Most people tend to take their dock for granted, only giving it some much-needed attention when things go wrong. Ignoring issues with the dock can result in some very costly repairs, so it is important to do regular maintenance to keep everything in working order.
Regardless the materials on the decking or the size of the dock, the following 10 great dock maintenance tips will go a long way in keeping the good times rolling;
1. Keeping a Schedule
Purchase a wall calendar just specifically for dock maintenance so that you are able to see what and when needs to be done to do up-keep on the dock. Time can get away from you during the year, and while you are enjoying using the dock, areas may need some extra attention that are getting ignored. Keeping a calendar of maintenance dates are arriving will ensure the fun times keeping rolling along.
2. Taking Pictures More Often
Stand in the same location each month and take a picture of the dock to place with your maintenance calendar. If you take the pictures at least once a month from the same spot, it will be easier to spot any subtle changes that are taking place.
3. Stop Skimping
Perhaps you noticed a fastener is in need of replacement, so you grab one from the shed and done is done. Stop skimping on replacement parts because it will eventually affect the entire dock if this continues. Make certain if you do replace anything, even a tiny fastener, that it is rated for the outdoors. When the repair is not PVC but wood, only use pressure-treated wood for a repair.
4. Paying Attention to Detail
When you are doing a visual check of the dock, don’t just get eyeballs on the surface or pilings. Invest the time and take a closer look at the bolts, hardware, fasteners, ladders, and stairs.
5. Keeping the Surface Clean
Scrubbing the wood surface clean is ideal to maintain the look, it doesn’t require using a power washer and removing part of the surface each time. A bucket and brush can clean off bird droppings and other debris and still give the surface a nice look.
6. Replace Missing Parts Immediately
Just because the dock is made of hundreds of bolts and fasteners doesn’t mean you can overlook one that is missing. When you see a plank or bolt missing, fix it now. That missing piece will add more pressure to the rest of the dock and quickly turn a minor fix to a major repair.
7. Sanding the Surface
While sanding the dock might seem easier said than done, this is certainly a job you might want to leave to the experts. One mistake and the surface becomes uneven, so pay the money for a professional to maintain the wood surface.
8. Cleaning the Structures
The aluminum structures on the dock need some attention once in a while to maintain their appearance. For aluminum structures like the ladder, one cost-effective way to clean the surface is to make a mix of baking soda and water, then use the paste to polish these aluminum surfaces to a nice shine.
9. Thinking Safety First
When you spend the time each month to perform these maintenance tips, it will help to keep the entire surface safer and prevent injuries to you, your friends, and your family. When thinking along those lines, you will be more likely to focus on the upkeep on a regular basis.
10. Applying Dock Sealant
The best way to preserve the look and the life of the wood dock is to apply a sealant regularly. Even if you are going to tackle the project one weekend on your own, it is important you are using the right product so it lasts longer and protects the surface beneath. Speak with a professional in the field who can direct you to the best waterproof and environmentally friendly sealant for your region and the particular surface material of the dock.
Regardless if the dock is floating or fixed, concrete or wood, maintenance repairs are the cost-effective way to keep it operational all year and avoiding expensive repairs.