An Ipe deck is absolutely beautiful to look at, like a piece of teak furniture. The wood itself will last for forty years whether it is treated or left to weather in its natural state. It is essentially rot and termite resistant. It is ideal for areas nears water. In order to keep a beautiful exotic wood appearance however, it must be recoated a few times a year as it is a dense wood that does not absorb a finish. Our deck was installed in 2007. The contractor applied a coat of Penofin, and the deck looked like teak furniture. It should not be power washed or bleached as that will take away from its beautful color. Within two years the deck had turned grey and was no longer beautiful in my eyes. I received a bid to return it to its beautiful, furniture-like look. The price was $3000.00. At the time I thought I would need to spend $3000.00 a year to maintain it, so I did nothing. This spring I decided that it had to be cleaned. After much research on the internet and talking to local lumber companies, I began cleaning and re-coating it this spring, working in the mornings when the temperature was in the sixties and seventies. It has about 900 square feet of wood including the stairs and railings so it is a major undertaking. I wanted to use the most environmentally safe method for both myself and my landscape plantings surrounding the deck so I chose Wolams Deck and Fence an oxygenated bleach made of percarbonate, a citric acid rinse and Penofin Exotic hardwood oil. I coated the wood with Wolmans and let it sit for 10 minutes to do its chemical work, scrubbed it with a stiff brush and rinsed. I did each area at least three times until I no longer got a brown gunk when I scrubbed. After rinsing with citric acid and letting it dry, I brushed on the Penofin, waited 15 minutes and wiped off the excess with cotton cloths. If the excess is left on it becomes tacky. I got half the deck done before the mornings became too hot and humid for the Penofin to be applied. (We've had over 80 days over 90 degrees this summer.) That half of the deck looks beautiful! The mornings are now in the sixties again so I have begun work on the second half and the stairs. Of course now I must apply another coat of Penofin to the first half. I do not need to clean with Wolmans and scrub. All I need to do is wash it off with a mild detergent and oil it as though it were a dining room table. I now understand that $3000.00 estimate!
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About the reviewer
Kathy Edds (Kathryn)
I am a wife, married to my husband, Ken, since 1975, the mother of three adult children and a grandmother to two adorable grandsons. I was a "stay at home" mother who found ways to be self employed … more
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Ipe is a Brazilian Hardwood. It is very dense and I have been told it does not float. It does not absorb stain or oil so in order to maintain its beautiful reddish brown appearance it must be oiled a few times a year, like good furniture. Without this oil it will turn gray. With or without maintenance it will last forty years.