Posted on October 10, 2019
The weather cooling down is a sign to many dock owners that it’s time to store their boat and dock for the fall and winter. Part of the process of removing docks involves taking care of dock decking. What’s the best way to take care of decking materials? Does the material used in your dock decking make a difference for its seasonal care? A lot of how to care for your dock depends on your area, but here are some general tips from ShoreMaster’s experts.
Your dock sits in the water for months at a time during the summer, but when you’re not using it, it should be removed from the water along with its accessories. No matter what material the decking is made of, it should be removed, cleaned, and stored in a dry place. If you’re able to store your dock decking inside and out of the elements, that will help extend its life: if you can’t, cover your decking with tarp or plastic to keep out the winter weather, debris, and dirt. If you do cover your dock decking, make sure the material is breathable so that there’s enough airflow to prevent moisture accumulation and mold growth.
Keeping your dock decking off of the ground, especially if it’s made of wood, is a good idea. Use pallets or blocking to lift the panels off of the ground, especially if you’re going to store your decking outdoors. If you leave decking on the ground in wintertime, you could find some stains, chips, or even mold when you start to set everything up again once the weather warms back up. Make sure you’re storing your dock decking in an area that’s unlikely to flood: a flood will bring in extra moisture, which could freeze and cause damage. If you’re going to store your decking outside and there’s a lot of snowfall in your area, be sure to mark where it is to avoid damage and dangerous collisions with ATVs and snowmobiles.
It’s both easier and safer for decking materials to be stacked face-to-face and clip to clip, no matter what they’re made of. Never stack your decking clip to face, or else you’ll dent and scratch the decking. If you’re stacking your dock decking (which is a good idea for wood panels that are best stored flat), keep in mind that you can safely store it in stacks of ten without problems. Place your dock decking down and put it face-to-face before stacking it. Plastic and aluminum decking can be stood up on its end as long as you’re careful not to drag the panels against each other when putting them away and taking them out again when spring comes.
Every waterfront is unique, partly because of your boat dock setup but also because of the water and shoreline in your area. Boat dock owners need to get supplies and answers to their questions from a local waterfront expert dealer. Local dealers will be able to help you find the right dock for your needs based on everything from how much boat traffic you experience to the depth of the water in your area to how icy the area gets and more. A ShoreMaster dealer will have the expertise to help you decide on the perfect dock products and accessories and the answers to questions about your area. Also learn about our options for boat lift storage.