IPE Advice: The Worst Things in Life are Free Too.

Written by on June 27, 2015 in Common Issues, Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Peeling back the layers to get back to “the look”

Many of our reader inquiries are about seasonal maintenance on existing IPE decks.

The stories are similar:

“We installed our IPE deck last Fall and it looked great. Now, it has turned gray, has scratches and stains in it…how do we bring it back to its rich brown/red tone?”

IPE Maintenance

There are several ways maintenance can go. If there were one recipe, believe me, we would just put it out for everyone and there would be no more IPE problems.

Every case is different based on the following variables:

  • The history of the deck…how it was initially prepped and finished, and what has been done since.
  • The type of weather exposure and human/pet traffic it sees.
  • Current Condition

We all know how it should look, but need to know how to get it there. And, more importantly, keep it there in the most cost effective way possible.

Proper IPE Maintenance usually involves one or both of these methods:

  • Pressure Washing (with appropriate chemicals, situational)
  • Sanding (labor intensive)

The decision about whether to pressure wash, sand or both and what type of chemical(s) to use depend on your specific situation. Sequencing and tool/product selection vary from one deck to another. Unfortunately, most professionals don’t even know how to  properly diagnose IPE.

That is why we are working directly with IPE owners to determine how their decks need to be handled.

If pressure washing or sanding are not done the right way, your deck can actually be cosmetically damaged, often irreversible. We hear the nightmare stories from readers, and it is stressful and frustrating for them because an IPE deck is a significant investment, and it is heartbreaking to see it go wrong.

How to Get IPE HELP:

While we understand that most everything on the internet is expected to be free, IPE consultations are too frequent, unique and complex for us to be able to offer the world for free. It’d be a non-stop pro bono job for us to commit the time and attention to support IPE owners who need help.

We prefer to help fewer people more intensively than to throw internet style free general advice around and wish people the best, in the interest of site traffic and SEO. IPE and its challenges are more complex than that, but the rewards of a proper IPE experience demand the best owner support we can offer.

Visit our REGISTRATION PAGE, and select the level of support you prefer. This creates the opportunity to submit pictures of your IPE problems for review, and a specific plan of action that is supported by email, phone and text each step of the way. We have membership levels for every need and look forward to being able to focus attention specifically on your case. The cost of this support is more than offset by the mistakes you won’t be making on your IPE.

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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  1. How to Maintain Your Deck - The Blogging Painters : The Blogging Painters | September 7, 2015