How to Know When Your Wood Dock Needs Replacing

Posted by Alumi-Span Docks on 11/1/2018
Need help deciding if it’s the right time to replace your boat dock? Looking into dock designs, but not sure if you’re ready to implement it?

Are you concerned about the safety of your dock?

It’s always difficult to bite the bullet and replace something in your home that’s expensive. This is especially true with a boat dock that’s still functional but has seen much better days. You feel tempted to give it one more season, maybe so you can save up for a really sensational dock design. But when sticking with old faithful potentially puts your equipment, boat, family, and self at risk, you should have more information so you can be confident about your decision.

That’s where we come in! Being in the dock design and construction business for over 60 years, we know the signs when your dock needs replacing and when it can continue to serve with a few repairs. And now you can be sure about replacing your dock, too, when you use our simple guide to know when your dock needs replacing.

To replace your dock or to repair?

  1. Determine Age: a dock will have an average lifespan depending on the dock design, material, and conditions. The average wood dock lasts approximately 15 years. Determine if your dock is well past it’s intended lifespan or still in it’s prime. The age of the dock isn’t an ultimate deciding factor for replacement, but it’s a great place to start.
  2. Maintenance History: if you’ve taken great care of your dock, it’s more likely to be in good shape and just need repair. But if you’ve let a few years slide without doing a bulk of the maintenance you should have, it’s time to take a close look at its condition.
  3. Cracking: anything made of wood on your dock should be looked at thoroughly for cracks. If cracks are minor, you could probably do with replacing a few pieces and beams. If cracking is major and widespread throughout the dock, replacement is your best option.
  4. Rotting: wood rot on your dock is tricky thing. It’s going to happen eventually, but a little rot won’t affect the function and safety of your dock. When a piece or section is damaged enough by rot to be replaced, however, you may notice the replacement piece rots faster than the original. This is because of small amounts of rot in adjacent sections of wood. If a good amount of your dock is afflicted with rot or you are frequently replacing pieces due to rot, it’s probably time for dock replacement.
  5. Rust: the bulk of your dock may be made of wood, but there’s a lot of metal to worry about, too. Most likely your dock was constructed using galvanized or coated metal for screws, supports, and even poles to protect from rust and corrosion. But galvanized does not equal impenetrable. Over time screws can be stripped and need replacing, and dings and dents in these metal surfaces make it vulnerable to rust. If you notice more than a few rusty spots on your dock, that’s a good sign that dock replacement will soon be required.
  6. Support: a sturdy foundation is crucial to the function and safety of your dock. Support structures driven into the ground need regular maintenance and possibly replacement to assure their security. If you feel or suspect any unsteadiness in your dock support, you should look into replacement right away.


Discover the benefits of aluminum dock design when you call Alumi-Span today!


Now that you have a better idea if your wood dock needs replacing or repair, give the experts at Alumi-Span a call to discuss how we can help you bring your dock back to life. If you are leaning towards replacement, we highly recommend an all-aluminum dock design. The benefits of aluminum are numerous, but compared to wood docks, aluminum lasts longer and needs much less maintenance.

Whatever your dock needs, from repair, replacement, accessories, and parts, Alumi-Span has you covered. Give us a call today!

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