Ipe wood is renowned for its ability to withstand the elements, its rot resistance, and its hardness. This Brazilian hardwood is durable enough to last for years even in harsh outdoor conditions. That’s why it has gained a reputation as the king of genuine hardwood decking materials. If you choose to go with Ipe for your next decking project, you likely won’t be disappointed, as long as you make sure you’re working with high-quality Ipe wood decking materials. The only way to be confident that you’re working with top-notch products is to find a lumber dealer who will put forth the necessary effort to inspect their products carefully for quality control.
Why is Quality Control Such a Challenge for Exotic Hardwood Decking Materials?
When you’re dealing with wood that is harvested and milled domestically, quality control is usually a pretty straightforward process. If you go with a reputable lumber dealer, the wood is carefully inspected and graded over and over again to determine that it is stable, consistent, and has the kind of appearance that U.S. consumers will find acceptable. The very best dealers in the industry will keep their customers’ specific needs in mind when they help them select the right pieces of lumber for a certain job.
So why can’t lumber dealers simply follow the same exact process when it comes to decking materials? The answer is those decking products such as Ipe aren’t harvested and milled in the United States. The harvesting, milling, and moulding is all normally completed where the wood originates in its native Brazil. The type of quality control that is completed throughout the process with domestic species simply can’t be replicated on an overseas product. So reliable lumber dealers must take other measures to secure quality Ipe wood decking for their valued customers.
Trust, But Verify
Lumber dealers in the United States have to find Brazilian suppliers they can rely on to provide them with the Ipe wood decking products they need while following sustainable harvesting practices. The only way to find out if these protocols are being followed is through inspections. When a supplier is first under consideration, the dealer will need to get a trustworthy independent agent to make on-site visits. Over time, the dealer will learn which lumber suppliers they can count on for the quality products they need, as well as for environmentally ethical harvesting standards.
An In-Depth Look at the Verification Process
Due to Ipe wood’s highly sought-after status, ensuring sustainability is a constant struggle. Lumber dealers who want to remain compliant with governmental regulations and help make sure there will still be quality Ipe available for years to come can’t afford to skimp when it comes to verification. It’s not something that can be done one time and then forgotten about. Instead, it must be an ongoing process that traces the lumber from its source, through the mill, across the ocean, and, finally, to the lumber dealership.
In our next article, we’ll explore this process step by step.