Do I Need to Oil My Ipe Deck?

A lot of customers ask this, and the answer is a qualified “no.” Ipe is tough enough on its own to survive the elements without a finish coating. However, we do strongly recommend oiling your deck at least once when you install it. This initial coating will help retain the wood’s natural oils and improve its stability.

Beyond that, whether or not to oil your Ipe deck is a matter of personal taste. Oiling is required if you want to preserve the wood’s dark brown color. Otherwise it will fade to silver. We recommend re-oiling the deck annually to maintain color, but if your deck receives a lot of direct sunlight, more frequent coats may be necessary.

If you want the grayed-out look, or you just don’t care enough to apply oil every year, then you can skip it. The color fade is only cosmetic. The wood will still be just as strong and will still last over 70 years.

If you have any other questions about Ipe decking maintenance, feel free to give us a call!

The Lumber Supplier Checklist

If you’re looking for an exotic lumber supplier, you need to choose the best. This checklist will guide you through the process and help you pick a company that can meet all your needs.

Selection

Perhaps the first question you need to ask of your lumber supplier is do they have what you need? A company with a huge inventory will not only be able to fill regular orders large and small whenever you need them, they will also have the stock to meet those rare, custom needs.

Quality

The next question: is the product any good? The best lumber suppliers will have stringent inspection processes to ensure only the best pieces get shipped to customers. Before purchasing from any company, request a sample, or even ask to inspect their inventory yourself if they have a location nearby.

Milling Capabilities

Whether you’re building a deck, installing a floor, or putting up hardwood siding, you need a lumber supplier that can mill the exact profile your project requires. Make sure they can produce all the standard profiles, but also find out if they can cater to custom needs. Obscure profiles? Unusual lengths? Extra-wide dimensions? The best mills will be able to provide all of these.

Source

A couple of things to look for here. First, is the company importing wood directly from the source? If not, you may be paying extra for a middle-man. Second, is the lumber being harvested and imported legally? A company that imports directly will have more control over this and should be able to provide documentation proving the legality of their product. Finally, does the company have a good relationship with the lumber mills at the source? Strong relationships with foreign mills allow a company to get more, higher-quality lumber for less, and also means the company will have more longevity should you want to come back to them for future projects.

Experience

All the above mean nothing if the company ultimately has no idea what it’s doing. Knowledgeable staff will be able to advise you on material requirements and installation instructions. They’ll know how to navigate the legal complexities of the harvest and import processes. With experience also comes a level of customer service you won’t find anywhere else, with an ability to anticipate your concerns and provide answers to all your questions.

So How Do We Stack Up?

Selection? We have the largest inventory of Ipe lumber in the country. Quality? We inspect each board we produce before sending them to customers. Milling? We can custom-mill any profile you need, thanks to the state-of-the-art machinery at each of our locations. Source? Not only do we import directly from Brazil, we actually own the mill in Brazil. We control the entire process, from harvesting to final shipment, so you can rest assured that you’re getting 100% legal timber at the best price. Experience? We’ve been in business for over 20 years and have been chosen for projects ranging from high-profile public works to backyard decks, from celebrity homes to artisan woodworking pieces. If you have any questions, just give us a call!

The Benefits of Pregrooved Ipe Decking

Pregrooved Ipe Decking

Pregrooved decking consists of grooves milled onto the side of the board. The groove that runs the length the board is cut to accept the Ipe clip hidden fastening system. Pregrooved decking, coupled with the hidden fastening system gives home owners a secure alternative to face screwing. Our custom-milled pregrooved Ipe decking saves on installation time and makes for a flawless surface. Some homeowners and contractors have concerns about pregrooved decking because it loses wood during the milling process. Rest assured that the boards are as stable as non-milled boards. The density and strength of all of our hardwoods is the key to keeping its structural integrity. Pregrooved Decking offers the following:

  • The perfect groove for Ipe Clip® Hidden Fastening System
  • All the benefits that exotic hardwood brings
  • No extra work required to make biscuit cuts
  • Perfectly symmetrical grooves that assure an easy installation board after board.

Making the grooves yourself is a time consuming process that will dull the blades of your router and burn the motor quickly. Avoid these complications and have your boards pregrooved by our state of the art machines. Create an oasis in your home by building the perfect deck free of unsightly screws. Contact us today to get your free pregrooved Ipe decking quote.

