Must-Know Tips for Boat Dock Maintenance

Paul Lake Living, Real Estate: Selling a Home 5 Comments

If you’re in the market for a lakeside property, you’re likely a boating or water sports enthusiast. As such, you’re going to need a place to store your boat or watercraft.

Must-Know Tips for Boat Dock Maintenance

Thankfully for boaters, many of lakeside properties on the market come pre-equipped with boat docks. However, wood docks require occasional care and maintenance to maintain their functionality. Of course, there are contractors and repairmen that can tend to these needs for you, but you can also take care of a great deal of your dock’s maintenance needs on your own.

To keep your dock in great shape, follow these five simple steps.

Always Use Treated Lumber

Must-Know Tips for Boat Dock Maintenance

For any repairs you may need to execute on your dock, be sure to use only treated lumber materials. Treated lumber will resist rot and degradation better than any other type of wood.

Never Use Sealants or Treatment Products

After being told to only use treated lumber on your dock, you might be tempted to stock up on sealants, stains, and other lumber treatments, but you shouldn’t!

Applying sealants to lumber only sets off an endless cycle in which you have to seal every six months – a scenario that’s only beneficial for the folks who make sealants.

Treated, unsealed lumber can handle wet conditions just fine. What’s more, it can dry out naturally, a necessity for dock longevity that’s impeded by sealant application. Six or so months after sealant application, the sealant will degrade enough to allow water in, but not enough to allow it to escape entirely – a recipe for disaster.

Leave your treated lumber unsealed and unstained for optimal results.

Replace Old Flotation Barrels

For those whose docks make use of flotation barrels, one of your dock’s most important facets is also one of the easiest to replace.

Flotation barrels can be replaced with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease. And replacing old, leaky barrels can have a huge impact on dock stability.

Mend and Treat Chains

If your dock makes use of chains, take care to treat them with lubricant regularly. Regular lubricant application will deter rust and keep everything running smoothly.

Check Fasteners

In harsh waterside conditions, fasteners are one of the first things to deteriorate. Screws, nails, and other specialty fasteners can loosen, even fall out, after years of wear.

Screw Diversity

Take a few hours to look over your dock’s fasteners, tighten where necessary, and make note of needed replacements.

Sand Down Split Boards and Large Splinters

Split lumber can cause a multitude of problems, the foremost of which being injury from splinters.

Luckily, getting rid of splinters is a pretty easy task. All you’ll need is a pair of gloves and a belt sander. Just sand down any splinter that’s underfoot, and run your hand over the newly sanded patch with a gloved hand to ensure optimal safety.

When sanding treated lumber, it’s always best to wear a utility mask and safety glasses.

Photo Credits:

1. Photo via Flickr

2. Photo via Flickr

3. Photo by Martin Kenny

Comments 5

  1. Jay Jorgenson

    I really like what was said in this article about how you need to use treated lumber in order to avoid rotting of the boat dock. The boat dock by my house has had this problem many times before. I am definitely going to let the owners know!

  2. Tyler

    I like what you recommend about keeping the chains maintained. It makes sense that if a dock uses chains, keeping them clean and maintained to ensure the structural integrity of the dock. I’ll have to remember this for when I get a dock just so I don’t have to worry about quick and preventable erosion.

  3. Ridley Fitzgerald

    It’s good to know all of this about dock repairs and maintenance. What kinds of docks would use chains? I’ve only ever seen the ones that are just planks of wood, so what would the chains be used for?

    1. Doug Nicholson

      The chains were once used on old-style docks to hold together floating sections. They are are not commonly used for that any more.

  4. Levticus Bennett

    My friend got a new sports boat and he is looking to get a private dock. Making sure that you have an insured company for maintenance of a dock is wise. I think that finding a dock construction service that is covered will also help boat owners so there are no surprises.

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