When to Call in the Professionals

Boat Dock Restoration can become damaged and worn. A regular inspection can help determine if the structure needs repairs or a full restoration.

Creaking sounds from a dock are a sign of structural damage and should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent more costly damage later on. Similarly, loose screws can be dangerous and should be fixed immediately.

Boat Dock Basics | Lake Homes Realty

Over time, boat docks experience a lot of punishment. They’re exposed to a barrage of daily waves and suffer wear and tear from heat, sun, wind, boats hitting them, and people walking all over them. Even with regular maintenance, these structures eventually start to deteriorate. Isolated problems like wood rot, loose nails, or rust can be patched up, but the foundation is where it gets tricky. If the foundation becomes compromised, the whole structure can crumble into the water at the slightest nudge.

Anytime a wooden dock starts to deteriorate, it indicates it is time for a complete restoration. Isolated areas of rotting wood can be replaced with new boards and repaired with a coat of waterproof paint, but extensive rot will require more comprehensive work. The best option is to replace the entire dock.

Metal structures can also corrode over time, especially in saltwater environments. When the platform and dock supports become overtaken with rust, it’s usually time for a complete replacement. If this is the case, you can opt for a floating dock solution or consider replacing the old dock with new materials that won’t rust.

It’s important to tell the difference between a problem that requires a full dock replacement and one that can be saved with a few repairs or upgrades. A qualified repair professional can help you make this decision.

Docks that are over 30 years old should be inspected regularly for signs of deterioration. Isolated rotting boards, rust stains, and creaking sounds are common indications of damage that must be repaired or replaced. It’s also important to note that a well-maintained dock will add value to your property, so take your time. A licensed repair specialist can evaluate your dock and advise whether a complete restoration or replacement is the best option. Repair costs vary depending on the nature of the issue and the extent of repair or renovation required but are typically less than replacing a new dock.

There are a lot of things that can be done to your dock to improve its condition and make it safe for boats. Cleaning, staining, sealing, and replacing rusted nails are tasks you can do yourself if you have the proper tools. However, it is important to know when to call in the professionals. If your dock has excessive rot or rust and is affecting a large area, you will likely need to replace it. It’s also important to remember that if the foundation is deteriorating, you should also consider replacing it.

Any metal dock component that comes in contact with water is susceptible to rust and corrosion. A little rust may be fine if it is located on small, non-load-bearing parts of your dock. Rust is a big concern if it occurs on the supports of your dock, as this can cause structural damage. A corroded support may be dangerous to boaters and could collapse the entire dock.

The best way to prevent rust and corrosion is to periodically clean your dock with a power washer or brush. Use a mild, environmentally-friendly soap to clean your dock so it doesn’t chip away the decking material or splinter the wood. In addition, a good-quality stain or preservative should be applied regularly. Stains and preservatives can protect your dock from damage, extend its lifespan, and keep it looking great.

Having your dock professionally inspected at least once a year is a good idea. A professional inspection will cost around $50 to $100 and will include a visual examination of your dock’s various parts. They will look at the pilings, railings, frames, decks, and boat lifts to find any cracks, rotting sections, or other issues that need attention. During an inspection, a professional can recommend additional repairs and upgrades to help your dock last longer.

While it is possible to save money on some dock repair and maintenance tasks, such as removing green algae or moss from wooden boards and pressure washing them, it’s often better to pay for a professional to take care of larger projects, such as cleaning rot or rust from the entire dock. This will ensure that the job is done properly and that your dock is safe for boats.

When a dock is exposed to the elements, it will, over time, start to deteriorate. This is completely normal and will eventually cause the structure to need repairs or replacement unless it receives regular care and maintenance.

If a dock has started to crack, this is not a good sign and may indicate foundational deterioration that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Even if the cracks are only in a small area, having an experienced professional inspect the dock and devise a repair plan is in your best interest.

Depending on the type of dock and material it is made of, if the cracks are in non-load-bearing areas, it may be possible to replace individual boards or beams. Still, if the major load-bearing sections show signs of breakage, replace the entire dock to ensure safety and structural integrity. A dock that has started to warp is another big concern and will usually require a complete replacement.

Wood rot is also a common problem that boat docks face and can be very dangerous if not caught in time. This is typically caused by a fungus in the water that slowly eats away at the wood until it collapses. The good news is that if the problem is contained in one or two areas, it can be repaired by replacing them with new treated wood.

Metal and water don’t mix well, so any metal parts of a dock will likely start showing signs of rusting. It is important to regularly inspect the dock and catch any rust spots early on before they spread. If your dock relies heavily on metal fastenings, switching to a floating dock material like aluminum might be more worthwhile.

Floating docks are very susceptible to bending and warping due to the power of the waves they are exposed to daily. If the pier starts to bend and twist, it is a good idea to call a professional immediately to see the best course of action.

Wood docks are vulnerable to water exposure, and if not properly maintained, they can succumb to severe rot. Depending on the extent of damage, a rotting dock can require a complete replacement.

The best way to keep your boat dock in good condition is by performing regular inspections. These inspections should cover every aspect of the structure, including signs of rotting, cracks, and loose boards. Inspections should also include checking metal components for rust and corrosion. When caught in time, these minor issues can save you from costly repairs or even a full replacement in the future.

During inspections, it is important to look for loose boards and nails as well as rusting screws or nails backing out of the dock planks. These are just a few small issues that can be addressed quickly to keep your dock in good condition.

If you notice a major structural problem with your dock, such as the foundation pulling away from the pier, it’s likely time for a full replacement. However, if the issue is only in one area of the dock, you can save it with a few small repairs and a fresh coat of stain.

A well-maintained dock can add value to your property, so it’s worth spending a little on repairs and maintenance to keep it looking and working its best. Plus, a properly maintained dock is safer for boaters and anyone else who uses it.

While it is tempting to skip cleaning and staining your dock in the summer, this will only allow problems to deteriorate faster. It would help if you used a high-quality stain designed specifically for marine applications and a protective sealant to ensure your dock lasts as long as possible. Always sand the dock before staining, which helps the stain adhere better and last longer. If you’re ready to restore your old or worn-out dock, contact Haven Dock & Marine for expert advice and quality products. We specialize in residential and commercial boat docks, so you can count on us to complete the job.