How to get a long life from your Dock in Tampa Bay
In Tampa Bay and surrounding areas, dock maintenance is an essential part of boat ownership.
For new and experienced watercraft owners, it’s important to know how to take care of the dock, deck, or boathouse.
Because an unmaintained or weakened structure is more susceptible to hurricanes or harsh weather.
Why invest in regular maintenance?
Active conservation of your waterfront space comes with the territory of a watercraft or boat owner! Replacing older boards, posts, lifts, and other features (BEFORE they are damaged or rotting) will make a huge difference in the longevity of your deck.
Regular maintenance will also:
- Reduce and save on costs in the long-run
- Ensure the safety and security of your deck or dock
- Improve the appearance of your dock. Keep it looking good!
- Maintain the value of your dock, deck, boathouse, boats, and watercrafts
For information on why regular maintenance is as necessary for preservation as repairing visible damages, call the Tampa Dock & Seawall team for a consultation.
Here are some helpful tips on maintaining your dock in Tampa Bay.
Tip: Regular Cleaning and Sealing
Frequent cleaning will help you get to know the structure’s ins and outs. While cleaning away grime, you’ll notice anything that appears off or in need of repairs or improvement!
Before dragging the mop and bucket outside, it’s best to know the proper way to clean a dock. Depending on the type of materials used in your decking, you’ll need different cleaning products and tools.
While cleaning your deck, be mindful of any chemicals or cleaning solutions entering the water. Many communities around the US have begun to be more aware of keeping waters chemical-free.
Avoid using hazardous ammonia and phosphorus products that can be damaging to the water’s ecosystem. These products can cause health concerns for humans and sealife (they also lead to oxygen depletion in the water).
It’s also good to avoid cleaning products with:
- chlorine bleach
- petroleum solvents
Clean with vinegar or baking soda for an environmentally-friendly alternative. Mixed in a spray bottle with water, both household products will fight mildew growth.
A pressure washer is a great tool to remove debris, stains, and dirt. Pressure washing effectively cleans various surfaces without damaging the wood, metal, or aluminum, concrete, or composite materials.
Pressure washing works great on
- Pressure-treated lumber
- Composite decking
- Aluminum docks
Pressure washing is a relatively easy process but be sure to use cleaning solutions approved for your area. Even on easy-to-clean composite materials, pressure washing effectively washes away any dirt or algae build-up.
Sanding, Stain, and Sealant:
During your cleaning process, you may also want to sand and stain any wood exposed to sunlight or traffic. Pressure washing can also create small splinters that need to be sanded.
Some decks may also require a re-application of sealant every few years. Natural sealant helps keep the dock looking fresh and new! If you’re environmentally conscious, there are plenty of eco-friendly stain and sealant options for wooden decking.
Tip: Schedule Inspections
Making time for a monthly dock inspection of your decking, framing, and piling can help you spot any potential damage or beginnings of erosion or shifting.
Getting in the habit of examining your dock thoroughly will prevent the area from falling into neglect, increasing costs from built-up decay.
Dock owners should lookout for the following:
- Exposed nails
- Signs of damage from time or weather
- Cracks or chips
- Uneven surfaces
- Rust, corrosion
Take pictures of anything you notice that is out of the ordinary. Photos will help you monitor the status of the dock and allow your repair team to get to the root of any issues quickly.
Besides regular self-done inspections, you can also consider hiring a professional team for full dock and seawall inspections. A professional inspection may look at the structure, plumbing, electrical, lifts, and seawall structure.
Tip: Invest in Quality Repairs
One of the best tips for lowering costs over time is to fix things right the first time!
Some repair companies may offer band-aid repairs that will require additional attention in a year’s time. Investing in quality materials, maintenance, and repairs will help you save on repair fees.
As soon as you notice any damage, corrosion, or areas on your dock in need of repairs, fix them properly.
Don’t substitute quality materials and products for cheaper options. Not all materials are specifically meant for docks and can cause a safety hazard or more frequent upkeep.
When Replacement is Necessary?
It can be hard to accept! Your dock is still working great, but below the surface, rot is occurring!
When the framing and decking are beyond repairs or maintenance, you may have to face the music: It’s time for a replacement!
The good news is that with new, high-quality materials and in-expensive maintenance, owners have to worry less about future replacement costs.
Expert Dock Maintenance
Part of regular dock care is having a reliable dock and seawall installation and repair team in your contact list!
When your deck, dock, or seawall are in need of repairs, trust the expert team at Tampa Dock & Seawall. Our staff have years of experience and knowledge about Tampa-friendly rules and regulations.
Tampa Dock & Seawall will address any and all problems with your dock. Contact our team today for an estimate on repairs or dock, deck, and seawall installation.
We’re ready for your call! (813-495-7727)