Seven Steps for Getting Your Dock Ready for Winter

Fortunately, if you live on the water in Florida, you get to enjoy your dock, deck, and boat for more of the year than most of the country. Getting the max out of the waterfront lifestyle is a happy privilege we Floridians absolutely relish.

However, even if you like to brave the elements in the colder months, that doesn’t mean your structures near and on the water share your fortitude! Docks and decks in the Sunshine State require the same good maintenance practices as they do in a snow-heavy place like Boston.

First of all, much like you schedule reminders about changing the batteries in your smoke alarms and keeping up with swapping out A/C filters for new ones, the first week in October is a great time to perform your dock maintenance. The weather is cool enough to work outside and you can get most everything likely done in a weekend and still have time to enjoy the wide open waters!

The first step toward a safe and beautiful dock is to conduct a thorough inspection. Throughout the year you can even add any updates you wish to make to the scheduled maintenance list. There is always something new and exciting in marine design so incorporating an upgrade into your routine dock maintenance makes a good deal of sense.

Some tips for dock maintenance and dock repair:

  1.  Walk the entire surface as you sprinkle water over it. If any areas actually soak the water up, that’s a great indication the dock requires a reseal. If the water beads or puddles, the surface is likely repelling water adequately.
  2.  A good power washing is an efficient way to keep your dock looking great and will help reveal any areas requiring replacement/repair. However, be careful in the setting you select as you don’t want to blast full force as you would if you were cleaning a concrete surface.
  3.  Check all child safety fences to ensure they require no repair.
  4. This is also a great time to check/change out bulbs and fixtures on the deck’s surface or its underwater lighting.
  5. Carefully inspect the fasteners, hardware, bolts, and wood as well as the ladders or stairs. You want to keep an eye out for any rot or splintering. Safety first. If you are not handy or are not confident in your ability to effect a strong repair, hire a professional. It is not worth the small amount of money you think you are saving if you are putting yourself or someone else in danger.
  6. If you are taking on the repairs yourself, don’t be stingy on the fasteners you purchase. They must be of excellent quality and designed for exposure to water and weather.
  7. If you replace any wood, make sure it is pressure treated.

If you have any questions or would like a professional evaluation or any suggestions to get the most out of the beautiful Florida sunshine, give us a call at 727-942-3111.

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