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The Benefits of Iroko Wood in Outdoor Applications: Durability and Resistance

Timber Knowledge
18 July 2023 min read

The Benefits of Iroko Wood in Outdoor Applications: Durability and Resistance

Durability and resistance are undoubtedly top priorities when choosing the right wood for outdoor applications. With the ever-changing weather conditions and natural wear and tear our outdoor spaces endure, selecting a material that can withstand time is essential. 

In recent years, iroko wood has become increasingly popular, delivering exceptional durability, making it an excellent choice for outdoor projects. 

This article will examine iroko wood's characteristics, benefits, and potential uses in outdoor applications.


The Remarkable Durability of Iroko Wood

This African hardwood has natural properties that allow it to withstand the harshest outdoor conditions. In essence, iroko is renowned for its durability, high density and resistance to rot, decay, and insect attacks. 

Its durability is thanks to natural oils and resins in the wood, which work together to create an impenetrable barrier against moisture, fungi, and other damaging elements.


Resistance to Weathering and UV Rays

Iroko wood's exceptional resistance to weathering is another key advantage that sets it apart from other outdoor wood options. It can handle rain, snow, and direct sunlight exposure without significant damage or degradation. 

The natural oils and resins in iroko create a strong protective layer that shield it from the elements, preventing warping, cracking, or discolouration. This inherent resistance to weathering makes the wood an excellent choice for exterior furniture, decking, cladding, and other outdoor applications.


Superior Thermal Properties

Another often overlooked benefit of iroko wood is its excellent thermal properties. Due to its high density, iroko has natural insulation properties that are better than many other types of wood. 

This means that decking made from iroko can stay cooler underfoot in hot weather and warmer in colder conditions, providing a comfortable environment throughout the year.

Additionally, cladding made from iroko wood can provide better insulation to the exterior of buildings, contributing to energy efficiency.


Versatility in Outdoor Projects

The versatility of iroko allows it to be used in various outdoor projects. While many kinds of wood falter in marine or seaside environments, iroko excels, thanks to its resistance to moisture, salt, and even borers—pests that can cause serious damage in other timber types. 

Iroko wood has a long history of use in marine applications, such as boatbuilding, marine decking and even harbour work, proving its worth in some of the most challenging environments. The wood’s natural properties make it highly resistant to moisture absorption, helping to prevent rot and decay. 

What’s more, iroko's low shrinkage and stability prevent warping and ensure a long-lasting and visually appealing deck. The rich golden to medium-brown colour of iroko also adds a touch of elegance, giving outdoor spaces a warm and inviting feel.

Likewise, another excellent use for iroko wood is outdoor furniture. Its durability allows it to withstand constant exposure to the elements, making it perfect for garden benches, tables, and chairs. Iroko wood's beautiful grain pattern and rich colouration further enhance the aesthetics of outdoor furniture, adding a touch of natural beauty to any garden or patio.

In addition to decking and furniture, iroko can be used for cladding and siding, providing a durable and visually appealing solution. The wood's resistance to moisture and UV rays ensures that the cladding remains in top condition for years, enhancing the protection and appearance of buildings.

So, whether for residential, commercial, or marine use, iroko is a versatile and reliable choice for outdoor applications. Homeowners, architects, and builders can make the most of this remarkable material by understanding its unique characteristics and benefits. 

In essence, for those seeking a blend of aesthetics, durability, and sustainability, iroko wood is a compelling choice. 


Potential for Unique Design Aesthetics

Beyond its practical benefits, iroko offers a unique aesthetic that other materials can't replicate. 

The varying grain patterns and the wood’s ability to develop a silver patina over time give it a distinctive, natural beauty that can create visually stunning outdoor spaces. This patina, a result of the wood's exposure to sunlight and weathering, can be left to develop for a more rustic look or managed through maintenance for those who prefer the wood's original colour.

On top of that, the textural quality of iroko wood is also worth noting. The interlocked grain gives it a unique texture that can add depth and visual interest to outdoor spaces. 

Fundamentally, whether used in decking, furniture, or cladding, iroko brings a unique combination of beauty, durability, and character that is truly unmatched.


Maintenance and Care

While iroko wood offers exceptional durability and resistance, proper maintenance and care are necessary to ensure longevity. Regular cleaning and oiling will help preserve the wood's natural colour and protect it from weathering. 

Equally important, sealing the ends of iroko wood boards with an appropriate sealer minimises the risk of moisture penetration and extends the lifespan of the wood. As a matter of fact, iroko can maintain its impressive durability for decades by following these simple maintenance procedures.


Sustainability and Environmental Impact of Iroko Wood

In the realm of outdoor construction, the sustainability of building materials is becoming an increasingly important consideration. Iroko is an eco-friendly choice, as it’s harvested from managed forests and plantations that promote sustainable practices. 

It's crucial to ensure that the iroko wood you're sourcing has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global organisation that ensures responsible forest management.

Moreover, iroko's longevity means fewer resources are used over time, reducing the replacement frequency. The wood's natural resilience minimises the need for chemically laden treatments that could harm the environment. This makes iroko suitable for eco-conscious consumers who wish to minimise their environmental footprint.


Wood Solutions Provided by Woodshop Direct

When it comes to outdoor applications, iroko wood undoubtedly stands out as an exceptional choice. Its durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions and natural deterioration make it an ideal material for decking, furniture, cladding, and more. 

By opting for iroko wood, homeowners, architects, and builders can create outdoor spaces that combine aesthetics and durability, enjoying the beauty and functionality of this incredible wood for years to come. 

To learn more about iroko wood and explore our range of high-quality timber, browse our website today and turn your outdoor dreams into reality.