Category Archives: Dock Inspections

3 Tips to Get Your Dock Ready for Spring & Summer

Get ready to get back on the water! While we are currently in the middle of an extreme cold period with about a foot of snow in Indiana, we’re also about a month and a half away from Spring. No more cold weather! This means it is time to get all marine equipment ready for the upcoming season. Those that don’t prepare well will be sorry. If a piece of equipment got damaged by winter weather, ill-prepared waterfront owners will be stuck waiting to get on the water. And once dock company’s schedules start to get full it can take weeks to get something repaired. Today we’ll look at what to inspect to make sure your waterfront will be good to go in Spring.

How to Get Your Dock Ready for Boating Season

1. Inspecting Your Dock

Winter is harsh on docks. Snow and ice aren’t like rain in the summer that just drips right off, they pile on top and stay for a long time. So after sitting on top of a dock for several days or weeks, the weather starts to cause damage. So the first thing we should inspect when the weather is nice enough is the dock. First, inspect the decking. Make sure the material looks just as good as before with no rotting, splintering, cracks, or warps. Once you’ve noted the condition of the decking, move onto checking the frames. Look underneath your decking and make sure the frames aren’t warped or rusted. Make sure you notice if your dock is looking like it is sitting in the water lower than usual. It could be the entire system, or just one finger sitting a little low. If that’s the case, then the floats are damaged. Finally, inspect the anchoring and make sure it isn’t rusted or broken.

Now if you noticed any damage, it’s time to make sure to get it fixed now before the season starts. Fixing damaged decking, floats, or anchoring are small problems that can be fixed if caught early. These are all repairs that can be expensive of up to a few thousand dollars, but it’s nothing compared to spending tens of thousands on a brand new dock.  If the frames become severely warped or rust and break, then you’ll unfortunately probably have to replace the entire dock. Having an idea of what the damage on your dock is before you call in can help put your nerves at ease rather than waiting on a diagnosis.

2. Examining Your Boat Lift

Snow isn’t a real issue on boat lifts, but ice is. Instead of worrying about warping and cracking, you’ll need to worry if the lift is operational. Before we begin, always check your owner’s manual to see proper winterization techniques recommended from your manufacturer. There a lot of things that can get damaged during the winter on a boat lift. You could find damaged bolts, winches, power units, cables, bunks, or guides. After visually inspecting for wear and tear on any of these parts, it’s a good idea to cycle your lift up and down to make sure it’s working as intended. If you have a cable lift, be sure to listen closely and make sure you hear no snapping or noises coming from the cables. Unfortunately you can’t really replace a cable until it breaks, but it’s good to know it is coming rather than be surprised. For hydraulic lift owners, check your fluid and make it is filled to the appropriate level recommended by your manufacturer. Most issues and repairs needed for lifts will have to be dealt with by an expert. Fortunately, there are many experts with several years of experience at Deaton’s Waterfront Services.

Another aspect of getting your lift ready for the season is the canopy. Lift owners know to remove their canopy and store it for the winter to prevent tearing over the winter. If you leave a canopy on during the winter, snow is going to pile on top of it and destroy it. Call your local lift dealer and schedule them to store and reinstall your canopy every winter and fall. It will save you from having to replace a vinyl each season due to poor care.

3. Checking Your Seawall

The last piece of equipment you need to inspect is your seawall. Snow and ice will also warp and abuse a seawall during the winter. As water freezes and forms a layer of ice, it will push up against a seawall and try to morph it. As the sun appears during the day, it will cause the ice to start to melt and crack. The problem is, at night it will all refreeze and beat against the seawall. This constant cycle will damage the seawall over time and cause it to crack, warp, have gaps, and leak. If a seawall is well made with the right material, it will last for many decades but unfortunately you can never predict when nature will decide to ruin those plans. Inspecting the wall is simple, just walk along and inspect for warped metal, gaps, or leaks. If you notice a problem it will need to be fixed immediately before more damage piles up.

There is a way to help combat the damage that ice can throw at a seawall. If you own a bubbler, it will circulate the water throughout the winter never giving it a chance to settle and freeze. This will help protect anything you may have in the water including a dock, lift, or seawall. It is also helpful in the summer time to get rid of debris such as stray logs.

