Ipe Climbs Above the Rest

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I was asked the other day ‘What’s so great about Ipe? What can you build with it?’ My response ‘Anything you need to get built!’  Ipe is one of the best building materials on the market today. You can build decks, boardwalks, stairs, railings, benches and more. It’s a proven performer in all harsh conditions and climates. Not to mention, it is naturally beautiful and insect free.

If you’re building a deck with Ipe, it makes sense to build your stairs with Ipe as well.  Adding Ipe stairs to any decking project turns it into a homeowners dream. Ipe is already 5x stronger than Redwood, so it will be able to withstand any weight. A characteristic Ipe has that many other decking materials don’t, is it’s slip resistant. You won’t have to worry about your great aunt slipping down your stairs when she comes over.screenTeam_deckingLIf your deck doesn’t need stairs but you would like an elevated section, consider adding three stairs rather than just two. Two steps keep the main function of a deck while the third adds enough room for an overflow seating section.  Everyone will be able to sit comfortably at your parties and there will be no awkward standing and eating.

If you already have your deck and are beginning to clean it for the summer months, remember to inspect your stairs as well. Look for rotting and decaying around the fasteners. If there is any, DO NOT step on your stairs and call your Ipe supplier immediately. Also, if your stairs are open in the back, make sure the distance between each stair is not exceeding 4 inches. It’s possible in the other seasons for wood to shift slightly. If your wood has shifted slightly, make sure you fix it to ensure no future accidents.

For any more questions about Ipe stairs, check out www.Ipedepot.com for a free quote today. Happy Decking!

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Deck Tiles Turn Your Backyard Into Your Own Oasis

If you’re thinking about remodeling your back patio, consider Ipe deck tiles. This DIY project is quick and easy and will help you enjoy your deck for years to come.

When I say easy, I mean easy.  It’s literally a snap to do. No extra tools required just the deck tiles and connectors.  Before you begin remodeling your deck, be sure to sweep away any debris or dirt.  Then install each tile in the pattern of your choosing. The tile corner should be lying on top of the connector before you snap it in. Work from the inside to the outside of your deck, connecting and snapping the deck tiles with the connectors.  You can even lay your tiles out in a variety of patterns to add a unique design to your deck.

It’s that simple.

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Ipe deck tiles are the best possible option when choosing deck tiles. Ipe wood is one of the strongest and most sturdy products on the market. If you thought installing your Ipe tiles was easy, keeping the color is even easier. Simply apply one coat of Ipe Oil at least once a year and you will be left with a beautiful deck. To learn more about this product check out ipedepot.com.

Happy Decking!

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How Durable is Ipe Wood, Really?

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When you’re buying a new car, do you look for quantity or quality? Do you want a reliable car that will last longer than 100,000 miles or are you interested in the newest, hottest model? I’m willing to bet that you want both. Instead of having to settle for one or the other, why not choose something that looks great, but is still the most sustainable product money can buy?

IpeDepot.com uses truly sustainable Ipe wood products. We guarantee our Ipe product will last you longer than 75 years of wear and tear. Just look at the Walt Disney Boardwalk resort, for example. After 17 years of being visited by thousands of people every day and getting hit with the ferocious Florida climate, this massive Ipe boardwalk is still able to hold its structural integrity.

Lasting longer than 75 years isn’t easy. Water and other liquids are considered krypnonite to most wood, but not Ipe. The dense wood has such tight grain that water is not able to seep into any cracks, which enables it to last much longer than your average wood. No wonder New York City has used Ipe on over 12 miles of their coastal walkways.

One tip to help your Ipe stay even stronger:

  • Remember to not skimp on fasteners as weak fasteners may corrode, which can weaken the wood around it.

Not only does Ipe hold its structures for years, it is also the safest for the environment. This monster of a tree can reach heights up to 200 ft. and can be found in abundance in the Amazon region of Brazil. By only logging a couple trees per acre, we are able to minimize our carbon footprint and ensure a regeneration of the forest. We also don’t add any harmful chemicals to our Ipe, making it safe to use virtually anywhere.

