What You Should Know About Dock Maintenance

You need a dock to provide a place for boats to stop without drifting out into the water. You may also use it as a place to walk, sit, and fish from. Since the dock provides so many significant functions, you should make sure that you keep it in good condition. Otherwise, it might become unstable and decrepit due to its constant contact with the water and outdoor elements, as well as the abrasion it receives from boats and people. We go over what you should know about dock maintenance here.

The Different Material Requirements

You can build a dock out of various materials, and your decision on this detail largely influences what you must do to maintain it. For docks that are made of metal, you may need to periodically check for rusting. If you do see areas that have rust, you can use soap or specialized rust treatment chemicals to remove it before it can eat away at the structure. For wood-based docks, you must apply a sealant to prevent rotting. You may also stain the wood to further protect it from sun discoloration. Plastic materials tend to call for the least attention, as they do not rust or rot. You may just clean them to remove grime every now and then.

How To Pressure Wash Carefully

Pressure washing lets you remove all the dirt that builds up on your dock effortlessly, but you should be careful with it, particularly when your dock is made of wood. This is due to the fact that the force of the spray can damage and even blow right through the planks. Therefore, if you have a wooden deck, you should use a fan tip nozzle on your pressure washer, as it will spread the expelled water over a wide area and reduce its power. You should also pay attention to the PSI units to gain greater certainty that your pressure washing will be safe. Don’t use anything greater than 500 to 600 PSI for soft woods and don’t go past about 1200 to 1500 PSI for hard woods. If your deck is made of other materials, it’s generally safest to hold 1500 PSI as the limit.

The Importance of Edge Protection

Most likely, boats will brush up against and bump your deck. Without the proper measures, this can harm both the dock and the boats. Thus, a point you should know about dock maintenance is the importance of edge protection. Place bumpers and/or rub rails around your dock so that you can minimize scraping. These structures can be comprised of rubber, vinyl, or plastic wood in the case of piling fenders. Each one serves the same role of absorbing impacts and allowing boats to slide a bit next to the dock without scratching it. Putting up edge protection will make dock upkeep easier for you since the dock won’t easily get damaged.

For a strong material that doesn’t need a high degree of maintenance, consider using plastic lumber from Bedford Technology. We designed our marine-grade lumber to stand up to harsh aqueous conditions without breaking down. Call us today for more information.