Why It’s Important to Inspect Your Dock Annually

Docks add value to properties near lakes, ponds, and rivers, but they are also prone to damage from weather, wear and tear, storms, and other perils. It is crucial to inspect and repair them yearly.


Identifying potential problems early and getting them repaired can help prevent bigger, more expensive repairs down the line. Visit https://dockbuildingcharleston.com/ to learn the common stationary dock repair issues to keep an eye out for.

Inland waterway docks often encounter issues like warps and cracking that may need to be repaired or even replaced. It’s important to watch for signs of wear and tear so that you can address them promptly before they become more significant problems.

The powerful waves that boat docks have to endure regularly can cause them to bend or warp over time, especially if they’re made from metal or some other material that tends to rust. This can create safety hazards as the waves break through the structure or boats run into it, and it’s usually a sign that your dock needs to be completely replaced.

It’s a good idea to check for cracking and warping on a regular basis, because the sooner you spot an issue, the more affordable it will be to repair it. Depending on the materials used in the dock, a few minor cracks in a limited area might be able to be fixed by replacing individual boards or beams. However, if major load-bearing areas are breaking at several points, your dock is probably in need of complete replacement.

Water and wood do not mix, and this is why docks are often constructed from aluminum or steel. If they stay in contact with water for too long, they can develop a problem known as wood rot, which can quickly compromise the structural integrity of your dock.

This can also look a bit different than general rotting, as the fungus tends to show up in specific areas rather than spreading across the entire structure. If you notice that the wood in a certain area of your dock is starting to look shrunken, dark or even crumbling, it’s definitely time for repairs or replacement. In many cases, if the rot gets too advanced it will be cheaper to replace the entire dock than to try and save it with extensive repairs. Foothills can assess the damage and help you determine what your best options are for fixing it. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.


Even a well-constructed dock is going to suffer some damage over time. A little wear and tear is normal, but excessive splinters, cracks and rot can quickly lead to safety issues and structural concerns for your dock. To avoid this, it is important to perform regular inspections of your dock throughout the year and do a more thorough checkup right before the busier summer months.

If the problem is isolated to a single board or beam, it may be possible to replace them without having to replace your entire dock. However, if the problem is widespread it could be time to consider replacing your dock altogether. Wood rot is the silent killer of docks and is often overlooked because the top of your dock will appear pristine. This fungus eats away at the underside of your dock, compromises its stability and can cause it to fall into the water. If rot is found it should be replaced immediately to prevent the spread of rot and ensure your dock’s structural integrity.

Beams are the main support structure of your dock and are vital to its overall safety. If they start to rot, it can weaken your entire dock. If a beam is found to be damaged, it should be replaced immediately to keep the integrity of your dock and protect anyone using it.

All metal sections of your dock can rust, and it is important to regularly inspect them for signs of rust. Minor rust can be repaired with a coat of paint, but major rusted sections can require replacement. If any of the metal parts of your dock are severely rusted it is best to replace them right away, or else they may eventually break down completely.

Your dock is the center of your family’s summer fun, but it also takes a lot of abuse from the elements and constant use. By keeping up with small repairs and frequent cleanings, you can extend the life of your dock for years to come. For more information about the maintenance and repair services we offer, contact us today!

Aging Hardware

Even docks that are located next to pristine waters still have to contend with damage over time. Being at the mercy of water and receiving barrage after barrage of waves daily will eventually take its toll on the structures, regardless of how sturdy they are. If you’re a dock owner, it’s important to know the signs that indicate your structure is in trouble and needs to be repaired or replaced.

The metal structures that make up boat docks are prone to corrosion because of the contact they have with salt water. Any signs of rust or corroded parts are an indicator that the dock needs repair. It’s best to nip rust in the bud early on so that it doesn’t spread and affect the entire structure.

Hardware like hinges and poles are crucial components for boat docks, so if they begin to show signs of wear and tear, it’s important to nip them in the bud early on. It’s also a good idea to inspect auxiliary structures like cables and ropes regularly to ensure that they are not in danger of snapping or becoming loose. This is especially important when they are being used for loading and unloading boats. A sudden snapping can lead to serious injuries and expensive repairs, so it is always better to nip problems in the bud.

Another sign that a dock is in need of repair is if it starts to creak or groan when loaded with heavy boats and jet skis. Creaking is a telltale sign that the dock has become weak and could eventually collapse. If you notice this happening, it’s a sign that it is time to replace the foundation and decking.

Finally, a dock that is 30 years old or older is likely to need replacing rather than simply repair, regardless of any visible issues. It’s worth having a professional take a look at a dock of this age to see whether or not replacement is necessary. A newer dock will be more energy efficient and will offer a higher level of safety for users, so it is definitely worth the investment.

Water Damage

Any dock that is in contact with water is going to be subjected to a certain amount of wear and tear. Over time pilings can slip, wood can rot and metal components may start to corrode. All of these issues can lead to the need for repair or replacement.

The most obvious sign that it’s time to make a dock repair is any type of water damage. This can include anything from mold and slime to calcification. If you are noticing these problems it’s important to have them addressed right away. Otherwise they could spread and cause even more damage to your dock.

Another thing to look for is any deterioration in the foundation of your dock. This can be extremely dangerous and it’s a sign that your dock should be replaced entirely. The first step in assessing the problem will be a professional inspection. During this process, a dock repair specialist will take a look at the pilings, railings and the frame of your dock. They’ll also be looking for any cracks or rotting sections. Once they’ve determined what needs to be repaired or replaced, they’ll be able to get started on the work.

The final problem that is often found in dock repair is any rusting of the platforms and/or the dock supports. This can be very dangerous, especially if the structure is starting to rot. If the rust is only on non-load bearing supports, this can usually be repaired fairly easily. If the rust is on any load bearing supports, it’s usually a sign that your dock should be replaced completely.

In many cases, a homeowners insurance policy will cover the cost of repairing or replacing your dock. This is typically provided under the Other Structures coverage that is attached to the property insurance. However, it’s important to check with your individual insurance provider to see exactly what is and isn’t covered. It’s also a good idea to have a regular maintenance plan for your dock to help prevent any major issues down the road. By taking a proactive approach, you can help extend the life of your dock and save money in the long run.