Edgartown Lighthouse Boardwalk in Martha's Vineyard

Ipe decking is a safe, environmental friendly, sustainable product. It’s no wonder that so many people trust Ipe with their decking and outdoor projects. Get your free Ipe decking quote directly from the mill. Contact IpeDepot.com today. Happy Decking!

Turn an Ugly Deckling Into a Silver Fox

Haven’t you heard? The new and tan look is out and weathered and gray are in. And we’re not talking about the fashion world. This summer, weathered looking decks have emerged as the latest and greatest trend. Don’t worry if you just bought a brand new deck, we can help you take it from looking sleek and refined in no time at all.

Weathered decks are like the silver foxes of the decking community. They look good styled next to any new or old home. You can dress them up with any deck furniture and you’re ready for cocktail hour.

Turning an ugly deckling into a silver fox.

Giving your deck a full makeover isn’t as hard as you think.

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All you need are a couple of beauty products, stain or sealers to be exact, and time. There are many products on the market that help with aiding a weathered deck.

-Clear Water Repellant

  • This product doesn’t add any color to your existing deck and grain patterns can be seen through the finish. The sealer’s lack of UV protection helps the UV radiation fade your wood, giving you a nice, natural gray look. Clear water repellants can last from 6 months to 2 years, depending on surface texture and exposure to the sun.ipe-dock2

-Bleaching or Weathered Stain Oils

  • Using bleaching or weathered stained oil helps keep your deck protected longer than clear water repellant. Weathered stained oils are basically clear water repellant finisher with some gray pigments. This type of stain only lasts 2-3 years so be sure to continue applying clear water repellant over the bleaching oil for longer effect.

-Solid Colored Stains

  • Solid colored stains use an opaque finish. You’re not able to see the wood grain or natural color but surface texture is still intact. We advise re-staining your deck every 2-3 years after using this opaque finish.

-Semi-transparent Penetrating Stains

  • We recommend oil based semi-transparent penetrating stains because they filter into the wood surface deeper than most wood-based products. Peeling or blistering is less likely to happen with this stain because of it’s non-film forming. Decks with this type of stain gradually wear off and last up to 5 years.

Check out www.ipedepot.com to get a free quote. Happy decking!

Turn the Light Back on in Your Life

dsc_3024highpoint-newsletterCROPThe neighborhood party is just beginning, but night is slowly approaching. You’ve lit the candles and tiki torches, yet still can’t see your neighbor sitting five feet away from you. If only there was a better way to see and enjoy your deck at night.

LED lights help illuminate any deck, adding warmth to each backyard setting.  Energy saving LED lighting helps you and your guests celebrate into the night without having to worry about your energy bill. Most LED lighting are all-weather compatible so you can keep using your deck even in harsh climates. Lighting is also a care free maintenance because you won’t have to worry about the batteries since they are energy saving. You can also choose to light up your stairs and railings, creating a safer deck for you and your family.  You can put the lighting practically anywhere. Get creative and have some fun with it.  It’s your deck anyway.

For more information about our lighting options, check out www.ipedepot.com. Happy Decking!

Is 1×6 +Plus® Ipe Decking Really That Strong?

We all know Ipe 5/4×6 deck boards are strong and reliable.  We know you can build one of the strongest decks, porches, swing sets, or even park benches with this material. But, have you ever wondered if you could use a thinner piece of wood to build the exact same thing?  You’re probably saying to yourself “A thinner piece of wood? That can’t possibly stand up to the thick indestructible  Ipe 5/4×6 board!”  Oh, but my friends, it can!

1×6 +Plus® is custom milled to produce stronger, more affordable decks.  Because it’s milled with 2 extra millimeters (approx. 7/8″ thick), cupping, warping and twisting are less likely to happen.  1×6+Plus® Ipe can hold up to anything a 5/4×6 Ipe board can because it is made with the strongest building material on the market, Ipe decking.

