You must have heard about the old fashion dos and don’ts. Similar to them, there are a few things you should never do before or after your IPE deck has been installed. There are a lot of things that fall into the hands-off category. Like the top 5 listed below:
Tip 1 – Do Not use film forming coatings
This rule applies to all decks, including ipe. Deck maintenance guys have stripped far too many failing film coatings. These coatings work on boats, but ends up to cost way too much for home deck maintenance. Boat Owners use exotic woods generally and follow very good maintenance habits prior to fall of every season, which calls in high success rate of films on boats. Home Deck maintenance hasn’t achieved that level of mainstream fashionable enthusiasm…yet.
Tip 2 – Do not over apply penetrating oils, but do use them, and wipe excess.
Its believed, ipe has the structural density of steel. Test it by throwing a piece in some water, and watch it sink. The high density of ipe makes it a finishing anomaly. When penetrating oil is applied to softer woods, lay it on heavily by brush and it will absorb it in. Ipe will revert as it spits most of the oil back. The deposit that is left will stay adhesive for weeks, and then become a choice breeding ground for mildew formation. The art of the ipe deck finish is to apply it with a brush and then wipe off excess.
Tip 3 – Do not install decking without finish applied on all 4 sides and dry
Do seal the cut ends on installation. Pre finishing ipe has been the biggest in outspreading the life cycle of the finish applied. The less the wood moves, the happier the finish will be. As decks are often low lying with minimal underside air circulation, it is very cheap to prefinish. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Prefinish. Then maintain.
Tip 4 – Do not mislead self that the deck will stay pretty forever because it is ipe.
Ipe decks basically have two choices in how to you want to live with the ipe deck : do no maintenance and let it turn silvery gray like the teak furniture; or accept the reality that if maintained yearly it will age with remarkable grace. Maintain the furniture too, for a more pleasing outdoor living experience.
Tip 5 – Do not apply finish by sprayer.
Wear your knee pads on, do it the old fashioned way and enjoy!