Final Thoughts To Get Rid of Winter

Getting your equipment working with plenty of time to get your boat prepared for the season is the best thing you can do for your future self and your property. While having damaged equipment will not only drive your property value down until it’s fixed, it also sucks to see everyone out on the water having a blast while you’re not able to. It’s best advised to have your equipment inspected by a waterfront professional sometime in the fall to give yourself plenty of time.  Once the schedule fills up for manufacturers and waterfront service shops, it can take weeks or months to get you a new part or get your equipment fixed. So make sure to see if your equipment will need a repair immediately to make sure you can be out there having fun with everyone else. If you feel more comfortable having an expert inspect your dock, feel free to reach out to us here at Deaton’s Waterfront Services. We will send a team out to inspect your equipment for a free quote. As always, feel free to contact us or give us a call at (317) 747-4933.

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying a Waterfront Home

Buying a home on the water is a great investment that will provide great views and hours of fun. However, the process of finding the perfect property is difficult. There are several factors to consider when inspecting a waterfront home. You need to make sure that the waterfront is in good condition, and will fit your needs. Real estate agents have no problem selling someone barely passable marine equipment to make a quick buck. Today we’ll look at a few things to keep in mind to make sure that you aren’t getting duped into buying a home that isn’t the right fit.

Waterfront Home

Factors to Consider When Inspecting A Waterfront Home

The Water

When buying a home on the water, you’ll first want to make sure that you’d like to live on the lake you’re looking at. You’ll want to make sure the water quality is good, the traffic isn’t too crazy, and check to see what the water levels typically are at every year. This step requires the most research but it’s important to see if you are the right fit for the lake community. In housing divisions and coves, it’s a good idea to watch the traffic of the lake during the evening hours. If there’s a lot of boat traffic, it’ll prevent you from having a peaceful evening if that’s what you seek.

To make sure the water is up to your standard, don’t be afraid to take a quick dip to decide. If the water stinks, is very murky, and full of algae you probably wouldn’t to live there. Obviously it’s a lot easier said than done to find the perfect lake, but patience is always key. The main takeaway you’ll need to see no matter the quality of water is the depth. Make sure your water is deep enough for boats to drive through. This is usually around 5′ – 8′. If the water is too shallow you won’t be able to own a dock or boat lift.

The Dock

The main reason someone would want to pay a premium to live on the water is because they want to get out and enjoy it. Part of that equation requires a boat dock, which needs to be in good condition or you’ll spend thousands more to replace it. When looking into a waterfront property, make sure to inspect the dock. Look at the decking, frames, and floats. If the decking is starting to warp, wood is starting to splinter, or nails are sticking out, then the decking will need replaced. Floats are also going to need replaced if they are barely holding a dock above water. Having to replace the decking or re-float the dock is the thing you’ll have to worry the least about as they are small repairs. If the frames are rusted, you’ll need to replace the dock entirely.

The whole point is to make sure you’re not spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house to have to spend thousands more to get on the water. If you find a great house but inspect to see that it has a terrible dock, the price should reflect that. It shouldn’t be the same price as a fully operational waterfront.

The Seawall

The final factor to consider when buying a waterfront home is the shoreline. Over time, water will erode sand and dirt away causing a shoreline to recede. This might not sound like a big problem, but losing land on your property is going to hurt your investment. To help protect your investment, check if the property you are looking at has a seawall. If it does, make sure that the wall is in good condition by looking for gaps or warps. You obviously don’t want to pay full price for a property if the seawall is going to need replaced. There is another form of protection that is cheaper and more natural, rip-rap. By placing stone down along the shoreline, it provides an extra layer of protection to prevent erosion. So if you don’t see a wall but do see a layer of rock, you’ll be OK. For more information about shoreline protection, check out our page here.

Buying a home on the water is a difficult process that you need to be prepared for. If there are times when you feel overwhelmed during the process, just think about the beautiful payoff on the water. Make sure that everything on the property is in working order and in good condition. If you need any equipment inspected, our expert team will do so free of charge and recommend a plan to restore working condition. Feel free to contact us for a free quote, or give us a call at (317) 747-4933.

Can RipRap Help My Waterfront Property?

What is RipRap?

