Category Archives: Dock Repair

The Effects Weather Can Have On A Dock

Winter weather is known by many as a dock’s worst enemy. Harsh weather can have catastrophic effects on a dock such as rusted frames, rotten/destroyed decking, broken bolts, and more. Deaton’s Waterfront Services is luckily here to inform all about the negative effects weather will have on a dock, and ways to prevent them.

Factors of Weather That Affect Docks

There are several factors to take into consideration when a new dock is in the design phase. While it is easy to move quickly in the short term of getting a new dock, it could end up becoming very costly long term. Thankfully the experts at Deaton’s have 30 years of experience, and are trained to account for factors such as:

  • Wind Load
  • Snow Load
  • Earth Shifting
  • Sink Holes
  • Ice
  • Temperature
  • Water Fluctuation

These factors should not only be considered for just the dock, but also for any accessories that may go along with it. This includes lifts, PWC ports, launches, slides, ladders, and more. The team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services is equipped to ensure a worry-free installation. This includes anything related to the waterfront: docks, walls, and lifts. Now let’s take a look at how the weather will impact the different types of docks.

Weather Effects on a Floating Dock

Floating docks are better equipped to handle rougher weather, but not by much. The key difference between the two docks’ reaction to weather is that a floating dock will fluctuate with water.  A floating dock is just as susceptible to rotten decking and rusted frames as a stationary dock is. The ways to combat harsh weather in a floating dock is all in the quality of the build. A hot-dipped galvanized steel dock with a weather-resistant decking and thick-shelled floats will handle rough weather a lot better than a wooden dock with cheap floats.

Any floating dock will have a maximum weight capacity. 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 flotation 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.

Weather Effects on a Stationary Dock

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 attenuators, 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 the weather affects your dock in any way, or you are interested in designing a new dock feel free to request a quote from us. Our team at Deaton’s Waterfront Services will be happy to help. Give us a call at (317) 747-4933 or stop by our office located at 215 S. Madison St, Fortville, IN 46040.

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.