Whether you’ve decided to put time and money into installing a permanent dock structure on your lakefront property or a floating dock that serves your seasonal needs perfectly, you’re going to need to engage in some amount of upkeep to enjoy the greatest use-value and longevity from this water entry platform. This means taking steps to keep your system clean and safe year-round.
While you can perform dock maintenance on your own, you’ll also be happy to learn that professional dock servicing is an option. Still, it’s always best to keep an eye on the condition of your dock to make sure that it remains in good working order throughout the summer season and beyond. Here are some tips for dock cleaning and safety to keep you on track.
Don’t Leave Stuff Lying Around
If you’ve ever stepped on a LEGO brick barefoot or tripped on a baseball bat in the backyard, you know the value of keeping living spaces and play areas clutter-free. The same basic principle applies to your boat dock.
If your dock gets daily use during the summer months, it’s tempting to leave toys and gear like goggles, flippers, snorkels, life vests, and other items lying around on the dock. However, these items can pose slipping, or tripping hazards that may lead to injuries or accidental falls into the water. In other words, it’s best to keep your dock clear of detritus.
It’s important to keep your dock safe for family and friends, and others on the lake. Adding lighting makes your dock visible in low-light conditions. This not only allows for safe usage of the dock area after the sun sets, but it also ensures that late night or early morning boaters can see and avoid it.
Whether you like to watch the sunset as you lounge in deck chairs on the dock, you wake before dawn for early morning swims, or there’s simply a lot of boating activity on the water day and night, dock lighting increases safety for those using your dock and others on the lake.
Pressure Wash and Seal Your Boat Dock
Over time, docks can get covered in all kinds of dirt and debris, which can compromise finishes or cause slipping hazards. The best way to preserve your dock is with regular pressure washing.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to pressure wash a permanent dock every 1-2 years, although it may depend on how dirty your dock gets. If you have a floating dock that you store during the winter, washing requirements may be less frequent.
For wooden dock surfaces that can be impacted by sun, wind, and water over time, regular resealing is recommended to prevent warping, rot, and other damage.
Remove Growth as Needed
Barnacles, algae, and other biological gunk can build up on docks over time, causing damage and compromising the structure’s integrity. It’s important to eliminate growth regularly to prevent unseen damage to your dock.
Schedule Annual Permanent Dock Inspections
You take your car to a mechanic for regular oil and filter changes, and you call in professionals to check your HVAC, clean your gutters, and perform other home maintenance tasks. Keeping your boat dock in good condition requires regular inspection, maintenance, and repair, as well.
Be sure to schedule professional dock servicing annually, or perhaps seasonally, depending on weather conditions, to prevent significant damage or deterioration. This will ensure that your dock remains solid and safe for your family and friends to use.
Prep Permanent and Floating Docks for Winter Weather
Whether you own waterfront property in a cold, northern climate or live in a region that experiences seasonal storm activity, you need to prepare for wintry weather to avoid damage and keep your dock safe for future use. Often, it’s best to perform seasonal dock removal for floating docks (and do a reinstallation in the spring).
As for permanent docks in areas that freeze, you may want to install a de-icer or dock bubbler to circulate water and keep the area around pilings from freezing. This will prevent some of the most common forms of damage.
The design and installation specialists at Regatta Dock Systems are always happy to help you choose the perfect dock options for your waterfront property. We’re also pleased to offer maintenance and other services for your convenience. Contact us today at 860-302-9182 or visit us online to learn more.