Riprap is a layer of loose rocks that is used to cover a shoreline and protect it from water erosion.  The rocks are typically a crushed granite material, varying in sizes. As waves come crashing in, slowly over time they will begin to erode the shoreline back and disturb it’s look. By covering a shoreline with riprap, it creates a natural look that prevents water from washing soil and sand away. The construction process begins by laying out a mesh layer of geotextile fabric to prevent soil from seeping back into the water. Then, the shoreline is covered with large rocks of crushed granite, typically supplied by your local quarry, to prevent the water from crashing into the soil. Overall, the installation process for riprap will not disturb the environment.

Geist Riprap

Why Do I Need RipRap?

While riprap is great for aesthetic reasons, it’s main use is to prevent water erosion.  There are many options for preventing water erosion, but riprap is the cheapest and most natural option. The biggest factor when determining if riprap is the right solution for your land is the slope and natural look. If your land isn’t too steep, such as a 2:1 slope where the land rises every 2 feet for every foot it goes back, or if you want to maintain the natural look of the terrain then riprap is the best option.

RipRap vs Seawall

The two choices that Deaton’s Waterfront Services offers for managing your shoreline are riprap and seawalls. Seawalls offer much more protection against shoreline erosion, but the construction method is also more intensive on the land. Heavy machinery such as an excavator are going to need to terraform your land into the right position then drive metal sheet panels into the ground. Seawalls are also more expensive than riprap due to the construction costs. If you’re looking for a budget method to protect your shoreline, riprap is the best way to go.

Deaton’s Waterfront Services has an expert coastal management team that ensures to protect shorelines from water erosion. We will come out and inspect your property to determine the best solution for you, free of charge. If you’re interested in protecting your investment from erosion, feel free to reach out to us or give our office a call at (317)747-4933.

 

3 Common Dock Repair Problems and Fixes

Routine dock inspections can help your waterfront investment last long after its installation. When you can catch minor dock repair issues early, you’re protecting yourself from more costly projects down the road. If you aren’t sure what to look for, these common dock repair issues are a good place to start.

Common Dock Repair Issues

Your water fluctuation, build process, and how your dock does in winter all play a role in what kind of repairs your dock might need. Just keep in mind, every dock has its own unique characteristics. Wooden docks will have different concerns than a stationary aluminum dock. Custom floating docks are different still.

1. Dock Deck Splintering

For wood docks, one of the biggest issues we see are that the deck boards start to splinter. Fortunately, this can be a relatively easy fix. You might need to sand down certain sections to prevent further breaks. In other cases, you might need to replace the entire board.

Obviously wood docks don’t last forever, but staying on top of the smaller dock repairs can help it stay sturdy through the upcoming seasons. If you want to avoid these maintenance details, you can always upgrade your dock to composite boards. These materials won’t splinter, plus they still have that natural look with a wood-like texture and design.

2. Dock Frames Rusting

Just as dock boards can splinter, other materials on your dock can have their own issues. Some types of docks can run into problems with their metal parts rusting. That’s why it’s so important to do regular checks for signs of rust around your dock. A quick inspection for rusted frames can help you feel better about your waterfront setup—and keep you safe!

If you see any problems around your dock frames, you’ll probably want to call on a local dock builder or waterfront company to come take a closer look. You might only need to replace a few parts for broken or rusted bolts. Then again, it might be time to upgrade your frame. Rust around your dock means it’s just a matter of time before something gets worse or snaps.

3. Dock Floats Sinking

Dealing with a floating dock means you might need to replace a float here or there over the years. On the bright side, these issues are pretty easy to spot. Noticing a sinking section is usually a clear sign that something is going on underneath your dock.

Reviewing the warranty for your encapsulated dock can help keep your repair costs to a minimum. You should also be able to reach out to your local dock builder to see if they can research that information for you.

Turn to Deaton’s for Dock Repairs!

Whenever you run into problems with these common dock repair questions, you can always count on our crew at Deaton’s Waterfront Services. Some dock repairs are easy to DIY, but others might require a little more expertise. If you give us a call, we can help give you some advice on how to move forward.

We service all types of docks and are always happy to work with you on your repair needs—for both commercial and residential waterfront properties. Let us be your go-to dock company! Send us a message, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

What’s the Best Anchoring for My Dock?

