What will my Ipe or hardwood deck look like after several years?

What will my Ipe or hardwood deck look like after several years?

                Homeowners ask two common questions when they consider buying Ipe, Cumaru, Garapa or Tigerwood   for their new deck.  How much maintenance will I have to do to Ipe decking?  What will Ipe decking look like with little maintenance?  The pictures below are from an Ipe front porch and Ipe back deck and stairs which were built in 2006.  The front Ipe porch faces east and receives direct sun.  The Ipe deck boards are covered but get wet in rainstorms.  The back Ipe deck is on the west side of the house under a large oak tree.  The tree drops a lot of leaves and other debris and the Ipe decking receives afternoon sun through the tree.

The homeowner cleans the front porch annually with a bleach-based cleaner available at any Lowe’s or Home Depot.  After the annual cleaning, he applies one coat of Penofin to protect the Ipe wood against sun and water damage.  He only blows off the porch decking every few weeks the rest of the year.

The back Ipe decking is cleaned about every 2 years with a power washer.  The homeowner uses no cleaning fluids, no brushes and no Penofin.  The homeowner will blow leaves and other debris off the Ipe deck every other week.

You can plainly see the difference in appearance from the two levels of maintenance.  The back porch Ipe color has faded over time.  Notably, however, the Ipe deck boards show no sign of rot and no scratches.  Over these 7 years, two Labrador retrievers and one Wire-haired pointing Griffon called this porch deck home.  While you may notice some paw scratches on the white doors, the Ipe decking shows no sign of dog nail scratches.

 

Uncleaned 7yr old Ipe Porch

Un-cleaned 7yr old Ipe Porch

 

Never Treated, Un-Cleaned 7yr old  Ipe Deck

Never Treated, Un-Cleaned 7yr old Ipe Deck

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