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Old 02-03-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
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IPE Deck Maintenance Question


OK, I realize there are about a million threads out there asking about IPE vs composite vs other materials. I'm not going to go down that path.

Here's what I think I know. IPE has a long record of proving to be a quality and long-lasting product, but it does require some maintenance. Mainly, oiling it at least once a season. Composite decking doesn't require that, but does require a good scrubbing at least every year. Generally, composite decking would be considered lower maintenance than IPE. Beyong that, any material has its issues and there are other positives and negatives.

I have two questions. And, if they've been answered elsewhere, I'm happy to be redirected.

Question #1:
Annual Maintenance of IPE: We're trying to be realistic about whether or not we'll actually keep up on our IPE maintenance, and not get it unless we can honestly say yes. What would be helpful would be to get an idea of how much it would cost to have the maintenance done, so we knew if it was feasible to have that as a fall back option. If anybody knows in terms of either cost or in terms of hours, I could make use of either of the numbers. It obviously depends on how big and what the deck is. I'd be talking about a pretty typical 12' x 20' deck with railings and a stairway that goes down about 6'. I'm just trying to get a sense of if it's a 2 hour, 1 day, or multiple day effort.

Question #2
Restoring Faded IPE. Whan you see other wood materials that aren't kept up, they have to be sanded down and refinished. I think I've seen or heard somewhere that, if you let IPE fade, re-oiling it will restore it without sanding. Is that true, or am I all wet?

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Old 02-03-2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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IPE Deck Maintenance Question


Not counting cleaning, 1 person should be able to do that size deck with steps and railings in one day (1 coat). I've used Cabot's Australian Timber Oil on Ipe with good results. General Finishes also makes a good exterior oil finish.

If you skip several years and then decide to clean and re-oil the Ipe it will actually look darker. You lose some of the visible grain, and it gets a 'muddier' look.

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Old 02-03-2010, 05:36 PM   #3
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IPE Deck Maintenance Question


Exactly what I needed. Thanks a bunch.
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