Posted on February 13, 2020
Docks that are several years old probably show some signs of wear. Proper maintenance of a boat docking system can help keep it looking and performing beautifully for a long time, and some types of damage can be repaired easily and cheaply. However, if your dock is getting dangerous and unreliable, replacement might be the only option. Here are the five signs that you should think about investing in a brand new dock.
Certain types of metal that are kept in or around water, especially saltwater, will rust eventually. Small amounts of rust can be an easy fix: if you can replace or repair an individual part easily, then that’s probably a good option. However, larger areas of rust could eventually spread, eat away at the dock, and make breakage in other areas even more likely, and in cases like these a completely new dock might be necessary. Aluminum boat docks are made of a durable metal that’s more resistant to rust than a lot of others and are a great option when considering upgrading or replacing a failing boat dock system.
Wooden docks can rot when water is allowed to seep in. Moss, mildew, algae, and other growth can trap moisture in the wooden dock, worsening the problem, but it can be solved or prevented by keeping your dock clean and well maintained. If a small area is experiencing rot, individual components can be replaced with new, treated lumber. However, when multiple areas are rotting, it’s time to replace your dock. Consider replacing a wooden dock with different materials, including aluminum painted to look like wood, which is one of the premium ShoreMaster decking options.
Certain support materials can become cracked or warped thanks to pressure from the currents in the water. Accidents can also happen—if a boat hits the dock while docking that can cause cracking as well. Minor cracks in small areas could probably be repaired with individual replacement parts: if major load-bearing areas have significant damage, it’s better to stay safe and replace the whole structure. To prevent damage from boat collisions, consider installing bumpers or posts outside the perimeter of your dock.
Permanent docks sit on pillars or other underwater foundation support systems. Assessing the damage below the waterline, let alone repairing it, might require specialized equipment. Boat dock foundations are subjected to water, changing temperatures, currents, and more factors that can cause foundation shifts and serious damage. Any cracking is a sign that further investigation, and possibly replacement of your boat docking system, is necessary.
Permanent boat docking systems have supports to hold them up. These supports must be driven at least four feet into the ground for maximum stability. Over time, rock and sand beds can erode, which might make it difficult or impossible to install the supports properly. If you’re finding that your posts can’t be planted deep enough, it might be time to replace your dock with a floating aluminum boat dock that adapts to fluctuating water conditions.
If it’s time to replace or upgrade your boat docking system, ShoreMaster can help. We’ve been in the waterfront business for decades and have helped many shoreline owners find their perfect boat dock solutions. Whether you need an entirely new and completely customizable aluminum boat dock system or the perfect accessory, ShoreMaster’s customer support team can help. For more information on what’s available and what works best for your area, contact a local ShoreMaster dealer.