Contractors actually prefer 1×6 +Plus®, not only because it’s as stable as 5/4×6 but because it’s cheaper.  For example, a 5/4×6 Ipe on our site costs you $4.39 while an 1×6+ Ipe costs you only $3.98.  Now $0.41 might not sound like that much but when you think about how much you’re buying it adds up to a 10-15% savings when compared to 5/4×6.  This decking material is great for DIYers on a fixed budget.

We supply Ipe and Cumaru in 1×6+Plus® so call or click to get a free quote from us today: www.ipedepot.com.

The Science Behind the Expansion & Contraction of Wood

Why Wood Moves

Like many building materials, wood expands and shrinks. This is due to how much moisture is in the air.  If there’s high humidity the cells within the wood will expand.  If there is low humidity, the cells will shrink. Thankfully there is a way of predicting how much the wood will shrink or expand.  The equilibrium moisture content (EMC) is basically the length of time it takes for your wood to accommodate to its new environment.   It can tell you whether your wood is going to expand or shrink.  The EMC helps us understand the response wood has to relative humidity (RH).  For example a change in Moisture content (MC) will cause a 12 inch wide maple board to expand or contact by at least ¼ inch.  The graph below gives examples of MC versus RH.

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Wood, not only moves, because of its environment but because of many other factors.  Here are six distinct factors as to why wood moves.

  1. Width of Material – The wider the board, the more the movement.
  2. Grain Orientation- Flat and quarter-sawn lumber can make a big difference in telling how much your wood will expand or shrink.  Quarter-sawn shrinks and expands roughly half as much as flat sawn.  Flat sawn shrinks and swells less in thickness while quarter-sawn shrinks and swells less in width.
  3. Moisture content of the wood at delivery – You should know the moisture content of the decking material when you receive it.  This is measured using a moisture meter.  If you do not check your moisture meter upon your woods’ arrival then you will not know if your lumber has already began to move.
  4. Humidity inside and outside the structure.
    1. Homes in the US that lack humidity control, typically experience levels of humidity from 25 – 65% relative humidity.  This will cause a 6% change in the MC of the wood.  This means if you have a 12 inch wide board it will shrink or expand by a ¼ inch.
    2. Exterior humidity is different.  Most of North America experiences humidity levels ranging from 60-70% in the summer and winter.  If your material is delivered at 6-8% MC then it will experience more than a 2% change in size as it gets used to the EMC.
    3. Species affects the amount of movement Most species of flat grain will change 1% for every 4% change in MC.  The movement values for quarter sawn lumber are approximately ½ the flat sawn values.
    4. Applied finish won’t stop size change- It will not stop the size change but it can slow the rate of moisture exchange down.  Finished wood will eventually accumulate to EMC levels.

Environment and wood species are the main reason as to why wood moves.  When buying your lumber make sure to check your supplier’s environment and to calculate how much your wood will shift in size.  If you want to play it safe, it’s best to buy your wood at least 3-4 days prior to starting your project, so you can let it get acclimated.

Get your free Ipe decking quote directly from the mill. Contact IpeDepot.com today.

Ipe Deck Fastening Methods – Build a Better Ipe Deck

pregrooved decking with ipe clip Ipe decks are great additions to any homes.  Ipe is one of the strongest woods in the world and known to withstand the elements better than any other decking material.  Ipe decks aren’t just strong because of how the lumber is, but because of the ways they are fastened together.

There are three different types of deck fastening for Ipe decking; the hidden fastening method, the face screw/plug method, and the finish screw method.

