IPE wood is naturally equipped to withstand moisture and the elements, making it one of the top choices for outdoor applications. IPE decks can endure up to 75 years without significant repair or replacement, thanks to their innate resistance to rot and decay. However, maintaining their natural beauty and durability requires specific IPE deck maintenance practices. But there is a misconception about IPE deck maintenance–that it doesn’t require maintenance due to its durability. That’s not true. All decks require maintenance to keep them in good condition.
This blog post will explore how to clean your IPE deck to ensure it retains its beauty over time.
How To Clean IPE Deck
Clear the Deck: Remove all furniture, potted plants, and any items on the deck to access the entire surface.
Sweep or Blow: Start by sweeping or using a leaf blower to remove loose debris like leaves and twigs. This prevents scratching during the cleaning process.
Hose Down: Use a garden hose to wet the deck thoroughly. This step will help loosen dirt and make the cleaning process more efficient.
Choose the Right Cleaner: Select a deck cleaner specifically designed for hardwoods like IPE. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and mix the solution with water as directed.
Scrub Gently: Use a soft-bristle brush or a mop to apply the cleaning solution to the wet deck. Scrub gently in the direction of the wood grain to avoid damaging the surface.
Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the deck with clean water to remove the cleaning solution and dirt. Ensure that no residue remains on the wood.
Allow to Dry: Let the deck dry completely. This may take a day or two, depending on the weather and your location.
Apply a Finish (Optional): If desired, you can apply a UV protectant finish to maintain the IPE’s natural color and protect it from the sun’s damaging effects.
Other IPE Deck Maintenance Tips
Repair Scratches: Scratches, despite IPE wood’s innate moisture resistance, can compromise the protective sealant, potentially permitting moisture to infiltrate and give rise to mold development over time. You should fill deep scratches with wood putty or epoxy-based filler. For surface scratches, you can address them with light sanding and refinishing.
Annual Sealant: Applying sealant annually is crucial for preserving your IPE deck’s beauty. It creates a protective barrier against scuffs, scratches, fading, and moisture damage.
Dry Up Oil Spots: Promptly wipe off excess oil spots within 20 minutes of applying the sealer to prevent sun-induced discoloration. Dense surfaces like IPE are especially susceptible to oil-related discoloration due to overapplication.
How To Clean IPE Deck FAQs
Q. Is regular cleaning essential for IPE decking?
Regular cleaning is indeed essential for preserving the beauty and longevity of your IPE deck. It helps prevent staining, and mold growth as well as ensures that the wood maintains its rich, natural color.
Q. What is the recommended method for cleaning IPE decking?
The most recommended method for cleaning IPE decking is sweeping or vacuuming to remove dirt and debris, followed by using wood-safe cleaners for any remaining spots. Periodic spot cleaning may be necessary to tackle specific stains.
Q. How often should I reseal my IPE deck, and why is it important?
We recommend you reseal your IPE deck annually. Resealing creates a protective barrier that guards against scuffs, scratches, fading, and moisture damage, helping to maintain the wood’s beauty and integrity.
Q. Do I need to keep sealing the IPE hardwood deck?
Yes, you have to keep sealing your IPE deck to maintain its beauty. We recommend doing it annually. Each application of sealer allows the wood to absorb a limited amount, and successive resealing increases the sealer’s penetration into the wood’s fibers. The harsh sun in hot regions can quickly strip the protective sealant from your IPE deck, rendering it vulnerable to the elements. Untreated IPE will naturally gray over time, potentially causing the wood to warp due to increased water absorption.
Q. What if my IPE deck is already grey?
If your IPE deck has turned gray due to past neglect, there’s hope for restoration. IPE wood is remarkably durable, and the gray patina often affects only the surface while the natural reddish-brown hue remains underneath. You can carefully remove this gray layer using a low-pressure washer, requiring patience for larger decks. Alternatively, light sanding can help eliminate the gray. After restoring the wood’s original color, seal the deck when the wood is dry using a UV protectant to prevent the return of the gray patina.
IPE deck maintenance, often misunderstood, is crucial for preserving the natural beauty and structural integrity of your outdoor space. While IPE wood is inherently resilient, a little maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your deck remains in top condition. Tropical Forests Products has established itself as the foremost supplier of IPE Wood Decking in Toronto and across North America. Our commitment to delivering the finest IPE wood products is a testament to our dedication to excellence and customer satisfaction. With Tropical Forests Products, you not only acquire the finest IPE wood but also embark on a journey towards creating breathtaking outdoor environments that will be cherished for years to come.