What is Ipe?
Ipe (ee-pay) is a naturally durable hardwood that has been rated by the U.S. Forest Products Lab to have a durability rating of 25 years plus, making it one of the most durable timbers available. Air dried Ipe is well suited for exterior residential and commercial applications, such as decks, docks, exterior furniture and any other applications where an extremely durable and attractive hardwood is desired.
Where is it from?
Ipe grows in many different regions of South America. As members of the Tropical Forest foundation, every effort is made to acquire the Ipe from responsible sustainable foresting operations.
Is Ipe a new product?
NO. Ipe has been used for many years in the U.S. From the Dinner Key Marina in Miami to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, Ipe has been used all along the eastern seaboard for more than 25 years where extremely durable material is desired.
How heavy is the wood?
Ipe is about twice as heavy as oak, and four to five times as heavy as cedar or redwood. Partially dried Ipe weighs around 6 lbs./net board foot.
Do insects damage the wood?
NO, Ipe has a high natural resistance to wood boring insects and termites. Ipe is fine for fresh water piers but is not as resistant to marine borers found at the water line of salt water piers.
Do I need any sealers?
NO. Ipe does not require any type of sealer to maintain its durability, resist rot, or resist insects such as termites. A penetrating UV - inhibited sealers may be applied to maintain the natural brown luster of the wood.
Can Ipe be used for the entire deck?
YES, for the most durable deck, Ipe should be used for many reasons. Ipe will outlast CCA treated materials by 3 times the life of the wood. It is also the environmentally sensible thing to do. Unlike Ipe, pressure treated material is saturated with two heavy metals and a poison, copper chromium arsenate and is found to leach cancer-causing poisons for years.
Will the deck be slippery when wet?
The density of Ipe minimizes the ability of fungus and mold to grow on it, which is the main cause of slippery decks. The texture of the wood is a smooth surface and after some weathering, shallow surface checking will keep the surface from being too slick.
How expensive is Ipe?
Ipe is more expensive than the common grades of pressure-treated and poor grades of redwood and cedar, but comparable to premium grades of redwood and cedar. It is actually cheaper when life span is taken into consideration. Ipe is a one-time investment!