Decking - Handloggers, Inc.

The sale of decking products has become a large part of our business. Although we focus on Ipe hardwood decking, we can provide any other type of wood decking product.

Ipe Hardwood Decking

General Description

Ipe is the finest exterior decking material available. A rich, deep brown color, Ipe has incredible strength and durability properties. Ipe is a very dense, close-grained wood that, when left in its natural state, will turn a soft silver as it ages. We sell prime grade Ipe that is clear, all heartwood with no knots.

Ipe is superior in every way when compared with other wood and synthetic decking products:

  • Five times as hard as Redwood
  • Naturally durable and insect-resistant for an expected life of more than 50 years
  • Resistant to splitting, twisting, cupping and checking
  • Highly stable
  • Fire Rating is Class A NFPA, Class I UBC

Ipe is grown throughout most countries in Central and South America. Ipe is most commonly used for residential decking and it can also replace treated wood in many applications, providing a decay and insect resistant product without the use of chemicals.

Required Equipment

Ipe is extremely dense but it can be crosscut with a good quality chop saw using a carbide-tipped blade. Ripping can be done on a table saw, although it is recommended that power be no less than 3 hp and a well-aligned high quality fence should be used.

When drilling, always use the highest quality drill bits available. We supply a dimpler bit to create a countersink hole for the screw head. Lubricating the screws by swiping once across a bar of soap will facilitate assembly.

Safety concerns

Safety glasses and a dust mask should always be worn when working with hardwood lumber. Some people may have an allergic reaction to hardwood dust. Remove wood slivers immediately to prevent infection. If sawdust gets into the eyes, rinse thoroughly with clear water.

Environmental issues

Tropical forests are an immense resource that must be carefully managed for longterm sustainability. We encourage all of our Ipe suppliers to follow the best industry practices as established by the IBAMA (Brazilian government) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We don’t normally stock “certified” Ipe, but we are able to quote price and availability on this product.

Storage and Handling

For best results, Ipe should be stored out of direct sunlight and allowed to equalize to the ambient moisture content. Ipe is generally not kiln dried and it is shipped on breather sticks so that the moisture content will equalize within a few weeks. All natural wood are subject to contraction and expansion throughout the year. Although unusual, it is possible for Ipe to shrink up to 1/8″ on the 4″ wide decking and up to 3/16″ on the 6″ wide decking.

Once a deck package is delivered to the job site, most of the equalization has already occurred. Keep the material off the ground by placing a few pieces of lumber underneath the deck package and cover the material with a tarp to protect from sun damage and rain.

Material Application

Build your deck so that there is adequate air circulation underneath the deck in order to minimize cupping and warping of boards. In wet areas or over water, additional clearance is recommended. The recommended joist spacing for 3/4″ decking is 16″ OC (on center) and 24″ OC for the 1″ decking.

Fasteners

Several different options are available for fasteners and for fastening techniques. We recommend stainless steel screws through the face of every board. We sell “Split-Stop” stainless steel screws that do not require drilling of a pilot hole. Feel free to contact us regarding the specifications of these screws. Use of non-stainless screws will cause discoloration at the fastener.

For decks that can be fastened from underneath, we offer the Shadoe Track system. Please contact us for specific information regarding this product.

End Sealer

Ipe decking is always end sealed during manufacturing to prevent splitting and checking on the ends of boards. We recommend that boards be end sealed as soon as reasonably possible if crosscut during installation. We recommend Anchorseal from UC Coatings.

Finishing Options

To maintain the deep brown natural color, an oil finish with UV inhibitors should be used. We sell Messmer’s U.V.-Plus for Hardwoods made specifically for Ipe decks. Re-apply this product every one to two years, or as necessary to maintain color.

Ipe decking can be pressure washed at up to 2500 psi without damaging the surface fibers. This can make cleaning and re-applying finish much easier than with softwood decking. Messmer’s makes cleaner and brightener compounds that will effectively restore the Ipe to its original color.