Maintaining the natural beauty of IPE decking requires some care when installing and during yearly maintenance. IPE is a natural material that moves with the elements, therefore, it is subject to checking (looks like cracking), twisting, warping, and cupping similar to other types of woods. Proper installation and maintenance are key to the long-term beauty of your deck.
There are many websites that you can access to obtain a variety of expert advice for caring for your IPE. Below are some helpful recommendations.
Always seal the cut end (end grain) of the board with a paraffin wax, such as Anchorseal.
Do not install decking without an oil-based finish being applied to all four sides with sufficient rack time to dry.
Do not use film finishes such as a varnish
Finish the IPE with a penetrating oil. We have had good experience using Penofins for hardwoods. When applying, use a brush, rag or sponge. Once applied,, wipe and remove all excess oil. DO NOT over apply as it will become sticky and tacky and my take a very long time to dry. IPE does not soak up the oil like a softwood does.
CAUTION: The rags (applicators used) are FLAMMABLE and must be disposed of properly – READ the manufacturer’s instructions for disposal.
Our recommendations for maintaining IPE are to routinely clean off your deck by sweeping off leaves and hosing off spills and mud to help prevent staining. Depending on the amount of sun exposure the deck receives, you may need to thoroughly clean and re-oil your IPE yearly or bi-yearly. Thoroughly wash your deck with a product made for this application and allow it to dry completely before re-oiling.
Proper installation and care for your IPE deck and railings will greatly influence the beauty and longevity of your deck.