How Can Ipe Wood Resist Flame Spread So Well?

Open flame is safe on an ipe deck.

Fire poses a danger to any structure and wood is a highly combustible material; the two aren’t a good combination. Wood used as framing material for houses will catch fire very quickly and spread within a matter of seconds. Decks, like homes are typically built out of wood like pine, cedar, and redwood. Your alternatives are metal or plastic, but plastic catches fire just as fast and releases toxic fumes as a by product.

Ipe holds up to a class A fire rating, the same as concrete and steel. What does this mean? It means that Ipe will not combust as fast as other woods and it will not spread flames.

If you’re wondering how this is possible, you’re not alone. Ipe’s physical characteristics are the driving force behind this attribute. Ipe has a density that out performs every other wood. In fact, if you throw Ipe in water it will sink. This incredible density prevents the wood fibers from catching fire and is able to repel any embers or flames.

You can feel safe and secure when entertaining guests or having a barbecue. Your deck should be a place of relaxation and serenity. Ipe will bring that relaxation and safety.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

How does Ipe Compare to Plastic Decking?

Different Colors of PVC Decking

Plastic decking is advertised to be the last and only decking material you’ll ever need. The ads say that you never need to give it maintenance, you never have to sand it, and it will never lose its color. You’ve probably also heard that they come in many tones, and unlike wood, it’s made from recycled materials and therefor it’s good for the environment. All of this sounds great but when you begin digging deeper, you’ll discover that the only way to go is with all natural Ipe.

The truth is, any material placed outdoors requires maintenance. Search online and you’ll see how plastic and wood-plastic composites can develop mold and mildew. Unlike Ipe, the mold you find in synthetic decking isn’t just superficial; it’s rooted in the core of the composite board. Ipe on the other hand, is naturally resistant to mold and decay without any chemical additives. Every material fades, but what is important is how they fade. While plastics will become a dull opaque color riddled with cracks, Ipe ages gracefully to a beautiful silver color without any cracks or structural weakening. Ipe may come from the rainforest, but we work closely with IBAMA, a Brazilian counterpart of the EPA, to develop the best sustainable practices to harvest each tree. Plastics do come from recycled materials, but the boards themselves can’t be recycled and end up in landfills. Ipe is the only true sustainable eco-friendly product in the market.

There is no comparison between plastic and Ipe. Ipe will outlast and outperform any plastic material. The best thing is that its initial and long term costs are in line and often lower than composite materials.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

How Does Ipe Perform in Dry, Desert Climates?

Ipe will excel in dry desert climates.

The deserts are unforgiving locations and some of our major cities reside in desert or desert-like environments. Just because you live in this type of climate doesn’t mean you’re restricted in installing a deck or siding. The key to a successful wooden deck is choosing the appropriate material to withstand the extreme hots and colds that the desert cycles through.

Composites and common woods like cedar or redwood don’t have the durability and density to maintain their structural integrity under the intense desert sun. Plastics will begin to fade rapidly while cracks and peeling develop on the boards. Once composites fade in color there’s no way to bring it back. Cedar and redwood develop a gray patina, but as the wood receives more and more sunlight, excessive cracking can occur in the boards. The big fluctuations in temperature between day and night mean that typical woods will expand and contract rapidly and cause the grain to split and splinter. Now that the problems are outlined, what solution is there to build a deck? Ipe is your solution.

Ipe is the densest and hardest commercially available wood. This translates to durability and strength under any extreme climate. The desert sun will not crack the wood and if it begins to fade, all you need to do is sand and apply a coat of finishing oil to bring the original color back. With its extreme density, Ipe is able to tolerate the rises and drops of temperature with minimal expansion and contraction. No other wood is able to withstand these extremes and remain as strong and durable as the day it arrived.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

How Long Does Ipe Decking Last?

Long-lasting Ipe

Everyone is used to the usual softwood life span of 15 to maybe 25 years if properly cared for. Pressure treated wood needs a lot of chemicals injected in it in order to maintain its resistance to decay and termites. Cedar and Redwood are the regular materials used for decking, but they will only last about 25 years with good maintenance. We offer a material that can last over 75 years, is termite and mold resistant, low maintenance, and 100% natural (free of chemicals).

