Posted on August 01, 2019
You might think keeping a boat dock clean would be easy. After all, water surrounds it, right? Like anything else near water, docks can get dirty. From muddy footprints to spilled drinks and pollen, docks are exposed to all the messy joys of the outdoors. So how can you keep your dock clean?
For those with wood decking, power wash it once a year. Apply a water-based stain and waterproof sealant every three to four years. It’s fine to apply a finish more frequently if the sun and/or water have started to affect the color and condition of the wood. If you feel the wood needs a complete overhaul, consider sanding it down — but keep in mind that too much sanding of any wood surface can damage it. After sanding, applying stain and sealant is a must.
Always use environmentally friendly cleaning products, as some will get into the water. Check to see what regulations your state may have for product use. Replace any wood sections that are rotting and check all hardware to make sure nothing is rusting and in danger of coming loose. Replace any corroded hardware.
Composite decking may feel like plastic, but it does contain wood fibers. This means there is a chance that mold and mildew can form, so you need to keep the decking clean. Regularly check for any signs of decay, especially in shaded areas.
Aluminum decking is water and rot resistant, so you only need to clean when you want to or if you notice discoloration. You can make your own environmentally safe cleaning product for aluminum. First, clean the aluminum with mild dish soap and water. Rinse thoroughly, and then clean with a 1-to-1 ratio of white vinegar and water. If the aluminum remains discolored, gently scrub the aluminum with half a lemon dipped in table salt. The salt provides a light abrasion that doesn’t scratch the metal.