There is nothing quite like resting out on a beautiful wooden deck on a sunny day and enjoying yourself in the sunshine. You can spend time with your family outdoors and have fun with them. It is a greatly enriching experience. Not only does it look good, it feels good too. Such moments are precious and leave a beautiful image in your mind. Does not it?
If you have a hardwood deck in your home, you know it feels good to spend time there. However, some people may worry about how to maintain it and keep it clean. To get rid of this worry, it is better to know about the best ways to clean the IPE hardwood deck.
This blog specifically answers questions related to the maintenance and cleanliness of an IPE deck. If you have an IPE hardwood deck, reading this blog may be very useful for you.
What Type of Maintenance Does IPE Decking Require?
There are some things if done routinely can keep an IPE deck in a fantastic condition. Given below is the list of such things.
Cleaning the Deck and Furniture Thoroughly
The first thing is to clean it often. Especially during the changes in the season. It would be good to clean off any debris from the spring pollen or winter winds. This way, it does not leave scratches or stain the wood.
This applies to your deck furniture as well. Make sure to clean underneath any tables or chairs, as debris may be trapped and cause staining or warping below. Take some time to wipe these off thoroughly. Also, make sure the edges do not scratch the wood when you or someone else moves furniture around.
Cleaning Up Spills on the Deck
Things can get spilled on your deck. Especially, if you host barbeques or picnics on them. Dark liquids such as red wine, soda, or coffee, can leave a stain on the beautiful wood. Ensure to sop up the liquid as soon as possible.
Oil, algae, grease, or mildew can cause even darker stains. These stains would be a bit trickier to remove. It would be good to lightly scrub the wood surface with a wood cleaner and acleaning brush. Ensure to never use bleach or other harsh cleaning chemicals on the IPE. This can damage it.
Repairing Scratches on the Wood
Scratches would break the sealant and create openings. Moisture can seep in through these openings. Even though IPE wood is quite resistant to moisture, mould may begin to form eventually. One can fill in deep scratches with epoxy-based filler or wood putty. Surface scratches can be fixed by very lightly sanding and refinishing.
Annual Application of the Sealant
The other key part of IPE decking maintenance is the annual application of sealant. Sealing and resealing the deck is a great way to keep it looking brand new for many years. The wood sealant creates a shielding barrier over the wood. Therefore, it does not get scratched or scuffed.
Also, it can prevent the wood from fading. It may even add a transparent or semi-transparent tint of colour to enrich the wood’s tone.
The first step to sealing a deck is cleaning the surface thoroughly and repairing any nicks or scratches in the wood. One may lightly sand the top layer away with 80-grit sandpaper in case the wood is damaged. It would be a good choice to have a professional deck restoration service do this for you. One needs to be quite careful when sanding IPE.
If the wood is already sealed from the past, you would need to remove the old sealant with a wood stripper. By using a low-level pressure washer, remove the old sealant. Thereafter, restore the wood to its natural tone.
When the wood has dried completely, you can apply a sealer. It would be good to test a hidden area first to ensure the tone is what you are looking for. Then,with the help of a brush, apply a thin layer of sealant on all deck surfaces. Do not use a sprayer. A brush would allow a more even and thin coating.
Drying Up the Oil Spots on the Deck
Oil may begin to pool as the sealant dries. One must wipe off any excess oil on the wood’s surface within twenty minutes of the application ofthe sealer. If excess oil is left on a dense surface like IPE, the sunrays would singe the oil. This would turn the whole surface black.
This is a common mistake homeowners make when they trust someone who is not familiar with treating IPE. If your deck has darkened, it is probably due to an over-application of oil.
If you would like to ensure that the deck is coated evenly, you can hire a deck sealing company to do the job. They generally make use of the highest quality sealer that is particularly made for IPE for even better results.
A sealant would most likely prevent your IPE deck from darkening or fading. Because of the sun, untreated IPE can develop a silver colour called patina. Itlooks quite unattractive. Also, it means that the natural oils of the IPE wood have dried out and left it in a vulnerable state to damage.
A properly maintained IPE deck would most likely fade gracefully between maintenance visits. Also, it would not get particularlylighter or darker.
Do I Have to Keep Sealing the IPE Hardwood Decking?
It would be great to reseal your IPE deck every twelve months. As the boards can only absorb so much sealer while any one application. In addition, with everysuccessive resealing of your IPE deck, the wood fibres would absorb more and more of the sealer you are using. Therefore, each successive maintenance process prolongs the time between applications.
The hot sun can bake whatever protectant is on an IPE deck right out of the wood. This would leave it unprotected against the elements. If it is left untreated, the IPE wood would grey over time. It may even begin to buckle as more water is absorbed into the defenceless wood. This is not something one would want from their investment.
Therefore, one should invest in a high-quality sealer and reapply every year to protect the deck. A very thin and oil-based sealer would be appropriate for use. This is because the wood is not highly absorbent. Thin and runny oils have smaller molecules. So, they can be absorbed better by the IPE wood.
What if My IPE Decking is Already Grey?
If one did not keep up with IPE deck maintenance in the past and the wood has developed a grey colour, it may be reparable. IPE is an extremely durable and robust wood. Even though the surface may have faded, the grain beneath probably still has its natural reddish-brown tone.
This happens because the grey colour results from the oxidation of the oils in the wood. To remove the grey patina, you would require to get rid of the top layer very carefully. You can use a low-pressure washer to do this. It is better to be patient during this process.
Carefully go over the wood and try to maintain even strokes until the grey is washed away. Lightly sanding may also help to remove the grey. After you have gotten rid of the silver patina, reseal the deck on dry wood. It is better to have a UV protectant for preventing the grey to form once again.
If you have an IPE deck or you are planning to get one, the above-given tips would help you to maintain it well.
South Gate Timber Limited provides great IPE hardwood decking at competitive prices. To know more about their services, you can visit their site.
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