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ntrainer
Damaged Ipe?

Yesterday I began the process of power-washing my front stoop, which hasn't been cleaned in 4 years... lots of grime on both the railing (which is painted PVC) and the deck itself (which is unstained ipe). I got finished with less than 1/3 of the job before having trouble with the power washer, now being fixed.

I'm concerned, though, that I might have damaged the ipe through power washing. This morning, as it dries, sections seem like they're whitish -- almost the effect you'd get from brick which was leaching lime. When wet, the ipe is its beautiful reddish color. But now that it dries, I have to wonder whether I've done some damage, and if so how to address it.

Given the hardness of ipe, and given the fact that was red when installed -- unvarnished or stained, as I mentioned above -- I'm also somewhat doubtful this is damage from the power washer. But what could it be? I'm confused... help!

dj1
Re: Damaged Ipe?

This type of deck has to be oiled from time to time, so color deterioration can be avoided.

What you have now could be water marks. Can you send a photo?

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Damaged Ipe?

Since it's Ipe just sand it down with your random-orbit sander and 100 grit discs. That will bring it back to new.
Casey

ntrainer
Re: Damaged Ipe?
dj1 wrote:

This type of deck has to be oiled from time to time, so color deterioration can be avoided.

What you have now could be water marks. Can you send a photo?

Having great trouble uploading a photo... I keep being told I have an "invalid image file," despite the fact that I've got a .jpg at the proper size limits. So sorry, I'm a novice to the group. If you're right, though, and these are water marks, would a good oil solve the problem? And what's the right oil?

Oh, and if you can help me with the upload process, I'd LOVE to post a photo!:D

Mastercarpentry
Re: Damaged Ipe?

You have to post a number of times before you can upload pics here. It used to be ten posts but IDK now. Ipe must be maintained with the proper oil, so it looks like a sanding is in order. If that doesn't help, someone may have applied a sealer before you. That's a big but all-to-common no-no with Ipe as it prevents the oil from penetrating afterward. If it still looks white after sanding that's probably what is going on. Try oiling a small area after sanding and see what happens, maybe they didn't use a sealer and you'll be OK picking up on the maintenance now.

Phil

ntrainer
Re: Damaged Ipe?

So... if I understand everyone right, the power washing hasn't done any damage, here. It's just uncovered the fact that the ipe hasn't been oiled and, thus, I'm looking at an uneven finish. This means I should finish the power washing job, then sand, and then oil. Yes? But why sand? Honestly, we've got a smooth surface, and if the power washing hasn't done damage... okay, I'm confused again. Why sand?

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Damaged Ipe?

Sand to get rid of the white discoloration you described.
We built a huge ipe deck a few years ago, the owners never treated it in any way, it's uniformly weathered to gray.
Casey

ntrainer
Re: Damaged Ipe?

On another discussion board, the advice I got was to either let the boards weather back to their grey color or, if it's driving me nuts, to try a 2-part cleaner/brightener system for hardwoods (Messmers and Woodrich make them, apparently). Has anybody tried these systems? If so, do they need to be professionally applied, or not... and how long does their effect last?

I'm looking to avoid the maintenance headache that stains cause with ipe, since the wood is so hard and doesn't absorb stain. I know an "oil" is mentioned above, but I'd love to know what oil you're talking about, and what the steps might be. I've power washed. Do I now need to (a) clean, (b) brighten, and then (c) oil? And if I do all this, am I creating precisely the kind of maintenance headache (yearly applications) I'd rather avoid?

HoustonRemodeler
Re: Damaged Ipe?

There is an Ipe website which give all the proper care and treatment of Ipe. www dot ipedeckguide dot com

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