Tips for Protecting Your Dock in the Winter

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Docks are useful structures to have on waterfront properties because they provide a place where you can enjoy the view, fish, and get on and off a boat. While docks, by design, can withstand contact with water, sunlight, and precipitation, they can sustain damage in the colder parts of the year. Our tips for protecting your dock in the winter will help you to avoid costly repairs.

Remove It From the Water

Some docks are removable, and with these, it’s best to take advantage of this capability by moving them completely out of the water as winter approaches. You may want to designate storage space for your dock or build a shed on your property where you can keep it in the colder months. With a roof and walls protecting it from the elements, it won’t be as likely to rot or break. Even if you do not have a place to store your dock, just taking it out of the water will remove the physical pressure of expanding ice on it. If you do this, make sure you mark out where it sits so that no one runs into it, buried beneath the snow.

Perform Preemptive Maintenance

Not all docks are removable, though. If this is the case, before temperatures dip to the point where the water begins to freeze and snow begins to fall, you should perform preemptive maintenance on your dock. Start by understanding your particular dock’s maintenance requirements, which may vary based on its material. With these in mind, clean your dock and then inspect it for any problem spots. You may need to tighten up fasteners or replace certain parts. With this done, waterproof the deck with a sealant so that it does not degrade when outside conditions make it impossible for you to do so later.

Use a De-Icer or Bubbler

Deicers and bubblers are machines that stop ice from appearing around your dock. Using them is an invaluable tip for protecting your dock in the winter when you cannot move it. Ice can push against a dock’s structure and cause unwanted shifting—even to the point of fractures. You should go for a deicer if your water depth is more than six feet. It will spin a propeller to circulate warm water from the bottom of the lake or pond directly underneath your dock. The constant movement this creates will prevent ice from settling in at the water’s surface. Since not all bodies of water are deep enough for this system to function, though, you can use a bubbler instead. A bubbler blows air into the water to keep it moving and prevent ice formation.

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