Tag Archives: Ipe Features

Science Proves that Ipe Lives Up to the Hype

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.

Ipe Decking & Fire – What You Need to Know

One feature of ipe decking that I most often forget to mention is how ipe handles fire. This kind of information is important to know because many deck owners use tiki torches, grills, and firepits on their deck. While we all try to be careful, there is always the chance, however remote, that one of those things could tip over and spark a fire.

There have been many instances where a dog bumped into a charcoal grill and spilled over some briquettes, or a guest tips over a seemingly put out tiki torch and a fire gets started. In those situations, you must react quickly to properly put out the fire before it spreads to the rest of your deck.

If you have a deck made of ipe, or are considering building an ipe deck, you need to know that ipe has a fire spread rating that is the same as concrete! What does this mean? Unlike other hardwoods that spread fire rapidly, fire tends to remain isolated around its point of origin. In this way, the damage that the fire has made is contained in a much smaller region on your deck. Of course, calling the proper authorities and attempting to put out the fire right away is absolutely critical and recommended.

Interestingly enough, ipe wood has up to a Class A fire rating for flame spread. Here is a table that shows the ratings given to ipe decking from the National Fire Protection Agency (Note, there are other third party certification companies that show similar results. Results will vary based on the moisture content, origin, and species). Continue reading

Botanical Garden uses Ipe Decking

Ipe DeckingRecently, the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville recently unveiled the highly anticipated new addition to their botanical garden area called the Gardens. Inspired by Asian pagodas, “The Lantern” is a truly beautiful structure. It was designed to offer a tranquil place to view the water as well as a peaceful place to get away from the hustle of university life (even for a few minutes).

Why is this worth mentioning? The architect and planners specifically chose ipe decking due to the fact that it is environmentally responsible. I am sure they also realized that, in order for this structure to maintain its look for decades to come, they needed to choose ipe hardwood because it can withstand the elements unlike any other hardwood decking material.

Once again, this proves why ipe decking is the best decking material today.

The reasons why they would choose ipe Brazilian hardwood is simple.

Ipe decking has the following features that pine decking, composite decking, and other decking materials just don’t have:

  • A beautiful color that can be left untreated or treated to create rich colors
  • Extreme density that keeps ipe looking beautiful for years
  • Natural resilience to mold, mildew, insects, rot and decay
  • Ipe wood is eco-friendly

Ipe decking has been featured in many wonderful commercial structures. From the Brooklyn Bridge, to the Boardwalk in Miami, to Treasure Island in Las Vegas and beyond, ipe wood continues to be the hardwood of choice for architects and exterior designers. As always, Advantage Lumber is your number one source for all things ipe.