Proper dock maintenance extends the life span of a dock and prevents premature repair needs. Docks require periodic maintenance work to prevent growing wear and tear from everyday damage like impact, rust development, and rot.

Dock owners need to set out a maintenance checklist and stick to it to make sure they are not slacking on important upkeep tasks. The following are six mistakes to avoid when devising a dock maintenance regime to maximize the life span and usefulness of a dock.

1. Failing to Regularly Pressure Wash the Dock Surface

Pressure washing dock surfaces isn’t just about their appearance. It’s also about maintaining the condition of deck surfaces and minimizing repair needs.

Dock owners should pressure wash to avoid the accumulation of potentially harmful types of debris like animal droppings, mildew, and mold growth. These types of debris can be both harmful to the dock and unhealthy for those who use the dock. Also, you need to periodically clean off dirt and stone debris because it can become pushed down into the dock surface and tear up the dock surface over time.

Removing debris every few weeks through pressure washing is a simple chore that goes a long way in optimizing dock condition.

2. Leaving Boards in Place that Have Succumbed to Rot

Rot development in wood docks over time is inevitable. Periodically inspect your dock for rot growth, and replace any heavily affected areas. This will keep the dock in the best possible condition and prevent structural weaknesses from leading to catastrophic problems like dock collapse.

3. Neglecting to Hammer Back or Replace Rising Nails

Over time, nails can work their way back up out of dock wood due to pressures within the wood. Loose nails are not as effective as fasteners and may aggravate any structural weaknesses in the dock.

Inspecting periodically for missing nails or nails that rise out of the wood is important. You can hammer nails back into place or replace them with stronger screws to ensure that the dock retains its structural strength.

4. Not Using a Rust-Resistant Treatment on Metal Surfaces

Every dock includes a large amount of metal components like fasteners and ladders. At the same time, coastal docks tend to be exposed to a lot of saltwater. Exposure to saltwater leaves metal parts susceptible to corrosion development.

Corroded fasteners and other corroded metal parts weaken a deck’s strength. Dock owners should regularly inspect for rust development. If you see rusted fasteners, replace them. If the dock steel crib and metal supports show rust development, sand them down and paint them with a rust-resistant metal treatment.

5. Allowing Wildlife to Build Nests Around a Dock

Bird and rodents around a dock can cause damage by tearing out dock components to build nests or increasing the speed of rot development in dock wood.

Clean out animal nests once you find them to ensure general cleanliness and to prevent structural damage. Also, don’t leave any food or bait scraps that could attract wildlife on or around the dock for extended periods of time.

6. Neglecting to Periodically Apply Wood Sealer

Wood sealer is important because it will fortify dock wood again the constant exposure to water it experiences.

Apply dock sealer regularly to keep a dock in the best possible shape over time. Before applying the sealer, remove any wood components from the water so that sealer has enough time to dry on the wood before you put the components back in place.

If you’re in need of dock repair services, contact Abbotts’ Construction Services, Inc., to learn more about how you can keep your dock in the best possible condition.