Outdoor Decks & Patios

Posted July 16th, 2009 by ipemadeira



Outdoor Decks & Patios

In the midst of this economy, many people are opting to stay in their homes. Nesting is taking on a new meaning. Remodeling has increased and families are now staying home for vacations and entertaining. This has helped the economy in terms of outdoor products for clients looking to expand their back and front yards. The coastal areas as well as areas with temperate weather can make the most of their outdoor area for a longer period of time. People are willing to invest back into their home for comfort and entertaining. Green and recycling are becoming the norm. Educated consumers are willing to investing into quality products instead of a quick fix.

Unemployment is at an all time new high of 9.5%. Foreclosures don’t seem to be letting up and the future is uncertain. People are responding with less outings, vacation and spending. Keeping up with the Jones is no longer viewed as a status quo. Keeping your home and job are the reality of life for the majority of people nationwide. Many homeowners who were looking to upgrade to a new home are now re-evaluating their existing lifestyle and current homes. Many are looking to extend their living space and re-create a home to entertain in and enjoy coming home to.

The backyard is an easy addition without having to go into replacing roof and mortar. Some opt for a wraparound or front porch. Many homes that have a porch will include a deckand outdoor kitchen. This creates a totally new entertaining area and cooking environment, opening up more space for more people. Enjoying the outdoor air and ambiance is good for you. Finding a place to relax in a natural environment is the oasis that many people desire and love sharing it with family and friends. The project can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire. Whether simply a deck for a couple of chairs or a outdoor kitchen and entertainment area complete with tv, refrigerator, ice machine oven and fireplace, the value of the addition is definitely worth the cost.

There are many options for outdoor decking and patio material. The preferred material for many high quality homes is ipe. Ipe decking has seen increases in sales in the last decade due to it’s many outstanding properties. This super wood is one of the strongest woods available with a janka hardness of 3600 and a fire rating same as concrete and steel. Ipe requires no chemicals as it is naturally resistant to insects, mold, rot and fungus. The longevity of Ipe is minimum 40 years with no treatment to over 100 years with a UV inhibitor oil. There is no other decking material that will perform the way this wood does. Man made decking is still experiencing problems with delaminating, staining, warping and mold/fungus growth.

When investing into your outdoors, go with the proven leader for durability, beauty and longevity. Ipe hardwood decking will last years beyond your life and you won’t have to worry about it. Pay for the product not the marketing behind the product and if your concern is purchasing a green product than look at the FSC certified Ipe decking. This ensures you are purchasing lumber from a responsibly harvested forest with a future.



Top 10 Ipe Decking Questions

Posted July 16th, 2009 by ipemadeira

Top 10 Ipe Decking Questions

1.) What is Ipe Decking?

Ipe Decking is an all-natural hardwood that is responsibly harvested from the forests of South America and parts of Central America. It is an extremely dense, tight-grained hardwood. Generally the color is a deep rich brown with some pieces displaying red and amber hues. Ipe decking has the highest rating for insect and decay resistance, and is 8 times harder than California Redwood.

2.) Where does Ipe Decking come from?

Ipe decking comes from a tree that grows through out South America. We pull the majority of our Ipe Decking out of Northern Brazil. Then it is shipped direct to one of our two locations in either Buffalo NY or Grover NC.

3.) What dimensions do you stock in the Ipe Decking?

We carry a full line of decking surface products that we can offer in a standard decking plank, T&G for a cover application, or pregrooved decking for the Ipe Clip Hidden Fasteners. This includes 1×6, 1×4, 5/4×6, 5/4×4 and our own 1×6 Plus which is 2mm thicker than 1×6 decking. We also carry a full stock of dimensional lumber such as 2x material, which we carry from 2×2 to 2×12. We stock fascia material from 5/4×8 to 5/4×12 as well as raining accessories from two styles of railing to 4×4 and 6×6 post. We also operate two fully functional mills and can custom mill our Ipe Decking to customers exact needs.

4.)What maintenance does Ipe Decking require?

 That’s up to the customer. Ipe Decking again is extremely dense and due to this requires no long-term maintenance. Ipe Decking if left untreated will fade in color to a silver gray patina color but will not splinter nor will it rot for at least 40+ years. If the customer is looking to have the Ipe Decking retain its color then we suggest applying Messmers U.V. Plus Natural For Decking Hardwood. We suggest applying one coat once the deck is done again about 6-8 months later and then every other year after that or as needed as the decking losses color. We always suggest the customer applies at least one coat of Messmers U.V. Plus Natural for Hardwood Decking once the deck is completed, whether they where looking for the Ipe Decking to turn to that silver gray color or retain its color. This will help to ensure that the material will weather evenly.

