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Ipe Wood Decking

Ipe Decking Installation – Ways Of Installing an Ipe Deck

Ipe is known by many builders as the ideal choice for decking. It is the recommended wood for exterior structures thanks to its hardness, strength, and durability. This exotic wood has many benefits, such as not rotting, splintering, or overheating. Since ipe is so dense and hard, it requires special hardware and tools when installed. For example, due to its density, it is important to predrill holes in ipe. Otherwise, the wood might splint or get damaged. Also, it is also important to use 305 or higher grade stainless steel screws when installing a deck outdoors in order to withstand the elements and not rust. There are many installation techniques such as using visible screws, ipe plugs to hide screws, or hidden deck fasteners. If you are possibly considering Ipe decking for your home or property, there are a few terms you should know:
The structure underneath the deck is made up of the foundation, beams, joists, and the ipe boards. The foundation goes into the ground (or into the concrete footing), and over the foundation go the beams, which are the horizontal support of the deck. The joists are installed perpendicular to the beams, and the ipe boards are laid over the joist in a perpendicular fashion (which means the ipe boards are parallel with the beams).

BEFORE INSTALLATION
1. Ensure all instructions for each product is observed: You also need to understand the applicable laws on deck construction in your area or region of choice. For example, The Bahamas requires a Building Permit for all new construction, including decks. This is under the buildings regulations Act in the country.

2. Acclimatize your Ipe lumber: your Ipe needs to be primed to your local atmospheric condition before you use it in constructing your deck. This acclimatizing should be done at least seven days (and not over 20 days) before installation begins. In acclimatizing your wood, ensure that the lumber is not covered because trapped moisture would cause damage to the wood. Also, Ipe shouldn’t touch the ground while being acclimatized but sit on top of a wooden block (to make sure air flows to those bottom boards).

INSTALLATION GUIDELINES
1. Keep a ¼” pitch: when installing your deck, it is important to keep its substructure pitched from the house. It is advised to keep a ¼” pitch for every 10 feet of decking. Also, a framing material that goes in humps can also help in draining water. It is not advisable to install a hardwood decking on a concrete pad, doing so will lean to deck board damage.

2. Leave a 3/32” gap between boards: another consideration you need to make when installing your Ipe deck is to leave enough gaps between the boards. It measures the deck is well ventilated and allows the boards to expand and contract.

3. Consider the air flow when designing your deck: that may be among the A-B-C’s of decking, but it is worth including. Decks designed with allowance for air flow underneath have more stability and minimize the movement of the boards. Another reason for leaving enough space under a deck is to ensure that water can drain, as stagnant water will cause damage to the structure and the deck boards.

4. Hide Deck Fasteners
Deck boards are attached to joist using clips and stainless steel screws that are screwed in at a 45-degree angle. Ensure using a stainless steel fastening with a 305 grade as this will reduce the risk of wood rot. You can be sure of an elegant and consistent look, mainly if a color matching screw is used. To use hidden deck fasteners, the ipe boards have to be grooved, or a hole has to be made using a biscuit joiner.

5. Ipe Plugs
If you face screwed all of your deck boards, meaning you drill straight through the board from the top, you wouldn’t want to see screw heads all along your beam. This is where a small ipe plug comes in. To use an ipe plug, first drive the screw is into the board, after which you dab a bit of wood glue over the screw and place an ipe plug in the hole. Then with a mallet, tap the ipe plugs as far as possible into the deck. Next, sand the board and oil it. This will allow the ipe plug to blend into the board.


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