Caring for Hardwood Decking
Wood decking requires more maintenance than plastic decking, but it's worth it.
There isn’t a decking made, except perhaps the extruded aluminum planks that hardly anyone uses, that doesn’t require some maintenance to keep that new-deck look. Even manufacturers of plastic decking are careful these days to say “low maintenance” instead of “no maintenance.”
There is no question that wood decking requires more maintenance than plastic decking. To me, that’s a cost worth paying. I’m a wood guy, and I’ve never seen a plastic deck that felt as inviting to me as even a run-down pressure-treated one. Tropical hardwoods such as ipé make the most beautiful decking, and as such, they deserve proper care.
I’m no expert at wood finishing, but Scott Burt is. Burt owns Prep to Finish, a Vermont company whose mission is training painters. His website devotes several pages to the care and feeding of ipé. If you own a tropical hardwood deck, build tropical hardwood decks, or are thinking of building a tropical hardwood deck, pay Prep to Finish’s site a visit.