There is nothing better than Ipe. Because of its natural structure and extreme qualities, Ipe isn’t susceptible to any of the common wood problems that plague other species. The most important factor to a homeowner is the lifespan and maintenance of their material. Ipe is able to last over 75 years with a simple coat of Ipe Oil applied once a year. There are no tricks, no sanding, and no sealing involved in maintaining Ipe. If you prefer the silver patina that Ipe transitions to, don’t apply anything and just let it weather out.

Consider Ipe when purchasing decking material. You can’t go wrong with a 75-year-lifespan material that is both durable and economical.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

Is Ipe Good for Exterior Siding?

Ipe Exterior Siding

Siding is an option that many home owners choose for accenting certain areas of their home. Sometimes they’ll prefer to cover the entirety of the house in wood for the cabin look. Siding on a home comes with its own set of problems. The wood is under constant pressure from the sun and the elements which translates to more maintenance needed. Siding is completely vertical so maintaining it can be a more challenging task. Purchasing the right materials is crucial to the longevity of your siding. Cedar and Redwood may last for a while but it needs constant sealing and staining to keep it from cracking and splitting. Ipe on the other hand is the perfect combination of beauty and reliability.

Ipe’s physical properties are beyond what any other wood has. Ipe will outlast and outperform any of the typical siding woods thanks to its amazing strength and legendary density. The only maintenance that Ipe needs is a coat of Ipe Oil at least once a year to maintain its beautiful color. No sanding, no staining, no water proofing, nothing else is needed. In fact, many architects and designers  specify Ipe siding in their plans because of how well it matures to that sleek silver gray. That patina actually is a design consideration that accentuates the rest of the structure those professionals design.

This is the perfect material for your siding designs. Nothing else can compare.

Choosing Ipe is a long term investment that will pay itself in the long run. The initial cost may be higher but the life span is more than twice of the cheaper alternatives and all it takes to maintain it is a coat of Ipe Oil or any U.V inhibiting finish to make it last over 75 years.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

Is Ipe Termite Resistant?

Termite-resistant Ipe

Termites can be the worst infestation that can occur to a house or deck. These small ant-like bugs eat wood in massive quantities posing a severe threat to your structure and safety. There are woods like cedar and redwood that are naturally resistant to termites but unless it’s heartwood it will easily become a termite’s lunch. The problem is that those common types of wood won’t last very long and need constant staining and finishing. There are other methods of making wood termite resistant like treating it with chemicals but these chemicals may prove to be harmful to your health.

Ipe was tested by the U.S Naval research laboratory. They discovered that Ipe can withstand termite attacks for 15 years in ground. No other wood has been able to withstand an attack in ground for so long. Choosing the right materials for your deck can be extremely cost efficient because you’ll prevent the massive headaches that come with changing boards, and fumigating for termites.

If you’re looking for natural wood that stands the test of use and time and infestation, look no further. With Ipe you’ll make a sound investment that will last as long as your home. Please call us if you have any further questions about Ipe or if you would like to get a quote. We’re here to help you and make your deck building experience as enjoyable as possible.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.

What Is the Difference Between B-Grade and Premium Grade Ipe?

B-Grade Ipe Decking

When you begin your research for building materials you’ll come across different grades of wood. This can be a very confusing area unless you know some of the language that is used in the lumber industry. You will notice terms like clear, knotty, architect clear, architect knotty, and even structural knotty. What does all this mean? It just tells you what part of the wood and what defects it comes with.

Luckily, we don’t have a crazy number of grades because all of our lumber is either clear grade or rustic grade (b-grade). There are small but important differences between each grade but both provide the great stability that Brazilian hardwoods are known for.

Rustic Grade (B-Grade) lumber is wood that has natural characteristics and aesthetic looks that characterize wood. Most rustic grade lumber will have small worm holes as well as knots and odd grain patterns. The structural integrity of the wood is not different than the clear grade so your deck is not at any risk of any problems.

Premium Grade lumber is our best grade. 99% of the boards that are premium grade are clear. Meaning, that the boards are free of defects and show amazing grain pattern without any holes or knots on the boards themselves. There is no higher quality wood than our premium grade.

We try to offer different woods to fit every one of your needs. If you want an impeccable deck that is free of knots and common defects, ask for our premium grade. However, if you prefer the natural characteristic of wood ask for our Rustic Grade. Whatever your choice, we are here to help.

Contact us today to get your free Ipe decking quote.