If you have never heard of Ipe (pronounced EE-PAY), then you are missing out on one of the highest quality woods used for decking that there is, especially if you keep up with Ipe deck cleaning. Ipe is naturally resistant to decay and rot and is an exotic hardwood that can grow to 120 feet tall in the natural rainforest. It is two or three times harder than oak, and about 8 times harder than redwood. It is very heavy and strong. It ranges from dark to light olive brown with some darker or lighter striping. If you have a beautiful Ipe deck that has aged to a silver patina, you may wonder about Ipe Deck Cleaning.
Regular Ipe Deck Cleaning Can Help Your Deck Look Beautiful
Sweeping away debris and then scrubbing with water can do a lot to get the top layer of dirt and grime removed from your Ipe deck. However, if you want to not only clean off any stains or actually remove the outer layer of the wood that has aged, you may require professional Ipe deck cleaning.
Some people recommend using a pressure washer to remove the top silver layer of wood, but it must be done with extreme care and can be very difficult to do evenly across the deck – it requires a commercial grade machine and plenty of experience. Many professionals suggest not using a pressure washer because it is too easy to damage the wood. Instead, they suggest using products that are designed to be used on Ipe decks and remove the discoloration. While you may see that some online sites suggest you use bleach, professionals do not recommend this as it can actually discolor the wood. A professional deck stripper that has been formulated for Ipe is probably one of the best solutions for Ipe deck cleaning.
Most professionals will often lightly sand the deck in order to remove the silvered topcoat to allow the russet-brown color of the Ipe wood to show through again. If you plan to do this yourself, you need to take great care to apply the same amount of pressure everywhere. It can be difficult to sand between planks and around edges.
Ipe is very difficult to paint or varnish, so it is best to let a professional Ipe Deck Cleaning company handle sealing the wood so that it will retain its natural, youthful color longer before it again ages to a silver patina. Keeping your beautiful, exotic Ipe hardwood deck clean is an important part of allowing it to look beautiful for many years. The hardwood is very durable, but if you let dirt and debris constantly build up on it, you are not helping it retain its beauty.