Does Exotic Deck Wood Ever Rot?

Written by on July 14, 2015 in IPE Myths with 0 Comments

A Cautionary Tale of Rot and Restoration

exotic deck wood

It happens.

One of the biggest myths about exotic deck woods is that they never rot.

It’s not something we see every day, but it does happen.

All wood is capable of rotting.

That’s what keeps it interesting.

A handful of contributing factors have to converge for exotic deck wood to rot, and about a decade of time.

Here are some of the issues that brought this one down:

  • wasn’t pre-finished on all sides
  • less than ideal flashing detail
  • standing seam roof dumping water, snow and ice on it
  • full sun exposure
  • lack of proper maintenance

The deck in this case study is not IPE, it is a close cousin: red meranti, a very dense Philippine mahogany.

Extreme Maintenance

This deck was not only visually unappealing, it was unsafe. The thought of anyone stepping through a deck is just not ok.

The homeowner was pretty sure that the entire deck, 14 years old, should just be removed and replaced. After reviewing the unfavorable maintenance history of the deck, I was still confident that we could save it. But you never know until you get into something like this: it is exploratory surgery.

How Do You Clean Such a Rough Deck?

First, it is important to understand the tools and products required to do this type of wood restoration. Then, the process is key – strict adherence to the process. Here are the steps we took… 

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About the Author

About the Author:

Scott Burt is a wood finishing expert. IPE decks are one of the areas of expertise in which he is frequently published in paint and remodeling magazines. He also engages in clinics and speaking appearances on the topic. Ipehelp.com is where IPE owners and installers can engage with Scott.

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