Ipe Wood Decking
Ipe Wood Decking is growing in popularity as home and business owners are discovering this South American beauty. It is a true hardwood that has natural preservatives. Ipe lumber is three (3) times harder than cedar. Ipe wood is dark brown by nature and is so dense that it is has the same fire rating as both concrete and steel. Due to density and preservatives, Ipe lumber makes for a great choice as decking material. It consists of a natural oil that keeps insects out. Also, its resistance to mildew and decay adds to the longevity of the wood – typically lasts between 25-50 years if maintained properly. Ipe usually weathers to a gray over time.
The cost of Ipe is its main downfall, because it typically costs at least 30% more than cedar. Due to it’s hardness, Ipe lumber must be predrilled in order for it to allow screws and stainless steal fasteners. The density of the wood adds to the weight and can make it difficult to work with. Also, it requires a sealer every couple of years to maintain it’s deep, rich color.