Proper Maintenance and Cleaning of Ipe Decking

The maintenance of an Ipe decking is really quite simple. However, we get calls almost every day from people that have done it wrong. Doing things like pressure-washing it, putting the oil on without letting it completely dry, and many more errors.

We also have homeowners that were initially happy with the maintenance of a deck and end up with a “sticky” or “gunky” deck. There are many mistakes that can be made, but proper maintenance is simple, and here is a simple guide to show you how.

An existing deck that is having annual cleaning and maintenance

Biggest mistakes we see and things not to do:

  • Do not power wash the deck! This can damage the deck.
  • Do not use products to “finish” the deck that are not recommended by us. Some products that can be used with domestic hardwood lumber can not be used on exotic hardwood lumber.

For your annual or periodic maintenance:

  • Clean the deck as described in this video below. This is much easier than most people think. Because exotic wood is so dense it is really taking care of just the surface.
  • Wait for it to FULLY dry (can take days depending on the weather).
  • Use one of the recommended treatments listed at the bottom here.

Here is the cleaner and brightener we use:

If you are installing a new deck and doing initial maintenance you should do the following:

  • Seal the ends of every board that is not already sealed.
  • Use UV protection also known as “Oil” before installation or immediately after. This will keep it darker. Otherwise, you can use nothing and let it turn grey.
  • Ensure the deck is free of debris such as sapwood, leaves, and leaves (you can use a vacuum cleaner or broom).

Some things we hear and you should know:

We hear some people/companies say that sealing the entire board is better before installing and then sealing one side afterward. While this may be true for most woods, the effectiveness of this with Ipe we believe to be minimal. The underside of a deck would not get much weathering and Ipe is naturally very weather resistant. While this certainly won’t hurt, how much it will help is negotiable. For overall decking installation visit our installation page.

Recommended Treatments:

Please note:

To properly maintain your Ipe deck, we recommend that you work with an experienced professional.  All information on the site is only generalized recommendations. We are not and will not be held liable for improper maintenance, for any reason, including but not limited to information inaccuracy.  Again, consult a professional for all things related to maintenance.