All too often, we think of docks as just another feature on the lake – something that might need to be stored during winter or occasionally hosed down. An afterthought overshadowed by the boats moored to them.
But – when you allow your dock to fall into disrepair, you end up impacting the waterbody’s recreational use, lowering property values and curtailing the life of the dock (and paying richly for it!).
Today, we’re going to walk through how to maintain your dock year-round to keep it functional and extend its lifespan.
Before we can dive too deep into the world of caring for docks, it is important to know what types of docks there are as this will inform what practices you need to adopt to properly maintain them.
Nearly all docks fall into one of two categories – fixed or floating.
Floating docks are exactly what they sound like – floating docks without an anchor embedded into the bottom of the waterbody. They are connected to the shoreline in some way, whether tethered directly or tethered to a frame that extends out from the land. Fixed docks are often found in lakes that have varying water levels or soft, murky bottoms that won’t support a fixed dock.
Fixed docks, on the other hand, are stationary, permanent docks that stay in place (regardless of water levels) via pilings. Pilings’ heights depend on the average water level for the waterbody and whether boats are planned to be docked there versus it being a dock for fishing or viewing. Fixed docks work well in choppy waters as they will remain stable when hit with waves.
Since docks typically are used the most during the spring and summer months, it makes sense that there will be more upkeep during this time. Some basic practices you should keep track of during the dock’s main operating season include:
The winter or ‘off’ season is a great opportunity to invest time and effort into dock upkeep. Some of what you can work on when docks aren’t in use include:
Clarke Aquatic Services works with each of our clients on a one-on-one basis to ensure that their needs are best met – whether that’s aquatic plant management, deicing and aeration solutions or water quality control.
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