Docks are essential to many waterfront properties, providing access to the water and stunning views. However, they need to be regularly inspected to ensure their safety and longevity. This inspection should be done correctly to identify potential problems and make necessary repairs.
In this article, we’ll explore the when, why, and how of dock inspections so you have everything you need to ensure you are always on top of your dock’s safety and functionality.
Why Should You Inspect Your Dock?
There are several reasons dock inspections are so vital.
Safety is paramount. Regular inspections help identify structural weaknesses, loose fasteners, damaged components, or slippery surfaces that could pose safety hazards to anyone using the dock.
Timely inspections and maintenance prolong the life of your dock. Identifying and addressing issues early can prevent costly repairs or premature replacement.
Depending on your location, there may be regulatory requirements for dock safety and maintenance. Regular inspections help ensure compliance with local regulations and codes.
Docks can have an environmental impact on the water body they are situated in. Inspections help identify potential environmental concerns, such as the release of pollutants or damage to aquatic ecosystems. This is especially true with fixed docks, where the base structure is attached to the ground.
When Should You Inspect Your Dock?
Perform a thorough inspection at the beginning of each boating season or during the spring months. This way, you can address any issues that may have arisen during the winter and ensure your dock is in top condition for the upcoming season.
After severe weather events, such as storms or hurricanes, inspecting your dock for damage is essential. Strong winds, heavy rain, and turbulent waters can affect dock structures.
Implement a routine inspection schedule throughout the year, especially if your dock experiences heavy usage. Some dock types need more maintenance than others and, thus, more inspections as well. For example, fixed docks generally require more maintenance than floating docks due to their design.
Frequent inspections help identify minor problems before they escalate into significant issues.
How Should You Inspect Your Dock?
Begin with a visual inspection, looking for signs of wear and damage. Check for loose or missing fasteners, rotted wood, metal components corrosion, and framework cracks.
Walk the Entire Dock
Inspect the entire dock, paying particular attention to high-traffic areas.
Check for Movement
Examine how stable the dock is. It could indicate a problem with the foundation or structural supports if it feels unsteady or wobble.
If possible, conduct an underwater inspection to examine the condition of the dock’s substructure, including pilings or floats. Look for signs of erosion or damage.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Assess the environmental impact of your dock. Ensure that it is not causing harm to aquatic life or releasing pollutants into the water.
Record your inspections, including dates, findings, and maintenance or repairs performed. This documentation is valuable for tracking the dock’s condition over time.
Nor Col EZ Dock offers dock-building services for the best types of docks, EZ Dock. They also provide accessories that allow you to expand your floating dock and spruce up the platform. For more information, call (800) 654-8168.