Many people, including me, like to talk about how ipe decking is one of the most durable and dependable woods on the market. This isn’t just sales talk. There have actually been studies and tests done that concluded that ipe wood lives up to the hype.
Three specific tests that prove this are from the US Naval Laboratory, the National Fire Protection Agency, and the Janka Hardness Test.
The study from the US Naval Laboratory showed a single piece of ipe wood could be left in the ground completely exposed to the elements for 15 years without termite infestation. They also discovered that that ipe decking was very resistant to mold, mildew, and fungus.
The National Fire Protection Agency and other third party certification companies have shown Ipe hardwood to have up to a Class A rating for flame spread. What does this mean? Let’s say someone bumped into your charcoal grill and some briquettes fell onto your deck. Well, if you owned an ipe deck, the fire would not spread as quickly as if you had a deck made of cheap composite decking or an inferior wood.
Finally, the Janka Hardness test revealed that ipe is one of the densest hardwoods that nature provides. By measuring the force necessary to push a tiny steel ball into a piece of hardwood, the Janka Hardness test is an important factor to consider if you are comparing ipe decking to pressure treated decking, California redwood, and even teak.
In fact, when tested with the Janka Hardness Scale, ipe was proven to be three times as strong as teak. Ipe’s Janka Hardness was registered at 3600 lbs, whereas the Janka Hardness of teak came in at just 1050 lbs. Pressure treated decking came in at 690 lbs. and, surprisingly, California redwood came in at 480 lbs.
These tests clearly demonstrate that this exotic hardwood lives up to its reputation as one of the most durable woods in the market. When you need decking that will stand the test of time, the elements and anything in between, ipe decking is your best choice.