5.) Is Ipe Decking Fire Rated?

Yes, Ipe Decking is Class A Fire Rated the same as concrete and steel. ASTM-E84 tested to National Fire Protection Code, Class A, Uniform Building Code, Class 1; Highest Rating.

6.) How Often Does Messmers need to be applied?

Messmers U.V. Plus will need to be applied once the deck is done again 6-8 months later and then every other year after that depending on how much the material has faded in color.

 7.) Why do you suggest using the Messmers U.V. Plus?

We suggest using Messmers U.V. Plus Natural for Hardwood Decking, as this seems to be the best finish that we have found to work not only on our Ipe Decking but all of the Hardwood Decking products that we carry. Messmers U.V. Plus penetrates deep enough in to the material that it will not leave an oil residue on the surface of decking. Messmers hold the color of the decking products longer than most products on the market. We do carry this product as well and can ship this directly to your job site.

8.) How is Messmers U.V. Plus applied?

Messmers U.V. Plus must be applied to a clean surface. We suggest rolling the Messmers on the decking with a 3/8″ nap paint roller. Then allow the material to sit for 10-15 min. Next look over the decking and if you see the Messmers U.V. Plus pooling in any area simply wipe it off with a dry rag. Allow the Messmers to dry for a full 24 hours. This must be applied on a dry day with a temperature of at least 50 degrees for 24 hours.

9.) Can Ipe Decking Be Sealed Or Stained?

Ipe Decking cannot be sealed or stained, as the material is too dense and oily for a sealer to adhere to the surface, and will not accept a stain as the material again is extremely dense and has a very high oil content. Ipe Decking can have an oil finish applied with a U.V. Inhibitor which will hold the color of the decking and protect it from U.V. rays. The product that we suggest using is Messmers U.V. Plus Natural for Hardwood Decking.

 10.) How far can I span my joists?

That depends on the material that you are looking to use. With 1×6 and 1×4 you can span 16″ on center, with 5/4×4 and 5/x6 you can span 24″ on center, and with 2x material you can span 32″ on center. All of these recommendations will allow the customer to be at zero deflection.

FSC™ Certified Ipe Decking Delivers

Posted July 16th, 2009 by ipemadeira






FSC™ Certified Ipe Decking Delivers

What is FSC™?FSC™ stands for Forest Stewardship Council. This non profit organization is recognized as the most credible international system in forest management. Their certification is the only one recognized for LEED rating on commercial and residential projects for wood products. FSC™ certified Ipe decking is fast growing in popularity due to it’s multi-facet properties. They include janka hardness of 3640, fire rating class I (same as concrete and steel), resistance to insects, mold and fungus (no chemicals here) and longevity of 40 plus years with no maintenance products. What is not to like.

What does it take to be FSC™ certified? Well, that can go into heavy details but here is a fraction of the commitment that is involved. The company must be willing to implement additional policies, procedures, rules, time and monies that solely pertain to FSC™. This involves hiring an FSC™ accredited certification company that implements audits, report misuse or abuse, approve or deny application of the FSC trademark on products and off products and assist company in utilizing FSC™ responsibly. Audits are conducted annually and re-submission is needed every 5 years. Mills for example must have a specifically designated area solely for storage of FSC™ wood. Once in operation for milling the machinery, forklift and area must all be labeled thoroughly and specifically for anyone who enters to know only FSC™ products and production is allowed. Why is this important? The purpose for this is to cut out improper management of our forests.

Why Ipe? As stated above, Ipe has a janka hardness of 3680. In comparison to California Redwood at 420, this hardwood is 8 times the hardness. Ipe is naturally resistant to insects, mold and fungus, so no need to put chemicals on it. It is naturally recyclable, self sustaining and renewable. The longevity of Ipe decking is 40 years and over 100 years with a UV inhibiting deck oil. Ipe rating surpasses the minimum required for wet areas based on Americans with Disability Act requirements for static coefficiency of friction used by commercial projects for slip ratio on flooring.

Put the two things together; FSC™ certification and Ipe decking and you get the best decking available. Nothing else can quite capture the natural beauty of real wood and without the worries of chemical outgassing and now with reassurance of a responsible forest certification.