A good dock anchoring system is a requirement for every dock owner.  That’s what keeps your structure secure and steady from season to season! Whether you’re just starting out with a new dock or you need to make some upgrades to your current setup, looking at your anchoring system is a key part of having a safe waterfront site.

Types of Dock Anchoring Systems

When you don’t have the right dock anchoring in place, you might be looking at trouble down the road. Identifying the best dock anchoring system for you will depend on your water level, conditions, and existing structure. Here’s a closer look at your options:

1. Pipe Brackets

Smaller docks can often rely on a standard pipe anchoring system. These setups even work for simple PWC lifts. The pipe brackets should be able to move along with water fluctuation, wind, or waves, and the poles themselves are driven right into the lake bottom. Typically, this type of dock anchoring is used on sites with moderate conditions.

2. Piling Brackets

Larger docks designed for heavy loads and high traffic usually turn to pile anchoring. Whether the piles are wood, concrete, or made from another durable material, you can use piling brackets to securely connect your dock.

3. Deadweight Anchoring

If your site experiences more extreme water fluctuations, you might need to look at deadweight anchoring for your dock. These setups use cables or chains to tie your dock to an anchor on the bottom of your lake or body of water. Your deadweight brackets and the option for a deadweight insert and cable winch can help make this anchoring system more reliable for your site.

4. Stiff-Arm Brackets

Some docks have the option to anchor to the shore. Working with stiff-arm brackets lets you stabilize your dock with a shoreline post or shoreline abutment. You can choose from a heavy-duty or light-duty anchoring parts. Depending on your needs, you may also want to add a cable system for extra support.

Need Help with Your Dock Anchor?

Dealing with dock anchor problems can be devastating. If you can’t confidently rely on your setup, then you might end up losing your dock after a storm, or worse. There can be real safety risks when your dock is unstable. A secure dock anchoring system can help keep you and your family safe. For commercial sites, limiting your liability is also a big motivator.

Whether you need a dock safety review or know you’re due for upgrades, our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services can help. We understand the anchoring features that matter most for different waterfront sites and can recommend the solution that’s right for you. Let’s get your dock repairs taken care of before any accidents happen. Give us a call at (317) 747-4933 to start your consultation. We’re here to help!

Turn Your Floating Dock into the “Go-To” Summer Spot

Having a well-maintained floating dock isn’t just a benefit for you and your immediate family—it can be a great summertime go-to for all of your friends and extended family, too! If you want to make your property the “life of the party” for summer fun, just follow these tips. Making great memories is easy when you’ve got the right equipment and know-how.

Tip No. 1: Plan for a Crowd

When you want to host the big summer bashes, you’ve got to make sure you have enough seating and places to lounge. Planning for a crowd can help you give everyone a place to kick back and relax. Keeping extra chairs on hand makes a big difference. Then, you can pull out whatever seating arrangements you need at a moment’s notice.

While you’re at it, consider stocking up on towels, sunscreen, and even spare sunglasses, too. Stock up on more than just food and drink to really be the “host with the most.” That way, if anyone forgets something at home, you’ll be able to step in with what they need. These little touches will make all of your guests feel welcome.  Once you get these supplies on hand, the only thing missing is just a little music. Everyone is sure to have a great time on your boat,  floating dock, or wherever else when you’ve got all the party basics covered.

Tip No. 2: Use a Team Approach

Of course, you don’t have to do all the planning on your own. Feel free to recruit your guests to lend a hand. Using a team approach encourages everyone to get involved, and consequently, feel more invested in the summertime fun. Let people know ahead of time if they can bring soda or donate some towels to your lake house supplies. (Also note: This sense of community might also help guests feel more invested in keeping your place clean!)

Tip No. 3: Promote Water Safety

The team approach can also extend to your water safety plans. Let your friends and family know that they can keep an eye out for any loose boards on your deck or issues with couplers on your floating dock. Your work gets a lot easier when you have more people involved in checking your equipment. Any problems are sure to get spotted, so you have less to worry about during the waterfront season.

