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May 2024

The Importance of Proper Dock Reconstruction

Docks are exposed to water, sun, wind, and changing temperatures and can deteriorate over time. If you notice excessive rot or rust, it’s important to make repairs right away. Visit https://dockbuildingcharleston.com/ for professional help.

Dock Reconstruction

Residential dock reconstruction may require a general permit or COP depending on the construction project and its impact on coastal resources.

Wood that constantly comes in contact with water will eventually deteriorate, and docks are no exception. If not addressed quickly, the problem can result in serious structural issues. This is why regular inspections are so important. During these inspections, you should be on the lookout for loose boards or nails, rotting areas, and any cracks or other damage that may need to be repaired.

The most common issue that can arise from this exposure is wood rot, which occurs when fungus grows in the wood and starts to eat away at it. It is not uncommon for this to start at one spot and spread throughout the entire structure.

If caught in time, rot can be relatively easy to repair with new lumber. However, if it is not, it will continue to spread and will eventually compromise the integrity of your entire dock. The best way to prevent this is by using premium kiln-dried wood and keeping it properly sealed.

Another common issue that needs to be addressed is rust. It is possible for the metal fasteners used in your dock to rust from prolonged moisture exposure, and this can also weaken the structure. Fortunately, rust can usually be repaired by simply removing the old rusted nails and replacing them with new ones.

It is also a good idea to clean your dock regularly. This will help to remove any dirt or debris that has built up over time. You can use a stiff-bristled brush or even a pressure washer, though you should always be careful to avoid damaging the surface of your dock. After scrubbing your dock, you should rinse it thoroughly to ensure that all cleaning solution and loosened debris is removed.

Warped Boards

A dock that’s exposed to the elements 24/7 is bound to age and degrade. Depending on the material and location, a dock can develop various problems such as warping, rusting, or discoloration. Whether the problem is small or widespread, it’s important to identify and address dock issues quickly to prevent further damage and potential safety hazards.

For example, one or two deck boards that have become warped can be easily fixed by a bar clamp and some wood filler, but if the entire dock has a warped surface, it may be time to replace it. This could also mean replacing the entire foundation, a costly repair that can be avoided by addressing the issue promptly.

While a dock’s skeleton is generally sturdy, a damaged frame can lead to structural instability, which poses a serious safety risk. Homeowners typically pay $150 to $500 to fix dock frames, which can include welding or patching damaged sections.

It’s also common for a dock to experience issues with its decking. Wooden decks made from cedar or redwood are susceptible to mildew, rot, and water damage. While a regular cleaning can help keep these issues at bay, these materials do require periodic care and maintenance to last as long as possible.

Composite and other synthetic decking is an excellent choice for a dock because it’s moisture-resistant and easy to clean. These materials also don’t need the frequent staining that many wooden decks do.

Roll-in or lift-up docks, which are usually made from aluminum, are great options for people with limited storage space or who want to be able to roll their boat in and out of the water for winter protection. However, these kinds of docks are more likely to be damaged by rust and general wear and tear than larger, permanent docks.

Rotten Wood

Wooden docks are constantly exposed to the elements. It’s inevitable that the wood will eventually rot, even with proper maintenance. A little rot isn’t always a problem, but if it affects a large area of your dock it can be dangerous and should be repaired immediately.

You can typically spot rotten wood by its dark coloring. It will also be soft and crumbly. In some cases, you may see fungal growth around the rotted areas.

It is possible to treat rotted wood by using a wooden hardener, but it’s often more cost-effective and safer to simply replace the entire board. Once the rotted portion is removed, you can install a new plank that’s resistant to fungus.

While a lot of the material used in docks is pre-treated, you should still regularly inspect your dock for rot and rust. It’s important to remember that if the rot or rust is on a load-bearing support, your dock may need to be replaced.

A good way to prevent rot is to use a wood hardener that’s designed to withstand wet conditions. It’s best to apply the hardener using a brush, so you can get into the crevices and pores of the wood. The hardener should soak into the rotting wood, and once it’s dry, you should be able to scrub away any excess with a stiff brush. A good hose sprayer can be used to rinse off the wood after application, removing any cleaning solution and loosened dirt. This is an important step in dock reconstruction as it ensures that your dock will be protected from moisture and fungus. It can take a while for the wood to completely cure, however.

Metal Fastenings

When it comes to constructing and repairing docks, marine fasteners are an essential part of the process. The corrosive nature of the environment in which a dock is constructed and maintained often demands use of specialized fasteners that can withstand the harsh elements. Stainless steel marine fasteners are often used due to their corrosion resistance and strength.

However, when using stainless steel screws in dock construction it is important that contractors follow the best practices for working with them. The most important practice involves the pairing of stainless screws with other metals that are also made from a non-corrosive metal. This helps to prevent galvanic corrosion which can occur when dissimilar metals make contact with each other.

Stainless steel screws are ideal for dock construction due to their ability to resist corrosion in any type of environment. They are also a great choice for the dock pilings of many types of docks, as they provide an excellent connection between the concrete and the wood. However, constructing dock pilings from steel is challenging because of the difficulty in getting access to the actual connections that are needed for structural safety and integrity. Blind bolts, which offer one-sided installation into the steel that is being used, can provide a solution for this issue by making it possible to construct strong and secure docks.

Another common marine fastener that is used for dock construction is what is called a carriage bolt. These fasteners have a shallow dome-shaped head with a square neck directly underneath. They can be inserted into a round hole in metal or into the square head of most wood fasteners to make them self-locking. They are a great choice for applications involving metal to wood construction and can be used with a flat washer and hex nut (sold separately). Portland Bolt manufactures both stainless steel and galvanized carriage bolts in Grade 2 steel hot-dipped in zinc and are the least expensive metal fasteners suitable for the corrosive environment in which most marinas and other docks are located.

Foundation Deterioration

The most crucial aspect of any dock is the foundation that it sits on. Damage to this is a sure sign that total dock replacement will be necessary, as it is what holds the whole structure up. Any cracking or bending in the foundation is dangerous and needs to be addressed immediately. If the foundation is compromised, the entire dock structure can come tumbling down at the slightest touch of water.

Foundations are essential in any marine project, and docks are no different. The pilings that support the dock must be inspected often to make sure they are still intact. If the pilings are unprotected, they can be a breeding ground for wood boring worms that can destroy them in an instant. This is why it’s important to choose a company that offers piling protection as part of their dock construction services.

If the pilings are protected with piling caps, then they can withstand even the harshest weather conditions. This is one of the best ways to keep your dock from becoming a safety hazard for family and friends.

Once the safety hazards are taken care of, the rebuilding process can begin. Getting the job done right requires careful planning and attention to detail. A quality contractor will also have a staff that is dedicated to the project, highly skilled labor whose pay is commiserate with their experience, manpower to conduct supervision and inspections, and a team of professionals who know what they’re doing when it comes to marine projects. This is why it’s so important to take the time to meet with a contractor and find out more about what they have to offer before choosing them for your next dock project.