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What is the Lifespan of Ipe Wood?

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You will see on our site that we say up to 75-Years. Some people say how can a wood last this long? This brings up some good points that often people don’t think about. Ipe material can absolutely last up to 75 years and indoor flooring maybe longer. But I am going to list 4 major considerations that you have to take into account.

1. Application and Exposure – If you are comparing a pier that’s in the sun all day to a covered porch, this will be drastically different. However, up to 75 years is reasonable as even the Coney Island Ipe Boardwalk that was made in the 1940s and has been in high traffic commercial use for over 7 decades used Ipe decking. They have replaced some boards from time to time, but remember this is a high-traffic commercial site, next to the sea water and with full sun exposure

2. Size of Boards – if you buy the smallest boards like a 1×6 instead of a 5/4×6 you will not get the same lifespan, thicker boards weather better over time. Thicker boards also enable you to sand it if needed, bringing back a beautiful face to the project many more times and also giving you more options for remediation if needed in the future.

3. Board Modification I.E. Grooving – If you groove or pregroove  the boards it can further reduce the lifespan, as it is creating a weaker side where the groove is in the board.

4. Treatment – Annual maintenance on Ipe is not required if you are okay with the boards turning grey. We currently recommend and sell only Messmer’s and Ipe Oil. The chemicals have been changing due to regulations and some brands we are finding are requiring more frequent treatments to keep the boards with a finish looking good. The treatments can further extend the life, but again, it is not necessary with Ipe.

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