You’ll also need to prepare for other water safety tactics if you have electronics around your floating dock. Hazards around the water can be especially dangerous this time of year, so doing your due diligence to prevent any mishaps will help keep everyone safe. A proper setup is key. If you haven’t worked with a waterfront expert to review your floating dock and other gear, you might consider having a detailed review before your next get-together.  Electric shock drowning is a very real danger on waterfronts, so you’ll want everything up to code.

Floating Dock Design from Deaton’s

When your floating dock needs a little extra attention, you can count on Deaton’s Waterfront Services. While we’re big fans of the EZ Dock products, our expertise stretches to all types of dock systems. So, whether you need minor repairs or a complete overhaul—our team can help you out.

If you’re in our service area, feel free to give us a call at (317) 747-4933 to check our availability. Or, send us a message with some of your concerns and details. We’re always happy to coordinate video conferences with clients so you can get your answers fast, without having to wait for our crew to come to your site. And because we service both residential floating dock and commercial dock setups, we can truly be your one-stop shop. Contact us today to make the most of your waterfront setup!

5 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Lake House

When thinking about buying a lake house, there are a few questions to keep in mind. You don’t want to make such a big decision without considering the most important features. Whether the lake house will become your second home, a rental, your permanent address, or just a place to escape on the weekends, thinking through these details can help you confirm that you’re making the right choice.

1. Is the driving distance reasonable?

You don’t want to commit to a property that’s inconveniently located. Be brutally honest with your calculations on the drive-time. That way, you can avoid the problem of loving a property, but hating the distance it takes to get there.

If you have a few different properties in mind, comparing and contrasting the driving time to each location might help you narrow down your options. Do you want a lake house that’s just an hour away, or can you make do with a trip of 2 or 3 hours? Also consider the traffic. Will you be leaving after work on a Friday? In that case, you might need to add another 30 minutes to your travel plans.

2. What lake house maintenance is required?

Being handy doesn’t necessarily mean you want to have to put in a lot of hard work for your new lake house. A close critique of what’s working and what needs repairing can help you decide whether you want to make an offer on the property.

For example, does the lake house have a boat house or floating dock that needs major dock repairs? If you aren’t sure, you might want to have a waterfront expert come out to do a review of the existing structures. Just like how a home inspector analyzes every corner of a house, a waterfront review can give you valuable information on the structural soundness of a dock or water feature. You don’t want to make the mistake of buying a property without these checks. Otherwise, you might have to foot the bill for an expense seawall repair or other renovation down the road.

3. Do you have access to other amenities?

In addition to counting the miles from the lake house to your permanent address, you’ll also need to study the distance from the lake house to other amenities. How much time are you willing to spend driving to the nearest gas station or grocery store?

Odds are, your full-time home is within close driving distance to everything you need. But your new lake house might have a more remote location. Depending on what your expectations are, you might not be ready to go with an address that’s too far “off the grid.” Think through all the requirements before you move forward with your decision. Do you need a hardware store around the corner? How about a movie theater? What you plan to do at the lake house might help you determine what amenities are necessary, and what are just unnecessary luxuries.

4. Are the lake’s regulations agreeable?

Some lakes that you’re looking at might have strict regulations as part of their homeowners’ association agreements. If you aren’t sure about these rules upfront, it’s important to double-check with the sellers so nothing gets missed.

Are you going to have the freedom you want at your lake house, or will you have to make some adjustments to your plans based on the HOA regulations? For example, are you going to be able to build your own floating dock close to your shoreline, or are there certain restrictions? Knowing about these potential roadblocks upfront can give you the clarity you need to feel confident in your new place.

5. Can you enjoy the lake house year-round?

While a lake house tends to be most enjoyable during the summer months, you’ll want to make sure your investment has year-round appeal. Assuming you can’t get on the water in the winter, will you have other reasons to utilize your property during the “off season?”

A lake house has to hold up to other measures that just being near the water. The inside of your home is equally important. That’s why you’ll want to do a careful walk-through all around the property. Can you see the potential to enjoy the space during the holiday season? Are the views nice enough that you’d still want to visit even if you can’t go out on your boat? Making sure you’ve got the total package will be a great benefit to you and your family. After all, you don’t want your new space to go to waste!

