As many of you boat lovers know, once your dock is installed, it can be easy to ignore regular maintenance. In the blink of an eye, signs of wear and tear start to show, such as small impacts, rust and rot.
In most cases, wood docks require occasional maintenance and care to keep their functionality. That being said, for any repairs you may need to execute on your dock, creating and sticking to a maintenance checklist can help ensure that you are not slacking on essential upkeep tasks. In order to keep your dock in good shape and as safe as possible for other boaters and family members, check out our best of the best boat dock regimes that are proven to maximize the lifespan of your dock!
1. Clean properly and often
The exact method and frequency of cleaning your dock will depend on the type of building materials used. However, more than likely your best bet will be a periodic pressure wash to remove any unnecessary dirt and debris. If you do use a power washer, be cautious not to overdo it and damage the wood. For softer woods, such as pine or cedar, be sure not to go over 500 psi to 600 psi, and hold the tip about a foot away from the surface of your dock.
2. Pay attention to detail
When your dock is ready for a maintenance check-up, a thorough inspection to ensure fasteners, hardware, bolts, stairs and ladders are all stable and working properly is critical.
3. Safety first
If you find anything missing or damaged, take action immediately. There is no such thing as a temporary repair and quick fixes will only cause more damage in the long run. Take care of problems when they first arise to avoid more serious safety issues with your dock.
4. Replace the wood
Replace wood that has become discolored or weakened over time. Things to look for regarding the stability of your dock are an excessive amount of splinters, cracks and rotted wood. Keep an eye on things throughout the year and be sure to do a more thorough inspection right before boating season starts.
5. Environmentally-friendly options
Keep in mind that any cleaning products you use will wash directly into the water and impact the marine life in the area. There are plenty of affordable and safe solutions, such as baking soda paste, that can be used to clean aluminum, and a solution of three parts olive oil to one part white vinegar for wood. When in doubt, purchase products from brands that offer biodegradable and phosphate-free cleaning solutions.
Similar to other parts of your home, your dock is central to family summer fun, which means a lot of wear and tear during the summer months. Keeping an eye on things and doing small maintenance throughout the year will greatly extend the life of your dock for years to come.