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Too late to screw down IPE decking?

Posted by mattnoiseux (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 28, 09 at 21:08

I had to pull up ipe on our roof deck in order for roofers to do some checking/work over the past few weeks. The deck is about a year and a half old and is not treated. My question is should I wait to screw the boards down again onto the pressure treated sleepers (really just long strips of pressure-treated wood that were cut on an long angle to compensate for roof slope) or is it fine to screw down the boards in the current 32-38 degree weather we are having here in Brooklyn, NY? The boards are 1x6 and were screwed down every 18 inches.

Also we waited a year to let the wood 'season' and were planning to treat it in the spring. What type of prep would people recommend for decking which has been exposed for this long?

Any advice would be appreciated. Like others I have also found these forums invaluable!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Too late to screw down IPE decking?

Are we in the same Brooklyn? It's way colder than that today.
If you can sticker, and completely cover the Ipe, you could wait. Otherwise, you should screw it down ASAP, if you can stand the cold.
Get a random orbital sander and 40-60 grit disks, and sand the surface...then seal.


RE: Too late to screw down IPE decking?


Thanks for the advice-

We are indeed in the same Brooklyn - and you are right, it's freezing! Tomorrow should see a rise in temp, am thinking of screwing it all down then. The wind is incredible. Just wasn't sure if anyone had issues with wood cracking or splitting in the cold weather. I wish it could be as nice as this past Sunday again.

Also, I found a thread in these forums on to seal or not to seal, with many opinions and much food for thought. Either way I have about four months before I have to decide!

RE: Too late to screw down IPE decking?

Don't worry about the Ipe. It can handle the weather. Besides, it's gonna live out there eventually. That's what you bought it for.
I hope you numbered your boards, as they should go down in the same order as they were originally.
I seal all of my decks, and even if you want it to go silver, you should seal it once.


RE: Too late to screw down IPE decking?

Yup - all numbered, thank GOD. Just realized you are the Steve who I keep seeing all over the forum, I cannot tell you how I wished I had had you do or look at this job from the beginning. Next time around I will be consulting you first.

Our deck was done by the developer, which in retrospect was not the best option, but as new homeowners we figured he would know best. The reason for taking up the deck had to do with troubleshooting a roof leak, and to warrant the roofer's work for the water tightness he requested an insulation layer between the roof membrane and the deck sleepers. Fair enough.

The learning curve has been immense. Next time around I know how I would like it done, but we'll enjoy it as best we can for now. In the end one really can't complain about having an outdoor space in the city.

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