Sun Frog got this inquiry today:
I’ve got a IPE wood deck. What is your recommendation for a sealer?
Here's how we responded:
Because the wood cells in Hardwood (IPE and others) don’t have the hollow centers that softwoods like Cedar and Redwood do, they are less penetrable to Sealers. Accordingly, the visual benefit from Sealers wears off sooner, requiring more frequent re-do to maintain visual benefit. The good news is that hardwoods are easier to re-seal than softwoods and less sealer is needed, too!
Softer, Oil based sealers like Sun Frog’s are easy to apply and they beautify Hardwoods greatly, even though because less gets into the wood, they deplete much faster than on soft woods and need re-doing more often to keep the wood looking AS great is possible. In the absence of doing anything, if your wood stays naked it grays as UV damage and surface wood mold effect its surface visuality.
To avoid the graying, sealing Hardwoods with biocide fortified penetrating sealers is easy has great visual results. When the sealer depletes from sun, water and wear, re-coats can be easily applied- just roll or pad another application on , then rag off after 30 minutes so build up of dried sealer excess doesn’t happen. With this approach, “Voilà”, your deck is beautiful again. (Caveat: Every two years or so before just re-applying and wiping down, I still recommend first using our Deck Cleaner followed by our Brightener Born Again. This will optimally assure that no “varnish like” buildup of sealer occurs and your hardwood extra investment will always look GREAT!
Owner, Sun Frog Products’s, Inc.
Another Customer asked how to maintain their IPE Deck and this is how I replied:
Our, and all other penetrating oil based sealers can't last as long on hardwoods since, unlike Cedar and other softwoods, your sealer is much more at the very near surface and it's beautiful visual benefit and water repellancy effects wears away much sooner. However, since you will likely get near 600 sq ft per gallon you'll have lots of sealer left to. after 6 months:
Get a small speaker out on your Deck and play some soft music (Like Van Morrison "Queen of the Slipstream), then reapplying another application with a stain pad on a pole (easy and Fast!),
Then, after an hour, throw down a couple old T-Shirts, put a foot on each, turn up some more music (Pink Floyd, "Money?") and SLIDE AROUND picking up loose sealer. (Wet rags with water and place in a sealed plastic bag (or immediately launder) to avoid possible aspontaneous combustion (fire!) ).
Wait a day or two to dry before waking on deck (and it may be a bit slippery during the next week).
VOILA! A renewed, Beautiful Hardwood Deck. Have A Party (with great music of course)!!