If you want a screw less and more modern-looking deck then you are going to be  interested in the hidden deck fastening systems made by companies like DeckWise. This method uses strong molded plastics and hardened stainless steel clips that insert into slots cut into the edge of the deck board which then rests on the top of the joist. If your using pregroove decking, then this is the best method to use. It is very easy to install because no other tools are needed. Clips come in three different colors, brown, black, and gray. They also come in several different types; short, tall, kiln dried, extreme and regular. These clips are among the strongest clips on the market. The standard box of Ipe clips goes for $96 and there is 175 clips in each box.Ipe-Clip-Dock-PicWhen using the IDeckWise Extreme fastening method, your deck screws must be installed at a 45 degree angle. Installing at a 45 degree angle will insure a much more stable deck. It will also help stop the possibility of splitting your decking.

The second method, face screw/plug method, uses predrilled 1/8” pilot holes. These holes run completely through the deck boards and into the joist. You will then screw the deck boards down with stainless steel screws. Ipe plugs are then glued into 3/8” holes on the face of the board with waterproof glue. I’d recommend epoxy or gorilla glue. Epoxy is better for gluing posts and can be dyed. You would then gently chisel off any part of the extruding plug with a wood chisel and sand smooth.  It may seem tedious but if you don’t want screws to pop up, covering them with ipe plugs is a great idea.

The third method you can use to build your Ipe deck is the finish screw method. This method uses 8” stainless steel trim head screws which are screwed into the face of the decking at an upright angle. We recommend 2 per joist. This method also suggests screwing the screw in an upright angle. The trim head screw is very small and less noticeable. It also can reduce the risk of stripping your Ipe deck more than the standard square drive.

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Deck with stainless steel screws method

If I had to suggest one method to use, it would be the Ipe clip fastening method. It uses the strongest clips and is the most stable. It also doesn’t leave any screw holes on your decks face or have the possibility for nails to pop up.

Get your free Ipe decking quote directly from the mill. Contact IpeDepot.com today.

More Than One Way to Use Ipe

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“Wow your new playground is amazing! Where did you buy it?”

“We didn’t. After finishing our new deck we had some Ipe material lying around and decided to build Karen a new swing set.”

“Wow! Ipe? I thought that was only used for decking. I have to tell Bob about this….”

Ipe isn’t your average decking material. It can be used in more ways than one. Because of its brute strength and hardness it can be used in a number of ways.

Here is what some of our customers made out of Ipe:

Indoor Flooring

Siding

Docks

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Dock in Biloxi Mississippi

Garden Bridges

Boardwalks    

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• Gazebos

Playground Equipment

Benches

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Just like the life span of Ipe, this list can go on forever. Ipe offers you a guaranteed 75+ year lifespan. That’s 60+ years more than your average teak. and decades longer than composites Ipe is also great with dealing with day to day activities along with natural disasters. No wonder cities like Toronto, Green Bay, and even Las Vegas use it for their heavy traffic projects.

Not only can Ipe transform your backyard but also your home as well. With the help from Ipe ship lap or rainscreen siding your home can be recreated. It adds a little flair to your home while acting as a natural barrier to the elements assisting in keeping out unwanted pests.

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Get your free Ipe decking quote directly from the mill. Contact IpeDepot.com today.

Ipe Decking – Snack Time for Termites?

Do termites like Ipe decking?

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Surprisingly, enough termites and other insects from Brazil and the United States tend to stay away from Ipe Decking.  Not because Ipe decking isn’t delicious, but because this material is extremely dense.  Ipe is so impervious that insects, including termites, don’t stand a chance.  Since they don’t have the ability to actually digest wood, termites usually choose to enjoy softer species, or decomposing wood. Now, imagine you’re a termite. Before you is a piece of Ipe. Since Ipe is 8 times harder than California Redwood (which, as you might imagine makes this type of wood extremely hard and heavy), the choice couldn’t be clearer – Avoid it at all costs.  Also, consider the natural oils’ Ipe secretes helps fight and hold off even the biggest insects from Brazil to the United States.

Ipe Pool Deck

Ipe decking is one of, if not the best material to build a deck with.  It’s extremely strong and sturdy and can hold off any number of pests.  To learn more about Ipe decking check out IpeDepot.com