Winter is upon us and the lakes are frozen. Dock owners that have experience with the winter season are already well prepared and have their equipment safe. But what if you’re a new dock owner coming into your first winter? There is a lot of work to be down to protect your dock, boat, and PWCs. Today we’ll look at the steps needed to protect your investment and keep it as new as the last time you used it.
Winter Effects On Docks
During the winter, snow will accumulate on top of a dock and the water around it will freeze. This will cause a lot of problems with a dock and other water equipment. Wood on a dock will warp over time from expanding and contracting with the different temperatures. Steel will rust and corrode over time, causing frames to break and cables to snap. All of these problems are going to happen over time whether your take proper steps for winterizing or not. Winterizing your dock is a matter of delaying the inevitable, it all comes down to keeping your annual maintenance costs down low.
If you live in Indiana, or any of the other surrounding states, you’re probably wondering what you should do with your dock in the winter. Our recommendation is to first check with your local waterfront experts by giving us a call for a free consultation. Our advice is better than just going with your gut instinct. However, it’s not hard to determine your best course of action for the winter. Here are some step’s we take to help ensure docks are kept in great condition throughout the winter:
Protect Your Shoreline From Erosion
One thing that gets overlooked when preparing for winter is your shoreline. Ice and snow will melt causing your shoreline to erode over time, so having a barrier will offer a method of preventing erosion. You can either install a seawall or lay down riprap to protect your property. For more information about shoreline protection, be sure to check out our seawall page here.
Removing a Floating Dock During Winter
A common step for protecting your dock in the winter is to remove it if you have the means to do so. Fixed docks aren’t able to be removed, but they should never be installed in a lake that freezes in the first place because ice and snow can push pilings apart causing frames to warp. So if you own a floating dock, you can schedule your dock to be removed with Deaton’s or do so yourself. It’s recommended to store dock in a dry, flat surface. They can also be stored outside, but make sure you have tarped them off properly to prevent any water from reaching them. It’s a difficult process but it will pay off by preventing unnecessary damage.
Most modern docks won’t need to be removed due to the changes in dock manufacturing over the years. Instead of being all wood based or steel, materials such as composite decking or hot dipped galvanized frames hold up way better under duress. So if your dock is newer, or you own an EZ Dock system, don’t worry about removing your dock. Around the central Indiana region, it’s pretty uncommon to remove your dock for the winter if you live near the lake.
Preventing Ice with a Bubbler
Perhaps the easiest method of protecting your equipment during winter is to install a bubbler under your dock. A bubbler will push warm water underneath your dock up to the surface causing ice and snow to melt and preventing future accumulation. It will keep everything nice and thawed! Ice won’t be able to form underneath your dock around the floats. A bubbler will protect your frames and keep your dock in the water where it’s supposed to be. There are different levels of power to bubblers to give them a larger circulation radius. For more information about bubblers, check out Kasco’s line here.
If you’re in need of maintenance on your dock due to winter damage, we’re here to help. Our expert team will diagnose any problems and recommend how to repair your equipment to as good as new! For more information, feel free to request a quote or give us a call at (317)747-4933.