When it comes to wood decking, there is no better option than hardwood decking. Compared to their softwood counterparts, hardwoods offer much better durability, making them ideal options for things like decking and siding. However, there are many different hardwoods on the market and knowing which to choose can be incredibly difficult.
One of the most common and popular hardwood options on the market is Ipe wood. Ipe wood decking is a fantastic option that offers many different benefits. Here are the top nine reasons why you should choose Ipe wood for your real wood decking needs.
Why Ipe Wood Decking Is Great For Your Outdoor Space
The Janka Hardness Scale is a method of testing wood for how hard, and therefore durable, it is. Specifically, the test measures the ability of the wood to resist things like denting and pitting. Woods gain their score based on the pounds of pressure they can withstand, and Ipe wood has one of the highest ratings at 3,680 pounds of pressure.
This means that Ipe wood is extremely durable and resistant to issues like pitting and denting and will not suffer damage from small debris or hail.
2. Class A Fire Rating
One of the biggest concerns people have when it comes to real wood decking is flammability. For a long time, wood has had the reputation of being an unsafe, highly flammable material that burns quickly. However, that is not always the case these days.
Ipe decking isn't just durable in its ability to withstand things like denting, it is also extremely fire resistant. In fact, Ipe wood offers a Class A Fire Rating, the highest fire rating a construction product can receive. A Class A Fire Rating means that in testing, Ipe wood had a smaller flame spread than other woods and took more time to catch on fire. With this rating, Ipe wood meets the building code requirements in many West Coast states, where Class A Fire Ratings are mandatory due to wildfires.
These days, sustainability is a top concern for people across the globe. People are looking for products in every part of their lives to be sustainably made or sourced.
Ipe wood decking is a sustainably sourced hardwood coming from South America. It’s legally harvested and sourced according to the strict U.S. Lacey Act, as well as in accordance with the corresponding South American government agencies.
Furthermore, companies can only use selective logging to harvest their timber. This means that those firms are allowed to harvest only 50 trees per 1000 acres, with logging allowed only once every 30 to 40 years for Brazilian Ipe wood.
4. Low Maintenance
Surprisingly, hardwoods are actually low maintenance products, and Ipe wood decking is no different. Once installed, Ipe wood is relatively maintenance-free.
The largest part of maintenance that Ipe, or any hardwood, requires is staining every few years if you want to keep the original color. Staining will also provide added protection from the sun and elements, ensuring that your decking will remain vibrant and beautiful for years to come.
However, beyond that, the only required maintenance is cleaning and removing any debris from the surface.
5. Water, Rot and Insect Resistance
Most people do not think of wood as a water-resistant material. However, Ipe decking is naturally water-resistant and works great in wet climates. Because of its natural resistance, it will not rot, decay or develop harmful fungi due to water exposure. Furthermore, it is also insect resistant, which means wood-boring insects such as termites will not eat away at your Ipe wood decking.
6. Good Strength Level
The strength of wood refers to the maximum load capacity it can handle; in other words, how much weight it can safely hold on its surface. The strength of wood is measured by seeing how much weight it can take before reaching its breaking point, with the measurement in pounds per square inch (psi).
While not at the top of the list, Ipe decking is still fairly strong compared to other woods on the market, with a rating of about 25,400 psi. This makes it strong enough that you do not have to worry about it breaking under the weight of people and furniture.
7. High Stiffness Rating
Another type of rating that wood receives is a stiffness rating, which refers to its elasticity and resistance to bending. As with strength, stiffness is measured in psi. In this category, Ipe wood decking has a high score of 3,140 1000 psi. This means that Ipe is extremely elastic and therefore resistant to things like bending.
8. Long Life Span
One thing everyone wants from their decking is a long life. Ipe wood decking offers durability with an expected life span that rivals composite products. Ipe wood decking, when installed correctly and properly cared for, can last 50 years or more.
Even though it is low maintenance, you still need to clean it every so often and ideally apply a stain for added protection to ensure it’s long life span.
9. Beautiful Color
In addition to all of the reasons Ipe decking is a great investment, Ipe decking is also, quite simply, beautiful. A Brazilian wood, Ipe comes in a range of shades from lighter colors to a darker olive-brown. These colors can also come mixed with contrasting yellow-grays or gray-browns as well, creating a beautiful, pleasing appearance.
If you wish to maintain this beautiful color, you need to apply a deck stain every few years. Otherwise, it will age to an equally beautiful, silvery-grey color over time.
Wood decking is an attractive option and a worthwhile investment. If you want to choose a high-quality wood decking that will last for a long time, Ipe decking is a fantastic option with countless benefits that is an excellent option for homes in any climate.