Managing Safety Hazards on Public Waterfronts

Getting ready to enjoy another year on the water is always an exciting time. But you don’t want to overlook the proper safety protocols! Public waterfronts and commercial docks need to be especially careful about their equipment. Regular dock maintenance checks and being able to make necessary repairs quickly can help make the difference between a safe site and a tragic waterfront accident.

Waterfront safety hazards can be easily prevented when you work with the right experts. Here at Deaton’s Waterfront Services, we love helping boat launches and docks on public lakes, reservoirs, and other commercial waterfronts stay up to code. Two types of problems in particular can be a big cause for concern.

Accessibility on Commercial Docks

Our public parks and recreational areas are an invaluable part of our country, and a real source of enjoyment for so many people. In order to protect these sites and help make them available for everyone, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990. These standards cover fishing piers, floating structures, and other local or state facilities.

To be recognized as ADA-compliant dock, both fixed and floating waterfront structures need to be wheelchair-accessible. This helps ensure that people of all abilities can utilize public docks. Sites of all sizes—from small lakes to large marinas—are held accountable. Commercial docks and other public facilities need to pay special attention to these requirements, but sometimes certain features get overlooked.

If you ever need help maintaining your own ADA-compliant dock, just contact Deaton’s Waterfront Services. Our experienced team understands the importance of having accessible ramps, guardrails, curbing on the walkways, and other features for dock safety. We’re always happy to review your site to make sure it meets or exceeds the ADA standards.

Electrical Safety for Waterfronts

Public waterfronts also need to keep a close eye on their electronics. As we look forward to the summer season on the water, it’s important to remember that safety risks can exist anywhere on a dock or marina. Electrical hazards are especially dangerous for waterfronts. Marine industries have to work hard to protect the public against these concerns, but often, there’s a lot left to check.

While some regulations are already in place, electrical safety still makes headlines. Large conferences around the county address marina electrical safety every year—and for good reason. These types of waterfronts often work with a lot of electricity on and around the dock. If these electronics aren’t grounded properly, people swimming in the harbor can be at risk for electric shock drowning. The electrical systems for big marinas and around public lakes definitely need to be up to code. If you aren’t certain that everything is an order, you’re probably due for a dock inspection.

Talking with a waterfront services company can help you verify your dock’s safety features. In other situations, though, you might need to bring a marine electrician to your site. Regularly testing your setup can keep your guests safe.

Get Your Dock Up to Code

If you want to minimize the safety hazards on your public dock or waterfront, Deaton’s Waterfront Services can help. We have experience working with docks of all sizes. When you aren’t sure if your site is up to code, give our team a call at (317) 747-4933. We can either send someone to your location for an in-person tour, or schedule a video call to review your current setup.

Some of the best ways to make your site safe and secure are pretty easy to do. Make sure your wheelchair ramps are at the right angle, and update your rails and curbing to protect visitors from accidents.  A review of your existing electrical equipment is also important this time of year. For a truly successful season, don’t ignore waterfront safety. Partner with Deaton’s Waterfront Servicers to keep your site up to code and ADA-compliant all year long!

Mother Nature

Mother Nature (vs) Waterfront Equipment

When engineering or designing a waterfront system, multiple factors are taken in to account to make sure the system works flawlessly in the short term, and the long term.
Factors such as:
• Wind Load
• Snow Load
• Earth Shifting
• Sink Holes
• Ice
• Temperature
All should be considered when planning the docking structure, and accessories such as ports, lifts, kayak launches, slides, ladders, and other amenities.
With our 30 plus years of experience we can verify, and ensure worry free installations that are on the
Waterfront. This includes docks, walls, and boat lifts. Lets take a look at the different components of boat docks, and boat lifts that need to be factored in with weather.
Boat Docks:
A.) – Floating Boat Docks: Any floating dock can carry “X” amount of weight. The maximum weight that can be carried or supported will be rated by the buoyancy that is underneath the frame and decking. Typically we like to see at least a buoyancy of #25-95 pounds of live load per square foot. Live load is the optimal buoyancy you can maintain across the square footage of your floating platform that’s on the water. The floats are the largest factor you need to consider, most floatation over time will develop lack of optimal buoyancy. This contributes to the dock losing freeboard. “Freeboard “is the measurement from the water line to the top of the dock. Measured freeboard of a floating boat dock depends on the usage, or watercraft that will be using it. Typical freeboard is from 5”- 40”, Deaton’s Waterfront Services can help you measure the recommended proper freeboard.
B.) Stationary Boat Docks: Stationary Dock structures are anchored by having poles, pilings, or supports being driven or anchored into the bottom of the lake bottom. This is a nice and stable way for installation, that creates a solid platform. The biggest worry to this dock is ice/ landshift. If the anchors or pilings settle or get shifted with ice or land movement this will cause the dock to be unlevel, and dangerous to use. There are ways to combat this by using bubblers, water attueators, or have shoreline stabilization installed. A lot of this can be overcome by doing some core samplings of the soil, and making sure to take the necessary measures.

