Whether your dock is made of wood, metal or composite materials, it’s important to inspect it regularly. Doing so will help spot issues like rot or erosion early on, allowing for simple repairs before the problem worsens.
When a thorough cleaning is in order, using a pressure washer is an option, but sanding your deck afterward is even better. This will smooth down any rough patches and get them ready for staining.
The wood on your Palm Beach County docks is constantly exposed to water damage and harsh sunlight daily. To help the wood hold up better and avoid rot, it must be stained with a water-repelling stain with UV blockers. This will smooth off any rough spots. Paints come in various hues and colors so that you may match your style with something more natural-looking or striking.
Before beginning the staining process, pressure washes the deck and inspects for any spots that may require sanding. It is also an excellent opportunity to visually examine and prepare for staining the gangplank and sway bar connections, decking screws and bolts, boat lines, bow sling, and other fasteners or attachments prone to wear or corrosion.
Once the deck is completely dry, it can be stained. Using a synthetic brush instead of a natural bristle is important when using a stain, as this will work the color into the wood much better and not leave streaks behind.
Pressure washing removes standard debris such as leaves, sticks, and twigs from your dock. It can also remove mold, mildew, and other fungi that can be difficult to clean by hand. By thoroughly removing these substances, you prevent them from continuing to grow, damaging your dock and presenting health and safety issues for anyone using it.
Professional power washers should ask detailed questions about the type of material your deck is made from before washing it. This helps ensure they use the right water pressure to avoid damaging it. They should also pay attention to nozzle degrees and PSI units so that they can adjust the amount of power used.
Composite decking is not prone to moisture absorption but can accumulate dirt and other materials over time. A soft wash technique combines biodegradable detergents with safe pressure to clean this material without damage effectively.
A fresh coat of paint will protect the wood of your dock. It will also protect against mildew and rot. Color has a thicker finish and can fill gaps in the wood. It is also easier to clean than stain.
Using a natural water sealant ensures the product is environmentally friendly. Using toxic chemicals can cause environmental harm and may even kill marine life.
Rust is a major concern on docks as it causes corrosion and makes the structure unsafe for users. Keeping the rust at bay by regularly cleaning and repainting metal surfaces is important. Typically, it would help if you sanded the area down, cleaned it with mineral spirits, primed it with a rust-inhibiting primer, then painted it with exterior metal paint.
Regardless of what type of dock you have, a routine of cleaning, staining, and inspection will help it last longer and provide a greater return on your investment. Setting a time to perform these tasks will help you remember and ensure they are done regularly.
Decks and docks are not indestructible, whether from heavy foot traffic or the natural aging process. They are built to endure the weather, but typical wear and use can result in damage that must be addressed before it becomes a serious safety concern.
This is especially true for docks, where loose handrails and support beams can be dangerous. Performing regular inspections and making small repairs can ensure your dock’s safety and save you from expensive repair costs in the future.
Depending on your dock type, there are different maintenance requirements. For example, metal-based ports may need to be sprayed with soap or specialized rust treatment chemicals to keep them from corroding. Wood-based docks must be cleaned regularly to remove pine needles, maple keys and other debris that can clog the boards and lead to rot. Inspecting and tightening any hardware that holds the dock together, such as hinges, poles and locks, is also important.