If you’re looking for the best type of wood for your new deck, IPE wood is set to last you a lifetime. Here are the benefits and why you should choose IPE…
Never heard of Ipe? That’s okay. We’re here to fill you in on everything you need to know about this decking material.
Ipe wood comes from a tree in the Handroanthus genus. The name is a Spanish word that is pronounced as “ee-pay”. The tree is native to South America, particularly the rainforest. You may also know it as Brazilian walnut.
If you’re thinking about adding on a deck or redoing an existing deck, you need to know about Ipe.
The popularity of Ipe wood is on the rise in the United States with good cause. It has some amazing features.
Keep reading to see the 8 reasons why you should choose Ipe wood for your decking project.
1. It is Naturally Resistant to Rot
Ipe grows in the rainforest. Because of this, the trees contain unique natural oils and very dense tree fibers.
The structure of Ipe protects it from the growth of molds and fungi. These molds and fungi can cause rot in the wood.
Wood rot is a common problem that deck-owners face. You won’t have to worry about rot with a deck made from Ipe wood. This wood will last forever.
2. It’s Resistant to Most Insects
Much like the resistance to rot, the resistance to insects can be attributed to its natural oils and density.
The tree grows in an environment that is teeming with insects. It needs natural protection from these invaders. The harvested wood maintains this insect resistance.
This is a huge benefit to deck-owners. You won’t need to waste time thinking about insect-proofing your outdoor space. You can just enjoy it.
3. It Exhibits Amazing Heat Dispersion
Walking out onto your deck in the sun and burning your feet is the worst. Why build a deck that gets too hot to use during the sunny season?
Unlike composite or plastic decks, which retain heat, Ipe wood disperses heat to keep your deck nice and cool.
Ipe has a very low heat retention rate. It rapidly disperses the heat it absorbs from the sun.
By building your deck slightly elevated off the ground, you increase the airflow underneath the deck. This, in turn, increases the natural heat dispersion of the Ipe wood.
Your deck will be cool to the touch all summer long.
4. It’s Sturdy and Still Stylish
When you’re deciding on wood for a project, you are usually faced with the question of function or fashion. Not so with Ipe wood.
Ipe is both durable and beautiful. It is truly the best of both worlds.
The wood is known for its smooth and uniform texture. The grain is very fine with a slightly wavy texture. It is known for its warm, red tones.
The wood is extremely durable, as detailed in the other 7 reasons to choose Ipe, but never compromises on looks. The aesthetic of this wood will make you thankful you chose it for years to come.
5. It is Resistant to Fire
Depending on where you live in the country, your fire risk may be pretty high. You don’t want to waste money building a deck onto your home that will increase your home’s flammability.
You want to pick a material that will decrease the risk of fire. Ipe is a naturally fire resistant wood.
It’s a superb choice for building a deck, especially in a wildfire sensitive area.
Ipe wood is often a top choice for rooftop decking. In closely built urban areas, a rooftop deck is a major fire hazard. Using Ipe offers a measure of fire protection.
6. Sustainably Sourced Options are Available
For those looking for a more green alternative, Ipe that has been sustainably sourced is a great choice.
In the face of tropical deforestation, Bolivia has taken large strides to protect its forests. The Rainforest Alliance and Forest Stewardship Council have been working with companies in Bolivia to maintain a forest management plan.
You can find Ipe from a sustainable source fairly easily. In addition to protecting the rainforest, you are also supporting local communities that work in the timber industry.
7. It Doesn’t Require Harsh Chemicals
Ipe wood for decking is naturally rotting and insect resistant.
This natural resistance means that you don’t need to pressure-treat the wood with harsh chemicals and preservatives.
This makes it a healthier choice for your family.
Unpressure-treated Ipe is still known to last for upwards of 25 years (with proper care this wood lasts closer to 100 years). You don’t need to feel like you are shortening the lifespan of your deck by opting out of harsh chemicals.
Sealing the wood with a rose oil-based product after installation is all the chemical exposure you’ll have to deal with.
Reducing harmful chemicals in our backyards also means that fewer industry workers have to be exposed to harmful chemicals to produce long-lasting decking materials.
Overall, it’s a healthier choice for us and the environment.
8. It is Low-Maintenance
Ipe is a very dense hardwood. It requires minimal care.
It doesn’t expand and contract as much as other materials during changes in temperature or moisture. This means that it will survive years of daily use without cracking or splintering.
You won’t have to sand down your deck every couple of years to keep a smooth surface. You also won’t have to waste time and money replacing splintered or broken boards.
You don’t need to seal your Ipe decking. Over time, the wood will turn to a sun-bleached silver color. As long as the aesthetic works for you, there is no reason you have to seal the deck.
Sealing it will help maintain the warm tones, but it doesn’t increase the strength and durability of the deck – Ipe is strong and durable without it!
Most people will choose to wash down their deck in the spring with a hydrogen peroxide-based cleaner. Other than that, your Ipe decking requires little to no maintenance.
Where to Buy Ipe Wood Decking
Aren’t you glad that now you know about Ipe wood?
It’s the perfect choice of material for any deck project you have coming up this spring. Its natural properties and honest beauty make it hard to beat.
Looking to buy Ipe wood for your next project? Check out our selection here. You won’t be sorry you chose Ipe.