The biggest threat to your boat dock is harsh weather. Water freezes around your dock and drastically shortens its lifespan. This means you have to pay more for repairs or even a replacement.
You’re not completely defenseless. With proper care and maintenance, your dock will last many winters with minimal damage.
Here are a few things you can do to protect your dock this winter.
How Ice Damages your Dock
Before you try to protect your dock, you have to know what will harm it. Water freezing around your dock doesn’t cause any damage. The damage comes when the ice starts to move.
When water freezes it expands, when it melts it contracts. Weather fluctuations in the winter cause the water to damage your dock. Also when the water isn’t frozen through the current will crash the ice into your dock.
After years of suffering extra wear, you’ll have to replace or repair your dock sooner than if you had followed some basic boat dock care.
Remove Your Dock
When possible, you should remove your boat and dock from the water. Autumn is the best time for removal. Once the ice melts in the spring you can put your dock back in place.
This is not a simple task, but some modern docks are constructed with winter removal in mind.
Protect Your Boat Dock by De-Icing
An easier solution is to use a de-icer. These work so well that even if the water is already frozen a de-icer will melt it.
An environmentally friendly method of de-icing is to propel the warm water to the surface. This prevents ice from forming.
Choosing the Right De-Icer
Finding the best dock de-icers depends on a few factors. The depth of the water, the tides, and predicted temperatures impact how the water freezes.
There are two main types of de-icers. A dock de-icer or agitator de-icer units mount onto your dock. You could also choose a subsurface aeration system. In addition to choosing the type, you’ll also have to decide on a suitable size.
Water that is around six feet deep or more needs a propeller de-icer to create an artificial current. If the propeller is too small, it won’t create the needed undercurrent.
Shallow water and a small dock have a smaller area to impact. This allows you to use forced-air systems.
A forced-air system uses hoses in the water to create bubbles. These packets of air agitate the water enough to stop ice from forming.
Winterize Your Dock Today
Whether you choose to remove your boat dock or equip it for winter, you are saving money. It’s a hassle now, but you’ll be thankful later. When your dock lasts 20 years instead of 5, you won’t regret the time and money invested.
Without proper care, your dock, boats, and other water vehicles will be damaged by harsh weather. Save yourself the headache and make sure to winterize everything.
Visit our lifestyle page to learn more about protecting your boat dock and other helpful boating information.