Protecting Your Dock Against Weather and Low Water Levels

Posted by Alumi-Span Docks on 6/1/2021
Are you looking for a boat dock that can withstand the elements?

Do you need a boat dock that can provide years of fun and function for your family?

One of the many benefits of aluminum docks is that they are very low maintenance. That doesn’t mean no maintenance, however! In Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, we get all kinds of weather. Even our sturdy aluminum docks have a lot of work to do to stand up to ice and snow, heat, and high winds. Protect your investment with regular inspection and maintenance. It doesn’t take a lot of time or special tools and it’s worth it for peace of mind.

If you leave your dock in year-round, you should check it out in the spring before you tie up a boat or host a fishing party. If you’re putting it in for the season, perform the same inspection.

Lake levels on the Great Lakes can fluctuate several inches year to year. Levels in smaller lakes change too, based on rain patterns, wildlife activity, or land use near your lake. You never want waves to come over the top of your dock. Evaluate the platform height from the water and modify leg heights as needed. Luckily, adjustments are much easier on an aluminum dock system than they are on a heavy wood unit.

Ice can put a lot of twist pressure on structures, so be sure to inspect the welds and seams.  If you do find a cracked weld, you can order a replacement for that section. Check to see if it stayed level. You might choose to have it ramped up a bit from the shore or seawall, but it should be as level as possible. You can use a carpenter’s level, or you can just measure from the deck to the water surface.

If you auger your dock, give a good shake to each leg to make sure it’s still firmly embedded. You might need to unscrew the brackets, tighten down the legs, and put the brackets back on. Walk around and look at all connections. Are all the bolts still in the stringer brackets? Replace any caps that are damaged or missing.  You can order replacement parts from our website. For the best quality, we recommend that you order Alumi-Span replacement parts.

Your aluminum dock will not rust, but it can corrode. Aluminum docks also get their fair share of algae, dead worms, and general lake gunk. It’s a good idea to clean your dock at least once a year.

Did you get a kayak this year? Look at your dock from the point of view of a paddler. Maybe you need to add a ladder to help get in and out of a kayak easily. Make sure there’s nothing under or around the dock that a kayaker can get snagged on. You might want to get stringer bumpers for a little extra protection. A kayak rack is also a nice bonus for easy storage out of the water.

A few hours work in the spring will give you a whole long summer and fall of no-worry recreation on the water. With a little attention, your Alumi-Span dock will outlast your boat.