Every piece of lumber is unique. No one tree is the same. Every board in your deck is going to have different characteristics. Once installed, you want to give your deck the proper maintenance it needs to increase its lifetime and your overall enjoyment. Be rest assured, even though a deck made of Brazilian hardwoods is proven to outlast and outperform softer materials, giving it a little attention once in a while is a good thing (After all, even a Lamborghini needs its oil changed and tires rotated!) Here are some guidelines to follow to maintain the lifetime and beauty of your hardwood deck.
I received a great question from Bob K. (thanks, Bob!) about how to remove ice and snow from an ipe deck.
This is a wonderful question not just because it’s winter, but because it’s just not a good idea to scrape ice off your deck using a snow shovel.
How do you remove ice off of ipe decking?
People have claimed to have success using a pet safe ice melt. These products claim to be eco-friendly and less corrosive/abrasive than rock salt.
Rock salt is never recommended for wood. In fact, applying rock salt onto wood is a great way to ruin it forever. Rock salt is not eco-friendly. It is also not recommended for areas where a pet may walk.
Why? Because the salt actually DRIES out the naturally moist paw padding that your dog or cat has. This drying out leads to your pet’s skin cracking and splitting. Cracking and splitting…Sound familiar?
Remember, wood absorbs and releases moisture and expands and contracts throughout the year. If you put a chemical product on a deck that corrodes and rapidly dries it out you are basically counteracting the natural processes that the wood undergoes and thereby making the wood more brittle and less stable.
Not only that but rock salt will stain your deck.
So, to keep your deck as stable and as good looking as possible, don’t use rock salt on your deck!
As with any product you’re looking into, you must do your research into ice melting products for wood decking. Hopefully, the information in this article will help you make a more informed decision.
With Winter right around the corner, many people are asking us about ipe decking’s capacity for snow load.
Since no two decks are the same, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much snow per square feet it would take to actually distress a deck to the point of breaking. BUT, what we can say for sure is that ipe decking has been ASTM-D143 tested. Ipe wood decking has a maximum bending strength of 22,560 psi (Pounds per square inch)! your ipe deck might even be stronger than the frame that supports it!
Or, to put it more simply: The result of these tests reveal that ipe decking is 3 times more durable than cedar decking.
If you already own an ipe deck, you’re probably not even sweating the upcoming winter. And, for good reason. With ipe wood’s high density, tight, interlocking grain, and natural oils, it dries fast and weathers well. Also, when you follow the recommended finishing schedule, (using a deck finish product like Ipe Oil™) you can also have peace of mind knowing that your deck surface will be able to repel water even better than it already does!