IPE Wood is the highest quality wood available. Does it still need to be sealed? The answer might surprise you.
When you’re selecting the best material for your deck, you want to explore all your options. And if you’re thinking about IPE wood, you might have a few questions about its maintenance and care. When it comes to sealing IPE Wood, the answer is not so easily stated. Read on to find out why.
Why do decks usually need to be sealed?
Traditional wood decks often have sealant applied for a multitude of reasons:
- To prevent moisture from entering the wood – Moisture entering the wood can lead to mold growth and weakening of the wood structure
- To prevent rotting – Moisture can cause wood to rot and disintegrate
- To slow down fading – Wood can discolour over time – IPE Wood is no exception
- To protect against UV rays – UV rays are the primary cause of fading in wood decks
IPE wood is often treated with UV protection as over-exposure to sunlight can slowly turn the IPE wood grey. However, the deck itself does not truly need to be sealed. In fact, the density of the IPE wood will interfere with most traditional sealants. It is the density and chemical makeup of the wood that keep it protected from most common deck problems.
The only parts of IPE wood that need to be sealed are the ends.
Even with IPE Wood, the ends must be sealed
The only place where sealant must be applied is the end grain. This is because exposed ends are more susceptible to splitting and damage. Most suppliers of IPE wood will include an end sealant specifically for this purpose.
Can you still seal IPE Wood?
Even if it’s not required, you may still wish to seal IPE wood for longevity. This is certainly possible, though it can get a bit tricky. Due to the density of the wood, it will not take certain sealants. You’ll want to test different sealants on wood samples to see what works. You can also reach out to an IPE wood specialist who can help you select an appropriate sealant.
Overtime, IPE wood can fade and turn grey with exposure to sunlight. It is worth keeping in mind that most sealants you can find for IPE wood are not true sealants; instead, they are used primarily for UV Protection, to slow the fading process.
The answer to whether IPE Wood needs to be sealed is not so easy to perceive. On one hand, the ends must be sealed. On the other hand, the rest of the deck does not need to for multiple reasons. The density of the IPE wood makes it difficult for moisture to penetrate. This makes the wood less likely to rot or grow mold. It’s worth considering a sealant, however, if you’d like to preserve the colour of your IPE wood deck as the colour can fade overtime, when exposed to UV rays.