Ipe decking is air dried to between 15% and 18% moisture content for optimal outdoor performance. Ipe boards should be stabilized and acclimatized to the climate before installation. Until installed, boards should be stored away from direct sunlight and should be kept dry.Boards should be kept on a level surface, preferably not kept directly on concrete or the ground. A plastic sheet, tarp or other moisture barrier should be used.
Boards should be stacked evenly on bolsters, which allows airflow from underneath. If the boards will be stored outdoors, make sure to cover the top and sides. Sufficient ventilation is very important for keeping cupping to a minimum and for preserving long term stability of the lumber.
Deck planning is crucial for the longevity of the boards and to prevent build-up of humid air under the wood, which will permeate into the boards.Correctly planned airflow channels will allow air to flow from under the deck, between the joists and through the gaps between the boards.
The design of the deck also needs to enable cross ventilation to minimize the chances of cupping and surface checking of the boards. This will reduce the natural tendency of wood to move in use. We suggest at least 18” of open air under the joists and open side for sufficient airflow. If skirting is installed, it must be ensured it does not hinder sufficient cross ventilation. The ground should be sloped sufficiently to prevent water from standing under the deck, which is why installing a deck above a concrete pad is not recommended. Concrete raises the risk of water retention, and boards will have a tendency to cup and crown.