Tampa Dock and Seawall

Dock Repair – Reality Check

One story of a dock repair in St. Petersburg


It’s natural.

Your dock looks okay. It’s old and hasn’t been maintained well but it still “works”.

But it does look pretty bad. And the decking has fallen away and split in a few places. Maybe you’ve gotten a few snide remarks from friends and family about it lately.

If this is you – then we may have recently gotten a call from your doppelganger.

The pictures here give away the moral of the story but read on to find out what actually happened.

Dock Repair in St. Petersburg

Since moving the Tampa Dock & Seawall offices to Clearwater we’ve been hearing a lot more for homeowners in St Petersburg, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks, Clearwater, etc.

This call just happened to come from someone who wanted a quote on dock repair.

Just a little refurbing of a dock with new decking because the old wood decking was rotten.

Dock Repair - Pile Damage

New dock owners

For those of you new to dock ownership, there are 3 main parts to any dock:

  1. Decking – what you walk on
  2. Framing – like the frame that holds up a gazebo, or the walls in your house
  3. Piles – those are the poles that are driven into the sea floor that supports everything else.

This particular homeowner was adamant that they ONLY wanted a quote on replacing the Decking. 

Of course, Tampa Dock is a licensed contractor that specializes in marine construction. That’s docks and seawalls.

So we explained that you can’t attach new Decking if the Framing underneath wasn’t sound.

Makes sense?

If you tear out the existing decking and framing isn’t good then there will basically be nothing to attach the NEW decking to.

Or if you DO, it won’t be safe.

And we also know that if the Decking is bad it is VERY likely that the Framing will be to.

But as we start the Dock repair in St. Petersburg, we found that it wasn’t just the Decking that was rotten.

Dock Repair Problem - Shipworms

Dock Replacement is Sometimes Necessary

Once we started work on removing the decking – with the brand new decking ready to install – we discovered that the Framing was just as bad.

All rotten to the core.

Which makes perfect sense because the Deck and Framing for their Dock had been installed at the same time. So they suffered the same wear and tear.

Unfortunately, we had to remove the Framing as well because it would be unsafe to just attach new boards to it.

Note: This is one real advantage to hiring a licensed contractor to do ANY dock repairs no matter what Tampa Bay city you’re in. A handy man may have just re-decked the dock anyway. In this case there’s a real chance that someone would eventually be seriously injured because of it.

Most of our customers will avoid situations like this in the future because of the materials we use to build docks now.  


Shipworm Infested Piles

Now we come to the pictures.

As we removed the Frame, the Piles actually started to shake and wiggle back and forth!

On inspection they were clearly and completely infested with pests and so had rotted from the inside out.

Sadly, it’s not unusual to find on wooden pilings in our area. (It’s why we always recommend EcoPile synthetic piles now) 

In the end, the customer wasn’t happy with having to replace his dock, but he was very happy to have his family and friends safe. And of course the new dock was a big improvement!

Call Tampa Dock Today

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