Ipe, commonly known as Brazilian walnut or lapacho, is a thick and durable wood found in Central and South American woods. Ipe, like other tropical woods, has its own set of features. It’s a tough wood that holds up well to the elements and looks great. This wood prides itself with the beautiful deep brown color when oiled. Due to its durability, the wood has had an increase in its price over time. An ipe wood, according to research, may last upto 75 years and maybe longer in the indoor flooring.
However, this is highly contributed to by different factors such as; the application and sun exposure. Also, the size of the boards is a high contributor. Smaller boards will have a lesser lifespan compared to larger boards that weather better over time. Also, grooving is another contributor to the lifespan of an Ipe wood; Grooving or pre-grooving the boards might shorten their lifespan by producing a weaker side in the board where the groove lies. Finally, maintenance and the treatment of the wood are also contributors to the wood’s lifespan. If you don’t mind the boards going grey, there’s no need for annual maintenance on Ipe. However, if you don’t want your board to turn grey, you can include regular maintenance. Below are some tips on how to maintain Ipe wood
- Using an outdoor broom, sweep your deck once a week. Excess debris can discolor or collect water, or it might get trapped underfoot and leave ugly scratches and marks.
- Remove the dust and debris from the deck tiles using a vacuum.
- After that, use your outdoor hose to rinse the hardwood.
- If any dirt stains remain, combine a quarter of a gallon of lukewarm water with a quarter of a cup of bleach and mop the wood planks before rewashing them.
- Allow the decking to dry before replacing the furniture altogether.
While regular inspections should assist the IPE deck in maintaining its natural features, you should also clean it once a year to preserve the hardwood’s long-term endurance.
Here are some of the steps to follow when doing annual maintenance of Ipe wood.
- If the hardwood requires sanding, move the orbital sander with the natural grain overall boards.
- Use the vacuum to remove dust and debris after sanding.
- Rinse the boards thoroughly with the outdoor hose
- Allow for thorough drying of the IPE decking before applying the pre-sealer.
- Before applying the sealer to the entire deck, test it in a small area. This ensures that the solution does not alter the natural color of the wood.
- Apply the sealer using the brush and the cloth in long, overlapping strokes across each board.
- Remove any extra oil with a dry cloth.
- Allow at least 24 hours for the IPE deck to cure before treading on it again.
In conclusion, cleaning your IPE is essential if you want to maintain your hardwood in good shape. Keep in mind that IPE wood is water, insect, and rot-resistant. On the other hand, excessive sunlight might cause it to lose its original color and turn grey. Therefore for a longer lifespan, ensure you maintain a regular treatment and maintenance of your hardwood.