10 of Our Favorite Dock Maintenance Tips

Squeaky wheels get the grease. That’s as true in life as it is in boating. So what happens to the structures we take for granted? Like boat docks?

We walk across them, our boats bob alongside them, but they can easily go ignored – until it’s too late. Or at least very expensive to repair.

Regardless of the quality of decking materials that constitute your dock, it requires maintenance – year round.

As a marine construction company, we know the value of professional inspections and dock maintenance. We also recognize the importance of property owners knowing what to look for and to be aware of any changes.

You see that dock every day, you are therefore the best resource to ensure its preservation.

Here are a couple of our favorite Dock Maintenance Tips:

  1. Take pictures periodically – even with your phone, to keep an eye on more subtle changes.
  2. Keep a schedule – we put everything in our calendars, so along with A/C filter swap outs and smoke detector battery changes, assign dates. Time gets away.
  3. Look at everything: fasteners, hardware, bolts; don’t forget stairs and ladders.
  4. Don’t skimp – if you do take on replacing a fastener yourself, make certain it is rated for the outdoors. No temporary fix with a sheetrock screw is near good enough. For the structure itself, if not a composite like PVC, pressure treated wood is all that should be used.
  5. Anything missing or damaged, like a bolt or a plank will only put more pressure on the rest of the dock. “Minor” repairs will always add up to major ones.
  6. Keep the surface clean – when it comes to wood docks, you can actually be overzealous. If you do power wash, remember it is not concrete or vinyl siding you are blasting. You don’t want a dock so clean you can see right through it!
  7. Sanding the dock – if you’ve ever tried to refinish a hard wood floor, you know how an improper technique can cause you to lose control of the machine and result in an unwanted dip in your expensive floor. The same is true when sanding your dock – you can overdo it and ultimately cause more harm than good. It bears repeating here to consult with a pro.
  8. Affordable and biodegradable solutions like a baking soda paste for example, can be used to clean aluminum structures like ladders.
  9. Do consult a pro about the best sealant for your wood dock. Even if you apply it yourself, you want it sealed with a waterproof product that is ideally, environmentally-friendly.
  10. Safety first – proper dock maintenance will help prevent injury to you, your family and friends.

Whether your dock preferences lean toward fixed or floating, wood or concrete, we can support the repair or the construction. Extruded PVC, Composite Decking or Pressure Treated Lumber – the options for contemporary marine docks are virtually limitless!

Boat lovers take tremendous pride in maintaining their sea-faring crafts – but the structure that connects you to your vessel is the one that requires just as much care.

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