If you have any other questions on this subject, feel free to reach out. Deatons Waterfront Services, 317.747.4934, sales@deatonsdocks.com, www.deatonsdocks.com, or 215 South Madison, Fortvillle, IN 46040. Estimates are free for Boat Docks, Boat Lifts, and Sea Walls! _DEBO_

Dock Repair Prevention with Spring Maintenance

As residential and commercial waterfronts are getting ready for the spring season, there are a few key things dock owners need to watch. It’s a lot easier to enjoy your time on the water when you know that your equipment checks out. Just follow our checklist to confirm that your dock made it through the winter safe and sound.

Signs Your Dock Needs Maintenance

Early spring is the best time to check out your dock to make sure you’re ready for the upcoming season. February, March, or early April, are good times for assessing your waterfront.  Plus, if you used a bubbler in the winter to actuate the water, now’s the perfect time to take it out and put it back into storage.

Checking your dock in early spring is a good idea for both commercial waterfronts and residential properties. Homeowners, public docks, and other commercial sites on the water want to make sure their dock is safe for the years ahead. Regularly scanning your dock for loose connections and keeping an ear out for loud noises around your dock can help you catch any issues long before any major repairs are needed.

One sure sign that your dock will need spring maintenance is if you hear any obvious, loud noises when waves hit your dock. This is cause for concern because that racket could relate to metal-on-metal activity. If your dock equipment is knocking around too much, something can eventually break off and fall in the water.

Common Springtime Dock Repairs

In the Midwest, ice on the waterfronts typically comes off around Valentine’s Day. Scheduling preventative maintenance with a waterfront services company can help verify that all of your equipment survived the winter in one piece. If anything did go wrong, spring storms will just make those waterfront problems worse. Without preventative maintenance, some docks can even break in half. Then those parts can either sink to the bottom, or float away and go over a dam.

Some of the most common springtime dock repair problems relate to anchoring. Checking each one of your anchors, cables, and pipes is key for having a sturdy, stable dock. Spring is also the time to take a look at any floats that sit underneath your dock for support. These floats can sometimes pop out during winter, which can cause the dock to fall into the water later on. A thorough check will also cover the connections between your dock and bridge. These parts may need to be tighten every now and again, and spring is definitely the time to check.

Getting a Dock Repair Quote

A dock repair will happen at just about every site eventually. But if you’ve completed the necessary preventative maintenance, these problems are pretty easy to address. In general, the same rules apply to the small lakes in Northern Indiana, as to the huge lakes Kentucky or Tennessee!

If you need a professional to weigh in on your dock setup, you can always count on Deaton’s Waterfront Services. We take care with each dock inspection so you can get the information you need to make an informed decision. First, we review any weak points on your dock and let you know if there are any possibilities of failure in the next year. Then we can share suggestions on updates, as well as any short-term or long-term tips that might be helpful for your site.

A lot of times, you don’t even need to schedule an on-site visit with us. So if you’re on fence about whether you need a dock repair, please don’t hesitate to give Deaton’s Waterfront Services a call. We can easily get a clear vantage point of your site with a quick video-call. That way, you’ll get all the suggestions you need (whether you need new floats added, more screws down, etc.) and a dock repair quote with a much faster turn-around time.

You can even send us pictures of your dock to talk over your options. Our crew at Deaton’s is always happy to provide you with recommendations for custom dock updates or other repairs. We can even send you links and images to other dock projects we’ve worked on with past clients. Getting maintenance is great for your peace of mind around the water. If you have any questions, be sure to send us a message. We hope you have a great season ahead of you!