Pressure Treated Decking Warnings Lead People to Ipe Decking

Nov 25


George Amarillo

George Amarillo

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A thorough comparison between pine decking and ipe wood. What makes ipe the best decking material today? And, what should consumers be aware of before buying pressure treated decking made of pine? There are important safety issues to consider.

Ipe decking is world-renowned for its durability and natural resistance to mold,Pressure Treated Decking Warnings Lead People to Ipe Decking Articles mildew, fungus, and insects. In addition, because ipe wood features natural oils and is extremely dense, it also is able to resist both rot and decay more than any other hardwood and composite decking material. Many homeowners and deck builders prefer to build a deck with ipe over pine because of those unique natural qualities.

The main reason why people end up settling for a pine wood deck is because it is cheap. Aside from that, pine wood has been the bane of many homeowners who thought that pine decking would be easy to maintain and look good for years. What companies won’t tell you about pine wood and pressure treated pine is this; the chemicals used to pressure treat the pine have the potential to be very harmful.

In fact, up until 2003, pine wood that was turned to pressure treated decking was infused with Arsenic. That’s right a chemical that is used for rat poison and various other poisons was used on decks throughout the country. Another sad fact is that it was not uncommon for one 12 foot 2x6 piece of pine wood to contain around 27 grams of Arsenic. That one single pressure treated pine board has enough arsenic in it to kill over 200 people.  It wasn’t until there were too many lawsuits and bad press to count that, in 2003, the industry voluntarily stopped using arsenic on pine wood. Currently the chemicals used to treat a pine deck are Amine Copper Quat (ACQ) and Copper Azone (CA). The jury is still out on whether these chemicals have any long-term side effects.

Also, aside from the chemicals another reason why ipe decking is vastly superior to pressure treated pine wood is because over time a pine deck ends up looking very unappealing and can even prove harmful. If you’ve ever seen a pine deck that was a couple of decades old, you’ll notice right away that the pine wood eventually starts to check and crack and looks extremely weathered. Also, many children and even cautious adults often get splinters from this inferior decking.

Last, but not least, there money to consider. Yes, building a deck made of ipe wood does require more of an investment. However, when you compare pine wood to ipe decking, the overall return on investment is crystal clear. Pine decking has a higher overall cost when you consider that it costs more to maintain thanks to treatments and even the replacement of whole pine wood deck boards. On the other hand, a deck made from ipe wood can last for decades before it requires treatment. You do have two choices when it comes to treating ipe and it’s all a matter of taste. For the most part though, it is recommended that you use deck oil for the first and second year. Then depending on climate and exposure to the elements, you may be able to treat your ipe deck every other year.

Also, when you consider that because of its overall density, an ipe deck is much less likely to bow, crack, or decay, you can spend many wonderful years spending quality time with your family on an ipe deck that is safe and beautiful all at the same time. Be sure to work with only highly reputable deck builders and lumber companies before you move ahead with your deck building plans. Ultimately, the decision is yours and making sure you take proper care of your deck is critical.