Piling is the one part of any dock construction plan that should be given the closest scrutiny. After all, your whole project rests on its structural integrity. Three things to consider: (1) Make sure pilings will hold up from rot. For wood, that means ensuring the highest levels of the right chemicals, or investing in alternative piling materials like fiberglass. (2) Create a barrier from destructive organisms. We recommend new wood pilings be wrapped prior to sinking. If you have existing pilings, there are solutions for defending them as well. (3) Protect them from the sun. Piling caps are more than cosmetic, they block harmful UV rays and water that can accelerate degradation of wood from above. If your existing marine pilings already have damage and you’re not sure how to proceed, call us or come by one of our locations. We can discuss options for repair or replacement.
Treated Wood Piling
Wood piling is used for everything from telephone poles to landscaping to large-scale marinas, and the piling you’ll find at Decks & Docks has the maximum treatment for salt-water immersion: 2.5 CCA. We carry lengths up to 60 feet, in diameters of 5 to 16 inches. We work with the best suppliers in the industry to ensure that our pilings are straight, exceptional-quality, and consistent.
World-renowned for high bending strength and durability, Greenheart wood is a rainforest hardwood from Guyana that is ideal for extreme applications. Greenheart pilings are 3-4 times stronger than treated pine or fir, and are biologically resistant to marine borers and decay. Amazingly, these marine pilings are so durable against rot, decay, and damage, that they don’t even require preservative chemical treatment. These pilings have been known to last decades with minimal structural defects.
When Hurricane Matthew tore up Florida’s East Coast, thousands of docks were damaged or destroyed. Amazingly, it often wasn’t the surface material that was the weak point, it was the wood piling. Many cosmetically in tact pilings hid internal weaknesses from rot/organism damage, and we saw entire dock structures pull straight out of the top of pilings when storm surge raised water levels. Fiberglass pilings seemed to weather the storm (so to speak) with far greater success. While more expensive than traditional wood, fiberglass pilings can last generations, because they will not rot, crumble, or rust. With modern decking materials pushing the 3 decade mark in expected lifespan, having substructure elements that can meet and exceed that lifespan may make sense when investing in a new dock. Fiberglass pilings available at all Decks & Docks locations.
Piling protection is a small investment that can postpone piling and dock replacement. By extending the life of poles, homeowners save money in replacement costs and reduce environmental impact of tree harvesting. Protection ideally happens before you ever sink the pole. Best bet: Pile Sleeve (aka DuroSleeve), a PVC coating that is heat-shrunk onto poles at the lumber yard, and provides continuous, and virtually-impenetrable protection. Because the sleeve goes to the very tip of the piling, even organisms at the mud line cannot get into the wood, and the sleeve may reduce chemical leaching into waterways. Already have piling damage? Stop it in its tracks. Pile wrap is black vinyl sheeting that is manually wrapped around and secured to cleaned poles. Professional, reputable installation of pile wrap will protect the piling from wood-boring organisms, erosion, and other damage. Have more extensive damage, but don’t want to replace your pilings? SnapJacket may be your answer. Two pieces of hard plastic encase the piling and then lock together, then concrete is poured inside the form. The concrete naturally fills eroded areas for greater structural stability while the plastic encasement protects the piling for up to 50 years. Not sure what kind of shape your pilings are in? Call us or stop by the location closest to you and we can get you the right resources.
You don’t often think of damage to pilings coming from above the water, but the sun and rain can also take a toll. Piling caps block UV rays, deflect rain water, and prevent birds from roosting on pilings. Decks & Docks carries caps in a range of sizes and shapes: round or square, conical or flat, 6 inches to 18 inches. Our piling caps are built to last from an injection molded process using LLDPE Metalocene Based Polymer, that contains mildew inhibitors and is UV stabilized. The result is superior strength, flexibility, and dimensional consistency. These piling caps were made to stand up to the harsh marine environment. An inexpensive, attractive, and easy way to get more out of your investment.