FSC™ Certified Ipe- What it is

Posted July 16th, 2009 by ipemadeira






What does FSC™ mean? FSC™ is the Forest Stewardship Council and it is a non profit and independent organization created to promote responsible forest management worldwide. The organization has independent certification companies they work with to get companies accredited. Here is a summary of what FSC™ requires taken from the excerpts in the FSC™ website:

Prohibit conversion of forests or any other natural habitat

Respect of international workers rights

Prohibition of use of hazardous chemicals

Respect of Human Rights with particular attention to indigenous peoples

No corruption – follow all applicable laws

Identification and appropriate management of areas that need special protection (e.g. cultural or sacred sites, habitat of endangered animals or plants)





Becoming certified demonstrates your willingness to comply with the highest standards on the market. Certification requires annual audit surveillance and compliance and is valid for five years. It will show your creditability and responsibility for forest conservation to consumers, business associates, banks and other organizations. This requires commitment from the company requesting an audit by requiring stringent trail of procedures, policies and paperwork as well as a financial investment. More information is available at www.fsc.org for your review.

Now that you have an idea of what FSC™ certified means than you know what FSC™ Ipe is to you and to everyone else. FSC™ certified ipe is ipe wood with a lineage showing responsible harvesting and appropriate managing of forest it came from. It is nationally and internationally recognized by over 80 countries and millions of companies. Special provisions are set in place to make sure you know where your Ipe is coming from and where it has been. Many architects and interior designers will specify FSC™ certified ipe for their LEED’s programs and for the most discriminating clients who demand green products. FSC™ certified Ipe is used by many government projects to show responsible practices in the purchasing of products with tax payer dollars. Ipe wood is commonly used in decking, flooring and may also be used in outdoor furniture. Almost any thing you can make with wood especially for durability, outdoor applications, strength and beauty. Ipe decking is showcased in the Atlantic City Boardwalk as well as South Miami Beach boardwalk, just to give you an example of commercial applications. Ipe is also known as Brazilian walnut and very popular for interior wood flooring where there are children and pets due to its strength and durability.

Wood is Good

Posted July 10th, 2009 by ipemadeira

Wood has been a much needed resource for our ancestors for thousands of years. Trees provided wood to make fire for heat making winters bearable and for foods that would otherwise be hard to eat. Wood also was used for building homes. We have used wood for tools, to write on and for weapons. This renewable and sustainable resource has been and will continue to be one of mother natures’ most prized gift and our best choice for many uses.

This natural resource is biodegradable, recyclable, energy efficient, durable, salvageable and beautiful. Wood uses less energy to process than steel, concrete, plastic and aluminum. It is used for insulation and has low thermal diffusivity (measure of how quickly a material can absorb heat from its surroundings). It supports and feeds the people who grow and process it. Sustainable forestry practices are now heavily enforced with companies like FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and the Green Council. Ipe wood is one species that FSC has begun to regulate more heavily and it has benefited the Amazon by sustaining the forests for use and for living off for many indigenous people. Ipe along with Cumaru, Garapa, Tigerwood and many other hardwoods are being utilized for their strength, durability and longevity not to mention chemical free properties. Furniture, flooring and decking have long been made with wood and have lasted the test of time with minimal maintenance and chemicals. In addition, building with wood keeps us from digging up fossil fuels and manufacturing wood products make the least water and air pollution, solid waste and emission of gases.

Today we use all parts of the tree as even small pieces of the wood can be used in engineered wood products and paper. The great thing about wood is the tree it comes from is self sustained. It uses soil, air, carbon dioxide and water to grow and will decompose back to the earth in a renewable cycle as long as we use responsible forest management. The earth has provided a wonderful resource to help us shelter, feed and protect ourselves and with care we can help minimize use of non recyclable materials from filling our landfills and polluting our planet at the same time utilize what mother nature has given us. In other words, wood is good. Remember it can’t be duplicated and doesn’t need to be.

Ipe Wood and Its Uses

Posted June 30th, 2009 by ipemadeira

The fire rating for this species is the same as steel and concrete. The co-efficiency of friction exceeds above and beyond that required by the Americans with Disabilities Act requirement for slip resistance in a wet area. Ipe also requires no pesticides as it is naturally resistant to insects, mold and fungus. This hardwood is strictly regulated by IBAMA and now also available with FSC™ certification, this encourages responsible harvesting and forest management with strict penalties for forestry abuse. Besides the strength and natural characteristics that make Ipe a super wood is its physical look. It is a warm rich and heavy wood with an olive brown to red tones that left untreated will patina to a beautiful silver-ish grey. This hardwood’s natural habitat has extreme weather conditions that range from blistering hot Amazon weather to the endless rainy season with torrid floods. This must contribute to the characteristics of this “ironwood”.

Ipe Wood and Its Uses


Ipe wood, also know as Ironwood and Brazilian Walnut is a hardwood native to South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. This species of wood is the best choice for outdoor applications but is also used anywhere durability and strength is necessary. It is commonly seen on decks, boardwalks, furniture, piers, and docks.



Ipe’s botanical name is Tabebuia Serratifolia.


