Because of the forces of nature your boat dock will show signs of wear and tear over the years but how can you tell when your boat dock has reached it’s peak? Having certainty of when you need to do repairs on your dock can help you save a considerable amount of money in repairs and stress, and even avoid security issues for you and your family. Waterfront Gurus has put together a list of warning signs that will help you determine whether it is time to fix up your dock.
The most common aspects on a dock to be checked and that usually need replacement are: Cracks and Warps in Dock Supports, Damage to the Foundation, Rusted Platforms and Supports and Rotting of Wood in Multiple Areas. Dock owners should also carefully check boats and trailers, docks and lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species. Mussels and other species tend to form in these equipments and may need to be removed.
Other cases of maintenance are for example when items of the dock structure move. If the pilings did not sink deep enough because the bedrock was too shallow, it could start to move, leaning more and more each year, making your dock a hazard to you and your family.
Erosion and deterioration are just some of the damages that can be done to a pier or dock but If the posts of the dock become deteriorated, there are ways that they can be repaired. For many people this will be a project best left to the professionals in dock repair, and read below to understand better how these repairs are done.
- Dock Posts: Inspecting the dock posts that are above the water level for any problems or for nails that are loose or have fallen out is something you can do yourself. You will need to use your snorkel and floatation device to check for rotting or loose wood that are under water.
Solution: When swapping out your decking, consider composites. Though they are more expensive, they’ll last longer than treated wood, and can be kinder to the environment. Check local regulations regarding treated wood; many lakes don’t allow construction and repair with creosote or Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) treated wood, as these chemicals can leach from the wood into the lake.
- Waterproof The Replacement Wood: You must then treat the wood that is getting replaced in the water with the deck sealant. Make sure when you apply the sealant, you use about two coats or according to whatever the instructions tell you and make sure the sealant is dry before continuing.
Solution: STAIN & PRESERVATIVE: Environmental consciousness is key when applying a stain or preservative to your dock. Water-based products are the rule, and applying them in the off-season when water levels are lower will allow you to cover more of your dock while making it easier to keep the stain away from the water.
- EDGING/RUB RAILS: Is it time to replace those old lengths of fire hose and tires you use on deck edges and pilings to protect them and your boat? There are many sources for quality vinyl dock edging, just be sure to look for the marine-grade stuff that won’t deteriorate or crack from exposure to sun, water and temperature swings
- Nails: SCREWS OR NAILS: Not a lot of people use nails anymore, unless they are using a harder wood like cedar for their dock. Galvanized or coated decking screws last much longer and are easy to install; most important, they keep dock components tightly fastened together.
Maintenance is the key to less repairs and more savings. Make sure you follow the directions properly when it comes to applying the sealant, and go over the finished work on your repaired fixed lake dock carefully to check for any missed spots. Keeping up with the maintenance of your and consistently checking your posts for damage and repairs is the key to saving money and having to do extensive work later on.
Take a look at a few other articles we wrote related to dock repairs since last year.
- The “Avoid your dock collapsing at that special moment, hire a specialized marine construction company” shows you how important it is to work with a qualified marine construction company.
- If you have a larger boat or have the means to do it, bringing electricity to your boat dock is a great idea for confort and needs. Some boats do need that for air conditioning and such. For how to wire a boat dock, you can read “How to wire a boat dock with electricity”
- Your home insurance may not cover damage to your dock so dock insurance is available for proper covering your expenses with that.
- Signs a boat dock is in disarray and needs repair. Look out for these signs.
- For when to repair your boat dock. In most parts of the US, spring is a great time to do it.
- Great maintenance tips you can maybe do yourself to upkeep your dock properly.
And finally, our dock construction guide to guide you on your options to build yours.
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