Ipe wood decking products are the ideal material for your next decking product. Their hardness and durability are unsurpassed, making them perfect for outdoor applications. As with any product, however, finding a reputable source is the key to customer satisfaction (see Part 1). With imported exotic hardwood products, sustainable forestry practices are crucial both from a legal and an ethical standpoint.
In this article, we’ll consider all the steps of the quality control verification process from start to finish. Then you’ll know what to look for when you decide where to purchase your Ipe wood decking products for your upcoming project.
Documentation is Imperative
First of all, the lumber dealer must obtain documentation to demonstrate that the mill in question is following governmental forestry guidelines. Brazil’s government keeps careful records regarding land concessions as well as the various business practices and locations of source materials for each of the nation’s recognized Ipe mills. Reputable lumber companies should avail themselves of this helpful information when they determine which suppliers to do business with in Brazil. Knowing the details about land ownership, the duration of time a company has been harvesting Ipe on certain land, and the amount of time left in the land concession are all valuable pieces of information to consider.
When a dealer finds out that Ipe wood is sourced in a particular region of Brazil, they’ll need to find out what type of regulations are on the books in that particular Brazilian state. Before securing any type of contract with a lumber dealer, it’s vital to make sure they’re obeying all the local ordinances. This will normally mean a representative from the lumber dealership will need to personally visit the mill to see if their operations are above board and legitimate. Once the visit to the mill and land concession is complete, it’s time to start a discussion about the mill with local governmental leaders. The lumber dealership rep will want to find out about the mill’s reputation within the region. Meeting with exporters is the next step in the process.
Finding out about the condition of the forest is also important. Is it filled with quality Ipe wood? Does it have plenty of sustainable supply left? Are the results of sustainable harvesting practices evident at the source? Representatives from the lumber dealership can visit the mill, where they can evaluate and grade some of the lumber they order.
Then, when the order arrives, the dealer can determine whether the entire shipment matches the quality level of the Ipe wood they had previously evaluated and graded at the source. This will largely determine whether or not that mill ends up becoming a regular Ipe wood decking supplier for that lumber dealer.
Other factors that will help to determine whether the lumber dealer will keep ordering Ipe wood from that mill in the future are whether or not the wood arrives in a timely manner and whether or not there are any complications that arise throughout the exporting process.
In our final article in this series, we’ll look at the process of grading Ipe wood decking materials onsite in Brazil.