Characteristics of Ipe wood for exteriors
This tropical wood, coming from South America and also known as Brazil Walnut, is surprisingly resistant to humidity, fungi, blows and all kinds of inclement weather, it is undoubtedly an investment for life. This also has an excellent behavior against fire when compared to other woods and materials.It reaches one of the highest values on the Janka Scale, a scale used to measure the resistance and density of wood against knocks. It is therefore also a very heavy wood.It has a yellowish color that goes towards the dark brown in the heartwood.Although one of the main uses of Ipe wood is the manufacture of outdoor decking, it is also often used for doors and windows, stairs and decorative veneers..
Where to use Ipe decking?
The use of the ipe decking is recommended not only in gardens or terraces, its use is also suitable for spas, showers or swimming pools. If the latter is its end, it is also interesting to mention that among the qualities of the ipe decking is that it is non-slip and does not overheat, a great advantage over synthetic decks that tend to reach high temperatures when they receive direct rays from the Sun.
It will not matter the traffic or the furniture that is installed on this outdoor platform, it will hold everything. Do not worry.
Advantages of Ipe flooring
The Ipe decking is considered one of the best options for exteriors, not only for aesthetics. It is also a matter of superior features or characteristics:
- Great natural resistance to insects and fungi. These represent one of the main reasons why wood deteriorates naturally over time.
- It does not rot easily, in fact it would be necessary to leave the installation for long years to start seeing this type of signs.
- Unlike synthetic flooring, under the intense summer sun, it does not overheat.
- Its density and natural resistance make it ideal for areas with high traffic of people, that is, it has a high resistance to wear.
- Does not scratch and does not chip easily. This does not mean that if it receives blows it does not scratch or splinter, but that it supports it better than other woods.
- Very dimensionally stable wood. That is, over time it does not deform.In case of deterioration or breakage, few materials are easier to replace or repair.
- Gran resistencia natural a insectos y hongos. Estos representan una de los principales razones por los que la madera con el tiempo se deteriora de manera natural.
- No se pudre fácilmente, de hecho habría que abandonar la instalación durante largos años para empezar a ver este tipo de señales.
- A diferencia de las tarimas sintéticas, bajo el intenso sol del verano, no se calienta en exceso.
- Su densidad y resistencia natural la hacen ideal para zonas de alto tráfico de personas, es decir, tiene mucha resistencia al desgaste.
- No se araña y no produce astillas fácilmente. Esto no quiere decir que si recibe golpes no se arañe o se astille, si no que lo soporta mejor que otras maderas.
- Madera muy estable dimensionalmente. Es decir, con el tiempo no se deforma.
- En caso de deterioro o rotura, pocos materiales son más fáciles de sustituir o reparar.
Disadvantages of the Ipe flooring
Although we are talking about an excellent material with many advantages, we must not forget that it also has some drawbacks:
- The price of ipe wood is comparatively higher than that of other alternatives for similar uses. The difference is especially striking, for example if we buy it with autoclaved pine, although of course we are not facing the same quality.
- Being a very dense and heavy wood, working with it is not easy and the wear on the machinery is high, which makes the installation even more expensive.
- Depending on the finish applied and taking into account the tonality of the wood, scratches that occur and that would normally go unnoticed can be very visible. This is not a problem in itself of the ipe platform, but rather a poor decision regarding the finish, although in this case the problem is accentuated.
Ipe floor installation and maintenance
The installation of exterior decking in natural wood is usually carried out on battens (usually made of lower quality wood but treated for greater resistance, for example, pine with an autoclave treatment) and fixed with stainless steel clips and screws.
As for maintenance, the ipe floor does not require excessive care, an annual cleaning and the application of some protective oil will suffice so that it does not lose its natural color. In fact, given the high density of this type of wood, we should not even worry about termites, as long as we do not leave the facility for years.
All the ipe wood for floors that we work is certified, that is, it comes from responsible farms, and has gone through the corresponding drying process, which will avoid possible complications after installation in terraces, gardens or swimming pools. Deformations are frequent, even after installation, when the Ipe wood is not properly dried.
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