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Sutkins
Ipe on roof deck

I am planning an using ipe decking attached to sleepers on a roof deck in Chicago that gets full afternoon sun. In doing research I am finding that there are a lot of warnings that ipe should not be used in this application because of cupping problems caused by lack of ventillation. However, I also see this type of decking installed a lot (including on TOH projects) and wanted to get feedback from people who have used ipe in this application.

Re: Ipe on roof deck

Ipe would be a great choice for your roof deck. It will weather nicely if left untreated or if you want to preserve the natural color you will need to preserve the wood with a sealer. WhatI wouild be more concerned with than the cupping is the load capacity of your roof. Ipe is very heavy and you need to make sure that your rooftop is capable of taking on the weight of not only the deck but also the substructure that you will need to ensure proper ventilation and drainage. Also keep in mind that the city of Chicago requires a permit for all roofdecks. Our company specializes in roof deck construction. I would be more than happy to talk to you about your project if you would like. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions also please feel free to visit our website at www.tandrewsconstruction.com . Good luck!

Re: Ipe on roof deck

Thanks for the input. The load capacity of the roof deck meets (in fact it exceeds) the 100 lb per square foot requirements specified in the building codes. I am also familiar with the options for sealing, staining, oiling or letting the material patina naturally. The problem is that there is no ventalation. This is because it is necessary for the decking to stay low enough to the roof deck to maintain the 42" railing height that is also code. With less than 2" of space between the roof membrane and the decking there is little chance for proper air flow. This is compounded by the fact that the roof deck will be getting all day sun, causing the deck to heat significantly.

I have spoken with both a local and national ipe supplier and they strongly recommend not installing ipe decking in this application due to the high chance that the decking will cup. In fact the national supplier refuses to warranty ipe decking installed with out at least 24" of space between the roof / ground and the decking material because of this exact problem.

I am including this information so that others do not install ipe in this application. If you have in the past and it worked for you consider yourself fortunate.

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