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Important Lake Dock Maintenance Tips

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If you want the most stable dock secured on your lake, then it is wise to hire a marine construction specialist to construct the dock for you. This is important to ensure the stability and security of the driven posts in the lake bottom. While proper construction is key in forming the best dock, you will also need to complete regular maintenance tasks. Keep reading to learn about a few tips to complete the tasks properly. 

Use Treated Wood

If you notice a loose or damaged board along your dock, then it is best to repair the damage as soon as possible to reduce injuries. When completing the fix, make sure to choose treated lumber for the job. However, choose the wood carefully to make sure it contains the right preservative. While arsenic, copper, zinc, chromium, and oil-based preservatives are quite commonly used to treat wood, these substances can leach into your lake. Heavy metals can cause environmental concerns by seeping into the bodies of the fish in the water. While you may not eat the fish and come into contact with the metals yourself, other animals in the ecosystem will. This can lead to widespread metal intoxication of all types of animals along the food chain. This can also be said of arsenic, which is well-known toxin.

Instead of choosing wood with metal and arsenic preservatives, look for water-based ones instead. These preservatives are typically non-toxic and they will seep deep into the wood. In fact, the preservatives become fixed within the tissues of the lumber and resist leaching. Not only can this help to prevent pollution, but the wood you use to fix your deck with last longer. Keep in mind that the water-based preservatives may cause fastener or nail corrosion issues. This means that you should use stainless steel hardware whenever possible when securing the lumber.

Properly Clean the Deck

Many people will use sealers that contain polyurethane across their docks to help prevent rot. While this may be appropriate for fences and decks, it is not wise for docks that remain in constant contact with water. When you treat the wood with polyurethane sealers, the sealant will successfully keep water from entering the wood. However, when the sealer starts to wear off in certain areas, the wood will start to absorb water where the sealer has worn off. The remaining sealer will trap the water in the wood and keep it from evaporating. This will actually contribute to the rotting of the wood unless you continually add sealant about every six months.

Typically, wood that is treated with preservatives will withstand rot over time without sealers. However, you should make sure that you clean the dock often to prevent the build up of mildew and algae that can cause rot concerns. It is best to avoid polluting the water, so use a pressure washer and plain water to clean the wood at least once every six months. High pressure can cause the wood to splinter and crack, so make sure to set the sprayer at a low PSI. A light duty washer that releases between 1500 and 1900 PSI will work best.

If the sprayer does not remove all the dirt, then use a small amount of a biodegradable soap and a scrub brush to clear away some of the debris. The soap, that often contains natural ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, will break down into water with the help of bacteria. However, too much of the soap can disrupt the natural ecosystem within your lake, so you should only use one or two squirts of the soap or a small sliver of a bar. 

Once you have a marine construction expert create a dock for you on your lake, you will need to make sure that you complete proper maintenance tasks. Using treated wood to make repairs with water-based preservatives and cleaning the dock properly are two things you should do. For more information or assistance, contact companies like Abbott's Construction Services Inc.