Dock Maintenance Guide: How to Extend the Life of Your Boat Dock
Is your boat dock looking a little worse for the wear?
Can’t remember the last time that you performed any type of dock repairs?
Are you just completely clueless about the kind of dock maintenance that you need to perform at the start of every season?
This post is here to help.
From teaching you the right way to use a pressure washer on your dock to helping you keep your cleaning and maintenance eco-friendly, by the end of it, you’ll know what you need to do to get your dock looking as good as new.
1. Use a Pressure Washer the Right Way
We know that there are few things more satisfying in life than using a pressure washer on your boat dock.
However, because they’re incredibly powerful, it can be easy to use them in a way that actually does more harm than good to your dock.
First of all, make sure that you go with a fan tip nozzle if you’re working with wooden boat docks. This type of attachment will actually lessen the force that the washer puts out.
Additionally, make sure you hold the tip about one foot away from the dock itself — anything closer, and you could do some serious damage.
If your dock is made from pine or cedar wood, then we suggest not using any pressure greater than 600 PSI.
2. Mind the Environment
If you have a dock and a boat, then we know that you certainly enjoy life in the great outdoors.
However, we also know just how incredibly easy it can be for humans to pollute the water — yes, even when you’re enjoying a day out on your boat.
If you’re interested in making your dock maintenance a bit more environmentally-friendly, then there are a few steps you can take.
First of all, when you build your dock, make sure that you place it as far away as you can from the habitats of any wildlife living in the area. Also, build as wide as you can.
A dock with a larger width keeps the overall motion of the water steady and can make sure that your dock doesn’t mess with the level of mineral deposits on the water or shoreline.
When you’re not doing a deep clean on boat docks, so you can use more eco-friendly, homemade cleaning agents.
One of the best to care for wood is to combine about three parts of olive oil with one part of white vinegar. This can help you to power through stains and smaller messes.
If you notice oil on your dock, you can use a pate of water and baking soda to get things clean.
3. Know When to Apply Stain and Finishes
In general, you should aim to look for water-based stains to both protect the environment and to give your boat dock the best possible look.
It’s better to do this type of dock maintenance in the cooler fall and winter months because the water levels will be much lower.
This means that you won’t need to worry about the chemicals in the stain or finish hitting the water, and also that you’ll be able to re-finish much more of your dock.
In general, it’s suggested that you re-stain your dock at least once a year. Remember that a stain doesn’t just look nice. It also helps to extend the overall life of your dock.
4. How Often Should You Replace the Wood?
One of the essential dock repairs is replacing wood that’s become etched, discolored, or just weakened over time.
We suggest that you do a visual inspection — or call in a pro to do the same — at the end of every off-season.
Look for splinters, cracks, and rotted wood.
You should also take a look at your nails and bolts. While some corrosion is normal, too much ca compromise the functionality and safety of your dock.
We suggest that you used galvanized decking screws, as they have a longer lifespan and are seriously strong.
5. Protect Your Boat with Rub Rails
Above all, you need to make sure that the hardened edges of your dock don’t end up scratching the surface of your beloved boat!
That’s why having rub rails, also known as edging, installed on your boat dock is an essential step.
Many people use materials like an old fire hose, though there are lots of different options out there. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you’ve looked for something that’s labeled as “marine grade” when it comes to rub rail material.
In general, we suggest that you let a professional do this job for you. It can be incredibly easy to miss a spot accidentally.
Remember, all that it takes is one exposed corner or piece of wood to create a new scratch along the side of your boat!
Looking for Professional Boat Dock Maintenance?
We hope that this quick article has helped you to understand some of the essential parts of boat dock maintenance.
Whether you’re looking to build the perfect boat dock or deck from scratch, or if it’s just time to do a little maintenance, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than the best.
No matter the size and scale of your project, we want to help you to make it better than you thought it could be.
To learn more about deck enhancement, repairs, and building, spend some time on our website.
When you’re ready to make a change for the better, reach out to us to get started today.