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Signs your dock needs replaced

Is your boat dock starting to feel a little different over the years? Maybe the boards are a collection of new and old wood used to replaced rot, or warping from years of waves and currents have made your once-straight dock a crooked and bent walkway. While difficult to realize, sometimes a boat dock can become too worn and torn and gets to a point beyond simple repair. Docks that hit this stage of deterioration are dangerous and unreliable, as one bad step could end in injury or even death. Sometimes, dock repair is an option and your dock can be kept in use longer. Knowing the difference between having a dock in need of repair or replacement can be difficult - and costly. Not sure what the telltale signs are of when it is time to replace your dock? Read these 5 signs that your dock needs to be replaced.

Signs you need to replace your boat dock

Warped or cracked dock supports

Docks can be constructed in many different materials: wood, metal, and composite to name a few. Depending on the material, currents and waves can cause your structure to warp or bend under the pressure, sometimes even leading to it to crack and break. Running boats into your structure while docking your water craft is also a major culprit of cracked and broken supports. If cracks are minor and are kept to a small area of your dock, you could replaced individual boards and beams, depending on your dock’s material. However, if major load-bearing areas have multiple areas of breakage, it is most likely in your best interest to replace the whole structure to assure structural integrity. If a boat collision is what caused breakage, consider installing posts outside the perimeter of your dock to not only tie up on, but also add a barrier.

Wood rot in multiple places of your dock at once

It is not uncommon for wooden docks to experience a little rot over time. Sometimes fungus from the water can cause dry rot, causing your wooden components to decay and crumble. If you notice this issue in sporadic areas, you could simply removed the rotted board and replace it with new, treated lumber. However, if the rot is out of control and not contained to small areas, the dock should be replaced.

Damage to underwater foundation or platform

Some docks are permanently installed with the help of pillars and underwater foundational support systems. These type of docks give you the convenience of easy surface repair and stability in all water conditions, but it gets very tricky if they take on damage or erosion. Special equipment may be needed to even assess the damage, let alone fix it. Foundational deterioration is very dangerous and any cracking should be a sign that further investigation should be done to make sure it is not a sign of a larger issue.

Rusted out platforms and supports

Any dock made with metal has a chance of rusting when exposed to water. Small rust spots can be repaired or just require replacement of individual parts. However, if your supports seem to be overtaken by rust, it may be more worthwhile to replace the entire system or consider getting a dock made with different materials.

Posts can no longer be set at least 4 feet into the ground

Sometimes, the need to replace a dock is not even related to damage or wear of the dock itself. Unless you own a floating dock, supports that hold up the dock must be driven into the ground at least 4 feet to ensure stability. Different water conditions can cause rock and sand bed to erode over time, making this 4 foot minimum impossible. If you cannot plant the supports with the help of a vacuum pump, consider changing out your dock for a floating structure.

To avoid having to replace your dock, make sure that you are continually checking and maintaining your dock throughout the year. Make sure all rotted wood is replaced with treated lumber, your dock is sealed at least once a year, and that all metal components are lubricated to prevent rust.

Owning a boat can be one of the greatest hobbies and lifestyle changes you can get. Whether your boat is an 18 foot casual outing power boat, a party-going pontoon, or a zippy PWC, nothing beats life on the water. If your dock deterioration is interfering with your time on the water, make replacement easy with the investment in a JetDock floating dock and lift system! Our floating docks and drive on lifts are made of durable, modular pieces that are meant to last. Create and order your custom floating dock today!

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