Winterizing Your Ipe Decking

By Ben Nystrom, 10/28/10

Ipe Hardwood Decking
Ipe hardwood is one of the most popular decking material choices in the country, and for good reason. Ipe decking is very dense, making it naturally resistant to wood rot and wood destroying organisms. Unfortunately, Ipe decking won't hold up forever against a harsh winter. However, there are a number of maintenance steps you can take to make sure your Ipe deck withstands the elements as well as it can.

Sealing

Ipe is naturally resistant to rotting and warping, but it's always a good idea to put down a coat or two of appropriate sealant anyway. Sealing a deck can help protect your deck against water absorption. Remember to seal the whole deck, though – you don't want discoloration on your brand new deck.

Finishing

Use a high-quality water-seal product. Decrease the chance of bending or warping by applying the seal to all sides of the decking material before you install it. This creates an equal moisture transfer and makes sure there aren't any gaps in the seal through which water can pass.

Regular Maintenance

Keeping your ipe decking clean is a great winterization method. The best way to clean an Ipe deck is with a rake or broom, making sure to get between boards. Yard debris can rot and lead to mold and deck decay. It is also a good idea to make sure there is a run-off system leading away from your deck. Rain water and snow can pool around support posts and cause the wood to rot, decreasing the deck's structural integrity and making it dangerous to be around.

Ipe decking is one of the most beautiful, durable building materials you can buy, but if you fail to properly winterize your deck it can get very ugly very quickly. By following the above-mentioned steps, however, you can keep your Ipe decking looking good for many years.

By Ben Nystrom, 10/28/10

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