Ipe Decking - Why It's Better Than Other Decking Material
When it comes to durability and safety, Ipe decking is hard to beat. Ipe (pronounced 'ee-PAY') is the premier quality wood decking product available worldwide. In the sunny Pacific Ocean, it is resistant to decay and rot, is eight times stronger than California Redwood, and is covered with a premium resin that resists moisture, mold, and UV exposure. What's more, it requires virtually no maintenance, as it doesn't require any sealing, staining, or sanding, and because of its superior dimensional stability, it easily adapts to a variety of outdoor settings and is often used for boat decks, walkways, and landscaping.
There are many reasons why the decking materials are superior to most other types of decking materials. Unlike composite decking materials (such as Spruce or Pine), which tend to bend, splinter, and rot in the sun, ipe decking materials are designed to resist all of these problems, and often require no sealing, staining, or sanding at all. Even when sealants and stains are required, ipe decking materials have been shown to be as durable as, if not more durable than, traditional wood materials. This high level of performance makes the decking the premier choice for many homeowners and businesses alike.
Ipe decking is engineered from a unique combination of Indonesian hardwoods known as "jankan" and yellowwood. It is primarily sought after because of its hardness (which is slightly less than cedar, yet eight times harder than pine). Jankan trees are known throughout Asia for their exceptional hardness and their ability to withstand the harsh conditions of outdoor decking applications. In addition to its incredible hardness, janka hardwoods are also extremely durable and versatile, which makes them ideal candidates for use in decks throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
One of the primary reasons why the decking is so desirable is that it possesses what is referred to as a "slip resistance factor," or SER. This number, which is derived by multiplying the lumber's hardness with its average density, indicates the deck's slip resistance ability. As you may know, slip resistance, or resistance to being slipped and slid on the deck, is one of the most important factors in the safety of a portable swimming pool or an above-ground basketball court. Typically, an ideal deck will possess a rating of between one and five on the SER scale, with higher numbers meaning the deck is more or less impervious to slips. Learn more about deck designs.
Of course, the type of hardwood you choose can have a direct impact on the level of SER achieved when using the decking products. Maple, for example, is one of the lowest hardness trees on the planet, contributing to its low SER. Hardwood decking materials, including oak, ash, birch, cherry and maple are also rated very close to or on the same hardness as maple. Because of the close relationship between hardness and level of slip resistance, it makes sense to purchase lumber that will best accommodate your intended applications.
One of the reasons why the decking is so desirable for use in decks is that it possesses what is called an "ultraviolet radiation coating." This ultraviolet radiation coating provides your wood with an extra layer of protection against harmful ultraviolet rays that are part of the sun's regular spectrum of light. While most people are aware of the need to regularly "lighten" their home's outdoor environments in order to prevent the growth of mold and algae, few people give any thought to the role UV rays play in the aging process of our bodies. Exposure to the sun's ultra-violet rays has been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer and a decline in overall immune system function. The additional layer of UV radiation offered by ipe decking imparts additional protection, as well as helping to improve the color and overall condition of wood over time. See here cedar lumber.
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