The most common use found for Ipe is decking and for good reason. Decking is exposed to the weather year round. There is no protection from the elements. Decking is not usually maintained on a regular basis thus may be untreated and/or cleaned for months. Parties and groups gather there in large numbers for entertaining. This creates the need for a strong material. Decking that will not need replacing in 5-10 years, who want to reinstall a deck? When researching the market for the right deck and the pro’s and con’s, the superior material has always been Ipe. The lifespan of Ipe will vary from 50 years up to 100 years with sealer. Commercial projects that require decking like the boardwalk in Atlantic City will chose Ipe with good reason. Imagine the volume of traffic that will walk the boardwalk, the elements that the deck is exposed to and the aesthetic value of natural wood in its environment. Many piers and docks are made with Ipe because of its density and durability. Who wants to replace something when they don’t have to?


Ipe is also commonly used in outdoor and indoor furniture. It is used for outdoor furniture because of its durability and beauty. The rich brown tones complement any design. Most furniture when left to the weather will last maybe a year where Ipe furniture can last for years without ever being replaced. Tables, chairs, loungers and planters are popular items but there are other ideas such as pergolas, screens, fences and siding are now being used. It just makes sense. Who wants to dispose of furniture on a yearly basis and have to shop for more furniture not to mention having to deliver furniture every time the old stuff falls apart. Not only is it bad for the environment but it makes bad business sense to not invest into good long lasting furniture now. Who needs the headache?


Thus when you are out shopping for decking or furniture remember Ipe the super wood.


Ipe Decking vs. Composite Decking

Posted June 30th, 2009 by ipemadeira

Ipe decking and composite decking have been the newest rage in decking materials for different reasons. Ipe wood is now less expensive and less labor intensive with new technology and machinery. This hardwood is so dense and strong that previous to the advancement of some milling machinery, it was not cost effective to use Ipe. In the last 20 years, Ipe has come a long way and is now available as a permanent fixture on your backyard. Composite decking has also evolved due to demand for decks and companies that want to seize the opportunity for a market share and to make some money. Composites are a combination of two or more materials, usually sawdust or wood fibers and plastic. Some big companies decided to put waste sawdust and recycled plastics together to create a product. The use of recycled products is great. We are all looking to be green but for outdoor exposure where plastic and sawdust will have direct contact with moisture, UV rays, freeze and thaw environment as well as standard wear and tear, the combination is most definitely not green nor is it durable. This in the long run will cause more products to be used (due to replacement), an unsatisfied consumer and more products in the landfills (not environmentally friendly).

Ipe decking has been used in several large commercial projects and for good reason. Ipeaka Brazilian Walnut has a Janka hardness of 3640.What is Janka hardness? The Wikipedia definition states: The Janka hardness test measures the hardness of wood. It involves measuring the force required to embed a 11.28 millimeter (0.444 inch) steel ball into wood to half its diameter. This method was chosen so that the result would leave an indention 100 square millimeters in size. It is one of the best measures of the ability of a wood species to withstand denting and wear. Ipe is also rated same as steel and concrete for flammability testing. This hardwood is so dense that it is resistant to mold, fungus even insects. No chemicals are required and no treatments are needed unless you want to keep the warm brown tones of the wood. If no treatment is used it will patina a silverish grey tone, otherwise use a UV oil inhibitor. The lifespan for Ipe decking is over 40 years old without treatment and over 100 years with treatment. This decking will be there for your grandchildren to enjoy. Ipe is also available FSC certified with select approved companies. This certification guarantees the hardwood is harvested from a responsibly managed forest. Ipe is truly a renewable, recyclable, durable, biodegradable, energy efficient and versatile product and its beauty can not be duplicated.

Composite decking has also grown in demand. This product is heavily marketed by big corporations. Numerous lawsuits have ensued as consumers in as little as a few months have come to realize their dream decking has delaminated, warped and/or become discolored. The application for this material may have a market where extreme temperatures and direct exposure are not present. The products that have delaminated have exposed saw dust or wood fibers and deteriorate rather quickly without the outer protection. Some composite decks may take 3-4 years before they begin to delaminate or have issues. The warranty on many if not all of these companies will not cover labor for removal and re-installation. People who are reassured with a 20-50 year warranty and name of a big corporation should take a careful look at the stipulations and replacement policies. Many warrantees won’t cover discolorations and they no longer state maintenance or sealer free. Labor is not free and who wants to replace a deck in their lifetime. Ironically, composite deck manufacturers push the green envelope to the limit. They claim environmental reasons for their products but the fact remains, recycled plastic that is not chemically designed to withstand exterior exposure for extended time and sawdust are cheap alternatives. What isn’t cheap is replacing the deck when it delaminates or warps and has to be discarded and where would that be discarded???