To answer the question, we have to understand the other popular products and what they bring to the table. For decades, the most popular materials for building decks were pressure treated wood, redwood, or cedar. Recently, composite decking came into the field with mixed results among home owners.
Pressure Treated Wood
This material is extremely popular because it’s cheap and easy to work with. But low prices always come with a hidden drawback. Pressure treated lumber’s drawback is maintenance. Stripping, sanding, staining—you don’t have time to do that year after year! What’s more, recent studies have shown that pressure treated wood can leak chemicals when wet. Definitely not something you want around your family.
Cedar and Redwood
These two woods are highly regarded because they have strong performance records. Unfortunately, the bug-resistant wood with a 30+ year lifespan has become scarce. If you were to price out full heartwood cedar or redwood today, it would cost significantly more than Ipe or the highest quality composite.
Composites came into the decking world as a wonder product: all the good qualities of wood, none of the drawbacks. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true. Composite decking suffered from issues ranging from mold to unstable boards. Companies tried to address the most common complaints, but many problems persist to this day. Composite is still a plastic product that doesn’t look or feel like wood. It’s not as strong as wood. It requires special installation techniques to ensure a safe deck.
We offer a long-lasting product that requires almost no maintenance, is 100% natural, and is the strongest decking option available. Ipe is a beautiful dark brown hardwood with hints of olive green and red. It has a 75+ year lifespan thanks to its high density and naturally occurring preservative oils. Its maintenance requirements are simple: casual sweeping, rinsing with warm water, and coating with Ipe Oil to preserve the color. If a silver patina is what you’re after, forgo the Ipe Oil and let the wood weather naturally.
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