

No matter which way you go you will have to clean your Ipe decking before either restaining or resealing.

To clean the deck you’ll need to use some bleach to get all the junk off.  It’s easy to do and you can find a formula for it here.

Don’t use a sprayer to wash your Ipe deck.  Go old fashioned and get down on your hands and knees.  Make sure you don’t forget your knee pads when you’re doing that.

Once you’ve cleaned the lumber, let it dry for at least a day.

When that’s finished stain or seal away to your heart’s content.

You can’t lose no matter what choice you make.