Regular Maintenance Helps You Stay on Top of Pier Repair

There’s nothing like relaxing by the water, but we all know water can be a powerful force. Aside from hurricanes and tsunamis, there’s flooding, freezing, and wave action.

Your pier takes the brunt of all this, making pier repair a perennial part of your to-do list. Of course, holding off on a needed pier repair will only make things worse.

So, where do you start? Here’s a rundown of three major areas of pier repair.

1. Pier Repair Is Crucial for Preserving Wood

If your pier is made of wood, you know regular maintenance is key to winning the battle against wear and tear. Wooden parts can deteriorate over time and need to be repaired or replaced.

The first thing to check for when performing pier repair work is whether the wood is properly sealed. At least once a year:

  • Clean the dock with a pressure washer and chemicals that remove algae and mold.
  • Sand the wood to remove peeling paint and debris that will keep the sealant from sticking.
  • Apply dock sealant.

Remember to repair cracks and holes in wood platforms using marine putty. Epoxy putty works best for large damage. Acrylic putty, on the other hand, is good for filling smaller scratches as well as pinholes.

Also, be on the lookout for dry rot. When wood decays, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars to replace wooden posts and other parts. Dry rot is common when wooden docks are in the water year-round.

Image of orange cones blocking of wooden pier as it is being repaired.
It is important to repair and maintain you wooden piers so that they last as long as possible.

2. Check the Structure

A less-obvious part of the deck is the structure holding it in place. Make sure everything is in working order.

Barrels and chains support many floating docks. These are some things to check:

  • Buoyancy: Check barrels for buoyancy and replace them if needed.
  • Chain strength: Chains holding barrels together or anchoring a dock in place often deteriorate. Lubricate the chains to stave off rust. What’s more, broken chains may need to be welded together.

Inspect the support structure for missing screws. Screws as well as other small parts are often the first to go on a pier. As a result, you’ll have loose boards and other problems. Check out the top, sides, and bottom of the of the boat dock.

3.Electrical Pier Repair Is Not a DIY Project

Does your dock have lights for boaters to see at night? Or maybe you have a boat lift or electrical outlet for pressure washing.

The electrical component of pier repair is in a category of its own. Unlike the rest of your pier repair checklist, fixing electrical problems is not a DIY project. An electrical problem can be more than an inconvenience. Your safety could be at risk. Stray voltage could cause a shock on a metal platform, for instance.

For electrical problems, your best bet is contacting Captain Rod’s Boat Lift and Pier Services.

We Have the Know-How for All Your Pier-Repair Needs

Captain Rod’s Boat Lift and Pier Services has the knowledge and experience to help you keep your pier in good shape so you can focus on fun. We’ve handled pier repair as well as installation for over 15 years. Give Captain Rod a call at (815) 759-9134 and enjoy peace of mind knowing the job’s done right.

Editor’s note: This blog was originally published on November 15, 2016 and was updated on June 4, 2019.