Most people overlook dock maintenance. They don’t consider it an important part of their property. They focus on whether the boats are tied securely to the dock, and the decking is sturdy to walk on. As a result, wood docks deteriorate over time and get damaged beyond repair.
Building a dock is an expensive investment. The last thing you want to see is the platform in a worn-down condition. The good news is that you can prolong your wooden dock’s life with some TLC. Since your dock is exposed to water 24/7 and weather element, you need to ensure it has a layer of protection that prevents it from rotting.
Maintenance of Different Dock Materials
If you are still deciding on which material to choose for your dock, here are some things you need to know about wood:
· Pressure Treated (PT) Wood
This is a cost-effective wood type but requires more maintenance. Choose kiln-dried wood with a “Marine Grade” certificate to ensure the dock lasts longer. Remember to keep the wood sealed to prevent rot and moisture damage.
· Hardwoods (Ipe)
Ipe lumber is one of the most durable and beautiful options for decking. You need to pressure-wash and oil the dock regularly to maintain its rich, dark colors. Otherwise, it will fade to gray. Since hardwood is dense, it is highly resistant to bugs and water.
· Composite Decking
This dock is made with a combination of plastics, natural fibers, and wood. While composite decking is not as insect and moisture-resistant as Ipe, it does have its benefits. A high-quality brand like Trex offers composite decking with a special resin, which protects parts of the dock submerged in water from decay and mildew.
Sanding and Staining
Cleaning the dock is easy. First, sweep off the loose dirt and then pressure-wash the surface. Remember to choose a low pressure for softwood, or you might crack the boards.
The next step is to sand the surface and smoothen any rough areas. To restore the dock’s beauty, stain the surface. Staining will protect the surface from rot. Lastly, apply a sealant to make it waterproof.
Winter and fall are the best times to clean and stain your dock. During these seasons, the water levels are low, giving you access to the structure’s hard-to-reach areas.
In conclusion, how often your dock needs to be cleaned, stained, and sealed depends on its material. Wood decking is affordable, but hardwood is better if you want something more durable and aesthetically appealing. It does not require as much maintenance as softwood and lasts longer. However, no matter what type of wood you choose, you will have to pay thousands of dollars in maintenance once or twice a year.
Nor Col EZ Dock offers wooden boat docks in different grades. The company also sells do-it-yourself docks, allowing you to custom-build your dock. Visit their website to browse their extensive range of docking accessories. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.